Jump to content
Forums forums
PRIMETIMER
itainttippithebird

Beyond The Wall: The Culture of The Handmaid's Tale

Recommended Posts

21 minutes ago, Shaynaa said:

So about Nick and episode 5.

  Hide contents

So is Serena not concerned that a baby fathered by Nick would appear mixed race and obviously not fathered by the Commander?  Is she just counting on the baby being able to pass or just doesn't care?  Or is this more of the weird color blindness going on.

Spoiler

I think since healthy babies are so rare, the commanders probably have a "don't ask, don't tell" policy when their handmaid delivers one.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
8 minutes ago, chocolatine said:
  Reveal hidden contents

I think since healthy babies are so rare, the commanders probably have a "don't ask, don't tell" policy when their handmaid delivers one.

Well, they are both scrawny guys with dark hair and angular features I guess.  It might be overlooked.  I do think the Commander would "care" though, and quite a bit.  It would probably get Offred killed, but why should Serena Joy care about that?

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

I also wonder if the lack of real overt racism could just be the new government not wanting to go to war with too many groups at the same time. 

I mean they are alread at war with woman who won't fall inline with their policy and any sane person who sides with them. They are also at war with Catholics and Jews and gay people. Plus they probably blamed Islamic terrorists for the attack on the government so probably at war with them too. Going to war with racial minorities would put another group against them making even harder to keep control. Especially since there might be conservative minority people who could otherwise be on their side.

I could totally see the commanders saying they will deal with the woman and the catholics and the jews first and then worry about the blacks and the Asians. 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
On 2017-05-09 at 8:08 AM, Eyes High said:

I wondered that too, but in fact, we've seen POC Commanders in passing: some of the black-suited Commanders getting off the Toronto subway in 1x04 during June and Moira's escape attempt (a black dude and an Asian dude), and at the doctor's clinic, the photos on the wall of happy couples with their babies include a few POC Commanders posed with their blue-clad Wives. There's even a POC Wife or two in those photos. I think that was a deliberate choice. So POC Commanders and Wives definitely exist in the world, but they're also a minority in the command structure...which again accords with Miller's view of the American conservative evangelical movement in 2017: still mostly white, but with some diversity creeping through.

 

I think this actually supports what I'm saying about POC being tolerated officially but being marginalized in practice. If we have one black commander in a sea of white faces it definitely suggests a racial imbalance in terms of who is in power. Especially since we have seen so many more POC in lower ranking positions. It also doesn't mean he isn't the token black and is actually Commander in Charge of Paper Clips or the Gilead version of Ben Carson. Like the Aunts show there are always those who will sell out their own for some token esteem from the powerful.

I also suspect like with Handmaids tolerating POC is necessary to the regime itself. It occurred to me is that given the current demographics of the US military(Over %30 POC as of 2015 mostly either Black or Hispanic), I doubt they could pull off a military coup  without involving any POC. I also wonder if its just a matter of time and that they are waiting for an excuse to remove the non-white males from power as well. 

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post

Well, to be completely fair to the Aunts, they'd already be cleaning up nuclear waste or dead if they didn't have their gig as sadistic handmaid wardens.

Not many options for anyone in this world, especially women.  The men that aren't in power don't have much of a life either, soldiers, eyes, no women, no families, no sex.

As for the whole racial make up of the show?  Who knows what their intention is other than to partially gut a brilliant book.  I wish they had diversified the cast by expanding the world rather than changing it.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
19 hours ago, Emily Thrace said:

I think this actually supports what I'm saying about POC being tolerated officially but being marginalized in practice. If we have one black commander in a sea of white faces it definitely suggests a racial imbalance in terms of who is in power.

The same could be said of US government in terms of representation of POC, though, looking at representation in terms of raw numbers. POC make up only 19% of the current Congress--apparently the most diverse US Congress in history--and 10% of the Senate, and that's all POC. Only 9% of the current members of Congress and 4% of current Senate members are black. 

