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I Survived The Handmaid's Tale

There are two non-provider things every husband must do to keep getting action. Only get a little bit fat and occasionally watch a chick TV series with the old lady.

To that end, The Handmaid's Tale. It's like sitting through a Lamaze class where the klatch of women all blame you for their pregnancy discomfort. You'd gladly trade in for a less painful death by stoning.

You had to wonder why Hulu and Hollywood selected a thirty-five year old dystopian novel for resurrection into a modern television series. Wonder no more. The book itself is from the mind of Margaret Atwood, a Canadian feminist who not only disliked male privilege, but despised America. Hence, in the story, America becomes a biblical theocracy with the enslavement of women who try desperately to reach Canada where maple toast and gender equality await. 

Outside of being forced professionally to rifle through Lena Dunham Tweets on systemic subjugation from her multimillion dollar penthouse loft, I've never spent ten continuous hours taking in feminist rape culture porn. Eye opening, in the Clockwork Orange sense. The men are all violent, oppressive, misogynistic, and wouldn't you know, ultimately impotent and lost and weak. The Handmaid's display a quiet dignity and fierce intelligence in the face of their brutal rape and oppression. There are some women in the story who support the biblical theocrats. They are horribly deranged skinny blond bitches. That's the most grounded part of the tale.

The benefit of dystopian universe stories is similar to that of the recent alt-history story proliferation, you get to invent any modified reality you want in order to shock people with your incredibly obvious political messaging. How did we end up in this Handmaid's Tale oppressive gender brutal biblical fundamentalist United States? Actually, we didn't. Though the Muslim world has. That's for another day and another novel that will never ever win an award.

Thirty-five years after The Handmaid's Tale book and women on the whole have advanced substantially in all aspects of society. You can still grab an expensive latte and free abortion in most every State. More than half the college kids and professional school grads are now women. If the Democrats hadn't picked a horribly corrupt robot-shrew, we'd have a female President. The Christian Conservative movement that was politically mighty in the 80's has waned largely. Their candidates didn't even make it through the first few GOP primaries. 

Margaret Atwood refused to call her work science fiction because she said her books didn't involve space ships and laser guns. She insisted her works were speculative fiction, as in, this could totally easily be our near future. Only we actually have space ships and laser guns in 2017, but no retro B.C. biblical theocracy enslaving and brutalizing women under force of U.S. government execution. So, she was wrong in every single aspect of her dystopian social science. 

Imagine the Hollywood executives desperate for a rape culture TV series, reaching back three and a half decades to The Handmaid's Tale. It was already made into a not horrible movie in 1990 and a stage play a few years after. But, oh, the inherent riches of this horrible look at men, America, and traditional religion. Those three hits put you at third base. Or where the MGM and Hulu executives were when giggling uncontrollably about green lighting this project.

Season 1 over. I want my fucking merit badge. I don't care how much you beg, your wife or girlfriend is not watching a four hour montage video of Hockey's Best Goon Fights. We've met dystopia and it is streaming.

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Photo Credit: Getty

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