CURRENT BOOK:  The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

I can see why reviewers on Amazon compared the repression of women in the alternate society depicted in this book, to the treatment of women in some Muslim countries.  I noted it from the outset with the garments and head coverings that are worn by women.  But I also noted how the narrator and some of the other women are referred to by the men they are associated with (i.e. the narrator is called Offred).  This is also similar to Muslim countries.  A Muslim co-worker once explained to me that her full name was her first name followed by her father’s first name as her middle name, and his last name.  Once she marries, her name will change and her husband’s first name will be her middle name and she will take her husband’s last name.  This struck me as interesting, especially when I and two recent brides within my circle (one very professional, the other very free-spirited), did not even take our husbands’ last names.  On the other hand, the expectation of much of society that a woman will take her husband’s last name, doesn’t seem to have quite kept pace with the number of women who don’t!


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