*Minor spoiler alert*
The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu is basically the worst nightmare of any women who has come to learn that it is OK to think for herself. It is the story of what would happen if women allowed men and the world in general to completely devalue them.
In it, women are reduced to the lowest common denominator: a womb.
As disturbing as the themes are in this multipart TV series, I think it is highly important for women and girls to see this show. It demonstrates the *extreme* of what can happen when we give up all of our rights and power. Even the most religious and conservative man-identified woman has to see the detriment of allowing anyone to rob us of our womanhood, strength and independence after watching this series.
The Handmaid’s Tale is an end of world scenario where a crazed religious cult somehow is able to take over what’s left of the American government and become militarized. The cult actively seeks women who are still able to conceive children and turn them into baby-making slaves for powerful men. The wives of these men are barren due to some sort of widespread biological problem. Against their will, the fertile young women are used as sex slaves for the couples and are only properly cared for when they’re carrying a child for them.
The wives are complicit in the enslavement of the young women and in my opinion are just as despicable as the men. Much like the Facebook generation, they pretend to be happy on the outside for their friends but are really absolutely miserable. They elevate themselves above the “handmaids” and treat them like animals. They are easy to despise, but it’s clear for an intuitive eye to see that they are slaves to the situation as well. They are insecure about their womanhood and know deep down that their husbands don’t really want them.
Women who choose love with other women in this unfortunate tale are designated as “abominations” and put to death. This was one of the most disturbing elements of the show for me — the cult makes every effort to break the entire spirit of women in general, take away all of their choices, and deem them useless unless they can have children. What child would want to live in a world like that?
Everyone in the series is secretly unhappy, but only the young women who have been taken hostage actively try to break free from the situation. So in addition to being an apocalyptic tale and gender-related thriller (two of my favorite themes) it is a story about the ever-strong revolutionary spirit of women. A small but powerful minority of women have always fought for their rights and personhood throughout history. It’s why we have the rights we have now. Thank God for them.
The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu is definitely worth watching, but I strongly suggest that if you watch this with a young girl or teen, watch it and give them the proper context of what they are witnessing. Have a conversation with them as you go along. This series should be used as an educational tool — a warning for all women of why it’s important for us to remain independent, educated, and empowered, no matter what.