The Handmaid’s Tale was regrettably given the Kardashian-Jenner treatment this weekend after Kylie Jenner orchestrated a themed birthday party tied to the new season of the Hulu adaptation of the 1985 novel.
Margaret Atwood’s book envisions a dystopian future under a totalitarian and theocratic US government that holds women in complete sexual and social subjugation.
Not to be discouraged, Jenner’s party, thrown for an influencer friend, featured the series’ red robes and household “servants” ushering guests through an entrance decorated like a birth canal. Themed drinks including “Under His Eyes tequila” and “Praise Be vodka.” Jenner herself screeched “Praise be, ladies!” to one guest upon her arrival:
Atwood’s novel, with help from the Hulu series starring Elisabeth Moss, is frequently cited as a fictional parallel for the modern-day attack on women’s rights. In the past several years, activists have adopted its signature costumes—blood red gowns and white bonnets—as protest attire. Most recently, they did so for the first day at work for US Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh, who was confirmed by the Senate despite allegations of sexual assault.
They’re the very same costumes that Jenner and her partygoers donned for Anastasia Karanikolaou’s (@stassiebaby) 22nd birthday, a move that was criticized as tone deaf by the larger internet
Unfortunately, the tone-deaf party was not out of character for the first family of reality TV: In 2017, Pepsi pulled a widely mocked ad starring her sister, Kendall Jenner, for its insensitive take on the Black Lives Matter movement. Meanwhile, the younger Jenner’s party move is deeply out of touch with the larger discourse around women’s rights in 2019, a discussion that has become more heated in recent months given draconian anti-abortion measures passed in many US states.
Here’s to hoping the criticism will inspire some of Jenner’s fans to pick up a copy of Atwood’s original work.