My point is that there's a difference between POC representation in leadership, even minimal representation, and none whatsoever. From what we've seen, Gilead not only has POC in its leadership, but may be even more diverse in its leadership than the current US Congress and Senate! Now there's a frightening thought.

As for 1x05, I'm not sure how I feel about a speech about how Gilead is an improvement on her drug-addict, prostitute pre-Gilead lifestyle being put in the mouth of one of the POC handmaids. I guess it could be construed as a "check your privilege" moment, as the first real acknowledgment by the show that race exists. Ofglen could have just as easily directed that speech to Moira, though, who seemed to have a similar lifestyle to June's pre-Gilead from what we can tell.

Edited by Eyes High
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

This reminds me of another church that once preached a converts skin would become whiter with time and righteousness. 

I suspect much of the difficulty people with the show is that their preconceived notions of what racism is "supposed" to look like in this scenario isn't matching up. Some envision a world of the more traditional racists where it was a matter of segregation with no room for exception (or very, very little room - in this case it depends greatly on what side of the Dixie Line one is born on). Others envision a Gilead that is coming off a more contemporary (and if I may add, more pernicious) form of racism. I agree with those above who feel that racism is worse than it was 30, 40, 50 years ago. But I would suggest that is because it has become far more subtle and pervasive... racism has changed in application, but not motivation or origin. 

A parallel that can be drawn is that of the Aunts - women who are given just enough power to leverage it over other women. Arguably to gaslight them into acceptance and submission (this will be normal and all that you knew was actually crazy). You have a Dr. Ben Carson insisting everything is fine and there are no racists... and suddenly the narrative begins to become far more realistic than what Atwood once referenced in the book. What we have instead is remarkably close to what we are already dealing with: a world that is most definitely racist and dangerous for POC while simultaneously being presented with figureheads that try to soothe people into complacency. And sadly it's working. 

I think the story would make *less* sense if there were simply no POC at all. I don't think any terrorist organization would be able to seize power without the aid (and pacifying) POC - at least initially. Granted I can completely imagine the PTB in Gilead telling themselves that eventually they will focus on becoming "pure", but that's an agenda requiring time and makes about as much sense as holding only women responsible for fertility (meaning it makes no sense, but given the source it's kind of not surprising). 

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
On 5/6/2017 at 0:57 AM, Shaynaa said:

The show runner mentioned in an interview that everyone knows an interracial couple.  

My comment here doesn't really have much to do with the show other than detecting a tone, but it feels so "othering" to me.  I am part of an interracial couple. We have a multi-ethnic child. Am *I* one of those people that "everyone" knows? That's sort of an icky way to say it. As if the show runner is saying "am not part of an interracial couple, but some of my best friends..."

On 5/6/2017 at 8:24 AM, Slovenly Muse said:

How is what we see in Gilead a huge change from our world now in terms of racial diversity? Yes, our society is not post-racial, and yet we see people of all races integrated into all levels of society today. That doesn't mean there is no discrimination. And yes, there IS a lot of racism today, but that doesn't mean we never see People of Color in positions of power. Just because we see black Commanders, that doesn't mean Gilead is post-racial. If "everyone knows an interracial couple," then why is it so strange to see interracial "households" in Gilead? To me, that sounds like something that makes Gilead CLOSER to our current world and more relevant, than some White Supremecist stronghold would. 

In the US ethnic diversity and awareness has changed A LOT since 1985. I would assume that to many people, a lack of PoC entirely would throw us right out of the story. Where I live, it is highly unusual to see large groups of heterogeneous people.  I'm sure in some places it is more common, like on television, but even then we acknowledge to ourselves that this is a tv world and sort of laugh at it.

The current makeup of evangelical fundamentalist churches includes a lot of people who identify as Latinx. I believe I've read in a few places that the largest group of converts to Islam are Latinx people. It makes sense that in a fertility crisis, all working wombs would be welcome, just as many conservative religious groups adopt children from other continents. There is a saviour complex at work. 

