Emma Watson's Interview With 'Handmaid's Tale' Author Margaret Atwood Celebrates Feminism In Its Many Forms

"Women are human beings, a mixed lot."

Between Emma Watson and Margaret Atwood, feminist ideals transcend generations.

Watson recently interviewed Atwood for the July 21 issue of Entertainment Weekly to discuss the acclaim behind her 1985 dystopian novel The Handmaid's Tale, which was adapted as a Hulu series, earning several Emmy nominations this year.


The two discussed the novel­­­­ — a fictional look at what would happen if the government was overthrown by a totalitarian and theocratic state that only kept women to give birth — and how it relates to modern-day feminism and politics.

Watson is no stranger to Atwood's work. Her book club, Our Shared Shelf, selected The Handmaid's Tale as its book to read in May and June.

Last month, she even left free copies of the book around Paris.

Despite having different careers and a large age gap, the interview shows how they both share the same passion for feminism.

For Watson, it comes in the form of her feminist book club. For Atwood, on the other hand, it's showing others how relevant The Handmaid's Tale is in 2017. 

When asked if the current political climate in the United States upset her, she said, "I'm not easily depressed by these sorts of things. It's happened before. If you were born in the '90's, 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 Atwood has high hopes for the country, citing how women have recently dressed up as handmaids to protest for reproductive rights at statehouses across the country.

"You can't kick them out because they're not making a disturbance, but everybody knows what they mean," she said.

Watson and Atwood also dive into details about the book and how a portrayal of Aunt Lydia, a character that haunts the story's main character, Offred, offers a realistic viewpoint that it's OK that some women are flawed.

"So it's not a case of all women being angelic," Atwood said. "We know that's not true. Women are human beings, a mixed lot. I tried to be true to human nature."

And when it boils down to the question of whether or not she's a feminist, Atwood said that term can mean a lot of things these days, and she's in it for giving women their civil rights and the right to disagree with them, just like anyone else.

"So, if we mean, should women as citizens have equal rights," she said, "I'm all for it and a number of advances have been made in my lifetime regarding property rights and divorce and custody of children and all of those things. But do we mean, are women always right? Give me a break! I'm sorry, but no!"

Read the rest of the interview here.

(H/T: Entertainment Weekly)

Cover image: Tinseltown / Shutterstock.com | Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com


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