Most women alive now will be unable to remember when voting was outlawed, or when most women were expected to stay home and forfeit their careers. For students, understanding that the freedoms and rights women have fought so hard for seems like ancient history; however, we have yet to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. Have students do research on Women’s Suffrage, the 19th Amendment, housewives in the 1950s and 1960s, and the feminist movements of various decades.
Consider linking students to these resources for these topics:
In addition, you may want to check out our lesson plans on “The Yellow Wall-paper”, which has information related to how doctors used to view women’s medical issues, especially postpartum depression.
Blessed be the fruit.
Margaret Atwood herself is a very interesting person and writer. Born in Canada, Canada is often a source of refuge in her novels, much like it is in The Handmaid’s Tale. Known for her writings on feminism and her criticism of damaging environmental practices, Atwood is a prolific writer whose stories often brought some of these themes into the popular realm of discussion long before men like Al Gore did. Students should do some research on Margaret Atwood and take a look at some of her many interviews where she expounds upon the controversy surrounding her works and the recent Hollywood interest in her novels, including The Handmaid’s Tale, Alias Grace, and The MaddAddam Trilogy.