#Entertainment: THE HANDMAID’S TALE || About a month ago, I saw women going to the Texas Senate, to protest a ban that was proposed to end second-trimester abortions in that state. They were wearing red robes and white caps, walking silently to their seats. It was such a powerful image, with so much intensity. But I did not know why they presented themselves that way.
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A search began and I found out the origin of that protest.The inspiration came from the dystopian novel, The Handmaid´s Tale, written by Margaret Atwood and published in 1985. It talks about a (not so) fictional time and place, where women are in total subjugation to men. They are cleaners, breeders or trophy wives. The government is a totalitarian theocracy, that has imposed a world with total dependence of patriarchy values, women can´t own property, have a bank account, manage money.
Of course my first thought was: I have to read this book. And I will. But my search also told me that the book was being turned into a series created by Bruce Miller, ordered by streaming service Hulu.. So I waited for the first, second and third episode.
I saw the three in a row. I couldn’t´t stop. The first thing that really caught my attention was the photography. Wow! It is absolutely exquisite. The use of pale colours, with low intensity, had everything to do with the vibe of the story.
Offred, portrayed by Elisabeth Moss, is a Handmaid, the group of women that are still fertile. The world is full of pollution, and because of that only a few women can still have children. They are given to rich and powerful families, to be raped and then have the children of the male head of the family, the Commander. In this case Fred Waterford.
Offred, is badly treated as a Handmaid, by society and specially by Serena Joy Waterford, Fred´s trophy wife. But as soon as Serena thinks Offred is pregnant, she treats her as a God given miracle.
In the series we see flashes from the past, when women started to lose all rights.
That part hits the heart. Because women´s rights, sometimes lost, sometimes found, are not given to every women on Earth. You still have countries where women can´t drive a car, or read, or wear the clothes they want, to practice abortion, to be openly gay, and many other rights.
We want to believe that it´s just a story, but it is not. The inspiration of the author comes from the very real examples I gave to you before. And that is scary.
Scary because watching this series made me realise how much inertia has a part in the decaying of notions such as equality, compassion and love.
It is not just the realization of something evil that controls mankind to remove, through fear, basic human rights, but also the notion that not acting, not seeing the signs, not helping another fellow human being, can take the world to dangerous roads. Full with despair, darkness, distrusting one another, and at the end total subjugation.
When you watch The Handmaid´s Tale just think about the beauty and art involved into the creation of this series. But also use it as an inspiration to keep you alert, and thinking about what is your part in the protection of women´s rights.