TW: Rape, Abuse, and Bodily Mutilation.
It’s one thing to dress as one of Hulu and Margaret Atwood’s Handmaids during political protest, it’s another thing all together to put on the unmistakable red cloak and white wings for a completely tone deaf Kardashian/Jenner birthday party.
In an event that can only be described as sickening, privileged, and honestly downright ignorant, Kylie Jenner threw a Handmaid’s Tale themed birthday party last weekend; complete with Marthas, the flag of Gilead, and a “praised be” greeting as you walk through the door. But, that’s not all. Don’t worry. There’s plenty of cringe worthy details for everyone in the class. During dinner, their place cards are written on letters. No doubt a reference to the letters that many women in the show risk their lives for that detail their experiences of rape, cruelty, and forced pregnancy. And what oppressively themed party would this be without “Praised Be Vodka” and “Under His Eye Tequila”? For real, you guys.
After the US government has been overthrown, fertile woman who lived “unclean” lives were singled out, separated from their families and children, stripped of their identity, and TAGGED LIKE CATTLE. They were then sent to a training facility to be broken down, beaten, mutilated, and eventually habitually raped.
In a video posted to Instgram and Snapchat, you can see Kylie herself enthusiastically greeting her guests while her friends laugh uncontrollably and say “praised be, bitches”. In another, Kylie is seen posing in Handmaid’s clothes while her friend tells her just how pretty she looks in that shade of rape uniform red. Those were not her actual words, but it doesn’t take a genius to understand the implications given the subject.
For those of you in the dark about what The Handmaid’s Tale is about and why this party is the epitome of an entitled dumpster fire, buckle up buttercup. The Handmaid’s Tale is a television show based of the novel of the same title by Margaret Atwood. It’s set in a not-to-far-into-the-future dystopian society, ran by a radical Christian Fundamentalist group, within what once was the United States. Now named Gilead, all women who are not of high status are now slaves in one form or another. The Handmaids “serve” their families by being raped monthly by the man of the house to be forcefully impregnated and give the infertile couple a baby. The Handmaid’s aren’t allowed to read. They’re not allowed to write. They aren’t allowed to do anything but be a gloried sex slave. After the US government has been overthrown, fertile woman who lived “unclean” lives were singled out, separated from their families and children, stripped of their identity, and TAGGED LIKE CATTLE. They were then sent to a training facility to be broken down, beaten, mutilated, and eventually habitually raped.
At one point in the series a Handmaid wakes up having had her genitals mutilated as punishment for being “a gender traitor” or as we better know it, Gay.
So, big whoop, right? It’s a show. NO. It’s not just a show. In the writing of The Handmaids Tale, Margaret Atwood is quoted saying that she wanted to make sure that though her book was ultimately a work of dark fiction, it was filled with true stories happening to women all over the world. That’s right, our girl Margaret did her research. In Atwood’s book, every element of torture, mutilation, rape, and murder toward women can be found actually happening or have happened in parts of the world. Some are more metaphoric than others, but you understand. At one point in the series a Handmaid wakes up having had her genitals mutilated as punishment for being “a gender traitor” or as we better know it – Gay. As a woman, I have often and openly wept long after the credits rolled on an episode. We can all find something to relate to in this series. This party turns the very real themes in Atwood’s story into a literal rape joke.
Thus far, the internet has not been shy about calling Jenner out. Women everywhere have been taking to Twitter, Instagram, and other social media to express their distaste. If you’re still left in the dark and wondering why all of this is relevant, I urge you to not only watch the first season of The Handmaids Tale, but to pay attention to the current war against reproductive rights. With 137 million followers on Instagram alone, Jenner’s influence is vast and this was a grave misuse of her platform. In a society obsessed with everything celebrity (your current president is literally one), the influence they hold is undeniable and as we all know – with great power comes with great responsibility.
In other words, hold celebrities f@#$ing accountable because this shit right here is not okay.