The word ‘feminist’ is hardly a taboo word or the one reserved for up stuck women. The rise of the # MeToo era and the flocks of women from every walk of life coming together to fight for each other and support each other, the stigma behind the feminist has been cut-down. Women have been regarded as the frailer sex, and essentially making the man a stronger role. When oppressed women in the society begin to rise to support each other, the displaced anger is only contained waiting for a chance to lash back at the male gender according to researchers.
With books such as the Handmaiden’s Tale and the Vox, the female protagonists have only a limited set of rights that they are allowed every day. When these women rise to fight against the government and the law against the rules that curb their ability to live as equals, the feminist angle of the books kick in. The books are inspired by events in reality where men have been trying to oppress women. Taking a leaf out of everyday facts the feminist dystopian books help with looking at a highly complicated world with a chance to fight for freedom.
The Qualities of The Feminist Dystopian Book
While the genre is an emerging one, all of them carry some characteristics that bind them together. These characteristics are:
- Each book has a future which is hypothetical
- The personal or reproductive freedom is hindered and controlled
- Most of them can be compared with The Handmaiden’s Tale
- The books draw out anxieties that come with a male-controlled environment
- All the protagonists in the books are mothers
- Dystopic settings from different continents and cultures are addressed
The gender roles and the influence of the government are looked at from a feminist point of view in a feminist dystopia. Playing the roles of mothers in the books, the ability to bear children; which is unique to the female gender, is looked at as a powerful ability that needs to be curtailed. Women who are oppressed in the world today can relate to the books even though they are fictional.
How Are Feminist Dystopias Different From Young Adult Dystopic Books
Young adult dystopic books have been around for a few years and have been adapted into movies as well. These books usually look at the female gender as being strong. However, in a feminist dystopia, the females are in a setting that is gruesome and extremely controlling. For example, in The Vox, women are allowed only to speak 100 words a day, and if they went over the 100-word mark, then they would be punished with electric shocks. Throughout the year 2018, there have been several books in the dystopic feminist genre being released.
- The Future Home of The Living God by Louise Erdrich
- Gather the Daughters by Jennie Melamed
- The red Clocks by Leni Zumas, and
- The Power by Naomi Alderman
While the rise of the genre has been explosive, they all follow the same trend and are almost predictable. While the books may seem very creepy to a woman who has the best life in today’s world, a closer look will expose its likeness to some women in other cultures. For example, The Handmaiden’s Tale is similar to what women can expect to live like in the Middle Eastern regions. The remarkable feature about these novels is that, if they are nurtured and allowed to gain traction, they can affect the individual feelings of women who are used by men and the government in oppressive societies.