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Margaret Atwood defends 'smug' 'I told you so' post about Roe v Wade

Indy100
Indy100
 2022-07-13
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Margaret Atwood, 82, has defended a cryptic social media post which showed her holding a mug reading 'I told you so'.

The author is best known for her dystopian novel The Handmaid's Tale, whichlater became the hit series. Published in 1985, it explores the future United States that has become a fundamentalist, authoritarian, theocratic regime known as Gilead.

Women are assigned as handmaids and are given to a wealthy couple and forced to bear children for them. Fans of The Handmaid's Tale have struck up similarities between the show and the recent US attacks on reproductive rights.

In 2017, Atwood told PEOPLE: "There's a precedent in real life for everything in the book,"

"I decided not to put anything in that somebody somewhere hadn't already done. But you write these books so they won't come true."

Last month, the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade, severely limiting or completely restricting access to abortion in some states.

In a post on Monday, Atwood reacted to the new laws with a mug reading "I told you so", with the caption: "Coffee in Nova Scotia with appropriately sloganed coffee cup..."

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The social media post initially fired up fellow users, with one saying: "You should reconsider this. It looks smug and celebratory at a time when millions of American women are terrified for the future. I really hope you're not this person."

Another urged the author to "read the room."

Atwood has since defended the message, saying that people are "misreading" her post.

On Tuesday (12 July), she told her Twitter followers: "My goodness, some of you are good at misreading!

"To be clear: when Handmaid’s Tale came out in 85, there was disbelief.

"I thought a religious-right takeover was possible in the US, and was Crazy Margaret. Premature, but unfortunately too close.

She added: "That doesn’t make me happy."

In May, after a draft of the Supreme Court opinion was published which went on to overturn Roe v Wade on 24 June, Atwood wrote an article for The Atlantic titled: "I invented Gilead. The Supreme Court is making it real."

In the op-ed, the author explained she had initially stopped writing The Handmaid’s Tale "several times" because she "considered it too far-fetched".

"Silly me," she added. "Theocratic dictatorships do not lie only in the distant past: There are a number of them on the planet today. What is to prevent the United States from becoming one of them?"

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