Kylie Jenner has faced considerable criticism for throwing a Handsmaid’s Tale-themed birthday party for her mate, despite the book and TV show’s grim subject matter and relevance to the fight for reproductive rights in the US.

Across a suite of Instagram Story posts over the weekend, Jenner shared images and videos of the elaborate decorations and costumes at a birthday bash for influencer Anastasia Karanikolaou.

“You know The Handmaid’s Tale is my favourite show ever, Jenner told her followers while entering a red-curtained passageway.

“So, for Stas’ birthday, welcome to Gilead,” she said, referring to the dystopian setting of Margaret Atwood‘s classic novel.

Video also shows Jenner, Anastasia Karanikolaou, and friends Sofia Richie and Tiffany Sorya donning the red robes worn by the titular handmaids.

Followers have taken issue with that celebration, given the fact the handmaids are the subject of near-constant sexual abuse and oppression in the series.

The party’s theme was the target of particular ire, given the fact Alabama lawmakers last month passed a bill banning abortion in nearly every circumstance. 

It’s worth mentioning that Jenner herself has expressed her anger at that development, and her boyfriend Travis Scott pledged to donate the proceeds of some merch sales to pro-choice health organisation Planned Parenthood. 

Party guest Sorya has also spoken on the issue, telling her Instagram followers last month “I am PRO-CHOICE.

“The idea of the government literally forcing me to carry a child to full term is disturbing, ESPECIALLY without any promise of healthcare during my pregnancy or help from the government in raising that future child.”

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I’ve been thinking and waiting for my own right moment to say something about the recent abortion laws that have been passed in several states. For the record I am PRO-CHOICE. The idea of the government literally forcing me to carry a child to full term is disturbing, ESPECIALLY without any promise of healthcare during my pregnancy or help from the government in raising that future child. I listened to Monday’s episode of @mikiebarb on The Daily as I thought to myself “HOW??” and what’s so interesting is several people don’t know that Roe v Wade was actually a case won on the right of privacy and not abortion. It brought to light how little legislation there is on women’s rights! I encourage everyone to educate themselves on WHY this is happening so we can have intelligent conversations about not only the direct control over our bodies as women but the invasion of our privacy as people.

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Of course, this all raises more questions about treating television shows – ostensibly created for entertainment –  as unimpeachable acts of rebellion against a political system which feels rigged against women and oppressed minorities.

God knows Jenner and her mates aren’t the only ones to literally capitalise on Atwood’s vision of a theocratic America. 

Source: BBC
Image: @kyliejenner / Instagram