The Handmaid’s Tale’s lofty place in popular culture was reinforced at Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's hearing at the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington Sept. 4. A group of women stood outside the confirmation hearing room, sporting the red gowns and white bonnets seen in Handmaid’s Tale.
The series was borne of Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel about a dystopian world where women live in servitude amid a totalitarian government. The Handmaid's Tale airs on Hulu and won best drama at both the Emmys and Golden Globes last year.
Around 15 women wore the costumes Tuesday, according to ABC News, and stood silently. The Handmaid’s motif came from the advocacy group Demand Justice, which is opposing Kavanaugh’s nomination.
“He represents the greatest threat to the right to legal abortion since Roe was decided,” said Lori Lodes, advisor, Demand Justice, in a statement. “Already in America the right to abortion is under attack, putting access out of reach for far too many women, especially low-income women and women of color. Brett Kavanaugh would take our current reality and make it worse—much worse.”
Hulu did not comment at presstime.
The costumes have popped up before, at protests targeting President Trump, when he visited Poland earlier this summer, and VP Mike Pence in Philadelphia and Denver. According to CNN, women in both Ireland and Argentina have donned the capes and hats to promote abortion rights.
The Handmaid’s protestors made the front page of the Sept. 5 New York Times. It’s surely not the last you’ll see of them.
“If the images of women in Handmaids costumes are striking, good, because this is serious,” said Lodes. “Women’s bodies, futures and lives are literally on the line.”
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Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.