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Old 22nd September 2017, 01:05 AM   #1
Carn
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Handmaid's tale and ISIS

(Not in history and arts as also touching current events)

Have read and seen a bit about the series Handmaid's tale.

Apparently some people are of the opinion, that it shows a remotely realistic dystopia.

That leaves me my head scratching; regarding classic dystopias 1984 and Brave New World, they both seem far more realistic; after all for example Stalinism or what is going on in North Korea has/das to some extent decent parallels to 1984 (for example manipulation of history by erasing people from photos etc.; and of course a brutal thought-control police, though a bit shy in efficiency compared to the 1984 version).

Handmaid's tale is just so off.


Exacpt for one thing:
ISIS.

The society they try to build has some parallels, e.g. women as property, hanging gays, etc. all based upon quoting some scripture.

Therefore if someone would argue that except for basing the tyranny on Christianity Handmaid's tale is in the sense realistic, that it portrays a unfortunately quite real ISIS clone tyranny, ok, fits somewhat.

But that leads me to three questions:

1. What happens in the mind of people who actually consider such dystopia based on Christianity to be somewhat realistic?

I cannot fathom how they can miss:
a) there is no christian ISIS and has not been for at least 200 years.
b) there are no christian thinker remotely going in such a direction
c) the actual ISIS is not christian

2. Why not a series about ISIS takeover of a society?

That then unfortunately would be a "plausible" dystopia aka one actually to some extent currently or at least just a few years ago happening.

Of course, one could not base it in the US; but for example Egypt (ISIS is trying hard there); or Lybia; or many other countries (Saudia-Arabia maybe not, cause some viewers might have difficulties to notice the differences between today Saudi-Arabia and one after an ISIS-takeover).

3. Could it be, that the more murderous islamist get, the more some people start to fear radical christians, because not having the same fear about radical christians as about murderous islamist would be islamophobic?
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Old 22nd September 2017, 01:43 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Carn View Post
...

But that leads me to three questions:

1. What happens in the mind of people who actually consider such dystopia based on Christianity to be somewhat realistic?

I cannot fathom how they can miss:
a) there is no christian ISIS and has not been for at least 200 years.
b) there are no christian thinker remotely going in such a direction
c) the actual ISIS is not christian

2. Why not a series about ISIS takeover of a society?

That then unfortunately would be a "plausible" dystopia aka one actually to some extent currently or at least just a few years ago happening.

Of course, one could not base it in the US; but for example Egypt (ISIS is trying hard there); or Lybia; or many other countries (Saudia-Arabia maybe not, cause some viewers might have difficulties to notice the differences between today Saudi-Arabia and one after an ISIS-takeover).

3. Could it be, that the more murderous islamist get, the more some people start to fear radical christians, because not having the same fear about radical christians as about murderous islamist would be islamophobic?
1. a. Lord%27s_Resistance_ArmyWP
1. b. Dominion_TheologyWP
1. c. Evidence anyone has claimed they are?

2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_St...017_TV_series)

3. For small values of 'some', it's possible, though this is unlikely to have anything to do with the rest of your post.
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Old 22nd September 2017, 01:48 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by sphenisc View Post
1. a. Lord%27s_Resistance_ArmyWP
1. b. Dominion_TheologyWP
1. c. Evidence anyone has claimed they are?

2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_St...017_TV_series)

3. For small values of 'some', it's possible, though this is unlikely to have anything to do with the rest of your post.
Harumph!
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Old 22nd September 2017, 04:09 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by sphenisc View Post
1. a. Lord%27s_Resistance_ArmyWP
"The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), also known as the Lord's Resistance Movement, is a rebel group and heterodox Christian cult which operates in northern Uganda, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.[8] Originally known as the United Holy Salvation Army and Uganda Christian Army/Movement, its stated goals include establishment of multi-party democracy,[9] ruling Uganda according to the Ten Commandments,[10] and Acholi nationalism,[11] though in practice "the LRA is not motivated by any identifiable political agenda, and its military strategy and tactics reflect this".[12] It appears to largely function as a personality cult of its leader Joseph Kony,[11] a self-declared prophet whose leadership has earned him the nickname "Africa's David Koresh".[13]"

"not motivated by any identifiable political agenda"; so while they are a bunch of murderous thugs, they have nothing comparable to ISIS ideological framework or the ideological framework of Gilead. The latter two have clear political agendas.

Hence, not an example for christian ISIS.

Originally Posted by sphenisc View Post
1. b. Dominion_TheologyWP
Where is the suggestion for violent overthrow and gunning down unarmed protestors inside that wide field falling under the term Dominion Theology?

