“The control of women and babies has been a feature of every repressive regime on the planet.”

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In March 10, 2017’s New York Times Atwood writes in “What ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Means in the Age of Trump:”

[Women] 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. Kill their babies and replace their babies with yours, as cats do; make women have babies they can’t afford to raise, or babies you will then remove from them for your own purposes, steal babies — it’s been a widespread, age-old motif. The control of women and babies has been a feature of every repressive regime on the planet. Napoleon and his “cannon fodder,” slavery and its ever-renewed human merchandise — they both fit in here. Of those promoting enforced childbirth, it should be asked: Cui bono? Who profits by it? Sometimes this sector, sometimes that. Never no one.

No. Never no one. Read Atwood’s column in full here. It’s well worth your time. So is The Handmaid’s Tale.

And a complementary quote:

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.–George Santayana

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Love her or hate her, her novels will provoke some of the most interesting and intense discussions you’ll ever have about a book, some which are unproductive of sleep later that night.

[From the vaults at stabenow.com, Mar 8, 2010]

My book club reads mostly women’s fiction, and we’ve read a lot by Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood. Love her or hate her, her novels will provoke some of the most interesting and intense discussions you’ll ever have about a book, some which are unproductive of sleep later that night. Trust me, I know.

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