In Margaret Atwoods novel, 'The Handmaids Tale', the birth rate in the United States had dropped so low that extremists decided to take matters into their own hands by killing off the government, taking over themselves, and reducing the womens role in society to that of a silent birthing machine. One handmaid describes what happened and how it came about as she, too, is forced to comply with the new order.
Before the new order, known as the Sons of Jacob, took over, women had a lot to be afraid of. They had freedom to do whatever they wanted, but this freedom was severely inhibited by maniacs who could strike at any time. Women followed rules to keep them out of danger, but they were not enforced.
'I remember the rules, rules that were never spelled out but that every woman knew; dont open your door to a stranger, even if he is the police.
Make him slide his ID under the door. Dont stop on the road to help a motorist pretending to be in trouble. Keep the locks on and keep going. If anyone whistles, dont turn to look. Dont go into a laundromat, by yourself, at night ... Women were not protected then.'(p. 24)
Nobody believed it could happen to them. When the Sons of Jacob took over and began to take away their freedom, they accepted it. They were afraid and the Sons gave them some security. Because they accepted the first few laws, it was hard to refuse to not go along with the ones that followed.
When the women were finally stripped of their identities, they felt as though they had deserved it because they had done nothing to try and save any of their other rights.
'We looked at one...