Since its release in 1985, Margaret Atwood’s book the Handmaid’s Tale has influenced women around the world opposing a series of concerns from unwanted sexual advances to the right to an abortion and appropriate health care. The Hadnmaid’s Tale costume has therefore become a powerful symbol with nuanced meanings.
In the program, handmaids are appointed to elite households and groomed into sexual bondage, where they are raped and required to give birth. They are likewise banned from working, owning property or dealing with money. Those who withstand are beaten, tortured or perhaps eliminated.
Sexy costume retailer Yandy stopped offering a Halloween costume in September that put a sexualised spin on the Handmaid’s Tale costume worn by sex slaves in the Hulu TV adaption of the story. The underwear merchant’s site included a design using a “Brave Red Maiden Costume,” including a red skin-tight minidress, long red cape and white bonnet. In the dystopian series, females pushed into surrogacy are made to use a comparable clothing – with longer hemlines.
Yandy’s outfit consisted of an item description that appeared to reference the series: “A disturbing dystopian future has actually emerged where females no longer have a say. We state be strong and speak your mind in this unique Brave Red Maiden outfit.”
“Over the last few hours, it has become obvious that our ‘Yandy Brave Red Maiden Costume’ is being seen as a symbol of women’s oppression, rather than an expression of women’s empowerment. This is unfortunate, as it was not our intention on any level,” the company said. “Our initial inspiration to create the piece was through witnessing its use in recent months as a powerful protest image.”
The Handmaid’s Tale Costume of Protest
Thankfully the Handmaid’s Tale costume is available without being a “sexy costume” with accurate replicas on Etsy and Ebay.
A group of protesters in Handmaid’s Tale costumes opposed Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court verification hearings in September.
The quiet demonstration was arranged by the liberal advocacy group, Demand Justice, which has actually long opposed Donald Trump’s choice to fill the job left by retired Justice Anthony Kennedy. The group’s restrained technique was a sharp contrast to other scenes going on throughout the Senate side of Capitol Hill. Cops apprehended 70 individuals by the end of the day.
They stood in silence Tuesday, the very first day of the hearings, lining the sidewalks and atrium of the Hart Senate Office Building, their austere shapes stimulating the dystopian persecution represented in the novel-turned-Emmy-award-winning Hulu drama.
The outfit has actually been worn by pro-choice protesters throughout Ireland’s effective referendum to withdraw the 8th amendment to its constitution and by abortion rights advocates in Buenos Aires.
In London, protesters wore the cape and bonnet to demonstrate against Donald Trump’s visit to the UK and the policies of his administration.
“The handmaid’s costume has been adopted by women in many countries as a symbol of protest about various issues having to do with the requisitioning of women’s bodies by the state,” Atwood told the Guardian.
“It has even been used on posters in the context of the Trump-Putin relationship, with Trump as the handmaid. Because it’s a visual symbol, women can use it without fear of being arrested for causing a disturbance, as they would be for shouting in places like legislatures.