Research

Subjugation of Women & The Handmaid’s Tale

The word ‘subjugation’ hasn’t appeared much within texts surrounding the issue of wartime sexual slavery or trafficking in general, however recently while watching The Handmaid’s Tale I noticed discussions around the subject of authority of autonomy online, via Twitter & Instagram.

The story of Margaret Attwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale centres around a dystopian future where reproductive rights are taken from women and they’re also stripped of their bodily autonomy in the wake of a reproduction crisis. Women who can bear children are forced into a slave like existence, serving as makeshift ‘surrogates’ for high ranking officials and their wives through rape ceremonies. Any attempts to escape and they’re punished with violence or death.

Many discussions on the central themes of The Handmaid’s Tale revolve around how in today’s political climate, specifically in relation to America, there’s a feeling of unease over how close to home the violence against women feels. Be it within a domestic or public context, women are still feeling unsafe and without a right to their own bodies, without rights to their own children, to their homes, etc.

With representation of a history of violence against women appearing in mainstream TV shows new discussions are occurring around the voices of women and their experiences, as well as the representation of the rights of women being gradually taken away over an extended period of time reflecting current political climates:

As The Handmaid’s Tale Moves Beyond The Book, Is The Series Too Close For Comfort?

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