The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu: Review by #LoveLynn

*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.

A Review
Love Lynn

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Lucy Movie Review: Women Accessing Their True Potential

I went to see the movie Lucy on opening weekend. This is one of the first movies in a very long time that I’ve supported in the theatre because I really like the premise — unlocking the full potential of your brain.

But even moreso I loved the fact that this is the first mainstream movie I’ve seen in a while where the woman is the main character and isn’t a) oversexualized or b) desperately looking for love. She’s highlighted solely for using her brain.

Now Scarlett Johansson’s character may have been the classic girl “looking for love in all the wrong places” at the very beginning, but as soon as she became more knowledgeable she realized that there were more important things to think about besides finding a man. She used her sexuality to get what she wanted in a couple of cases, but suggestively and not gratuitously.

I try to avoid movies, shows and music where women are objectified and used for their bodies, because I believe women are capable of SO much more. We’ve been told by society that our best assets are on the outside, which is why so many women settle on careers and goals that require them to use their bodies for profit. We grow up with that message — that our bodies and looks are all that matters. (Men learn that as well, which is why they are so focused on looks when choosing a mate.)

Meanwhile men are free and open to any pursuit they can dream of, whether it’s working as a high paid computer programmer, a top salesperson or traveling the world making business partnerships. The social media site Twitter recently released their diversity report and found that their workforce (most techies) is 90% men!

This isn’t a coincidence, this is socialization. Women and girls are being told that they aren’t smart enough to pursue brain-bending jobs like IT or programming.

Sexual Liberation or Exploitation?
Everywhere you turn in our modern society you can find a woman’s body parts on display, whether it’s a music video or a magazine cover. Some call it sexual liberation or empowerment, but for something to be truly liberating or empowering don’t we have to look at the motivation behind it?

When we see a woman half-naked on the cover of magazine, what is the motivation behind it?

– to attract attention of men
– to make another woman jealous of that woman and insecure about her own body so that she’ll try to change herself
– most of all, to make money for the magazine

Are those aims empowering and liberating and if so, to WHOM?

Certainly not women.

The Movie Lucy Has Empowering Themes
In one scene of the movie Lucy, she is underestimated by a large group of men who assume they will get rid of her without a problem. She’s just a “mere” woman after all. Boy were they wrong, and she didn’t even have to break a nail.

It makes me think of how much we women could change this world for the better if more of us chose to unlock our potential, not by using our bodies but by utilizing more of our brain power.

So this is why I really appreciate a movie like Lucy and was happy to support it opening weekend. One complaint: it was too short! I wanted it to delve deeper into the secrets of our brains. I just may see it again to catch a few things I may have missed.

And I can only hope that it’s successful enough to prompt more writers and producers to create empowering films like Lucy for young girls and women to consume.

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a self-help guide entitled Survive, Live or Thrive? and a popular dating advice book for women entitled Let Him Chase YOU.