On 5/8/2017 at 7:38 AM, boes said:

Oh, I agree about the Pope, no doubt.  But the remnants of the Catholic Left were still viable and pushing back against the strictures of Pope John Paul II in 1983, although he was in the process of making the church hierchary more conservative, both politically and socially.

And while the current Pope is quite different from his immediate predecessors, we still have more than enough leaders like the Kansas City Archbishop who has told his parishes and parishioners that they can no longer host, nor should belong to the Girl Scouts because the Girl Scouts "values" clash with the Church.  And that's just the most recent example.  That's Gilead behavior to me.

I think this was addressed further on in the thread, but the main problem that Protestants have ALWAYS had with Catholicism is fealty to the Pope.  Henry VIII, for example. Since Catholics would be presumed to put their adoration of the Pope ahead of their loyalty to Gilead, they would get the heave-ho along with Jews and Muslims. Being Catholic was a major problem for JFK for this very reason - people were actually worried he would listen to the Pope for how to run the country. Now that seems silly. But, in a Gilead situation, the Pope condemning the fundamentalist leadership could cause some issues. It has in the past.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post

guilfoyleatpp:

(not really spoilers but playing safe)

Spoiler

I haven't read the book in a while so I am going to put this question to confirm in the Questions Answered From the Book thread, but I seem to remember an implication that Catholics were the last group targeted by Gilead because their positions on birth control, abortion, and fertility were useful in the beginning of the regime change.  They weren't ever deported or ethnically cleansed like Jews, and the ones executed are priests and nuns who resist. The laity is kind of just "absorbed" into the system, but outward signs like rosaries and images of Virgin Mary are, of course, banned.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

I recently had a discussion with a friend who is Native American who is also watching this show. She likened the situation for POC to how Natives were treated via the boarding schools and fostering by white families.  These fertile women are being re-educated and these children might be born to a woman of color but they are going to be civilized and raised "white." 

  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post

That was a good read, and I agree with it.  I think they made a huge mistake making this series "colorblind" and it was the worst possible option they had to diversify this cast.  There were many other ways to accomplish that, especially now that we've had several more episodes and know that they are indeed "world building" outside of Offred's limited first person knowledge. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Mmm, yes. Interesting read with some salient points. But I think the author, much like some viewers is tripping over their expectations of what racism is supposed to look. 

A good example:
"In a recent Think Progress piece, Miller says: “'When you think about a world where the fertility rate has fallen precipitously [as it has in Gilead], fertility would trump everything. And we’ve seen that: When fertility becomes an issue, racism starts to fall because people adopt kids from Ethiopia and Asian countries and from everywhere.'

With all due respect, I wonder if Miller has heard of colonialism?"

Not sure how much respect can be attached with a question leveraged like that, but does the author not recognize that that is *precisely* what is happening?

Every child there is being "raised white" and every person of color is forced to conform to what is essentially a white society. I wonder if people think that those POC who are conforming to the Gilead society are able to raise their children (whoever they were stolen from) with an appreciation or even understanding of their culture, their heritage or their community? I doubt those characters have any freedom of that sort and to that extent they too as suffering under the very racism that the author is herself (oddly and ironically) a little blind to. 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

The scene where the children were brought into the banquet reminded me of many white evangelical churches after they hear about evangelistic adoption aka adopting a minority child to save them from their native non Evangelical Christian culture. 

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post

I have a real logistic problem with the Boston setting... All the Irish Americans....the Southies.  Catholics .  and then the progressive liberal university people...and old money rich peeps.   Why Boston?

I can imagine the fundamental Bible thumping in a Southern state but not Boston. What happened to all the pubs?

