Once Upon A Wolvog

Stories from the front lines

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HelthWyzer than You Think They Are

In Atwood’s third instalment of the trilogy,  we find out to what extent the government is involved in the decay of its population’s health. All of us here are familiar with the BlyssPluss pills a part of Crake’s master plan to wipe out the Earth’s population. More specifically, as we read on, we learn more and more about what the pills that claim to either be birth control, give immense sexual pleasure or make you feel younger, actually do. Ironically, these “vitamin pills” do anything but good. Most likely, these pills introduce a deadly virus into the consumer’s body whose effects are only felt in the long-term. The goal of this is to keep the population unhealthy so that when they need treatments they will ask for help (which doesn’t come cheap) to the same guys who got them terminally ill in the first place.

picture of doctor hands giving white pills and glass of water

In a society that functions relatively the same way as the one in this book, we could suspect the government of actively keeping its population ill. For instance, in the United States where healthcare is extremely costly, it is not far fetched to think that the idea might have occurred to them that they could make more money by not advertising that they have the cure for certain fatal diseases.

High cost of tresting cancer

In the trilogy,  there are many instances when highly ranked scientists, like Crake’s dad, come across incriminating evidence against the government and unfortunately have deadly “accidents” when attempting to expose the truth. This could  explain why scientists in a similar society would feel threatened if they ever stubbled upon that kind of information. Maybe anyone that has tried to uncover the truth has had a “terrible accident”. Another way  people can be manipulated into staying silent on the issue is by labeling those that question a government’s authority as conspiracy nuts. Evidently, no one wants to be “that guy”.

it's a conspiracy!

I’ll agree that this conspiracy is quite far fetched considering the repercussions of such actions on the part of a country’s government would be devastating. However “too crazy to be true” we want this theory to be, is there a little part of you that wouldn’t put it past some governments? Is a billion dollar industry, like cancer treatment, more appealing than a healthy population? Let me know if you’re a conspiracy nut yourself.








Sex Workers are People Too

Today’s society seems to dehumanize people with certain professions. What first comes to mind are careers in acting, singing, reality television and even sex work. Celebrities, for instance, are people just like you and me, with feelings and insecurities. Yet, they receive insults or even threats by the thousands on social media. Other professions, like prostitution, also seem to let people forget all too easily that the service they are paying for is being provided to them by a person and not an object.

sex workers' rights

In Margaret Atwood’s novel The Year of The Flood, she writes about characters who must work at a strip club called “Scales and Tails”.  Part of their job was to wear these high-tech full-body condom suits that also covered their faces and usually made them look like animals.  This, in my opinion, is to essentially dehumanize them; to forget they are someone’s daughter; to forget they should be respected both physically and emotionally; to forget that they might have children of their own; to forget that they are human.

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When someone doesn’t have a face you can see or even skin you can touch, it makes it easier to forget they are a person and therefore easier to do what you please with them without having a guilty conscience. When Ren and Amanda are staying at Scales and Tails for refuge and try on their old costumes for fun, they are quick to take off the part covering their faces when two male strangers walk in. They cautiously do so in order to seem more humane in the eyes of potentially dangerous men. Furthermore, people in the field will most of the time give their clients a fake name like Candy or Star when asked about it. Additionally, these will most likely not sound like real names. Moreover, sex workers, whether they be prostitutes, strippers or phone sex operators, are probably best known for the fantasies and scenarios they create for their clients. This also is in some ways fake and misrepresentative of their actual personalities.  Hiding the employee’s true identities with costumes, masks, fake names and fake personalities all seems to be in effort to conceal their humanity when, ironically,  being as intimate as physically possible. In light of this, it is important to remember that we are all one in the same, therefore, we all have the same needs and  the same rights to respect and dignity. Shouldn’t that stand for sex workers as well? Do you think it is right for them to expect dehumanizing treatment?

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