Monday, October 15, 2007

Handmaid's Tale freaks parents

Oh! I almost forgot about this little nugget I spotted during my Lifesite tour: "Minneapolis Catholic College Requires Reading of Sexually-Explicit Anti-Catholic Novel - A Handmaid's Tale"!!! (Swoons and clutches at pearls):
Catholic parents of students at a Catholic college in Minneapolis are outraged that their children will be forced to read the sexually explicit and anti-Christian novel, A Handmaid’s Tale by Canadian author and far-left feminist Margaret Atwood. The English Department’s faculty at the University of St. Thomas, in St. Paul, Minneapolis, has voted to use the book in all sections of freshman English as this year’s “common text”." [...]

"Atwood is known in Canada as a major figure in the ultra-feminist, anti-religious and largely state-funded literary establishment. When it was first published by McClelland and Stewart in 1985, the book was heavily criticized, largely outside Canada, as an anti-Christian screed relying for its appeal on the titillation provided by its frequent expletives and graphically depicted sex-acts, and a heavy-handed feminist ideology."
Ka-Boom! The sound of a thousand Catholic crania exploding as parents go apeshit hysterical that their little angels are being exposed to this (multi-award-winning) feminist filth. Their protest site screams about the novel's premise: a dystopian future society taken over by extreme fundies, where abortion and contraception aren't allowed, and "lower-caste" women function as living incubators for the rich. No way do they want their kids exposed to that... Gee. I. Wonder. Why.

It's kind of a stretch to say there's any specifically anti-Catholic bias in A Handmaid's Tale, since the ruling theocracy in the novel seems to be the fundamentalist protestant brand of dominionist religious fanatics. Of course the sex, even though it serves a purpose in the novel, nonetheless gets their wheels spinning; the website goes to great pains to quote the most explicit passages. Which is only typical of these shrieking nitwits -- remember the (hot, steamy, leather-clad) Folsom Fair protest letter? It wasn't enough for the Catholic League to describe what the fair was about, they had to include over 40 pictures. We hate this... and this... and this... and this... and this... and this... and oh!... oh yeah! OH! Oh, YEEHAhhhh... (Seriously, I wonder how many of those self-righteous fucknozzles came in their pants as they were examining every little detail of every last photo? Or more to the point, how many didn't?) Buuuut...

Then again, there could be something more sinister at work here. Maybe A Handmaid's Tale is too close to the kind of world they'd really like to see, and they don't want it to scare their daughters into being godless heathen liberals.