The Handmaid’s Tale: How It Changed My Thinking

Born with the privilege of being a male, I have always known about the discrimination females have faced in society however, I never truly understood it. Yes I have heard many stories from my peers, sister, mother, and teachers about the oppression women face in general and I have tried to stand up for it but it never truly understood why this happens.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margeret Atwood written in 1985 is about a near-future dystopian society where most women are deemed infertile due to toxins and those who are fertile, are given the jobs to reproduce and only to reproduce with their owners.

This novel has opened my eyes to the reasons why women are oppressed. Due to commonly accepted patriarchal cultures in the past, these views take a long time to change. It was not only until the recent mid 20th century is when women started to really fight for their rights such as to vote and have equal opportunities as men. Although still facing oppression to this day, the fight for equality still goes on. The Handmaid’s Tale was able to paint a picture in my head, something which I was never able to do in terms of visualizing the issues women faced. By telling the story of someone who is forced to have sex whenever her owner demands, essentially being raped and not having the right to say no, is an exaggeration of what women face today. But how else was Margeret Atwood supposed to emphasize this problem without going to the extent of what a handmaid has to go through almost every day?

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