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Margaret Atwood Defends 'I Told You So' Post Following Roe Reversal After Backlash From Fans
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Americans were devastated last month when the US Supreme Court struck down Roe v Wade–the 1973 landmark ruling that federally protected the reproductive rights of US citizens for nearly five decades.

As a result, individual states now have the power to either severely restrict access or impose an outright ban on reproductive healthcare.

Many people likened the post-Roe state of the country to that of the Republic of Gilead, which served as the backdrop for the dystopian novel, The Handmaid's tale.

The 1985 novel, written by Canadian author Margaret Atwood, takes place in a totalitarian theonomic/theocratic state where fertile women are assigned to the ruling class of "commanders" and are forced into a ritualistic rape in the presence of their wives to bear them children during a time of worldwide infertility.

Among the themes explored in the novel is the suppression of women's reproductive rights in a patriarchal society.

The book also launched the eponymous TV series starring Elizabeth Moss as the "Handmaid" who is given the patronymic name, Offred.

Now the author of The Handmaid's Tale herself had a not-so-subtle message for those who believed the unthinkable would never happen in their lifetime.

On Monday, Atwood reacted to news of SCOTUS' decision with a photo of herself drinking coffee from a mug with the conspicuous inscription, "I told you so."


Her caption confirmed her deliberate message.

It read:

"Coffee in Nova Scotia with appropriately sloganed coffee cup..."

Some of her followers thought her message was relevant and commented accordingly.


@therealmargaretatwood/Instagram

@therealmargaretatwood/Instagram



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@therealmargaretatwood/Instagram

@therealmargaretatwood/Instagram

@therealmargaretatwood/Instagram

@therealmargaretatwood/Instagram

@therealmargaretatwood/Instagram



Others, however, found Atwood's nod to America's new reality inappropriate and highly insensitive.

@therealmargaretatwood/Instagram


@therealmargaretatwood/Instagram

@therealmargaretatwood/Instagram

@therealmargaretatwood/Instagram




@therealmargaretatwood/Instagram



One user wrote:

"You should reconsider this. It looks smug and celebratory at a time when millions of American women are terrified for the future."
"I really hope you're not this person."

Another suggested the celebrated author "read the room."

In response to the backlash, Atwood took to Twitter, saying some users were "misreading" her cryptic message.

Atwood also touched on the rights of LGBTQ+ members being on the chopping block–as has been suggested by Justice Clarence Thomas's concurring opinion where he said SCOTUS “should reconsider” its past rulings that established the right to contraceptive access, the right to engage in private sexual acts, and the right to same-sex marriage.

Atwood followed up her tweet with:

"To be also clear, there are no overtly #LBGTQ+ people in Gilead society in The Handmaid’s Tale (1985) because the regime has killed and suppressed them. As has happened and is happening in many times & places."

This isn't the first time Atwood commented on SCOTUS targeting US citizens' right to privacy and reproductive rights.

When Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito's initial majority opinion draft suggesting the high court could reverse Roe leaked to the public in May, Atwood wrote an article for The Atlantic titled:

"I invented Gilead. The Supreme Court is making it real."

In the op-ed, Atwood said she stopped writing The Handmaid's Tale on several occasions, citing the subject was too "far-fetched".

"Silly me," she continued.

"Theocratic dictatorships do not lie only in the distant past: There are a number of them on the planet today. What is to prevent the United States from becoming one of them?"

Meanwhile, one fan is hoping Atwood would write her next novel with a more uplifting prophecy.

@therealmargaretatwood/Instagram

If only.