Emma Watson Talks to Margaret Atwood About Feminism and The Handmaid’s Tale
The author explained the inspiration behind her classic novel.
Noted Handmaid’s Tale fan Emma Watson recently got to interview Margaret Atwood for Entertainment Weekly, and once you get past your jealousy of the situation, you’ll be pleased to know they had a lively discussion about patriarchy, misogyny, and other topics that are unfortunately still relevant more than 30 years after the book’s publication. Their conversation didn’t specifically mention Donald Trump, but Emma did ask Margaret if she finds the echoes of her book in contemporary politics upsetting. “I’m not easily depressed by these sorts of things,” Margaret said. “If you were born in the ’90s, you were born into a world where quite a few rights for various groups had been established, at least in the West, and you thought that was normal. But if you’re older than that and you were born into a world in which this was not the case, you saw the fights that went into those rights being established.”
Margaret also addressed the “feminist question,” as Emma put it, which has come up many times in the course of the promo tour for Hulu’s adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale. Emma asked Margaret if she was “bored” with being asked about the book and show’s feminism, and she said she wasn’t, then went on to explain that she doesn’t like to talk about feminism unless the person asking the question explains what they mean by it. “Do we mean equal legal rights?” she asked. “Do we mean women are better than men? Do we mean all men should be pushed off a cliff? What do we mean? Because that word has meant all of those different things.”
Read the full interview here (and decide for yourself if you think that’s a good answer to the “feminist” question).