The release of a revealing ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ costume sparked outrage on social media, underlining an important message: Oppression isn’t sexy.
Online retailer Yandy.com promoted the dystopian-inspired costume on their website, showcasing a model clad in a red minidress paired with a red cape and white bonnet.
“An upsetting dystopian future has emerged where women no longer have a say,” the description said, “However, we say be bold and speak your mind in this exclusive Brave Red Maiden costume featuring a red minidress, a matching cloak with an attached hood and a white bonnet piece.”
The promotion was met with fierce backlash from social media users who slammed the costume for sexualizing attire representative of patriarchal oppression.
“There’s nothing like fighting the patriarchy by sexualizing a show about misogyny and rape,” one person said.
“Our society doesn’t take the rape of real women seriously, why should they take the rape of fictional women seriously?” another tweeted.
In the acclaimed series ‘A Handmaid’s Tale,’ based on the best-selling novel written by Margaret Atwood, fertile women are considered property of the state and forced into sexual servitude to combat declining population rates. The story is set in Gilead, a totalitarian society in what was formerly the United States. The plot follows Offred, an enslaved woman attempting to survive while searching for her daughter.
The iconic red cloak from Atwood’s novel has since been adopted by as a symbol of protest against sexual oppression worldwide. Demonstrators recently donned the garb outside of Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination hearing.
In the wake of the overwhelming protest, Yandy discontinued their ‘Brave Red Maiden’ costume. The site released a statement saying the piece was inspired by recent protests and emphasized that its corporate ideology is rooted in female empowerment.