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Yes, I watch television dramas to escape, but The Handmaid’s Tale has turned too brutal and too real for me to stomach. Perhaps it is a failure on my part to not want to accept that even though this is fictional, life has imitated art as often as art has imitated contemporary life: more and more women are revealing the identities of their abusers, some don’t get to expose them because they are killed and stuffed in bins (like Karabo Mokoena was by her deranged boyfriend, Sandile Mantsoe), and others are victims of corrective rape.

It is said that self-care is regularly doing the things that make you feel happiest, and for a good while that was watching The Handmaid’s Tale for me. The show, if you’re unfamiliar, is an adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s anti-utopian novel of the same name, which was published in the mid-80s. It is set in the fictional Republic of Gilead, where fertile women (known as Handmaids) are kidnapped, abused and used as reproductive surrogates for the most powerful figures of that country. It is a harsh world, and it seemed to strike a chord with many living in Trump’s post-truth and totalitarian America. But we also live times of the #MeToo movement, and there was global interest in a primetime television show that finally starred women who, in spite of the abominable conditions they lived in, never recoiled.Elisabeth Moss plays lead character Offred, whom we follow as she recalls a world before the Gilead regime. Most of the first season left you shaken, but it made for engrossing televi...

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