Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Margaret Atwood on how Trump supporters are making The Handmaid’s Tale a reality

donald trump margaret atwood gilead.jpg

From shockingly biased rape trials, to outdated abortion laws, to Donald Trump’s horrifying “grab them by the pussy” comments, misogyny seems more rife than ever before.

And for Margaret Atwood, who famously penned The Handmaid’s Tale, it marks a frightening new chapter in our lives.

Could we be on the cusp of a real-life Gilead?


Read more: Thousands share sexual assault stories after Donald Trump's misogynist comments


For those who haven’t read her famous feminist sci-fi novel, Gilead is the name of a terrifying society formerly known as the United States of America.

The totalitarian state, following a series of environmental disasters and plunging birth rates, has annexed women as property of the state – and forced them into sexual servitude in a bid to repopulate a devastated world.

Speaking in a new interview with The Guardian, Atwood mentioned a pair of maps that recently went viral on social media; one shows how the US would look if only men voted, coloured almost entirely in red to represent their affinity for Republican candidate Donald Trump.

The other shows how the US would look if only women voted: almost entirely blue, aka the colour of Hillary Clinton, the Democratic's candidate. 

Atwood said: “It spawned a hashtag called #Repealthe19th. The 19th Amendment is what gave women the vote. So there are Trump supporters who want to take the vote away from women.

The Handmaid’s Tale [is] unfolding in front of your very eyes.”


Read more: Why women are always blamed for acts of violence committed against them


The celebrated author went on to explain that, when The Handmaid’s Tale was published, many began to wonder how long they had until the events described by her main character, Offred, would come to pass.

 “Apparently, not as long as I thought,” she said, adding: “With any cultural change there is a push and a pushback. Trump has brought out a huge pushback that was originally against immigrants.

“Now it has shifted to being very misogynistic, partly because of Hillary Clinton. You have not seen anything like this since the 17th-century witchhunts, quite frankly.”

Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood

“I tell you this,” she continued. “Hillary Clinton is a better man than Trump. She has more connection to the traditional male virtues.

“She has comported herself in a much more manly fashion. Ask any real alpha males that you’ll know and they’ll say of Trump, ‘This is the guy we didn’t like at school because he was a bully, but as soon as anyone pushed back at him he started to whine.’”

It seems oddly timely, then, that Atwood’s novel is being brought to our television screens in an all-star adaptation.


Read more: The cast for The Handmaid's Tale is beyond incredible


Elisabeth Moss (who played Peggy Olson on Mad Men) is set to take the lead in the Hulu series as Offred, one of Gilead’s few remaining fertile women. As a result of her reproductive status, she finds herself forced into the role of a ‘Handmaid’, where her goal is simple; to produce a baby for The Commander (Joseph Fiennes), or be sent to work – and die – in the radioactive colonies.

She will be joined by Orange Is The New Black’s Samira Wiley, Dexter’s Yvonne Strahovski, British actor O-T Fagbenle, and more.

Craig Erwich, the Head of Content at Hulu, said: “Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale was seen as ahead of its time and we look forward to bringing it to life on our platform.”

The 10-part series, created and written by Bruce Miller, begins filming in Toronto this autumn and is expected to premiere in 2017 on Hulu.

And, with Atwood on board as a consulting producer, it seems safe to say that her masterpiece is in very good hands.

You can read Margaret Atwood's full interview on the modern-day dystopia in The Guardian.

Related

elisabeth moss.jpg

The cast for The Handmaid’s Tale is beyond incredible

hillary clinton nasty woman.jpg

How to be a nasty woman: Stylist's 9 step guide

amy-schumer.jpg

Amy Schumer shares open letter to Donald Trump supporters

Comments

More

Ruby Tandoh on how to support a friend with a mental health problem

You are not alone.

by Sarah Biddlecombe
28 Apr 2017

The Moth bring their StorySLAM to the Emerald Street Literary Festival

Unleash your inner Hannah Horvath

by Victoria Gray
28 Apr 2017

This is why we’re not reading as much as we want to

Even if we won’t admit it

by Hayley Spencer
27 Apr 2017

Bookworms, there’s a Japanese word for people who buy too many books

Commit this to memory, bibliophiles...

by Kayleigh Dray
27 Apr 2017

12 of the best translated books to broaden your literary horizons

It's time to stray a little further afield...

by Scarlett Cayford
27 Apr 2017

The best new books to read in May 2017

It's going to be a wonderful month for bookworms...

by Sarah Shaffi
27 Apr 2017

Join us at the Emerald Street Literary Festival

The perfect Saturday for interesting women

by The Stylist web team
24 Apr 2017

Backlash as star says The Handmaid's Tale is “not a feminist story”

"It’s a human story, because women’s rights are human rights"

by Sarah Biddlecombe
24 Apr 2017

Elisabeth Moss on why you shouldn't binge watch The Handmaid's Tale

"You may need a second to step back and think about what you’ve seen"

by Sarah Biddlecombe
21 Apr 2017

Exclusive: young mother who escaped Boko Haram shares her story

"I had to be prepared for the worst at all times."

by Sarah Biddlecombe
07 Apr 2017