Repression/Degradation of women (References to past/rape/sexual assault…
Repression/Degradation of women
References to past/rape/sexual assault
“Her fault, her fault, her fault” “Teach her a lesson, teach her a lesson, teach her a lesson”
“Such things do not happen to nice women” “interfered with” “incidents in bathrooms”
“women were not protected then”
They were sluts” “Little whores, all of them”
“Pornycorners” (compound noun) “Pornomarts”
Countries such as Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Pakistan operating Sharia Law have often punished rape victims as responsible for their own plight.
The feminist movement
“RECAPTURE OUR BODIES”
“Just do the job, then you can bugger off”
The novel critiques the North American feminist movement from the 1960s onwards. Offred’s mother belongs to the Women’s Liberation/Second-Wave Feminist movement of the late 1960s. They campaign for female sexual freedom, pro-choice rights and pornographic magazine burnings. One of the flaws of the movement is presented as the apathy of many young women towards the movement. There was anti-feminist backlash against the movement from the New Right Christian fundamentalists. The opponents to feminism are represented by the Commander’s Wife and the Aunts who are willing to collaborate with Gilead’s regime.
Infantilizing of women
“I am like a child here, there are some things I must not be told”
“Here comes our bedtime story”
Offred’s internalization of these messages
“I feel as if somebody cut off my feet”
“What was it about this that made us feel we deserved it?”
“I started doing more housework, more baking” Regresses into traditional stereotypes
Most Saudi Arabian women are banned from voting, driving and interacting with the opposite sex unsupervised; they can’t travel or study without the permission of a male guardian (usually their father, husband or son); and they have little or no financial independence.
Bunny costumes in Jezebels
Feminist journalist Gloria Steinem worked undercover as a Playboy Bunny waitress, claimed Playboy exploited the Playboy Bunnies as symbols of male chauvinism