1. Definition :
Feminism is a movement which wants that women are more important than men and it wants to improve situation of women in the society.
2. Offred’s Mother as an example for the feminist movement:
Offred’s mother is the perfect feminist character in this story and we will use this characterto describe feminism. Feminists wanted abortion rights and the banning of pornography.
In chapter 7, Offred remembers a scene when she was a child and went to the park with her mother where there were women burning pornographic magazines. [P.48 -> READ.] They burn pornographic books and magazines because in those magazines women are treated like objects, not like human beings. Feminists wantstop that women are treated like sexual objects, and in Gilead women are just objects, objects to produce children. In chapter 20, on page 130 & 131, Offred remembers when her mother came to her home and told them about her problems and ideologies: “A man is just a women’s strategy for making other women. Not that your father wasn’t a nice guy and all but he wasn’t up to fatherhood” Here we canclearly see how Offred’s mother thinks about men, and how much she hates them. At this time, Offred wasn’t feminist and she didn’t like what her mother said about men.
3. Anti-feminism in Gilead
a) Lost of personality
Gilead is anti-feminist. The society is completely directed by men. As feminist writer, Margaret Atwood shows that this society can’t function well. Thisexaggeration of anti-feminism attracts the reader to the feminist side, which equalizes the story. Offred also rebels against this society and has feminist thoughts because she thinks that the time before Gilead was better. But she never expresses her thoughts, she keeps them inwardly.
This society is like a step back in comparison to the 70’s, when women wanted to be more than just the ones who do thehousework. In Gilead, w omen are discriminated and don’t have their own money, don’t have any property and no rights. Their only functions are getting children for sterile women or, like the Marthas, doing housework.
Women aren’t permitted to read, vote, have a job and have an activity which could make them more independent.
Women (especially the Handmaids) lose their personality indifferent ways: first because they’re only sexual objects or objects of reproduction and second because they have to be extremely submissive.
Concerning the lost of their personality, we can remember the fact that they have to hide under their clothes. Others can’t see neither their body nor their face. Also women can’t have accessories because it could show differences between each women. Thecolour of their clothes, too, is important because they are all in red, or in green, or in blue and these colours define their status. It’s very important especially for the Handmaids, because we can’t see their faces so nobody can see differences between each women because they’re all “face free” and in red then they’re like copies or clones.
We can also talk about their names. Because theHandmaids haven’t got an own name. They have the name of the Commander for whom they work. So when they say “Offred” it’s not only a particular person but all women who had worked in the Commander Fred’s house. The Handmaids exist only when they work for a Commander. So they haven’t got their own personality.
For example, we can remember the moment where Offred meets the new Ofglen.
Please takeyour book and look on the page 295.
“ Has Ofglen been transferred, so soon?” I ask, but I know she hasn’t. I saw her only this morning. ...It wouldn’t be easy to find her, now.”
Here it’s interesting what Offred says. If you don’t know the real name of a person, you can’t find her because she had changed her name. And the fact that we’re never told Offred’s real name also shows that...