The Handmaids Tale is a television series that follows a woman named Offred through a post civil war in the United States where many men and women are infertile. The society is based off of the Bible and fertile women are forced into a form of slavery in which they are surrogates for the barren wealthy. The women who are used as surrogates are called Handmaids. They live in the homes with married wealthy individuals and once a month are forceablly raped by the man of the household in hopes to get them pregnant. Once they give birth the babies are taken from them and the Handmaid is relocated to bless another family with child.
The above scene is from Season 2, Offred is with child but is going past her due date. The family she lives with forces her to have sex with the Commander in order to help the baby come naturally. They use biblical. references to justify the rape. This is common in this society. Instead of continuing to advance the society was taken over by a group that wishes to repopulate with children of God. Women are constantly being oppressed with religious justification and seemingly there is nothing surrounding nations can do to help the women.
Here, one of Offreds friends named, Ofglen is punished for being a lesbian before the war and continuing to seek romantic relationships with women. As punishment for her being a homosexual the society removes part of her sex organ so she can no longer feel pleasure when having intercourse. The idea of genital mutilation is not new and is still used today on women who do not meet the expectations of the men in their life.
In this scene all of the Handmaids in this city have been brought to be hung because they were unwilling to cast stones at a fellow Handmaid which would have killed her. The society uses fear tactics like this to force the Handmaids into being subservient to the commanders of the society.
The Handmaids Tale shows the rights of women being completely taken away in the future. Today laws are being put in place to determine if women should be allowed to have abortions or if women can legally exchange sex for money. This exaggeration of modern day issues pushes the idea that the control over women’s bodies may continue to be sought after by the government.