Friday, April 28, 2017

FGM a Fundamentalist Christian Practice? Only on HULU's The Handmaid's Tale

A piece on the Vulture site discusses some of the differences between Margaret Atwood's novel and the HULU sensation. For instance, in the novel, the character named Ofglen ("of Glen") is
described as a little plump with brown hair, and she does not say that she is gay or had a wife. Offred doesn’t tell Ofglen when the Commander wants to see her in private; instead, Ofglen somehow knows through her connections in the rebellion and asks her to find out more. Although she does disappear suddenly one day, Offred is never interrogated about it, and the new Ofglen reveals that her predecessor killed herself “when she saw the van coming for her.” There’s no way to know, of course, if this is true.
On the TV show, however,  Ofglen is (my bolds)
played by Alexis Bledel, so she’s not plump at all. She reveals to Offred that she had a wife and daughter in the time before Gilead. Offred tells her about the Commander wanting to see her in secret, and also asks her to find out more about him. In the second episode, we learn that Ofglen was arrested not for her participation in the rebellion, but for her relationship with a Martha. She is charged with “gender treachery” and ultimately pardoned because of her fertility. Instead, she is forced to undergo female circumcision to remove her “unnatural” desires.
In other words, a rite commonly practised in, say, Egypt and Somalia (the provenance of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who has written extensively on the subject) has been imported into fictional Gilead, the better to demonstrate how awful, how misogynistic, the Judeo-Christian ethos can be. That said, there's no way anyone on/of the Left would ever situate a dytopian novel or TV show in a real life Muslim dystopia because that would be sooooo "Islamophobic," don't you know.

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