Originally Posted by sphenisc View Post
1. c. Evidence anyone has claimed they are?
I did not say anyone claimed it. I just consider it is possible, that some people just fail to sort of mentally keep islamistic ISIS currently throwing gays of buildings and hunting and punishing women fleeing from their territory in a separate category to christian fundamentalist who are currently battling gay marriage on political and legal fronts.

For me throwing people of buildings and starting court proceedings to get some court decide that marriage is only man-woman are so to say "filed in different folders" in my brain.

I am not certain, whether that is the same with other people.

Originally Posted by sphenisc View Post
Thanks. Have to look into that.

Originally Posted by sphenisc View Post
3. For small values of 'some', it's possible, though this is unlikely to have anything to do with the rest of your post.
It could be a cause for missing the differences between throwing people of buildings and campaining for a No-Vote in for example the current referendum in Australia.
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Old 22nd September 2017, 04:38 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Carn View Post
Where is the suggestion for violent overthrow and gunning down unarmed protestors inside that wide field falling under the term Dominion Theology?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christ...onstructionism

Quote:
Conversely, Christian Reconstructionism's founder, Rousas Rushdoony, wrote in The Institutes of Biblical Law (the founding document of reconstructionism) that Old Testament law should be applied to modern society and he advocates the reinstatement of the Mosaic law's penal sanctions. Under such a system, the list of civil crimes which carried a death sentence would include homosexuality, adultery, incest, lying about one's virginity, bestiality, witchcraft, idolatry or apostasy, public blasphemy, false prophesying, kidnapping, rape, and bearing false witness in a capital case.
And yes, lots of Christians believe this. If they would use guns to kill the gays in a field isn't really a pertinent question.

The American fundy right is very much like ISIS, minus the power vaccuum after a war.
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Old 22nd September 2017, 05:34 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by uke2se View Post
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christ...onstructionism



And yes, lots of Christians believe this. If they would use guns to kill the gays in a field isn't really a pertinent question.

The American fundy right is very much like ISIS, minus the power vaccuum after a war.
Sure, a lot of American Christians are like ISIS, Riiiight.

Better keep checking under your bed for American Christians while importing actual Isis into your country.
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Old 22nd September 2017, 05:39 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
Sure, a lot of American Christians are like ISIS, Riiiight.

Better keep checking under your bed for American Christians while importing actual Isis into your country.
Oh burn! Maybe you should worry about who is the largest contributor to terrorism in the US.
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Old 22nd September 2017, 06:43 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by uke2se View Post
Oh burn! Maybe you should worry about who is the largest contributor to terrorism in the US.
Why is terrorism only in the US the relevant metric?
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Old 22nd September 2017, 07:39 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Carn View Post
Exacpt for one thing:
ISIS.
You don't even need to appeal to a terrorist organization. Saudi Arabia suffices to demonstrate the point.
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Old 22nd September 2017, 08:44 AM   #10
Carn
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
You don't even need to appeal to a terrorist organization. Saudi Arabia suffices to demonstrate the point.
As i wrote that:
"(Saudia-Arabia maybe not, cause some viewers might have difficulties to notice the differences between today Saudi-Arabia and one after an ISIS-takeover)"

i am aware about that.
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Old 22nd September 2017, 08:57 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by uke2se View Post
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christ...onstructionism



And yes, lots of Christians believe this. If they would use guns to kill the gays in a field isn't really a pertinent question.

The American fundy right is very much like ISIS, minus the power vaccuum after a war.
Considering that most of today Christians would have been considered "liberal" heretics due to disregarding so much of Christianity by probably EVERY Christian denomination prior 1960 and considering that of those FAR FAR more Christian dominated societies between 1900 and 1960 not a SINGLE ONE had death penalty for all of these
"homosexuality, adultery, incest, lying about one's virginity, bestiality, witchcraft, idolatry or apostasy, public blasphemy, false prophesying, kidnapping, rape, and bearing false witness"

it is UNDENIABLE that back at most only a minority of Christians were in favor of death penalty for all of these; otherwise some countries would have had such laws.

As these were far more conservative times it is not reasonable that of today Christians a lot are in favor of death penalty for such great number of actions.

Besides, as you actually claimed that lots of Christians TODAY are in favor of applying the penalties of MOSAIC LAW, please name a single Christian dominated country of the last 2000 YEARS that applied the Mosaic penalty for adultery, that is stoning to death. If no Christian country ever enacted that as law, it is just carzy to assume that today many Christians would be in favor for it.

