(Opinion) Banned Book Week: The Handmaid’s Tale


Victoria Pickering

Licensed under the CC

Under His Eye: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood was first published in 1985 and has since been made into an original series streaming on Hulu.

Atwood’s classic novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, has been banned in its novel form and graphic novel form in Texas and Oregon.

Texas schools state that the book has been banned for several reasons, including profanity, overly sexual tones, being anti-Christian, featuring LGBTQ+ protagonists, and being overall morally corrupt.

I thought long and hard about why this could be understandable but eventually concluded that it’s simply not.

With the possible overturning of Roe v. Wade, we are slowly entering into a society like Gilead. This book teaches us that even if it goes against the norm and the rest of society, we must fight for what’s right.

We can’t let people control us and take away our freedom.

Gilead became a society because so many people were willing to believe that what the Commanders (the rich white men of Gilead) decided was okay. It doesn’t take a long look into national news to see that that pattern is happening today.

In all of the events, protests and marches held by the national Women’s March organization, they tell you that you cannot wear a red cape reflective of the Handmaid’s Tale. This is because it is exclusive to the women of color killed. After all, their society does not consider them ideal to be handmaids.

This book was first banned in 2020, and the ruling from the Women’s March organization was brought to light not long after.

When I went to the Women’s March in Athens, GA, last October, I saw someone wearing a red cape, and although that was against the rules, it was so powerful at that moment and put the entire reason we were marching into perspective for me.

The Handmaid’s Tale required reading for me during my senior year of high school almost two years ago and to see now that we are close to Gilead because of the possible reversal of Roe v. Wade is shocking.

Reading this book was life-changing. Although scary, it taught me all the lessons about standing your ground.

Books shouldn’t be banned because by doing so, you stop the formulation of different opinions, and you exclude a whole group of people that can influence change.