The noted Canadian writer of poetry and prose, Margaret Atwood, is the award-winning author of forty works, including fiction, poetry and critical essays.
Perhaps her most famous work is The Handmaid’s Tale, written in 1985 and now considered prophetic, which was made into a popular television series. This work is a dystopian view of a regime that is extremely oppressive to women. A famous quote from the film speaks of “making things better,” tellingly explaining, “Better doesn’t mean better for everyone.” I’ll say.
The setting is near Boston in the U.S., with Canada portrayed as the only hope of escape. Not so far from today’s reality, in my opinion, though Canada has its problems, too. Recent U.S. legislation affecting women’s reproductive rights makes this projected vision of a dystopian future seem dangerously close.
The Handmaid’s Coalition was formed in 2017. Activists dressed in the signature red cloaks and white hats lobby and protest, serving as visual warnings that the rollback of womens’ hard-won rights and freedoms will send us back decades, creating unthinkably hard lives for women and girls.
Your challenge :
To write from the viewpoint of a man or woman living in the times depicted in The Handmaid’s Tale. It feels freaky, how close we are to entering this reality. But we won’t go quietly. Hell, no!
If you aren’t familiar with The Handmaid’s Tale, write from the point of view of a woman living in – or escaping from – oppression or abuse. Perhaps a woman in your family history - or you yourself - has an amazing story.
Write from the point of view of a man whose familiar world is falling apart as his wife joins the womens’ movement. (He may be sympathetic or opposed.)
We do not intend this to become a political argument. Let's reflect, rather, on women's hard-won rights, how long women fought to gain them, and how easy, apparently, it is for them to be lost.