Margaret Atwood’s novel Handmaid’s Tale published in 1985 was set in the future.
Short summary of the plot from Wikipedia:
The Handmaid’s Tale is set in the near future in the Republic of Gilead, a theocratic military dictatorship formed within the borders of what was formerly the United States of America. It was founded by a racist, homophobic, Christiannativist-derived, theocratic-organized cult’s military coup as an ideologically driven response to the country’s ecological, physical and social degradation.
Beginning with a staged terrorist attack (blamed on Islamic extremist terrorists) that kills the President and most of Congress, a movement calling itself the “Sons of Jacob” launches a revolution and suspends the United States Constitution under the pretext of restoring order. They are quickly able to take away all of women’s rights, largely attributed to financial records being stored electronically and labelled by gender. This allows the new rulers to freeze women’s bank accounts (the story also takes place in a future of a cashless society utilizing electronic money which leaves them with no funds after this), then outlaw employing them. The new regime moves quickly to consolidate its power and reorganize society along a new militarized, hierarchical, compulsorily cult-Christian regime of selectively skewed Old Testament-inspired social and religious ultra-conservatism among its newly created social classes. In this society, almost all women are forbidden to read.
The story is presented from the point of view of a woman called Offred (literally Of-Fred). The character is one of a class of individuals kept as concubines (“handmaids”) for reproductive purposes by the ruling class in an era of declining births due to sterility from pollution and sexually transmitted diseases. The book is told in the first person by Offred, who describes her life during her third assignment as a handmaid, in this case to Fred (referred to as “The Commander”). Interspersed in flashbacks are portions of her life from before and during the beginning of the revolution, when she finds she has lost all autonomy to her husband, through her failed attempt to escape with her husband and daughter to Canada, to her indoctrination into life as a handmaid. Through her eyes, the structure of Gilead’s society is described, including the several different categories of women and their circumscribed lives in the new theocracy.
Atwood must be a psychic, prophet, or seers — or she is merely able to let the “what would happen if” the radical hard line radical right continues down this path? We already know from records kept by the Catholic Church during the dark ages that women about 9 million women were murder by the zealots of the Inquisition.
Flash to the present day and the story of Sara McKenna who has a very brief affair with a professional athlete, Bode Miller. She is pregnant and according to text messages from her ex-lover he wasn’t at all supportive. McKenna moves to New York to attend college. Now is the time to cue in Monty Python’s musical number called Every Sperm is scared. You Tube has blocked the video clip — too bad that the copyright whores are busy disrupting history.
Every sperm is sacred,
Every sperm is great.
If a sperm is wasted,
God gets quite irate.
Back to the present and Sara McKenna’s problem with one particular New York justice who decided that McKenna had fetus-napped the fetus she was carrying. HER BODY apparently was now owned by Bode Miller — although they never married they just fxxxed. The Miller — the sperm donor was given primary custody of the baby. Oh Miller had replaced McKenna with another woman shortly after McKenna and he had parted company. Miller has a history of out of wedlock parenthood — a four year old female child and another dispute with the mother. Oh — Miller and his current wife live in California and McKenna lives in New York.
Of course this story raises red flags all over the place. The current efforts, of the wacked out religious right, to return women to the dark ages and to control women’s bodies (no sex for you my dear UNLESS your owner wants you pregnant), comes to mind.
McKenna said she asked Miller to be an involved father, but he initially pushed her away. She released a text from June in which Miller, explaining why he would not accompany her to an ultrasound, said, “U made this choice against my wish.”
The baby was born last February. Suddenly in the Fall Miller decides he wants to play daddy.
By last fall, Miller was taking action to secure a major role in his future son’s life, filing a declaration of his paternity and interest in custody in San Diego. Once the boy was born, McKenna filed in New York for temporary custody. But on May 30, a Family Court referee refused, rebuking McKenna for “unjustifiable conduct” and “forum shopping” and making the unusual decision to leave the case in California, even though the baby was born and lived in New York.
Who is this “Family Court referee”?
Here’s the fetus-napping charge from above referee jerk:
While McKenna “did not ‘abduct’ the child,” the court said, “her appropriation of the child while in utero was irresponsible, reprehensible.”
Life imitates Art or a Novel in this case. Also it could be a case of women are women’s worst enemies — the new Mrs. Miller miscarried and then encourages Bode Miller to get his kid. Who knows what is really going in in the minds of Mr. & Mrs. Miller — but a child is involved — a real human being. Is a woman’s body owned by the males who control the legal system?
Are we that far away from A Handmaid’s Tale? The dark ages for women could return — as it has in Texas and other dogmatic religious States.
This is the 21st Century and not the dark ages. Human Rights are Women’s Rights and why hasn’t the ERA part of the US Constitution?