There has been a lot of talk lately about dystopian novels. Lucky me because that is one of my all-time favorite genres. Unfortunately, one of my favorites within that genre, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, has come under fire by a lot of my friends during many of our discussions. Not by everyone, but by some. I’ve found it’s a love it or hate it kind of book.
Now, if they don’t like the book then they don’t like the book. I can’t change that. However I do have a tendency to a little personally offended when one of my favorite books is on the attack. It’s a flaw of mine, but then it does lead me to some good post topics, so it can’t be all bad!
But let’s continue with this “unrealistic premise” idea. Because it is true that at the core of most dystopian novels the point is that they’re making a statement about our current society. Then you take that statement and you push it to the extreme. But to say it has no basis at all in reality missing the mark. I mean, if it’s not what am I doing with this blog? I must be missing my pair of rose-colored glasses for sure. Wasn’t it about three years ago that Senator Clinton was giving a speech and some guy held up a sign asking her to “Iron My Shirt?” She was running for President at the time but still the sexist remarks came. And not just by college jerks that I think did it to win a radio contest or something, other politicians and pundits were no better, more subtle sure, but no better. Sarah Palin got it too. Sexists jokes and remarks are so prevalent that so much of the time people are unaware of how they are even being offensive. And have you read a book by “renowned” author Philip Roth? Yuck! The misogynism literally drips off the page. And he’s won about every literature award under the sun. Hooray! While Roe v. Wade is still in place today, politicians are trying every day to overturn it and who knows what is going to happen in the years to come. Some pharmacists won't even give you your own birth control prescriptions because it goes against their conscience (which is all fine and dandy until you think about the poor woman who lives in the middle of nowhere and only has access to one pharmacy within 70 miles or so, she can't just go to the other Walgreens down the block).
But I guess it’s still ridiculous to imagine a dystopian novel in which a sexist world (way way way way way in the future) has taken over. And I'll stop now before this post turns into a full-on feminist rant. Bring on the Zombie War!