NEW MEXICO – Greetings women everywhere! I’m Steven Seagal: action star of such preposition led films as Into the Sun, Under Siege, Above the Law and Out of Sight and the only prominent male feminist who can kill a man with a well aimed spit.
And today for my feminist fans everywhere I’ve been reading Margaret Attwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Surely Attwood’s Canadian, what the hell has she got to say that’d be any use to anyone? Well, you’re not wrong about the Canadian bit, but that aside this is a terrifying dystopian fiction which entertainingly illustrates the dangers (and perhaps some of the attractions) of patriarchy gone mad.
The book tells the story of a future in which women’s rights have been suppressed in the racist homophobic and sexist Republic of Gilead. Our heroine is Offred, a handmaid who has babies for high ranking officials. Her latest mission however, The Commander, also known as Fred, seems to develop feelings for her and his wife intrigues for her to have sex with the driver, Nick. The book is by no means subtle (and she says she’s Canadian!?) but it is one thing you don’t find too often in a feminist classic, entertaining. I had a ball reading this, and the quality of writing is top notch. There was something of the thriller to it and the page turner. So well done Margaret! And – although still woefully light on neck snapping, bone crunching fight scenes – it does at least try for some action and a sense of danger that comes from something other than the female protagonist’s fragile sense of selfhood.
Martial Arts: 7
For a total of: 8