Otherwise, sorry, you're claims are absolute nuts and have no grounding in reality.
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Old 22nd September 2017, 10:09 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Carn View Post
...
I cannot fathom how they can miss:
a) there is no christian ISIS and has not been for at least 200 years.
b) there are no christian thinker remotely going in such a direction
c) the actual ISIS is not christian
...
This is a US-centric view of the world. You might want to look at Uganda which currently has an Evangelical Christian government. They passed the death penalty for gays not too long ago, they sent Ugandan progress against HIV/AIDS back decades switching from the very successful condoms program to the failed abstinence only policy. And Evangelicals in the US government (C-Street House) promoted these policies.

Also, there was no ISIS when Atwood wrote the book (1985). There was, however, a significant movement to turn Evangelical Christian beliefs into laws in the US pushed by Jerry Falwell and his ilk.

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Old 22nd September 2017, 10:14 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Carn View Post

Handmaid's tale is just so off.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_Jeffs
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Old 22nd September 2017, 10:17 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post

Also, there was no ISIS when Atwood wrote the book (1985). There was, however, a significant movement to turn Evangelical Christian beliefs into laws in the US pushed by Jerry Falwell and his ilk.
True. But in 2017, it looks like a Cowardly cop out to set the adaptation in a Christian America.
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Old 22nd September 2017, 10:22 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
True. But in 2017, it looks like a Cowardly cop out to set the adaptation in a Christian America.
From where I stand, you and Carn are blind to Christian atrocities and attempts to turn Christian doctrine into laws.
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Old 22nd September 2017, 10:23 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Dancing David View Post
Warren Jeffs was a cult leader. He had basically no support beyond his small cult. Why is he relevant to issues about broader society?

BTW, has anybody made a porno parody called Handmaid's Tail yet?
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Old 22nd September 2017, 10:28 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Also, there was no ISIS when Atwood wrote the book (1985). There was, however, a significant movement to turn Evangelical Christian beliefs into laws in the US pushed by Jerry Falwell and his ilk.
In 1985, there was still Saudi Arabia and Iran. And even then, those societies resembled her fictional tale far more than anything "Falwell and his ilk" could hope to produce.
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Old 22nd September 2017, 10:39 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
In 1985, there was still Saudi Arabia and Iran. And even then, those societies resembled her fictional tale far more than anything "Falwell and his ilk" could hope to produce.
And if you compare photos of the 1960s and present day Afghanistan or Iran, the Handmaid's tale has happened for real. But no, gotta nonsensically set it in America (while complaining that trump doesn't want to let in more of the people behind making real life handmaid tale societies)
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Old 22nd September 2017, 10:50 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
And if you compare photos of the 1960s and present day Afghanistan or Iran, the Handmaid's tale has happened for real. But no, gotta nonsensically set it in America (while complaining that trump doesn't want to let in more of the people behind making real life handmaid tale societies)
For a lot of leftists, sexism isn't the real enemy. Capitalism is. Allies are chosen in accordance with this principle. Which is how you end up with people like Linda Sarsour, an Islamist, leading a "Women's March".
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Old 22nd September 2017, 11:08 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
BTW, has anybody made a porno parody called Handmaid's Tail yet?
Maybe Kickstarter is where you and I raise the money to make this happen. Could be some money in this.
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Old 22nd September 2017, 11:08 AM   #21
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Dibs on Handjob's Tale.
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Old 22nd September 2017, 12:35 PM   #22
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The Handmaid's Tale is a fantasy for liberal atheists who can imagine this is what the world would be like if the Christians got their way. It's no good trying to turn it into a story about what the world would be like if ISIS got its way. That's just hate-filled and bigoted.
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Old 22nd September 2017, 02:05 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Warren Jeffs was a cult leader. He had basically no support beyond his small cult. Why is he relevant to issues about broader society?

BTW, has anybody made a porno parody called Handmaid's Tail yet?
the Handmaid's Tale is post apocalyptic fiction , they asked where it could be reflected in society and I pointed to one instance. It was written in the hey day of PTL and the like...
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Old 22nd September 2017, 02:07 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
In 1985, there was still Saudi Arabia and Iran. And even then, those societies resembled her fictional tale far more than anything "Falwell and his ilk" could hope to produce.
I agree our erst while ally of the Saud, is an authoritarian and misogynistic 'monarchy' of the worst sort
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Old 22nd September 2017, 02:22 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Dancing David View Post
the Handmaid's Tale is post apocalyptic fiction , they asked where it could be reflected in society and I pointed to one instance. It was written in the hey day of PTL and the like...
PTL doesn't resemble FLDS, which was NOT contemporary with the writing of the book. Nor does PTL resemble Handmaid's Tale. Saudi Arabia and Iran do. FLDS does in only some respects, but differs in rather crucial ways, and is a much poorer comparison than Saudi Arabia and Iran. FLDS was a cult, not an entire society. Cults don't scale. They're too dependent on personal interaction with the leader. Handmaid's Tale is not about a cult.
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Old 22nd September 2017, 02:52 PM   #26
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Sorry Zig,
I did not realize this was such a serious discussion
1985 Handmaid's Tale, and PTL was definitly on, Jim Bakker did not resign until 1987

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZE7XY7EP_xQ


I was discussing the possible basis of dystopian fiction, art reflects culture, I can find plenty of events prior to 1980 as well
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Old 22nd September 2017, 03:06 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
Sure, a lot of American Christians are like ISIS, Riiiight.

