The Millions

Are Feminist Dystopias the #MeToo Movement of Literature?

The New York Times recently ran an animated ad online that featured a blinking cursor spelling out the words “He said” followed by “She said.  She said. She said.” Ad infinitum.  The ad, of course, was in reference to #MeToo, a feminist movement of truth-telling about sexual harassment and assault.  Perhaps not coincidentally, there has also recently been a steady rise in post-apocalyptic/dystopian books that feature control over some aspect(s) of female reproduction.  But these literary efforts have not been entirely lauded.

In a recent, mostly-positive review of ’s  in, pondered the issue of burnout: “How much feminist dystopic fiction can audiences read?” of echoed Rooney’s sentiments in his review of ’s : “But do we need another novel that reenacts the grim obstetrical control of ?”  To be clear, Charles’s beef in the review isn’t really with the presence of “grim obstetrical control” in the novel, his

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