This is the second part in a series, so if you have not already done so, you might want to read Part I before continuing.
“What does that mean?”
“It’s Latin,” Patience explained to her friend, Anita, at their latest book club meeting. “But it’s taken from that awful book, what was it called? The Handmaid’s Tale.”
“Oh, the one they made into a TV series? They’ve been marketing that one like crazy.”
“Probably because they are crazy. Do you have any idea what it’s about?”
Anita shook her head as she added more sugar to her coffee. “All I know is that people tend to make a big deal over it being a feminist book.”
“It’s so stupid,” Patience said, rolling her eyes. “It’s supposed to be this dystopian-type future, but it’s completely unrealistic. Something about a plague or something that makes the birth rate plummet and this organization responds by shooting up the entire government and taking over.”
Anita snorted. “That’s ridiculous. That would never happen. That’s why they have tons of security any time you get anywhere near Washington, D.C., not to mention any airport in the country.”
Patience shrugged as she poured herself more coffee. “You don’t have to tell me. But this series comes out and now everyone starts talking about how it’s so ‘eerie’ and ‘relatable’ to what they’re going through.” She made air quotes with her fingers as she spoke. “Please, they have no idea.”
“So what’s supposed to be so feminist about the book?”
“Oh, just the fact that it’s a world in which women are supposedly oppressed – they don’t get to have jobs or their own money, and the ones who have proven themselves to be fertile are used, basically, as a kind of breeder. They’re assigned a home and they have to have sex with the man of the house in the hopes of giving him and his wife a baby. Oh, and apparently they don’t believe that men can possibly be fertile.”
“You’re right. That’s totally unrealistic. Science doesn’t go backward.”
“I know, but fans of this book clearly have no idea what they’re talking about. I mean, if you really look at it, this ‘dystopian’ world they’re living in is supposed to be promoting a return to older values: women in their place in the home and men in their place outside of it, fresh bread made by hand, women maintaining the home life while the men work. What’s so bad about that?”
Anita shook her head. “I’m really sick of all these people telling me the life I’ve lived isn’t good enough.”
“Exactly!” Patience was relieved that her friend understood just how she felt.
“I never went to college,” said Anita. “I married young, took care of my husband, took care of the house and the kids and I feel no shame in that.”
“And why should you?”
Patience laughed and hoped Anita would assume the tears forming in her eyes were tears of mirth.
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