Over the weekend Kylie Jenner posted a series of videos on her Snapchat story of a Handmaids Tale themed party. Jenner chose to wear the traditional red handmaids gown to the festivities and took mirror selfies with her friends as they sipped on “Praise Be Vodka” and “Under His Eye Tequila.”
The handmaid's tale depicts a society where women return to their traditional roles of being submissive and obedient to their husbands or in the handmaid's case, their “Commanders.”
The main character of the show, Offred, is a handmaid who exists only to bear children for her the Commander. This idea is based on the Old Testament Story in Genesis where Rachel cannot get pregnant so she has her husband, Jacob, impregnate their handmaid so she can have a child.
There's also Marthas, the women who are infertile, who are expected to clean, cook and care for the home. Since women are required to be submissive and obedient, there are punishments for disobeying these rules such as having a finger cut off for reading or ending up hanging on “The Wall” for a variety of reasons.
In no way should this be celebrated or toasted to with Praise Be Vodka and Under His Eye Tequila. Take off your handmaids gown Jenner because for some women, a handmaids tale is close to reality and I congratulate you on finding this unrelatable.
Many popular religious figures perpetuate these ideals to their young followers. One of them is Jill (Duggar) Dillard whose Instagram account has more than 1.6 million followers and posted on her blog relationship advice which is something the Duggar family has done on multiple occasions over the years.
Her advice was to “run to him” whenever your husband returns home, serving and meeting his needs, looking nice for him, and showering and putting on fragrant lotion so you always smell nice for him which is what many of us call basic hygiene, but servitude is a nice word too.
YouTube channels such as Girl Defined with more than 147,000 subscribers who have caused a lot of controversy due to videos such as “Praying for Your Future Husband” where Bethany, one of the hosts, talks about how she began praying for her husband and describes this as a way to “serve” her future husband before she knows him.
These are promoted to a younger audience. Personally, as someone who grew up in a religious household, I looked up to figures like these. It wasn’t until I started college that I found out that I wasn’t going to go to Hell for not wanting “to run to him” or anybody when they arrived home.
While I like to think these beliefs remain behind church doors, it still remains out here in the “real world.” When making small talk with strangers and they ask what my plans are after graduation, they always seem to have an idea of what my plans should be. I’ll say something about how I can’t decide between technical writing or being a reporter and they always respond with “technical writings great, you’ll get to stay home with the kids.”
I think the most painful one was the lady who told me she had been told to run for Council but “you can’t do things like that until you raise a family.” How dare any of us dream of doing great things. Why am I wasting time on this B.A. when I should’ve gone for my MRS.
At the end of the day, after every mistake, I’m left to wonder if this is my future. I am not a billionaire with a cosmetics company, I’m just a college student trying to find a career other than wife.
Women and girls have so much more potential than being subservient wives. To Kylie this may be a party, but for some of us it's our worst nightmare that maybe there's a way this all becomes worse.