Get our newsletter in your inbox twice a week. #HandmaidsTale.". Sign up for the ", The Great Barrington Declaration is an ethical nightmare. The reason there’s so much confusion about exactly where she took the word handmaid from is that handmaid is the kind of word a lot of North American charismatic Christian groups were into in 1984: suggestive of purity, duty, and feminine obedience to divine will. Articles that mistakenly link Barrett’s People of Praise to The Handmaid’s Tale, seen through this lens, become examples of the left trying to make Barrett’s religion a disqualifying mark against her, and by extension to make all Christian faith disqualifying for higher office. Asked about her inspiration for The Handmaid’s Tale by Politico as the controversy heated up, Atwood said she wasn’t sure which group she was talking about in 1987. The second coincidence is that when Margaret Atwood explained her Handmaid’s Tale inspirations to the New York Times in 1987, she described one of them as “a Catholic charismatic spinoff sect, which calls the women handmaids.” Atwood did not at the time name the sect, so when her quote resurfaced in 2020, it was very easy for some readers to think, Well, People of Praise is a Catholic charismatic spinoff sect that calls the women handmaids, so there you go. The People of Hope call wives “handmaids,” and when Atwood saw that word in an Associated Press clipping about the group, she underlined it in pen. Accordingly, on September 21, Newsweek reported that People of Praise was one of Atwood’s inspirations for The Handmaid’s Tale. Mexican Gothic takes full advantage. It’s essential that all Americans are able to access clear, concise information on what the outcome of the election could mean for their lives, and the lives of their families and communities. Give them uniform and they become an army. And it is, in its own way, telling about the world Atwood was writing about in 1984 when she built Gilead, her theocratic dystopia. So they have linked Barrett to The Handmaid’s Tale because The Handmaid’s Tale is now our culture’s most potent symbol for the idea of a world in which women’s bodies are not their own. Knockout performance from Moss," posted another. A third wrote: "I knew Ofglen would step up to the f**king plate. But she’s on the record as going through her Handmaid’s Tale archives for journalists plenty of times in the past, and during those interviews, she’s always cited People of Hope, a different Catholic charismatic spinoff that calls women handmaids. The Handmaid's Tale continues next Sunday on Channel 4 at 9pm. It’s rumored that it’s here that she developed the idea of using the name to begin with. But the argument over whether or not the two are connected reflects the deeply contentious atmosphere in which Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court will occur — and the immense symbolic weight The Handmaid’s Tale carries in American popular culture. And it is in its own way telling about the world Atwood was writing about in 1984 when she built Gilead, her … We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. And while it’s plenty plausible that Atwood has indulged in a little self-mythologizing about her creative process over the years, it’s not really that relevant to any questions about Amy Coney Barrett and her religious leanings today. It means they were working with a very specific vocabulary, and the way Atwood made her dystopia feel real was by skillfully mimicking them. Some liberals argue that Barrett’s membership in this group, which teaches that husbands are the heads of families and have authority over their wives, signals that she will hand down religiously motivated conservative opinions if placed on the Supreme Court, particularly when it comes to women’s reproductive freedom and the rights of the queer community. Reporting for the Star-Ledger in 2017, Tom Deignan found that the story didn’t hit the AP until after The Handmaid’s Tale came out in 1985, meaning that Atwood couldn’t have pulled the word “handmaid” from that mythical news article after all. Here's to strong sisters who don't let anyone grind them down #HandmaidsTale.". Two coincidences led to the idea that there is a People of Praise–Handmaid’s Tale connection. Asked about her inspiration for The Handmaid’s Tale by Politico as the controversy heated up, Atwood said she wasn’t sure which group she was talking about in 1987. But our distinctive brand of explanatory journalism takes resources. The slippage between People of Praise handmaids, People of Hope handmaids, and Margaret Atwood handmaids is where this whole misunderstanding originated. Viewers were taken aback at the episode, especially at the poignant end tag line: "Don't let the b*****ds grind you down".