Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel The Handmaid’s Tale presents a chilling vision of the future in which an oppressive, theocratic government forces fertile women to serve as incubators for powerful men.
The provocative story has been adapted into other media, including an acclaimed Hulu television series — and a Kylie Jenner-hosted birthday party that was somewhat less well-received.
Yes, in celebration of her friend Stassie Karanikolaou’s 22nd birthday, Kylie threw a Gilead-themed fiesta, complete with servant-class costumes, “Praised be” vodka and “Under his eye” tequila.
In addition to female guests dressing as the show’s titular rape victims, male guests were referred to as "commander," a detail that many found to be profoundly disturbing.
"Does anyone wanna tell her that handmaids are literally raped, stripped of their freedom and treated as cattle???" one Twitter user wrote.
"The fact that kylie jenner actually threw a “handmaid’s tale” themed birthday party is so disturbing. I am actually dumbfounded," another tweeted.
"Kylie Jenner is having a party themed after the Handmaid’s Tale…..so…..who’s gonna tell her that her party is literally celebrating female enslavement for their biological reproduction?? " a third remarked, adding:
"WHO IS GOING TO TELL HER"
As many pointed out, with women’s reproductive rights under unprecedented attack in multiple states, the timing for a Handmaid-themed party really couldn’t be worse.
Kylie has come under attack on just about every social media platform, and some of her more famous guests have been criticized as well.
Many have pointed out that it’s particularly upsetting to see Sofia Richie in sex slave cosplay given the unsettling nature of her love life.
As you may know, Sofia is dating Scott Disick, and while no one is accusing him of enslaving her, it’s not hard not to imagine a major power imbalance between the 36-year-old reality star and the 20-year-old aspiring model.
Supporters have argued that the party is actually an empowering statement, as Kylie and friends are repurposing the story’s imagery and claiming it for their own.
Perhaps if Kylie’s pics from the party had been accompanied by an explanation to that effect, we’d be inclined to accept that argument.
Instead, it seems this is merely another display of tone-deafness from the world’s youngest "self-made" billionaire.
Yes, this is not the first time that Kylie has been accused of cultural insensitivity, and given the fact that she never apologizes or even acknowledges her missteps, it likely won’t be the last.
Here’s hoping that Kylie’s many young, impressionable fans are able to recognize that there’s nothing fun or fashionable about the life of an Econowife.