Better keep checking under your bed for American Christians while importing actual Isis into your country.
Old, but still relevant:
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Old 22nd September 2017, 03:21 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Dancing David View Post
Sorry Zig,
I did not realize this was such a serious discussion
1985 Handmaid's Tale, and PTL was definitly on, Jim Bakker did not resign until 1987
Yes, but PTL doesn't actually resemble Handmaid's Tale.

Quote:
I was discussing the possible basis of dystopian fiction, art reflects culture, I can find plenty of events prior to 1980 as well
Sure. Saudi Arabia has been like that for a long time. And the Iranian revolution was in 1979.
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Old 22nd September 2017, 03:31 PM   #29
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This is a bizarre thread but I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

Atwood, according to Wiki's entry, is Canadian, a feminist and a humanist. It should be no surprise to find the US as the location of her dystopia where the populace is dominated by patriarchy based on Christian dogma.

It's dystopian fiction. It's supposed to (and has very successfully) exaggerate the problems of the day in order to project what could happen if those trends continued.

Whining that Islam should have been the religious basis of a fictional novel because the OP and some in this thread are annoyed at how some view the Christian religion is silly. The oppression of women in Islam was hardly on the mind of every US citizen in the mid-eighties.

For those who cannot see serious flaws in Christian religion, I suggest you read the Biblical story of Lot, not the Sunday school version. Virgin teenage daughters are to be tossed out to a rape-hungry crowd instead of men. People in the Bible disobey God right and left but for Lot's wife the mere act of looking back when told not to gets her turned into a pillar of salt. And the Bible blames Lot's incest with his daughters on the daughters.

That's some pretty sick **** if you aren't in denial and imagining the story has some magical meaning.

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Old 22nd September 2017, 05:08 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
.

It's dystopian fiction. It's supposed to (and has very successfully) exaggerate the problems of the day in order to project what could happen if those trends continued.
.
As a book in the 1980s, it could perhaps be justified as the above. But in 2017, the only societies and cultures that are on that trajectory ate definitively non western. So which is it for the adaptation? Obselete period curiosity ? Cowardly evasion of the actual threats to female autonomy in this era?
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Old 22nd September 2017, 05:34 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
As a book in the 1980s, it could perhaps be justified as the above. But in 2017, the only societies and cultures that are on that trajectory ate definitively non western. So which is it for the adaptation? Obselete period curiosity ? Cowardly evasion of the actual threats to female autonomy in this era?
So you ignored my suggestion you look at the Evangelical movement in the US (trying to make Christian dogma into law) and in other countries like Uganda where they recently had a law calling for the death penalty for homosexuality and caused a resurgence in HIV when they began promoting abstinence only instead of condoms?
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Old 22nd September 2017, 06:01 PM   #32
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What do you think of Judge Moore's run for Sessions' seat in Congress?

He clearly is running on making Christian dogma into law. Not radical enough to suggest a dystopian future like in The Handmaid's Tale?
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Old 22nd September 2017, 08:45 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
It's dystopian fiction. It's supposed to (and has very successfully) exaggerate the problems of the day in order to project what could happen if those trends continued.

Whining that Islam should have been the religious basis of a fictional novel because the OP and some in this thread are annoyed at how some view the Christian religion is silly. The oppression of women in Islam was hardly on the mind of every US citizen in the mid-eighties.
For my part, I've got no problem with the novel itself. My objection isn't to the fact that the novel posits an extremist version of Christianity. Rather, it's the failure of people to recognize that the novel is basically pondering what would happen if Christianity becomes what Islam already is.
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Old 23rd September 2017, 02:07 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
And if you compare photos of the 1960s and present day Afghanistan or Iran, the Handmaid's tale has happened for real. But no, gotta nonsensically set it in America (while complaining that trump doesn't want to let in more of the people behind making real life handmaid tale societies)
That's misleading. Photos from pre-revolution Iran virtually always show the urban elite of Teheran, then and now a bastion of liberalism. They were sometimes staged by the Shah's propagandists to show how "western" Iran was. Only a few percent had university educations, fewer still got those in Iran. Today it's about one third, 60% of which are women.

