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My selection for this discussion is The Handmaid’s Tale. This show was recommended as a must-see and I was not disappointed. This series is about a totalitarian society named Gilead. In a world where fertility rates have collapsed as a result of sexually transmitted diseases and environmental pollution, the totalitarian, theonomic government of Gilead establishes rule in the former United States. Worldwide infertility has led to the enslavement of the few remaining fertile women of Gilead, citing an extremist interpretation of the Biblical account of Bilhah. These women, called Handmaids, are assigned to the homes of the ruling elite, where they must submit to ritualized rape by their male masters to become pregnant and bear children for those men and their wives. They assume the name created by the addition of the prefix OF to the first name of the man who owns them. When they are transferred, their names are changed.

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The main character of the series is June Osborne (Offred, Ofjoseph), she is determined to survive the terrifying world she lives in and find the daughter that was taken from her. Commander Frederick Waterford, a high-ranking government official, and June’s Master. Serena Joy Waterford, (Fredrick’s wife) is a former conservative cultural activist who has accepted her new role in a society she helped create. Dr. Emily Malek Ph.D. is June’s shopping partner. Emily (Ofglen, Ofsteven, Ofroy, Ofjoseph) has a wife and son in Canada and was a university lecturer in cellular biology. Being homosexual is punishable by death in Gilead. Commander Nick Blaine, Commander Waterford’s driver and former drifter from Michigan has feelings for June. He is an “EYE” (spy for Gilead). Moira Strand, June’s best friend since college. She is already at the Red Center when June enters Handmaid training but escapes before being assigned a home. She is recaptured and becomes a “Jezebel”. Aunt Lydia is a woman in charge of overseeing the Handmaids in their sexual reeducation and duties. She is brutal and subjects insubordinate Handmaids to harsh physical punishment, but she also cares for her charges and believes deeply in the Gileadean mission and doctrine.

June Osborne (Offred, Ofjoseph) is captured as she attempts to flee to Canada with her husband and daughter. Because of her gender, she is being forced to participate in a role that the Gilead society has placed upon her. She is forced to become a Handmaid and becomes pregnant after rape that is ordered by Serena Waterford and gives birth to a baby girl named Holly. June and all the handmaids are victims of sexism. The society in which she is forced to deal with is full of male privilege and patriarchy.

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