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post

I could accept the race aspect somewhat UNTIL the new Ofglen? arrived....the former drug addict who happens to be Black

That stretches the imagination for me. .that food and a place to sleep was a ok with her . No lingering addiction. Well spoken and happy...no I dont buy it

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, Stillhoping said:

I have a real logistic problem with the Boston setting... All the Irish Americans....the Southies.  Catholics .  and then the progressive liberal university people...and old money rich peeps.   Why Boston?

I can imagine the fundamental Bible thumping in a Southern state but not Boston. What happened to all the pubs?


According to an interview she gave to the New York Times, Atwood made this choice because of the region's Puritan background and history of intolerance:

"You often hear in North America, "It can't happen here," but it happened quite early on. The Puritans banished people who didn't agree with them, so we would be rather smug to assume that the seeds are not there. That's why I set the book in Cambridge."

2 hours ago, Stillhoping said:

I could accept the race aspect somewhat UNTIL the new Ofglen? arrived....the former drug addict who happens to be Black

That stretches the imagination for me. .that food and a place to sleep was a ok with her . No lingering addiction. Well spoken and happy...no I dont buy it

Well, consider this:
1) the immense desperation of anyone suffering under the burden of addiction. Mere survival can be an overwhelming challenge. The imaginings of freedom from addiction seems impossible. The depths of depravity are considered just to keep that addiction from making it seem like you were dying (like getting fucked behind a dumpster for some oxy and a happy meal). It is easy to underestimate just how powerful addiction can be in taking all dignity and grace from the individual. 
2) It's been at least three years, probably longer since the advent of the Red Center. To have a lingering addiction one must have some proximity to the things that they were addicted to. Handmaid's are so isolated I doubt there would be any reasonable chance to get ones hands on virtually any drug. 
3) Happy? See the freedom from #1 - Happiness gets redefined when one survives addiction. Happiness can mean shelter, food and a semblance of safety (compared to the dangers of living on the street in a drug-induced haze). 
4) Well spoken? Why wouldn't she be well-spoken? Consider that a good part of her conversations are regurgitations of lines given by Aunt Lydia - "with I receive with joy." Absorb that for three years and I think anyone can develop skills to speak clearly and well.


 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

An answer to every point yes but I still maintain that Boston is a bad choice.

I also question the former addict. Your answers fitbin with the writers story but for me small weird things bother me in dramas when they fit too easily. 

More realistic would be some Gilead bragging they had "solved" ...ie killed off...the addicts. 

If this was a 1 time movie or a three part show it could be overlooked but as it plays out ..and another season comes in...the overcleverness of the writers and showrunners is very obvious to me

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
On 5/14/2017 at 6:36 PM, guilfoyleatpp said:

In the US ethnic diversity and awareness has changed A LOT since 1985. I would assume that to many people, a lack of PoC entirely would throw us right out of the story. Where I live, it is highly unusual to see large groups of heterogeneous people.  I'm sure in some places it is more common, like on television, but even then we acknowledge to ourselves that this is a tv world and sort of laugh at it.

I was wondering about that. I would assume the increase in diversity would be a factor when the Gilead types were planning on going to war. There would be a lot more minority people in positions of power in the government, business and the military. If they were conservative leaning people who might believe in your cause you probably don't want them as your enemies based on the power they wield.  Especially on top of all the other groups they were trying to wipe out. If it was just white religious extremist types like we have seen at war against everyone else, them winning would be a hard sell for me in 2017.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, Stillhoping said:

An answer to every point yes but I still maintain that Boston is a bad choice.

:-) Symbolically I like it. As a setting it does require suspending a lot of disbelief. Something like this would be spawned in the midwest - bible belt. At least that would be a more reasonable location in terms of this coming about. Thing is, I feel like it would need to be near water. This kind of thing would need more mobility than a landlocked state. Atlanta perhaps? 
 

2 hours ago, Stillhoping said:

More realistic would be some Gilead bragging they had "solved" ...ie killed off...the addicts. 

