The Return of The Handmaid’s Tale, Just in Time for the Midterms

by | Sep 14, 2022 | Opinions

Screengrab from the trailer for Season 5 of The Handmaid's Tale

The Return of The Handmaid’s Tale, Just in Time for the Midterms

by | Sep 14, 2022 | Opinions

Screengrab from the trailer for Season 5 of The Handmaid's Tale
The Handmaid's Tale is a work of fiction. But fictions can give rise to imaginings that can become the kind of future horror the show describes, if we allow it.

Today marks the beginning of Season 5 of The Handmaid’s Tale. For anyone not familiar, this is a series on Hulu based on the book of the same title by author Margaret Atwood.

The Handmaid’s Tale is a work of fiction but is ingenious in multiple ways. It examines at a visceral level a future society where the United States has been overthrown by a religious totalitarian government called Gillead.

In this look into a possible future, the rights of women have been obliterated. A class of women who are fertile are enslaved as “handmaids” and forced to bear children for their “commanders.” It is not too much of a stretch to imagine that Christian Nationalists view Atwood’s book as a how-to manual.

The infamous Dodd v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision of the Supreme Court which undid the “settled law” of Roe v. Wade, happened during the filming of Season 5. It won’t be much of a stretch to imagine that the producers might have a thing or two to say.

The really good timing of this new season is that it will be dropping a new episode every week up with the season finale coming on November 9th, the day after the midterms. This means that this very popular series will be reminding the country of the abject abuse that could befall American women—should Republicans move forward with their obvious agenda—weekly.

And that dark, dystopian future was given additional focus yesterday with Lindsay Graham’s (R-SC) introduction of a proposal for a national abortion ban.

The ultra right factions operating in this country seem to think that women have no value to society other than bearing children. And they have no qualms about forcing them to bear them under whatever penalties they can conjure. The religious trappings given to these intentions are just window dressing to an ambition of enslavement. And frankly, the “Christian” window dressing is just the same as the window dressing given it by the Taliban in Afghanistan, or the Wahabis in Saudi Arabia.

Again, The Handmaid’s Tale is a work of fiction. But some fictions can portend or give rise to imaginings that can become a future. In the golden age of science fiction, rockets landed on their tails. A couple of people imagined this to be a better idea and one of them has produced a term into space flight that is now entirely normal: “flight proven.”

Futures begin with ideas. Some come from visionaries, writers and artists as inspiration, others come as warnings—which The Handmaid’s Tale clearly is. But others come from the fevered mental aberrations of sick minds who fear others and want only to suppress and enslave. Such is the mindset of those that view Atwood’s work as a template.

November 8th is coming. You know what you have to do.

Marty Kassowitz

Marty Kassowitz

Marty Kassowitz is co-founder of Factkeepers. He is a writer, designer, editor and long time observer of the ill-logic demonstrated by too many members of the species known as Mankind. After a long history of somewhat private commentary on a subject he totally hates: politics, Marty was encouraged to build this site and put up his own analyses as well as curate relevant content from other sources.

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