It’s that time of year again, where we go back to the hellish world of Gilead in The Handmaid’s Tale. The Handmaid’s Tale is not for everyone. This show tackles triggers such as rape, violence on women and LGBTQIA, and sexual assault. This show is hard to handle and hard to stomach. There are many scenes, I am unable to watch and have to look away from the screen until it’s over. This show does not hold back, it’s very graphic and while it’s an excellent show, extremely well written and well acted, it is not for everyone. If you have any triggers related to rape or sexual assault of any kind, either don’t watch this show or watch with extreme caution. Now, let’s talk about 5 reasons to love The Handmaid’s Tale.
This show has so much diversity! Of course, the cast is stacked with wonderful women. There are women of color, women who are LGBTQIA, and men who are LGBTQIA. There are women of all shapes and sizes. We get to hear their stories, how they got where they are in Gilead. What and who they have lost and what they want for the future. It’s amazing and heart breaking to hear these stories. But I love diversity! However we can get it in media, I think should be celebrated. Representation matters so much. This show also has women writers and producers and I love that women and being super stars on camera and behind the camera as well.
2. Female Friendship
Most of the women in Gilead are Handmaids. These women, in their horrible situations, are able to find friends and allies amongst each other. These women listen to each other, protect each other, value each other, and respect each other. These women help each other survive each and every day in this hell scape of a country. Their friendship and unity is so inspiring to watch. It has you appreciating your own female friendships. And for me, it has helped me be more aware of my fellow females out there. I watch for them, if some guy starts to grossly hit on a girl, I hang back to see if I need to save her from the situation. I try to compliment women more. Not just if they look nice or their shirt is really cute, I try to tell them they are smart, valued, and heard. I’m trying to watch out for my sisters because alone, we are a storm, together we are a hurricane. Female friendship rocks!
3. Closeness to our own political landscape
Bare with me on this. Now, this isn’t a reason to necessarily love The Handmaid’s Tale, but it’s a reason to pay attention to The Handmaid’s Tale. Gilead used to be a part of America, and slowly over time, women and LGTBQIA began to loose their rights. Suddenly, women had to have a husbands permission to do things like fill a prescription for birth control or do things with her body. Women were shamed for being working parents. Women’s sole value came down to whether or not she could have children. LGTBQIA were shoved back into the closet and it essentially became illegal to be gay. Then women had their rights to their body taken away entirely. If you could have children, you became a handmaid and were to be raped multiple times until you conceived. Then you pushed out the baby for your rapist and his wife and then you are shoved on to the next family to do it all again. Most other women who could not reproduce and many LGTBQIA were either killed or sent to a work camp where they want you to work until you drop dead. Now, our current situation isn’t to this degree (though LGTBQIA and trans people are murdered every day just for being who they are), but The Handmaid’s Tale is a wake up call. It’s a show telling you to pay attention. Watch for the signs. It’s telling you, “yeah, things aren’t as bad as they could be, but you better get off your ass and fight while you still can to make sure it doesn’t get this bad.” It’s also telling you to check on your female friends and your LGBTQIA friends. Things are not okay now. It’s time to be an ally. That’s is this shows main message.
4. Female Strength
These females are strong as hell, literally. They endure torture, physical violence, mental torture, physical assault, and they survive. These women are survivors of the worst things that can be done to a human being. They have strength like no other. And when they are hit with more physical violence, more mental torture, they try to protect each other, however they can. That takes strength. They fight back against an oppressive government, no matter what it costs them. That takes strength. The strength of these women is incredible.
Even with all the darkness, the horrible things happening in Gilead, there is always an underlying message of hope. Hope that these women will survive and be able to escape Gilead. Hope that they won’t forget their name or where they came from. Hope in female friendship. Hope in female strength. Hope in finding allies who will listen to you, know you, support you and protect you. Hope in finding their families and friends again. Hope that there are others outside of Gilead working to save them. Hope in the love of friends and allies. Hope that normalcy isn’t gone forever. Hope that the horrible has to end. Hope, hope, hope, hope, hope. It’s in every episode and in every storyline. It’s the other main message of the show, to find your hope, hold onto it, and never let it go.
Do you watch The Handmaid’s Tale? Let me know in the comments below! Thanks for reading, and stay geeky!