The Handmaid’s Tale and Margaret Atwood’s Novels about Women Discrimination

The Handmaid’s Tale and Margaret Atwood’s Novels about Women Discrimination

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The legislation passed by the United Nations in 1979, aimed at paving a safe, new life for women around the world. Unfortunately, the laws requiring the removal of all restrictions formed off the basis of a human being’s sex were not replaced with equality between men and women. Women did not see the economic, social, and cultural freedoms they desired. In situations where women do not get the freedoms that men do, misogyny exist. Misogyny, the hatred and violence against women, is a concept that seems only able to exist in fiction, yet women everywhere know that misogyny is very real. Just because they were born female, these ladies are subjected to rape and other violence. Just like real women struggle with abuse, Offred and other handmaids are forced to live under strict rules because they are only valued for their fertility. Women of the world face inescapable misogyny that threatens the safety of their lives and limits their freedom; similarly, the fertile women in Margaret Atwood’s novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, face poor treatment and sexist rituals restricting their every move.
Misogyny is very extreme and hard to escape in some parts of the world. So, what causes parts of the world to be prone to misogyny and other parts not? Poverty is a driving force behind the violence towards women. “Poverty increases a woman's vulnerability to oppression” (Overview). If a woman is poor, she becomes dependent on her husband; therefore, has little chance to improve her life or flee from the conditions she is in. Additionally, when a woman is lucky enough to have the privilege of working, she usually will have to work in prison-like conditions with low wages and no security of a union. Anthropologist Richard Robbins supports, “...


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...s of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)” (United). Both of these legislation act as a set of principles that other governments should follow in adopting strategies to bring gender equality to affected countries. With countless other laws, women everywhere are gaining back freedoms that were taking away by misogyny. Recently, UNIFEM joined the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. This partnership has helped accelerate promoting gender equality. The Handmaid’s Tale has comparable organizations that fight for freedoms. Mayday, an organization that Offred becomes a part of, focuses on overthrowing the leaders of Gilead. Though the book does not specify certain accomplishments Mayday have, Margaret Atwood informs that audience that there are groups working to end the misogyny and violence facing the women of this time period.

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