“No fucking cure. It’s not a fucking crisis anymore. This is the new reality.”

My rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Alderman depicts a pandemic-like setting in which women, particularly younger women, gain the ability to release almost electrical jolts from their hands. This causes them to become the dominant gender.

Whilst the COVID outbreak has not provided much grounds for equality, I do think there are some parallels to take away from Alderman’s science fiction novel.

The outbreak of these impulses in women seemed absurd and a joke at first, it soon began to grow out of scale. It started with young girls. These young girls then taught their mothers, and before the world knew it practically all women had this unexplainable ability to jolt whomever they pleased.

There was “No fucking cure. It’s not a fucking crisis anymore. This is the new reality”.

The brute force of this sentence should have defeated me, dissolved all hope. But, I think we all know there is no going back to the past.

And whilst there is talk of a cure on the horizon, it is not going to cure the impact this outbreak has had.

The past months of lockdown have introduced us to a new way of living. A remote learning and working environment. A greater appreciation for nature and physical experiences. But, it has also revealed to us the reality that has always been there, hidden away by systems and conventions. The social injustices that cannot be killed by COVID. They have to be killed by alive and active individuals.

It’s no use yearning for 2019 again, a year of blissful ignorance. We need to prepare for 2021, a year of painful realism. The UK government is going to blame us; all those young individuals who he forced to go back to school, back to university, for ‘killing granny’!

We need to be like Alderman’s young characters. We need to jolt our parents, our grandparents (without killing granny), to ensure the government pays for their mistakes. So they are to blame.

The younger generation are the only way for this to be actualised. We are the ones subject to the force of political power. We have no choice but to go. Universities beg and plead for us to come to campus for lessons; face-to-face teaching is more beneficial they claim. Really they just want us to buy overpriced coffee and fuel their pockets.

“It’s not a fucking crisis anymore”. No, COVID is not a crisis anymore. But, the political situation is, and will continue to be until we cure it.


12/11/20

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