This article originally appeared on Psychology Today.
The current political climate has brought a fever of concern over women’s rights and violations, with outraged reactions we haven’t seen since the 1970s. At the same time, books touting dystopian nightmares have reemerged, such as The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood—making it to the top of Amazon’s best sellers list in recent months.
In the latter story, the “handmaids” are women stripped of their freedom and identities for the sole purpose of procreation. As I’m rereading this story, I’m struck that women with controlling partners resemble the handmaids’ stories to some extent. I believe most of us don’t fully realize the deep personal losses endured by women in intimate relationships with partners whose intent is to have power and control over them. Although progress has been made, sexism has not gone away in the public arena but has only been quieted–until now. At home, the same light needs to be shined on this issue.