Taking on ‘handmaid hysteria’

Heather Wilhelm uses a National Review Online column to rebut wild-eyed commentators who believe today’s America resembles the dystopia described in Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale.

Sheesh. You’d think that, as a woman, I would have noticed the collapse of the world around me, but hey, it’s been a busy spring. I’ve had a packed social schedule, and as the old saying goes, you never notice the brutal rise of a women-enslaving dystopia when you’re attending a gala celebrating successful women entrepreneurs just a few blocks down from a clinic that cheerfully offers almost-free government-subsidized IUDs!

Well, never mind. In wild-eyed national discussions like these, one could bring up several facts: the fact that Republicans, not Democrats, have championed over-the-counter birth control; the fact that Planned Parenthood could thrive on private funding if it lost the $500 million it finagles annually from taxpayers; or the fact that our new Supreme Court justice, Neal Gorsuch, announced during confirmation hearings that he would “have walked out the door” if Trump had asked him to overturn Roe v. Wade.

These facts, of course, will promptly be ignored.

The Handmaid’s Tale hysteria, in short, is simply not serious. There are many things to worry about in the Trump era — personally, I might choose the various nukes bouncing around North Korea, but you can pick your own poison. It’s telling, however, that much of the feminist hand-flapping bounces right over Trump, landing on . . . wait for it . . . the mild-mannered Mike Pence. “Vice President Mike Pence’s refusal to have dinner with women who aren’t his wife, for example,” wrote Sophie Gilbert in The Atlantic, “smacks of the same kind of Puritanism that saw women condemned as witches and harlots just for the virtue of being born female.” Well. That escalated quickly.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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