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Old 1st Jul 2008, 20:00   #22
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Join Date: 22 Sep 2006
Location: Illinois
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Default Re: Book 54: THE HANDMAID'S TALE by Margaret Atwood

Originally Posted by Colyngbourne View Post
To my mind, that isn't so much feminism as what we would hope any human would be doing. I don't see what makes it a feminist thing, except that Offred happens to be a woman (which has put her in that situation admittedly).
I agree, almost. I see the Handmaid as representative of what we'd like to think anyone would be doing in a far-fetched situation like this, of course. What makes it a feminist thing, and as good a ''manifesto'' for me as any, is that most women still are called upon to do this doubly, to take some hits that wouldn't be headed their way if they weren't women. I'll cite only one instance as this is such a retread: I worked once with a man who told me he liked to come in to work evenings and to sniff my chair when I wasn't in it. Now, I've been very fortunate, ''made choices'' to avoid people such as this, went to school, took a pretty safe trajectory, etc., but this disrupted my equilibrium and took a lot of concentration and 'thinking- about-other-things' to manuever around. But other women aren't so lucky and there is still an imbalance, though work life has improved staggeringly for most of us. Feminism is about bringing a balance to power, and the only way, imho, to do that is to take an inside track, like the Handmaid, and maintain self when circumstances might lead to being knocked off kilter. Atwood does a good job in her novels of portraying women in difficult circumstances who show dignity and lots of snarky humor to ride out things they don't choose for themselves.

Moving on, Atwood in the interview I have at home makes a point about such a situation coming into being because of perks and cooperation from people who might not see themselves as being caught up in something vile. I'll find it later and get the quote right.
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