Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ meme trending



A social media meme featuring an altered image from the television series “The Handmaid’s Tale” satirically made the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders’ uniforms appear altered. The meme was in reaction to the recently enacted Texas law restricting abortion rights.

Special to the Star-Telegram

A week-old, satirical meme skewering Texas’ new abortion law is still trending on social media on Thursday.

The meme, which was posted on Twitter by Paul Leigh on Sept. 2, showed an altered image from the television series The Handmaid’s Tale purporting to show that the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders uniforms have been changed.

The satirical uniforms altered the red body-covering red robes and large white bonnets to the Cowboys’ color scheme, complete with the iconic Cowboys star on the side of the bonnet.

The Hulu series is based on the 1985 novel by Margaret Atwood which features a dystopian nightmare in which a totalitarian society subjects fertile women to child-bearing slavery.

Leigh’s meme was in reaction to the Texas law that went into effect Sept. 1. Senate Bill 8 makes abortion after six weeks virtually illegal in Texas. The meme has been liked more than 1,500 times on Twitter. Celebrities such as Bette Midler, Bradley Whitford and Daryl Hannah have retweeted the image.

The bill bans abortions after an ultrasound can detect what lawmakers defined as a fetal “heartbeat,” which can be as early as six weeks into pregnancy, according to The Texas Tribune. But some doctors and legal experts argue the term “heartbeat” is misleading because embryos don’t have a heart at that early stage.

The law includes cases where the woman was impregnated as a result of rape or incest. The U.S. Justice Department sued Texas on Thursday, arguing the law is unconstitutional.

Opponents of the law argue that the six-week time frame, which starts the day after a woman’s last period, is also extremely misleading since many women don’t realize they are pregnant within those first six weeks.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, DN.Y., took Gov. Greg Abbott to task during an interview on CNN Tuesday night.

“I’m sorry we have to break down Biology 101 on national television, but in case no one has informed him before in his life, six weeks pregnant means two weeks late for your period,” Ocasio-Cortez told Anderson Cooper. “And two weeks late on your period … can happen if you’re stressed, if your diet changes or for really no reason at all. So you don’t have six weeks.”

The meme gained so much traction on social media that the conspiracy-debunking site snopes.com published a story showing the original image that Leigh altered.

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Stefan Stevenson has been covering sports for the Star-Telegram since 1997. He spent five years covering TCU athletics, which included two BCS bowls, two trips to the college World Series and the move to the Big 12. He has covered the Texas Rangers since 2014 and started reporting on the Dallas Cowboys in 2016.

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