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A Dark & Stormy Night

Posted by Bunny Chafowitz · October 27th, 2004 · 1 Comment

It’s been raining here in the Central Valley of California for a few days now. I know to some of you, that doesn’t seem like all that much to grouse about but for those of us who are used to relatively good weather for nine months of the year, the first rains seem to bring a sort of melancholy. The first rains in the Valley are also a signal that seemingly endless leaden skies and deadly fog laden mornings are to soon come. It was just the kind of night to stay curled up in an easy chair and watch a good movie.

Ah, but what movie? A dark and stormy night scary kind of movie? A movie about the evil yet to come kind of movie? Yes!

In light of the fact that Supreme Court Justice Rehnquist may not to be destined to sit on the bench too much longer I chose to watch a movie made from one of my favorite novels written by Margaret Atwood — The Handmaid’s Tale. Just as the rains are a portent of the deadly fog to come, an open spot on the Supreme Court bench is a portent of evil to come — if George W. Bush is given the presidency again.

The Handmaid’s Tale was written in 1986. Atwood’s writing might prove remarkably prescient.

Pamela Moore writing in Literature Annotations sums up the novel in this way,

The Handmaid’s Tale is set in the futuristic Republic of Gilead. Sometime in the future, conservative Christians take control of the United States and establish a dictatorship. Most women in Gilead are infertile after repeated exposure to pesticides, nuclear waste, or leakages from chemical weapons. The few fertile women are taken to camps and trained to be handmaidens, birth-mothers for the upper-class. Infertile lower-class women are sent either to clean up toxic waste or to become “Marthas,” house servants. No women in the Republic are permitted to be openly sexual; sex is for reproduction only. The government declares this a feminist improvement on the sexual politics of today when women are seen as sex objects.

Take some time to read this novel (or watch the movie — but in my opinion the book is much better) and try to draw parallels with what is happening today and what can happen tomorrow.

I chose not to have children. I don’t have a daughter. I have not and will not ever have to make the difficult choice to terminate a pregnancy. I will not have to counsel my daughter on one of the most complex decisions she might ever have to make. But shouldn’t it be your right — a woman’s right — to choose what happens to your own body? Or will women become Handmaids in a future created by George W. Bush — women with no choices to make at all?

I know that sounds like hyperbole. But, watch this movie, read the book and wonder if any portion of it can come to pass. Then look at how Bush and his administration have systematically eroded our rights and continue to ponder . . . when does the slippery slope of personal rights erosion start to become a landslide under which we all might suffocate?

If George W. Bush takes the presidency again, he will be in position to replace Rehnquist, and possibly one or more other Supreme Court justices, with “justices” who will vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Choose now; vote for our future. Vote for Senator Kerry who has categorically stated he will not put a justice on the bench who will overturn Roe v. Wade.

Otherwise, dark and stormy nights with the portent of evil might become the norm.

Categories: 2004 Presidential Election


1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Ray // Oct 27, 2004 at 11:12 pm

    Good to see someone beautiful involved with this blog for once.

    I didn’t have any idea that the Handmaid’s Tale was that kind of story. Now my interest is piqued and I’ll give it a read if I get the chance. Thanks for the info.

    How can people oppose abortion rights *and* sex education? OMG. Amazing how some people think. Sad how much influence they have. Frightening how close we are to a reality like that story’s because of it.

    When faith conflicts with reality, I recommend reality. In this case, that means supporting Kerry.

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