So watched the Handmaid’s Tale PBS series, noting my partner, Wayne, recalled the book being banned at his high school! Many friends read the book or watched the recent or 1990 film or TV series. MUST BE IMPORTANT!

The series is brilliant in my eyes. It brings all manor of slights and put downs and patriarchal (and matriarchal) dictates towards women to light, often in jarring, sometimes in quite subtle ways.

The lead, Elizabeth Moss, also a producer, is excellent as Ofred, the concubine/rebel who eventually escapes slavery masked as doing God’s work to produce babies for the rich in an increasingly sterile world. If you watch closely, you will observe practically every put down known to man and womankind represented in this series. Some bits hurt me – recognized as part of my own past life and even present existence. When do we NOT say something impoatant to us because a man (or woman) may use his/her power against us? When do we say something we can barely state without nausea because we know those words will save us at the moment? Often, I am sad to say, and across the face of the earth. Sometimes this has to happen; sometimes it is politic – but can’t we reach for words that produce kind responses? It takes practice and Buddhism is a great help here. (See Dalai Lama/Desmond Tutu book, Joy).

Don’t get me wrong: I adore little boys and men (and women!) and every stage in between. I love them and honor them and accept their foibles – as long as those don’t shut down precious parts of my own psyche, heart and soul.
Makes NO sense to me to berate men or controling women, to enslave them in any way – just stop doing that to me, please! And from now till my demise! Thanks; I rest that case.

Our world is on fire and I dont’ want to add to the fires – I want to throw a blanket on that or spray it with something healthy like clean water – and good intentions.

Keep going back to theme song for one episode: “You Don’t Own Me,” Leslie Gore original version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDUjeR01wnU
Will likely sing at an Open Mic soon.
Lyrics:

You don’t own me
I’m not just one of your many toys
You don’t own me
Don’t say I can’t go with other boys
And don’t tell me what to do
Don’t tell me what to say
And please, when I go out with you
Don’t put me on display ’cause
You don’t own me
Don’t try to change me in any way
You don’t own me
Don’t tie me down ’cause I’d never stay
I don’t tell you what to say
I don’t tell you what to do
So just let me be myself
That’s all I ask of you
I’m young and I love to be young
I’m free and I love to be free
To live my life the way I want
To say and do whatever I please
And don’t tell me what to do
Oh, don’t tell me what to say
And please, when I go out with you
Don’t put me on display
I don’t tell you what to say
Oh, don’t tell you what to do
So just let me be myself
That’s all I ask of you
I’m young and I love to be young
I’m free and I love to be free
To live my life the way that I want
Songwriters: David White / John Madara
You Don’t Own Me lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

So even the song bring controversy:
If I don’t compromise with you, how can we live together? Perhaps ownership is personal; cooperation is mutual.
And YOUNG? Always look to Young at Heart! till I die. Freedom? Isn’t that best found within loving relationships? So don’t want to be strident in relating to men – or women! But the sentiment
So just let me be myself; that’s all I ask of you – isn’t that the crux? Isn’t that what feminism is REALLY about?

From the Trailer:
“Set in a dystopian future, a woman is forced to live as a concubine under a fundamentalist theocratic dictatorship,” says the copy accompanying the trailer. I’d say way more: the series depicts practically endless ways women are taught to hold their tongues, keep their skirts below their knees, be obedient in every way.
A thoughtful viewing of the series will hit practically any woman with remembrances of the same old tired
power plays by men with money, by men in general and, sadly, many women! OUCH! Triple ouch. Found myself crying at times as Ofred gained the strength to resist and eventually escape. Good woman!

Awaiting the 1990’s version with Faye Dunaway and Natasha Richardson. Sparks will fly with that one, I have no doubt.