Notes for UnOther: on ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ by Anjali Hans

Please visit Belongg’s UnOther app to access the full piece on Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale by Anjali Hans, and many more.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood was published in 1985. To clarify the usage of some terms referred to by the writer, Anjali Hans, we have some notes to help your reading, and to recommend further reflection and research on the same.

  1. We are calling the Handmaids “fertile women” in the summary on UnOther to signify their primary reproductive function for ease in navigating the text and its ideas. However, we would like to reinforce that gender identity is not hinged on biology, and individuals who may not be assigned female at birth are also women if they identify so, and vice versa. 

  2. Abortion as an essential component of sexual and reproductive health and rights is wrapped up in a political debate between two parties: anti-choice and pro-choice. The former, more commonly known as Pro-Life, disavow one’s choice to undergo an abortion, claiming the sanctity of all life. However, couched within the ‘pro-life’ rhetoric is a deeper political agenda: to control women’s agency over their own body, and healthcare and rights that affirm this. This is why using the term ‘anti-choice’ is more apt.


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