People are comparing The Handmaid’s Tale to real life, following Roe v Wade ruling

·4 min read
People are comparing The Handmaid’s Tale to real life, following Roe v Wade ruling

Following the overturning of Roe v Wade, people on social media have continued comparing real life today to Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel, The Handmaid’s Tale.

On 24 June, the United States Supreme Court’s ruling eliminated the constitutional right to abortion in the country, leaving it up to the states to determine whether to ban the procedure or not. The ban could potentially force women and girls to carry pregnancies to term, since the court’s conversative supermajority dismissed rulings from 1973 law.

Following the Supreme Court’s decision, people have gone to social media to compare American’s society and everyday life to that of Atwood’s hit book, The Handmaid’s Tale.

The Handmaid’s Tale, which has been adapted into a television show of the same name, features a dystopian plot where women exist in a deeply restrictive patriarchal society. Throughout the story, women are attempting to regain their freedom as they have next-to-no individuality or agency over their own reproductive rights.

With that storyline in mind and the constitutional right to get an abortion being overturned in real life, people on Twitter have not so subtly addressed the similarity between the two topics.

“Welcome to The Handmaid’s Tale. This Supreme Court is a dangerous and radical institution,” one wrote.

“It turns out that 1984 and The Handmaid’s Tale aren’t dystopian fiction,” another added. “They’re prophecies.”

Other Twitter users addressed the lack of women’s rights in The Handmaid’s Tale and how that has become a big part of everyday life today.

They also discussed how “sick” they feel, following the Roe V Wade overturn and how they believe that human rights could ultimately be affected for other members of society, such as the LGBTQ+ community.

“This ruling paves the way for US states to ban or severely restrict abortions,” one wrote. “It could also put protections on contraception, same-sex relationships and marriage at risk. What a dark, depressing moment in history this is. I feel sick. I feel like we’re in The Handmaid’s Tale.”

“The GQP Republican Handmaid’s Tale terrorists on the Supreme Court have overturned Roe v Wade. I’m so furiously angry. These evil f***wads will come for gay marriage next. We need to all vote blue up and down the ballot, take to the streets and expand SCOTUS to 13 Justices,” another added.

A third user said: “Sorry but as a Canadian my family and I will not take another step on U.S soil ever again. I always wondered what happened in Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s tale that caused the demise of democracy. We’re currently watching that being answered in real time.”

Prior to the Roe v Wade decision dropping on Friday, former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had also compared the ruling to Atwood and her work.

During an interview with the Financial Times last week, she criticised Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, who authored the Supreme Court’s leaked draft majority opinion overturning Roe, and described Atwood as “prophet” of the situation in American today, where oppressing women “knows no end”.

“You look at this and how could you not but think that Margaret Atwood was a prophet?” Clinton asked. “She’s not just a brilliant writer, she was a prophet.”

On 24 June, the former First Lady also shared her response to the Roe v Wade decision and called it a “step backward” for women’s rights.

“Most Americans believe the decision to have a child is one of the most sacred decisions there is, and that such decisions should remain between patients and their doctors,” she wrote on Twitter. “Today’s Supreme Court opinion will live in infamy as a step backward for women’s rights and human rights.”