Over the weekend, beauty mogul Kylie Jenner threw a themed birthday soiree for her best friend. Both women are super fans of Hulu’s hit dystopian drama “The Handmaid’s Tale,” so Jenner designed the party to resemble the show’s characters and their fictional world of “Gilead.”
She gleefully posted photos on Instagram of the costumed party-goers, quoting signature lines from the series like “praise be” and “under his eye.” Attendees enjoyed cocktails served by actors hired to behave like the subdued women of the television series under flags of the show’s made-up oppressive regime. The evening concluded with a screening of the premiere of the show’s third season.
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For those unfamiliar with the hit show, “The Handmaid’s Tale” is based on Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel of the same name, which depicts a hostile overthrow of America at an undetermined point in the future. The story’s unrest began when the fertility rate dropped to the floor and only a small percentage of women could still bear children.
Following the coup, these women were kidnapped and made to wear red cloaks and bear the children of their villainous masters. The show’s protagonists are all defiant women. They face tremendous abuse in hopeless environments but still find ways to fight their oppression. Hero feminism seems like a logical pick for a birthday party for a young woman, but Jenner’s innocent celebration of her favorite television drama managed to activate the woke outrage mob.
According to many angry tweets and Instagram posts, Kylie’s choice of “The Handmaid’s Tale” for a birthday party simply did not recognize the very serious, very real-life context of the entirely fictional television show. While the show’s creators have never been unclear about the fact that their plot and characters are completely made up, numerous social media users seemed to feel that the recent wave of pro-life legislation passed in several states is a sure sign that “The Handmaid’s Tale” is going to come to life.
Not that I had any before but @KylieJenner just lost all of my respect and business. The Handmaids Tale is not a joke or laughing matter. It is about the rape & oppression of women and it is happening right now in America. I have never witnessed this level of ignorance in my life
— Leah Michael (@isleahmichael13) June 9, 2019
Kylie Jenner turned her home into a little slice of "The Handmaid's Tale" for a party. Because nothing says celebration like the brutal oppression of women. https://t.co/8QGd0t3G2G
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) June 10, 2019
Kylie Jenner throwing her friend a Handmaid’s Tale themed birthday party complete with robes, Gilead flags, “Praised be” vodka and “Under his eye” tequila is so tone deaf, at any time, but especially when women’s rights and autonomy are particularly under attack. Disheartening.
— Ana María (@anamgom) June 9, 2019
Kylie Jenner is having a party themed after the Handmaid’s Tale…..so…..who’s gonna tell her that her party is literally celebrating female enslavement for their biological reproduction??
WHO IS GOING TO TELL HER
— mirandaaithi (@mirandaaithi) June 9, 2019
Kylie Jenner is having a Handmaids Tale themed birthday party and Justin Bieber wants to fight Tom Cruise and boy howdy is that meteor late
— Imani Gandy (@AngryBlackLady) June 10, 2019
I fucking hate Kylie Jenner. She turned her mansion into Gilead from The Handmaid's Tale for her daughter's first birthday. She thinks it's funny. I want to scream. Eat the rich.https://t.co/CCFfEzy7p1
— Ally Maynard (@missmayn) June 10, 2019
This is offensive when people are suffering every day without full access to reproductive care. Countless people are harmed by societal tendencies like those in the Handmaid's Tale. Jenner & friends are using insane privilege to dip their toes into the waters of oppression.
— Jess Phoenix 🌋🏳️🌈🤠 (@jessphoenix2018) June 10, 2019
Jenner is being accused of using a show that is too dark and oppressive for a birthday party. Meanwhile, tweens throw parties in the theme of “The Hunger Games” (a dystopian story about murdering children) and no one says anything. Jenner was also accused of being overly privileged and appropriating the show’s oppression for entertainment. In reality, Jenner angered the mob because she showed that she is a fan of the show without seeing it as a call to social activism.
Sorry wokesters, Jenner doesn’t see this TV show as a crystal ball for a future where women are brutalized and stripped of their rights. She saw it as a TV show. She didn’t dress up as a handmaid to protest the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, or to hold a rally for Planned Parenthood. She threw a birthday party for her friend because Kylie still sees this TV show as…a TV show.
It is chilling to think that so many misguided people take this show so seriously. It is even more chilling to think that people think this because they are afraid that they’ll no longer be able to kill their unborn babies via abortion. Laws preventing the murder of unborn children will not lead to women being stripped of their rights, they are written to save lives.
Furthermore, for all its flaws, the United States is still the freest country in the world, plus we have the Second Amendment to protect us, partially from authoritarian power grabs. The notion that our future could resemble “The Handmaid’s Tale” should be offensive to all people currently living under tyranny—if only they were able to watch it.