the handmaid's tale

The Handmaid’s Tale is Hate Speech

The new series from Hulu paints pro-lifers and Christians as sex-obsessed fascists.

If you’re like me, you already realized that Hulu is kind of a waste of money and canceled it. The technical glitches alone make it more work to watch a recent episode of The Blacklist than to simply go sit down and write your own.

In an effort to show its relevance and compete with Netflix, Hulu has made a bold move: It took The Handmaid’s Tale, a crackpot feminist meltdown by Canadian typist Margaret Atwood, and made it into a series. Yes, it had already been made into a boring, implausible movie.

Yes, I’ve read it.

No, it’s not remotely credible or compelling.

No, it’s not “suddenly relevant” thanks to the election of Donald Trump. In fact, it wasn’t relevant when Atwood banged it out either. It was simply her shrill, nasty and paranoid reaction to us stupid Yanks electing Ronald Reagan. Now that we’ve gone and elected Donald Trump, it was clearly time to reboot it.

I can’t improve on what Heather Wilhelm wrote over at National Review, explaining just how ludicrous the story is as a critique of orthodox Christianity. Or any form of Christianity that has ever existed anywhere outside of tiny cult compounds.

Please, please go read her column. She points out, truthfully, that there really are large parts of the world where women are enslaved by religious zealots and turned into sexual servants and broodmares. They just aren’t Christian parts of the world.

They belong to … that other religion which we’re not supposed to mention except when we’re trying to get people like Wilhelm fired for criticizing it. HINT: It rhymes with “lip balm.” And there’s no way that Margaret Atwood wants to cop to Lipbalmophobia.

The Totalitarian, Hateful Pro-Life Movement

What drove Atwood to write The Handmaid’s Tale was her outrage and horror at the rise of the pro-life movement. In fact, the novel is nothing more than a paranoid pro-choice tract. Essentially, Atwood’s story shows you what happens when the government tries to protect unborn children:

  1. First, riots in the streets, as the Christian dictators crack down on feminists, nuns, and … Baptists. (Don’t sweat the details here.)
  2. Then some weird plague of infertility afflicts most Christian women, which leads the theocratic heretics running the country to …
  3. Round up all the fertile women and make them breeding slaves to the haughty, sterile Christian wives. These wealthy, manicured Bible-thumpers play along and actively take part as …
  4. Their husbands inseminate the fertile women, to breed the next generation of Christian fascists.

This summary makes you wonder not merely whether Atwood has ever met any Christians. Has she ever met any women?

Just Take Your Xanax

The book really is that foolish. It’s the kind of nightmarish scenario that an unbalanced college girl would tell her therapist, just before he wrote her a prescription for Xanax. So of course it’s on college readings lists around the world. It’s important to screw up young women in the formative years, make them phobic of men and children. That’s part of feminism’s master plan to reduce the birth rate to zero and turn our planet over to the dolphins. But now we’re getting into my own dystopian novel, which remains unwritten. For now …

Comforting the Comfortable, Afflicting the Afflicted

It’s so cheap and easy for academic feminists to fling this wretched book at their students. It doesn’t challenge any group that’s privileged or powerful. In fact, it feeds hateful stereotypes that the wealthy and influential like to spread about a weaker group. In that way, it’s a lot like the infamous Russian forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The Russian secret police helped create and distribute that vile book, which claimed to reveal the “secret agenda” of Jews. Their goal, like the Christians’ in The Handmaid’s Tale, was power. They wished to disrupt and destroy other groups to cement their control of society. (No surprise, Hitler reprinted the book and gave it out for free, as Islamists do today throughout the Muslim world.)

Now it was patently absurd to suggest that Jews really ran Europe, or Russia, in 1910. In fact, they suffered various degrees of rank discrimination. Despite a few wealthy donors like the Rothschilds, they were very, very far from exercising dictatorial power — as far as conservative Christians are today, in fact. Nor did Jews have any such ambition. Nor do Christians today. That means that The Protocols were not a legitimate dystopia or satire, but a piece of hate propaganda.

And so is The Handmaid’s Tale.

If you want to read works of fantasy with real political bite, which actually skewer the powerful and expose disturbing trends, here’s a list I drew up last year. One thing I can promise you: None of these books will end up as a miniseries on Hulu.

 

This column originally appeared at The Stream.

Written By
John Zmirak is Senior Editor of SCENES. He has sold screenplays, published a graphic novel ("The Grand Inquisitor") and taught writing at several...
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1 Comment

  • While I can certainly understand your criticism of Atwood’s work, the use of the word fascist ,meaning a person who is intolerant or domineering in a particular area, could be seen as playing to the very concepts Atwood writes about. I too agree she may have never met any of the type of Christians you or I are privy to, but I encourage you not to be one of the ones she meets by way of critique that plays into labels rather than demonstrates love…❤️

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