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Literary Activism

The Handmaids’ Resistance Provides Free Costumes to Protesters

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Jaime Herndon


Jaime Herndon finished her MFA in nonfiction writing at Columbia, after leaving a life of psychosocial oncology and maternal-child health work. She is a writer, editor, and book reviewer who drinks way too much coffee. She is a new-ish mom, so the coffee comes in extra handy. Twitter: @IvyTarHeelJaime

The Pin

By now, if you haven’t read Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale or seen the movie from the ’90s, there’s a good chance you’ve at least seen the Hulu series. Barring that, you’ve probably seen the women dressed as Handmaids during protests for reproductive justice. It creates a powerful image, rows of staring, silent women in red robes and those recognizable white bonnets.

Last week, Texas governor Greg Abbott signed into law a bill that prohibits health insurance from covering abortion, unless a woman’s life is in danger. Women will have to pay for an additional insurance premium to buy coverage for non-life-threatening abortions. Like if she’s raped. Or if the fetus has abnormalities that render it incompatible with life. Because neither of those would be allowed under the new law.

We saw just how eager 45 is to promote health insurance that ignores women’s health, and there is a Secretary of Education who is all-too-happy to promote abstinence-only education.

Which makes the setting ripe for Handmaid protests. The Handmaids’ Resistance  is a site that enables people to create a Handmaid protest of their own, even offering free costumes to organizers who create an event. They provide talking points full of information, tips on getting media coverage, and if you can’t organize a protest, you can find one that is local to you.

The Pin

I don’t know about you, but it makes me want to pull out my copy of the book.

Nolite te bastardes carborundorum.