Oh Absolutely! I don't see them being particularly open to anything related to mental illness. Too much drain on valuable resources and no interest in rehabilitating people from almost anything.... unless it is a fertile woman. I see them maiming her, risking DT's, mutilating her... right up until that monkey was off her back and she was on hers for a Commander. 

 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
7 hours ago, Stillhoping said:

I could accept the race aspect somewhat UNTIL the new Ofglen? arrived....the former drug addict who happens to be Black

That stretches the imagination for me. .that food and a place to sleep was a ok with her . No lingering addiction. Well spoken and happy...no I dont buy it

I'm actually surprised they aren't drugging the hell of the Handmaids just generally to keep them compliant. Opiods have low risk of birth defects and low doses would be a very effective way to keep the handmaids "happy" and dependent on the state. I wonder if its not a result of supply issues as well. Gilead does seem to have issues with getting imports.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

I've known many addicts who become compulsive about religion as a replacement. 

Also, addiction spans all education levels. My ex had a PhD and was a pill addict. 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

http://www.vulture.com/2017/06/the-handmaids-tale-greatest-failing-is-how-it-handles-race.html

In Its First Season, The Handmaid’s Tale’s Greatest Failing Is How It Handles Race

Great article here.

Quote

During the late 1960s through the early 1970s, Mexican and Mexican-American women who were admitted to the Los Angeles County USC Medical Center were sterilized against their will after coming in for C-sections. This spawned a landmark 1978 court case that coincided with conversations surrounding the then-growing Chicano and feminist movements. From 1929 to 1974, North Carolina’s Eugenics Board forced or coerced the sterilization of predominantly black poor women. One was as young as nine years old. Others were the victims of rape and incest. These are but two examples of how maternity and bodily autonomy have always been battlegrounds for black and brown women. But the history that The Handmaid’s Tale trades in to the most profound degree is America’s greatest sin: slavery. Black women were brutalized, raped, separated from their children and family, forced into servitude, and not allowed to enact the cultural practices that reminded them of the homes they were stolen from solely for the profit of white people. Watching The Handmaid’s Tale, which ends its first season on Wednesday, I can’t help but think about the voices of enslaved black women, given how this narrative so closely aligns with theirs.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

What bothered me about this series is that the more it went on the more it relied on incredible superwoman feats and luck and more and more illogical bits

In a dystopian or fantasy one should not have to rely on spin and maybes and explanations etc. I think in the closed in 1st person nature of the book it was more believable

The writers MIGHT have addressed it ...the Mexico officials visit they could have had the Gilead fanatics point out that they had stomped out racism

Like one consession they were proud of. 

I think they had many writers and directors and producers so sometimes the view changed. The episode about Luke escape felt like it was a different show.

My opinion. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
On 6/14/2017 at 5:22 PM, Umbelina said:

http://www.vulture.com/2017/06/the-handmaids-tale-greatest-failing-is-how-it-handles-race.html

In Its First Season, The Handmaid’s Tale’s Greatest Failing Is How It Handles Race

Great article here.

They also sterilized mentally ill and disabled people in this country.

A real good analogy to Gilead is Ireland in the 20s 30s 40s. ..like Gilead a "new" country...and dirt poor. They made Church and State one...and brutalized many women. 

Check the film "Magdaline Laundries"..."fallen" women...unmarried mothers...rape victims.. Sometimes just headstrong girls were kept by the nuns ....their babies were given to Irish American couples ...many in Boston..for generous "donations". Some got out but many spent their wholenlives there...wearing uniforms . living like the handmaids.. The nuns were like the aunts...older ladies in the laundry were like Marthas...and in the past few years they have found hundreds bodies buried under convents. 

It is a true story film...excellent but horrible and tragic.Sadly real

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Stillhoping said:

Check the film "Magdaline Laundries"..."fallen" women...unmarried mothers...rape victims.. Sometimes just headstrong girls were kept by the nuns ....their babies were given to Irish American couples ...many in Boston..for generous "donations". Some got out but many spent their wholenlives there...wearing uniforms . living like the handmaids.. The nuns were like the aunts...older ladies in the laundry were like Marthas...and in the past few years they have found hundreds bodies buried under convents. 

