Margaret Atwood has a unusual new fan — a commenter on the MGTOW2 subreddit who thinks that The Handmaid’s Tale is (unbeknownst to even Atwood herself) not a dystopian vision of a patriarchal theocracy but rather a sort of Red Pill parable on “the folly of the liberated woman.”
“As I expected to find, there are red pills in it,” writes immortal_coherence. “It’s a good read so far.”
The main point of Atwood’s novel, as Mr. Coherence sees it, is that women fuck up when they’re given too much freedom, thus destroying society and quite possibly ushering in a patriarchal, theocratic government.
“The author does a really good job of showing the [real] folly of feminism without being blatant about,” Mr. Coherence writes.
Some people could probably read it and not see that she is calling out feminism. Heck, I’m not even sure the author is aware she is doing it.
Other commenters are not quite sure that Mr. Coherence is really grasping the point of the book.
“Are you sure you’re interpreting it correctly?” asks someone called Solo_and_Simple,
This is from the wikipedia entry: “The novel explores themes of subjugated women in a patriarchal society and the various means by which they resist and attempt to gain individuality and independence.”
Mr. Coherence is not swayed.
I’m far more black pilled than red. From my perspective the feminist agenda to “resist and gain individuality” in the novel is juvenile and lacks strong leadership and direction. Even in the book it only led to stricter control over women. There wasn’t a greater vision for them, on how society can benefit from their liberation.
If the liberation of women equals a better society, how does it happen? In the book they sought for more freedom before SHTF [Shit Hits The Fan]; the protagonist’s best friend and her mother specifically. Yet, there wasn’t a greater vision or an end goal.
He offers up a Bible verse to reinforce his interpretation.
Ecclesiasticus 26:10 If thy daughter be shameless, keep her in straitly, lest she abuse herself through overmuch liberty.
This scripture speaks to the folly of the liberated woman, and how she tends to self destruct. Margaret Atwood doesn’t mention this scripture in her novel, but through subtlety she highlights this truth. Whether this is intended or not I don’t know.
I’m going to take a huge leap and say “no, dude, it’s not intended. You’re just spectacularly missing the point.”
When you read between the lines, you can see how the feminist in Handmaids had no understanding of how their liberation would contribute to the benefit or potential collapse of the pre-Gilead society, same as the feminist today.
I don’t think Atwood is suggesting that too much feminism made most women in Gilead infertile.
To summarize, I don’t care much for the spoken intention behind the works. What they reveal through those works though, be it intentional or not, is where the truth lives, and from my black pilled perspective Margaret knows that feminism could lead to a dystopian future like this.
Somehow I suspect that Margaret — I guess we’re on a first name basis with Atwood now? — isn’t convinced that feminism is going to destroy the world; after all, she’s a feminist and the main world-ruiners in her novel are pollution and radiation. The book is not a warning to feminists telling them to be less feministy.
I know the meaning of a text is dependent at least in part on what readers make of it. But I don’t think I can blame Atwood or her novel for Mr. Coherence’s epic misreading. Sometimes MGTOWs are just plain idiots.
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