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It’s Scary That Playing “Republican or Handmaid’s Tale?” Is So Hard

It’s hard to traverse the Internet lately without tripping over articles on how Hulu’s Handmaid’s Tale adaptation seems eerily relevant these days, but pointing that out is only one way to put things into frightening perspective. Another, as demonstrated in this Refinery29 video from Samantha Bee’s Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner is to have people try to tell the difference between our actual reality and dystopian fiction.

It’s not as easy as you might think—or hope. Take two of the statements used in the “game” as examples: one from a real Republican who said that women should expect their bodies to be “hosts” for children rather than expecting autonomy, and another from The Handmaid’s Tale calling women “two-legged wombs” and “sacred vessels.” Sure, it’s fun (“fun”) to watch people struggle to decide who they think the statements came from, and it’s scary enough that some of them are from real politicians, but those two legitimately not sounding much different is a whole new level of discomfiting.

Without fail, there will be people out there willing to say that it’s hyperbole to say The Handmaid’s Tale seems disturbingly realistic. Those people fail to take into account all of human history and the unbelievably bad things that have been done perfectly legally, along with how poorly women have been treated and continue to be treated to varying degrees around the world.

Also, as Hulu’s adaptation makes it incredibly hard to forget, the story is not exactly fiction for LGBTQIA people, either:

Even in our own country, LGBTQIA people are not safe from discrimination.

So let’s not fool ourselves in thinking this “game” has an entirely ridiculous premise. We’ve only made modest strides against widespread oppression relatively recently in history, and we still have a long way to go before reality doesn’t feel uncomfortably close to dystopian fiction.

(via Mediaite, image: Hulu)

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Dan is a video game modding hobbyist and secret ninja who lives in North Carolina with his wife, Lisa Brown, and his dog, Liz Lemon, both of whom are the best.

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