The Handmaid’s Tale – What’s your worth?

All these times my worth was tied to a number.

As a child, what grade did you have? It’s less than so and so. How tall are you? You are taller than me.

As a teenager, encouraged to step on the scale as often as possible and keep my weight under control.

As an adult, ruled by clothing size, shoe size (dainty feet are pretty, supposedly), not allowed to breathe over a certain number. Bigger than, smaller than, taller than… That time I got a job as a receptionist and I was the largest uniform size the agency could provide. “I’d never have thought. You look smaller. And I see a lot of girls.”

That time the midwife measured my belly and sent me for a growth scan because I measured too small and I cried myself to sleep every night as I thought I was depriving my baby of nutrition.

That time when they weighted my newborn daughter and started to panic because she had lost 13% of her birth weight and “are you feeding her?” “How much milk can you express?” “With that much milk you will not need formula top-ups”. You are above a certain number so you are safe. For now.

Bits of you measured, dissected, evaluated, and nobody ever asks you “And what about you? How do you feel about this?”

Yesterday I just finished reading “The Handmaid’s Tale”. Your worth reduced to how fertile you are. A walking womb. Did you read it? What did you make of it? Let me know!

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