Tuesday, March 21, 2006

THE HANDMAID'S TALE Under Attack (What Took Them So Long?)

In a story to be filed under the category of "What Took Them So Long?", The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood's chilling and surprisingly timely tale of a future world dominated by fundamentalist Christians, is under attack in San Antonio.

A book about a world of censorship and intellectual suppression being...suppressed? Oh, the layers of irony run deep on this one.

Needless to say, administrators claim it's not the books message that has it under attack, but it's swear words:
Atwood's book is about a lower class woman serving as a birthmother for the upper class.

However, a Judson parent noticed more than the story line. She came forward citing the book's more than 60 sexual innuendos and other graphic descriptions.

So the superintendent opened it up.

"The superintendent read several of the passages and decided because of graphic content the book should be pulled from our curriculum," Hoffmann said.
She...opened...it...up...and...read...several...of...the...passages.

I'm shaking my head here, trying not to scream.

First, how can there be an educator anywhere who hasn't read this classic book, or who at least apparently has no clue what it is about? And secondly, how can anyone think that a decision can be made about the appropriateness of any book, much less an acknowledged classic, by reading "several" of the passages?

Again, the mind reels.

6 Comments:

Blogger lili said...

Don't worry! The Handmaid's Tale is safe!

The article explaining the whole thing tells us that it is Margaret Atwood's The HANDMAIDEN'S Tale that is being challenged.

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/metro/stories/MYSA032006.book.kens.4638ba53.html

Phew! Lucky it's that little-known sequel where she goes and gets a job in Vegas...

4:50 PM  
Blogger plan2succeed.org said...

There is another article on the topic here: Judson Board Set to Write Final Chapter on Sci-Fi Book, March 22, 2006, by Karen Adler. And that link above was long and I could not get it so I'm placing it here for everyone's convenience: Judson ISD Considers Removing Controversial Book From Curriculum, March 20, 2006, by Amanda Taylor.

7:28 PM  
Blogger plan2succeed.org said...

Just found a web page devoted to The Handmaid's Tale: http://www.sibbap.org/thehandmaidstale.htm

I haven't read it myself.

9:44 PM  
Blogger Blueberry Pick'n said...

Its definitely the type of book progressive political readers would enjoy.

However, it will drive the NeoCon Evangelical segment of the US completely bats. They're really gonna want to kill that book!
BlueBerry Pick'n
can be found @

ThisCanadian
"Silent Freedom is Freedom Silenced"

2:09 PM  
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8:21 PM  

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