Canadian novelist Margarett Atwood has been speaking to the media for several weeks. And since the announcement of the new legislation, there has been no lack of comparisons, with his terrible novel, The Scarlet Maid. This dystopia placed women in the status of sexual slaves, just destined to be impregnated. Those who are infertile or unfit for this function simply no longer have any social interest.
However, in the Republic of Gilead, Defred will choose the insurrection, winning a clandestine network to regain his freedom, but above all his dignity as a human being. Dazzling? Especially since the novel appeared in 1985 (new translation by Elisabeth Moss) and has now become a “banner of the fight for women’s rights“, notes its French publisher, Robert Laffont.
The parallel between the novel and American news will not have escaped: Stephen King realizes it with terrifying concision, just quoting the title in English of the book:
“Nobody likes abortions”
In an interview at the beginning of May, Margaret Atwood underlined: “Forced childbirth is slavery. As much as an attack on fundamental individual freedoms. And for the author of La Servant écarlate, it was not a question of anything other than defining a choice of life.
“Nobody likes abortions, even safe and legal ones. No woman would choose this to have a good time on a Saturday night. But no one likes the idea of women bleeding to death on the bathroom floor from illegal abortions either. So what to do“asked the novelist?
In what societal perspective, in what type of social contract do we intend to live? His response was unequivocal:Women who cannot decide for themselves whether or not to have children are enslaved, because the state claims ownership over their body and the right to dictate what it is to be used for.»
And to compare this situation with the case of soldiers, sent to war: at least they are fed, housed, bleached, she ironically.
“No one forces women to have an abortion. No one should have the right to force them to give birth. Impose it, but at least call this situation by its name. It is slavery: a claim to own and control the body of another, and profit from it.” (via Guardian)
The irony of fate remains: in the early days of writing, Atwood had even considered not bringing The Handmaiden to life, considering that its theme was “too far fetched“. And shortly after the Supreme Court’s draft opinion on abortion leaked to the press, she changed her mind: “Am I stupid. Theocratic dictatorships are not only found in the distant past: there are a number of them on the planet today. What will prevent the United States from swelling its ranks?»
The arguments of judge Samuel Alito do not say anything else, since he had gone to draw on religious considerations to justify his approach. “What constitutes a sin in a certain number of religious movements must be made a crime for all“, laughed then Atwood.
In this context, the opinions of Alito were going to support the installation of a state religion, resumed Atwood. Next step: return to the 17th century and to the stake for those accused of witchcraft?
And then ?
photo credits: Ittmust, CC BY 2.0
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Abortion: end of law, beginning of slavery
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