Published by Verlag Association, Used Condition: Used: Good Soft cover.
ISBN 13: 9783880320062
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One-Minute World News. News Front Page. E-mail this to a friend Printable version. President Mitterrand [said] the sudden prospect of re-unification had delivered a sort of mental shock to the Germans - its effect had been to turn them once again into the bad Germans they used to be.
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Romania's state terror legacy lingers. Mapping the fall of communist states. They are not an afterthought of nature, they are not secondary players in human destiny, and every society has always known that. Without women capable of giving birth, human populations would die out. That is why the mass rape and murder of women, girls and children has long been a feature of genocidal wars, and of other campaigns meant to subdue and exploit a population.
The control of women and babies has been a feature of every repressive regime on the planet.
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Of those promoting enforced childbirth, it should be asked: Cui bono? Who profits by it?
Sometimes this sector, sometimes that. Never no one. Again, it depends what you may mean by that.
True, a group of authoritarian men seize control and attempt to restore an extreme version of the patriarchy, in which women like 19th-century American slaves are forbidden to read. The modesty costumes worn by the women of Gilead are derived from Western religious iconography — the Wives wear the blue of purity, from the Virgin Mary; the Handmaids wear red, from the blood of parturition, but also from Mary Magdalene. Also, red is easier to see if you happen to be fleeing. The wives of men lower in the social scale are called Econowives, and wear stripes.
I must confess that the face-hiding bonnets came not only from mid-Victorian costume and from nuns, but from the Old Dutch Cleanser package of the s, which showed a woman with her face hidden, and which frightened me as a child. Many totalitarianisms have used clothing, both forbidden and enforced, to identify and control people — think of yellow stars and Roman purple — and many have ruled behind a religious front.
It makes the creation of heretics that much easier.
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Just as the Bolsheviks destroyed the Mensheviks in order to eliminate political competition and Red Guard factions fought to the death against one another, the Catholics and the Baptists are being targeted and eliminated. The Quakers have gone underground, and are running an escape route to Canada, as — I suspect — they would.
In the real world today, some religious groups are leading movements for the protection of vulnerable groups, including women.
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But such wishful thinking cannot be depended on either. Offred records her story as best she can; then she hides it, trusting that it may be discovered later, by someone who is free to understand it and share it. This is an act of hope: Every recorded story implies a future reader. Robinson Crusoe keeps a journal. So did many who lived during the Black Death, although their accounts often stop abruptly. So did Anne Frank, hidden in her secret annex. And many Dear Readers will become writers in their turn. That is how we writers all started: by reading. We heard the voice of a book speaking to us.