It's not a country I'd live in, but it's no dystopia, and the Shah's Iran was not as great as many think.
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Old 23rd September 2017, 02:09 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Rather, it's the failure of people to recognize that the novel is basically pondering what would happen if Christianity becomes what Islam already is.
I'll let my Bosniak friends know.
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Old 23rd September 2017, 02:14 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
As a book in the 1980s, it could perhaps be justified as the above. But in 2017, the only societies and cultures that are on that trajectory ate definitively non western. So which is it for the adaptation? Obselete period curiosity ? Cowardly evasion of the actual threats to female autonomy in this era?
Your objection seems to be that they shouldn't have produced a TV series based on a novel!
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Old 23rd September 2017, 02:56 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Your objection seems to be that they shouldn't have produced a TV series based on a novel!
I'd agree with Darat here; what exactly is your objection to basing the show off the novel that was written several decades ago? Why must it be changed to reflect what is, by all appearances, your bias against Islam?

You may also want to bear in mind, she probably wrote about a religion she knew more about, which makes logical sense; I certainly wouldn't want to write about something I knew very little about. Sure, she could have done research, but she risked setting herself up for vilification by people who would have known the religion better and would have pointed out mistakes she likely would have made. Then too, again, the television show is based entirely off of the novel; it would make no sense to base it around Islam as the central religion because then it wouldn't BE "The Handmaid's Tale"; it would be an entirely original show that's simply called "The Handmaid's Tale".

Dystopian fiction isn't exactly meant to reflect the social issues of the era it was written in; if that were the case, the Hunger Games or the Divergent series would have been set somewhere other than North America, IMO. The whole point of dystopian fiction is to take a facet of some form of extremism, in this case religious, and explore what might happen if this particular facet became the key focus of a society struggling to rebuild following some unnamed disaster. In Divergent, it focuses on the notion that people shouldn't stretch their capabilities outside of a narrow lane of expertise, hence the different groupings like the workers (Abnegation), the smart ones (Erudite), and the warriors (Dauntless); in the Hunger Games, it focuses on how the wealthy exercise a level of control over the less fortunate and takes it to an extreme in a manner loosely based on the Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur, where twelve young men and twelve young women were sent every year to King Minos from a kingdom he'd conquered, and then sacrificed in the Labyrinth to the Minotaur. And in The Handmaid's Tale, it takes Christian extremism (which does exist still, just not as widely spread as Islamic extremism) and expands upon the ideas behind it to show one possible way how, if the events in the novel were to actually cause such a dystopia to form, those in power would seek to retain it.

We may be in an era where Islamic extremism is the more prevalent threat to feminism and female autonomy, but I would argue that those in power in the U.S. are still trying to impose their Christian religious beliefs on women much the way the leaders did in The Handmaid's Tale. The latest iteration of the bill trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act included a clause which prohibited insurance companies from covering abortion, despite several states which have laws on the books REQUIRING said insurance companies to cover abortion or at the very least left the decision up to the individual insurance plan as to whether they would cover abortion. Had the bill passed, California was completely prepared to sue the federal government; thankfully it looks like it will not pass, so we won't be faced with that issue, but it illustrates that political leaders in this country are STILL trying to impose outdated ideals on women. We may be in 2017, not 1985, but the issue does still exist despite your claims to the contrary; it's just overshadowed by a multitude of other issues.
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Old 23rd September 2017, 02:57 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Also, there was no ISIS when Atwood wrote the book (1985). There was, however, a significant movement to turn Evangelical Christian beliefs into laws in the US pushed by Jerry Falwell and his ilk.
Indeed. Atwood's novel is, of course, rooted in the time it was written, with the apparent rise of Christian religious fundamentalist and televangelists, to the point that Serena Joy was formerly one of the latter.
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Old 23rd September 2017, 03:01 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
True. But in 2017, it looks like a Cowardly cop out to set the adaptation in a Christian America.
No it doesn't, it looks like being faithful to the original text, with a degree of logical updating, and losing some elements for the sake of changing priorities and streamlining the narrative (e.g. the overtly racist nature of Gilead in the book). Even then, it's more in the alternative present genre, although the earlier film did pitch itself as being more futuristic.
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Old 23rd September 2017, 03:02 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Warren Jeffs was a cult leader. He had basically no support beyond his small cult. Why is he relevant to issues about broader society?

BTW, has anybody made a porno parody called Handmaid's Tail yet?
You mean The Handjob's Tale.

ETA: Bah! Beaten to it by ThePrestige....

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