The Kardashians. We all know them, we love to hate them and hate to love them. They pop up everywhere, even though they seem to be famous for no reason other than their business endeavors and by association. Even so, they still rule the media. Every little thing they do, orchestrated by the GREAT Kris Jenner, thrusts them further into the spotlight. The devil works hard, but Kris Jenner works harder.
Usually, they are harmless. Maybe they've made a few mistakes, but who hasn't, right? However, this time Kylie Jenner, the youngest of the Kardashian family, has gone too far.
Her recent birthday party, a 'Handmaids Tale' themed bash, stepped over the line in a multitude of ways. Kylie completely ignored the point of the story and made light of a TV show that highlights female oppression and the absence of any kind of rights for women.
'The Handmaids Tale' is a book that was written by Margaret Atwood in 1985. It tells the story of a dystopian future where the United States government has been overthrown by a totalitarian regime in which women are treated as literal property.
The story is told through the perspective of Offred, a handmaiden for a commander. Women's rights have been completely wiped out in the novel and through Offred, we see the fall of the government to this new state and how things have changed for the worse.
This story has also been recently adapted into a popular Hulu television series that allows us to see the horrors Atwood describes in her novel come to life. I understand that this is Kylie Jenner's favorite TV show, that's fine, it's an amazing piece of art. However, it is also a chilling look into the darkest parts of our society and the extent of the treatment of women.
The thing that makes this book a terrifying masterpiece is that the basis of Atwood's writing is in historical fact. This is not a made up story meant to entertain an audience. Every single thing that happens in the book has actually happened in real life.
In an interview, Atwood once said, "I didn't put in anything that we haven't already done, we're not already doing, we're seriously trying to do, coupled with trends that are already in progress... So all of those things are real, and therefore the amount of pure invention is close to nil."
So why, why, why, WHY, did Kylie think this was an alright birthday party theme?!
This is an entire book about the mistreatment of women and a warning to society, but Kylie turned it into a celebration. It's one thing to enjoy a TV show and respect it for what it is. It's a whole different thing to create themed drinks and wear the costume that is meant to be the slave outfits of the women in the story.
By creating this party atmosphere using 'The Handmaids Tale,' she has reduced it to just being a TV show when it is so much more. The Hulu show gives us a look into the depths of human suffering and warns us to watch our actions. Especially in this time period and political culture, where women's rights are being stripped away daily, it's so important to respect works like these for what they are.
Critics online are saying Kylie is "completely out of touch" and "tone deaf as f---" for throwing a party with this controversial theme. Stars of the Hulu TV show have also commented, saying that it was "tacky" and that she "dashed all the significance" of the iconic red dress and white hats worn by the Handmaids as a sign of their slavery to their commanders.
Kylie, recently named the youngest self-made billionaire by Forbes magazine, is using her insane amount of privilege and wealth to be above the warning that lies within 'The Handmaids Tale.' People of her wealth and status will never have certain rights, like the right to an abortion, stripped away.
Being a woman right now is scary and it's hard to see people with more privilege acting like it doesn't matter. We always have to be aware of how much privilege we possess and how we can use it to help others and better the world we live in.
Kylie really messed this one up. We can love and respect books and TV shows for what they are, but we also have to fully understand what they are. 'The Handmaids Tale' is NOT a Halloween costume, a silly fantasy, or a birthday party theme. It's so much more.