Is the Handmaid’s Tale just a TV show?


Recently after a late night of homework, I happened to be on Hulu looking for a show to binge watch. This is when I stumbled upon The Handmaid’s Tale. I had heard many things about this show, how it was dark and deep and was revolutionary so I thought I would give it a try. And holy crap it really blew my mind at how amazing it was, and how actually scary it is to think about something like that happening.

Now for those of you who haven’t fallen down the rabbit hole of the Hulu original, I will give you an overview of what it is about. The story follows a young woman named Offred who lives in a world where the red dresses are a sign of slavery, and blue means power.  The United States is a lot more religious now and has gotten rid of democracy, and gone to the power of the bible. This was all thanks to a dry spell of babies where many women stopped getting pregnant. This caused a religious organization, or cult, to rise up. Thus the Gilad was born in former America where it looks more like something from colonial times. Women who are fertile and can bear children are forced to bear them for important families who can’t bear them, themselves. Wome’ns rights are stripped at the based from the very beginning of this uproar, and while many people escaped to Canada, many people were forced to live in what used to be America.

This show, as much as I like it, makes me fear if this could actually happen in America. The first thing I thought about was the big thing that happened after Trump was elected president, then the headlines came out about how he wanted to cut funding for birth control. Thankfully though in January, the Federal District Court blocked his request. It is easy to think that with all of Trump’s sexist remarks that this show could become a reality. His campaign sparked the “Me Too” movement, and raised issues about abortions and how he plans to defund Planned Parenthood. 

I googled at what time period The Handmaid's Tale set in, and the thing I could find was that it was set in 2005 in the novel, but from the show it seemed like it was more modern. And after watching the show it was more and more shocking. Could we potentially end up living in a world where women are forced to bear children for other women, and their own children are stripped away from them. It is a scary possibility but looking at how in the show the newspapers were shut down, it reminds me vaguely of Trump and his arguments with the press.

Now whether or not this will happen in our society which is more likely not a probability. But thinking about it in a sense and watching a seemingly normal community experience it in the show just put me on edge. I do recommend the watch if you are into dystopian fantasy novels, or if you would rather read the book. Both are extremely well put together, it just makes you wonder: What if?