Wednesday, August 15, 2018

IF I WAS A HANDMAID?

I recently watched the Golden Globes Award winning and Emmy award nominated #Handmaid's Tale. A dystonian series based on the best selling novel by Margaret Atwood.


In The Handmaid's tale, a totalitarian theonomic society exists in Gilead, where society is governed by the laws of ‘God’. Gilead came to exist after a violent coup of a part of what used to be America, by a group of religious zealots.

Men are the alphas while women are brutally subjugated, and by law are not allowed to work, own property, handle money, or read


It’s a society of class, where everyone is divided into a class system.
Women are categorized into; 
Wives (who wear blue and turquoise);  Marthas named after Martha in the bible, are cooks and housekeepers ( they wear green); Handmaids are fertile women subjected to child-bearing servitude( they wear red)

There's also the econowives , who are wives of lower-class men ( they wear gray);  Women prisoners called Unwomen , who are worked to death clearing toxic waste in the colonies.

Not forgetting the Aunts,  who train and oversee the handmaids (they wear brown) and Jezebels, who are prostitutes in secret brothels catering to the elite ruling class 

The Male class is generally divided into;
The commanders, who are the ruling class; the Eyes,  who are a secret police watching over the general populace for signs of rebellion, and Hunters , who track down people attempting to flee the country, 

Handmaids are owned by the government and subjected to child-bearing servitude. Taken from the old testament bible where Rachel offered up here handmaid, Bilhah to bear children for Jacob.
Handmaids are given to high ranking senior officers (commandants) whose wives are infertile or barren.

The main character June (Offred) is a handmaid, whose child prior to Gilead has been taken and her husband escaped to Canada. She is assigned to the home of the Gileadan Commander Fred Waterford and his wife Serena Joy. 

You can get a full gist of the series here.

After the first episode, I was totally intrigued by it, and dutifully binge-watched season 1 in 3 days.

As i watched the series, i could not help, but play out scenarios in my head, and I asked myself, what would I do if I was a handmaid in Gilead?

I would never show my hatred for the system openly like Ofglen/Ofsteven. I am learning to be diplomatic in my feelings (like or dislike) about people or situations, especially if i lack the power to effect a change in the situation. i would like to draw my enemies closer, plan on my strategy and strike when unexpected after having won their trust. 

  1. I would never give up on getting out of the system like offred and Ruby/Moira.
  2. I would never think of abandoning my child and flee to freedom even if the opportunity presents itself like Offred.
  3. I would form alliances with anyone feasibly possible, like Nick just to make sure I can help myself and my child
  4. I would be bold like offred (June) to give birth alone. Irrespective of experiential knowledge, she was very bold, going through labour alone and birthing a beautiful soul, all ALONE! Given the circumstances, she had no other choice.
  5. I would like to have offred as a friend, that is if I am not offred.
  6. i would try to maintain a positive outlook to the situation like of Ofwarren, even though she tried several times to kill herself.

The Handsmaids tale, has made me realise the price of freedom, the price the women suffragettes who fought for right to vote had to pay. To appreciate the freedom to be able to able to read a book, write a blog post, vote, own a bank account, have a career/business etc.

The handmaid tale is a tale of Feminism and freedom, or lack of it thereof.

If you have watched the Handmaids Tale, kindly share your thoughts on the series

One Love 
xxx


(picture credits: google.com)