The Real Gender Traitors In Handmaids Tale (221/365)

Handmaids Tale is one of those shows that truly haunts you, especially watching it as a woman. You see the effects of a truly misogynistic society built on a bastardised version of religion that condemns sin in any way, including women’s rights and homosexuality. It takes traditional gender values and makes it the absolute law, with women having to practice their biological destiny, and in doing so this makes any form of homosexuality a crime punishable by death. They call lesbians ‘gender traitors’ (a horrific slur) throughout the show, as in Gilead’s eyes they are betraying their gender by not being with men and producing children. Take into account this is also a world that chops off the finger of any woman who dares to read, so they’re extreme in their repression.

This world see’s women only as vessels to serve specific purposes:

  • To be a mother (Wives)
  • To serve the household (Marthas)
  • To train Handmaids (Aunts)
  • To produce children for rich and powerful families (Handmaids)

As you can see the woman’s role is directly tied to how they can serve men, and no one truly benefits from it. The only women who exist with some form of status are the wives of the commanders. Commanders are powerful figures who essentially run the country and their wives given a status that is the highest a woman can achieve in this world – and even then they can’t do anything. They exist to sit and wait for a child, whilst also holding down a woman every month as their husband rapes her. They can socialise, have a little walk, but really all they do is reinforce the toxic society that punishes women for existing and allowing the ritual rape, torture and death of their own gender which makes them the true gender traitors of Gilead.

Especially Serena Waterford, as she helped build this world. She used her power and position as a woman to create a world where women are encouraged to live our their biological function. She went from writing books to sitting and sewing all in pursuit of having a child by any means necessary. As a woman, the fact that she helped create this world and the methods they use to fix the worlds infertility problem is a new level of disgusting. Her, alongside every wife is a real gender traitor.

So I Started Watching Handmaid’s Tale… (70/365)

I remember hearing about Handmaid’s Tale ages ago and I mentally added it to my watch list and then forgot about it – this is a decision I now regret because honestly it’s a wild ride and so far I’m loving it.

For anyone who hasn’t seen the show, don’t worry this post won’t involve any spoilers!

So the main premise of this show is that it’s set in a futuristic dystopian world where infertility is a national crisis. It’s set in America and an extremist religous group has taken over and imprisoned the fertile women. The world looks completely different to what we experience today as the fertile women, known as handmaid’s are dressed in an elaborate red gown and are essentially treated as baby makers.

We’re following the story through June’s eyes, before the fall of society she had a husband and a child, and in this new world she experiences a monthly ritual rape in order to bring a child into the world.

It’s also a world where women are forced to live by their ‘biological destiny’, they live as housewives, handmaids, Martha’s (who are essentially the cooks) and Aunts (who torture the handmaids into submission). Women exist to serve the men, they can’t take up any important role, and aren’t even allowed to read as the punishment for that is losing a limb.

This show is dark, it’s not an easy watch and to be perfectly honest there will be times you’ll need to take an emotional break. I think that’s why I enjoy it so much, because no matter how twisted it is, it keeps you on your toes and is honestly one of the best shows created.

One thing I really appreciated about the way the tale is told is that they flashback to how things were before, and it’s a lot like todays society. They take the time to show how society went crazy and how the religous group took over. Most dystopian tales glance over it and expect our imagination to fill in the gaps. Whereas Handmaid’s Tale takes the extra time to show us how it happens, and in some ways it shows that any society can follow this route. Which is scary.

Honestly so far it’s been well worth the watch, I’d highly recommend it.