XXY READS – The Handmaid’s Tale

XXY READS - The Handmaid's Tale

XXY READS - The Handmaid's Tale

Welcome to the first of our XXY Reads pieces. An insight of what goes into the minds of those who work at XXY Magazine, the inspiration we gain towards the content we create.


The Handmaid’s Tale

by Margaret Atwood


There are some pieces you read and they make you want to almost gobble them all up within a few hours. These pieces are becoming harder to find but not as difficult as having to source a book which after the turn of every page literally forces you look at your perspective of life. Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” is labelled as a dystopian, science-fiction novel however I personally would not attach the latter connotation to it. It is an alternative world where women are put into sections such as “Eco-Wives, A Commander’s Wife or Handmaid”. The protagonist Offred is a handmaid whose only purpose is to breed children. However, she was alive in ‘the good old days’, the liberal world we live in now thus has memories of being a ‘general’ wife and mother. Offred tells her tale of being a handmaiden during this “transition” period where all women are being born into these categories. The novel is a juxtaposition of a world which has no diversity but quotes the bible, a world where they are in the future but have jurassic thoughts on how it a woman’s fault for rape or how there is no such thing as physical money anymore but women cannot hold their own bank accounts.. Unsurprisingly, it is a novel which argues the balance between “the freedom to” and “the freedom from” theories but it is powerful in the sense that it is not written in a way where you are made to feel as though you need a PhD in a niche section of literature to understand it. It is relevant to everyone therefore it is understandable why I am going to make everyone I know alive read it. Hashtag, feminism?


Written by Tahmina Begum/ Co Editor-in-Chief

Image via theabsolutemag.com