Week 3 Day 2 Discussion Question 4

Offred’s mother is a second-wave radical feminist.  In the Birthmobile, following the birth of Ofwarren’s daughter, Offred contemplates:

By now I’m wrung out, exhausted,  My breasts are painful, they’re leaking a little.  Fake milk, it happens this way with some of us.  We sit on our benches, facing one another, as we are transported; we’re without emotion now, almost without feeling, we might be bundles of red cloth.  We ache.  Each of us holds in our lap a phantom, a ghost baby.  What confronts us, now the excitement’s over, is our own failure.  Mother, I think.  Wherever you may be.  Can you hear me?  You wanted a women’s culture.  Well, now there is one.  It isn’t what you meant, but it exists.  Be thankful for small mercies.  (127; last paragraph, ch. 21)

What does Offred mean by a “women’s culture” in this context, and how does it compare with her mother’s radical feminist vision?

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