Are Red Pill Women Really Like Serena Joy? Or, How Dare I Make An Snarky Literary Reference You Don’t Understand?!Posted in Editorials on August 12th, 2013
UPDATE: This post has been corrected. It originally referred to the story of Sarah and Abraham. The Handmaid’s Tale refers to the story of Rachel and Jacob. Although both are about wives sanctioning surrogate mothers.
Last week I put up a post on /r/TheBluePill called “DanaBanana is not only an ignorant homophobe but a disgusting racist as well.”
But rather than apologize for, or even vainly attempt to rationalize her vicious racism, what DanaBanana really wants to talk about is her objection to is being called “Serena Joy.”
I actually paused before I used that literary reference. Because even though Serena Joy does many things to uphold the social order and her place in it, by allowing and encouraging Offred to have an affair with Nick, she’s also undermining it. There’s nuance here. She’s a hypocrite and coward, the banality of evil rather than a caricature of it. And I hesitate to ascribe any nuance or self-awareness to “Red Pill Women” because I really don’t see anything from them but ingratiating denial. They’re more like The Aunts, quite frankly. But that’s not as catchy.
To DanaBanana’s objections (spelling and grammar original):
in the book the handmaids tale, a group of seperatist christians take over a part of the disintegrating US and establish a christian patriarchy state called gilead in which a bizarre and unique form of polygyny is practiced due to low low female fertility. fertile women who are not “properly” married are apportioned out as “handmaids” to the powerful men of gilead and a joyless, ritual insemination is performed in an attempt to create more babies, any baby conceived of these unions is stripped form the handmaid and given to the “wife” to raise as her own, the handmaids are rotated and eventually consigned to drudge work when used up. serena joy is the wife of one such man, and had agitated strongly for this “religious revival” in the prewar days, and is now shown living with the consequences of what she fought for, a loathesome ceremony in which the handmaid lies down on the pelvis of the wife to be inseminated as pleasurelessly as possible for all involved.
whats never addressed is why this SPECIFIC form of joyless dystopian polygyny comes into being, and its my contention that it does so NOT because of MEN, but because it is an attempt by WOMEN (serena joy) to create a patriarchy that CATERS TO THEM and not to the desires and wishes of MEN.
there was no reason males would establish such a bizarre ritual, we know what polygyny looks like when males establish it, married men just take concubines and additional wives at will without a by your leave from their principle wives and they enjoy it.
enjoy is the key word here, what the “serena joys” established was a polygyny in which both the males and the concubines experience ZERO pleasure from the experince SPECIFICALLY In an attempt to make sure the WIVES dont suffer, this is NOT a masculinist or red pill fantasy world, it is a DISTINCTLY feminist and female-centric fantasy world in which the wants and needs of men are wholly secondary to the refined sensibilities of the “wives” who want to micromanage their husbands “necessary” infidelities by BEING THERE and making sure no male joy occurs.
there is not one particle of the “red pill for women” that advocates rearranging society to suit the interests of women, but to suit the interests of MEN. there are no red pill women advocating polygyny, but if they did it would be the natural normal (though not great for civilization), previously near universal polygyny humans had practiced for 10000s of years, not one designed to try to not hurt womens feelings. im sure there are a million legitimate ways to criticize red pill women from outside of it, but this one is particularly inapt and shallow, and denotes not only no understanding of that which is being criticized nor the literary reference with which the criticism is being made
This specific form of “joyless dystopian polygyny” is an interpretation of the Old Testament story of Rachel and Jacob. This is explicit, reading this Bible passage aloud is a part of the ritual sexual intercourse. The Commander literally reads it to Serena and Offred before they begin. Margaret Atwood visited Afghanistan in 1978, and the book is largely believed to be influenced by the Taliban’s treatment of women. Atwood was not writing about matriarchy, she was writing about theocracy.
In the Handmaid’s Tale, there are a few women who have power over other women. But there is no mention of women having the kinds of leadership roles in the church that would allow them to choose this interpretation of this story to suit their own interests. The book shows how the Serena Joys of this world are in many ways just as trapped as the Handmaids are. Serena is humiliated and disgusted by the ceremony – it’s not something that she and women like her thought up. It was created by the religious authorities specifically to take any pleasure away from the act. They knew that wealthy families desperately wanted more children, but to give them any degree of autonomy over how they were conceived would also sanction affairs like the one Offred and Nick eventually had – life affirming and revolutionary. The feelings of shame and defeat the ceremony created did not “cater to women” – they were a way to control the upper class and retain power.
Next week on Red Pill Women – why 1984 is about the evils of feminism, why Winston was a total Alpha and how we should all be Red Pill women like Julia.