Why You Should Read The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid's Tale

My red skirt is hitched up to my waist though no higher. Below it the Commander is fucking. What he is fucking is the lower part of my body. I do not say making love, because this is not what he’s doing. Copulating too would be inaccurate, because it would imply two people and only one is involved. Nor does rape cover it: nothing is going on here that I haven’t signed up for. There wasn’t a lot of choice but there was some, and this is what I chose.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood is one of my favourite books (and films). It’s a dystopian novel of sex and armageddon, and it has a lot to say about women, about totalitarianism, and religious fundamentalism. If you haven’t read it, I can only urge you to check it out.


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But I’ve just found another reason to recommend this book. The fundamentalists want to censor it.

“Parents against bad books in schools” has made up this page detailing why poor, fragile, impressionable teenagers shouldn’t be exposed to the book. They worry that the sex is too explicit, that it talks about masturbation and menstruation, that it uses dirty words, that it discusses suicide and also – horror of horrors – that it’s not very Christian-friendly.

It appears the purpose of the author is to discredit Christianity as a religion and try to bind and gag Christians from ever speaking out against objectionable morals and behavior, such as are found rampantly in this very book. This obviously serves the author’s purpose to propagate a society of low sexual standards where perversion is the norm. But how does this suit the best interest of our teens in high school?

I get the feeling these concerned parents were too busy masturbating over the sex scenes and didn’t actually get the point of the book.

Never mind though, they’ve gone through and found all the salacious bits so you can revel in the dirty sections without ever having to read the whole thing.

So, just to further corrupt you all, here’s some more of that passage from chapter sixteen.

Therefore I lie still and picture the unseen canopy over my head. I remember Queen Victoria’s advice to her daughter: Close your eyes and think of England. But this is not England. I wish he would hurry up .

Serena Joy grips my hands as if it is she, not I, who’s being fucked, as if she find it either pleasurable or painful, and the Commander fucks, with a regular two-four marching stoke, on and on like a tap dripping. He is preoccupied, like a man humming to himself in the shower without knowing he’s humming; like a man waiting for himself to come, drumming his fingers on the table while he waits.

There’s an impatience in his rhythm now. But isn’t this everyone’s wet dream, two women at once? They used to say that. Exciting, they used to say. What’s going on in this room, under Serena Joy’s silvery canopy, is not exciting. It has nothing to do with passion or love or romance or any of those other notions we used to titillate ourselves with. It has nothing to do with sexual desire, at least for me, and certainly not for Serena. Arousal and orgasm are no longer thought necessary; they would be a symptom of frivolity merely, like jazz garters or beauty spots; superfluous distractions for the light-minded.

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