“Why the Female Villains on The Handmaid’s Tale are so Terrifying”


Angelica Jade Bastíen writes about white femininity and oppression in the television adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale. “It’s easy to rest the blame of the horrors of Gilead solely at the feet of men like Commander Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes). But no system this deeply entrenched and high functioning could survive without help. Fred and other Commanders need women to internalize their doctrine so they police themselves. The very people suffering from oppressive systems become the most valuable tools of enforcement by those in power. The Handmaid’s Tale is at its most potent when it interrogates the ways women participate in systems that exploit them, holding onto power that is ultimately transitory.”


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