It is a true story film...excellent but horrible and tragic.Sadly real

Brilliant citation. I'd forgotten that... To put a bit of perspective - the last laundry closed around 20 years ago. Your comparison is spot on!

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

I'm not sure if this is quite the right thread for this...but it has nothing directly to do with the book or show, so I thought the Media thread wasn't right.  I'm acting on the "culture" part of things for this. 

Anyway, I just came across this article which, for readers/viewers of The Handmaid's Tale, is more than a little chilling...and explains some things about Gilead.

Sperm count drop 'could make humans extinct'

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
On ‎6‎/‎17‎/‎2017 at 9:33 PM, EC Amber said:

Brilliant citation. I'd forgotten that... To put a bit of perspective - the last laundry closed around 20 years ago. Your comparison is spot on!

I saw the Movie the Magdaline Sisters and it was horrible.  So much like the Handmaids plight. 

 

3 hours ago, OtterMommy said:

I'm not sure if this is quite the right thread for this...but it has nothing directly to do with the book or show, so I thought the Media thread wasn't right.  I'm acting on the "culture" part of things for this. 

Anyway, I just came across this article which, for readers/viewers of The Handmaid's Tale, is more than a little chilling...and explains some things about Gilead.

Sperm count drop 'could make humans extinct'

When I saw that report on the news this morning my first thought was The Handmaids Tale too!  Seriously freaky.  I told my sister what a great series it was and her response was that the book messed her up so much she could not bear to watch it.  I totally get it now.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
8 hours ago, OtterMommy said:

I'm not sure if this is quite the right thread for this...but it has nothing directly to do with the book or show, so I thought the Media thread wasn't right.  I'm acting on the "culture" part of things for this. 

Anyway, I just came across this article which, for readers/viewers of The Handmaid's Tale, is more than a little chilling...and explains some things about Gilead.

Sperm count drop 'could make humans extinct'

So if it's going to be openly acknowledged that low sperm count is the culprit, does that mean the few men who still have a decent sperm count will become Handmen, assigned to powerful women and forced to have sex with them during monthly "ceremonies" while their husbands watch?

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
4 minutes ago, chocolatine said:

So if it's going to be openly acknowledged that low sperm count is the culprit, does that mean the few men who still have a decent sperm count will become Handmen, assigned to powerful women and forced to have sex with them during monthly "ceremonies" while their husbands watch?

One would think....but the sad truth is that women tend to be scapegoated.  Even in The Handmaid's Tale, it is acknowledged that the problem is most likely with the men, not the women.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

I just finished watching Season 1. As a black American, it's funny to see comments like, "This must be how people feel in (insert non-U.S. country)." Ha! I was followed and harassed for "looking suspicious" just last month. Can't count the number of times I've been pulled over, followed in stores, solicited for sex (because I just gotta be a prostitute right?)etc. my parents both attended segregated schools and will gladly take you on a road trip down very recent memory lane of the places they were not allowed to shop, eat, travel, urinate, or exist. 

Also, Luke's last name, Bankole, immediately reminded me of Taylor Bankole, the husband of the main character, Lauren in Octavia Butler's, Parable of the Sower. And that made me so ready for Ava DuVernay to get started bringing Ms. Butler's books to life where black women are lead characters instead of  best friends or minor characters in the "future."

Edited by charmed1
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

I am late to this, just watching the series now.

I read the book and I am not too impressed by the show, but still enjoying it. I think that it would have been better it the show runners had decided to keep Gilead all white, and explore that bigotry in the changes it made when writing for TV. 

I believe they decided to have people of color as Handmaids because they wanted to show a diverse cast. In the book, the commanders would not try to impregnate women of color. Maybe they would still use them for the "ceremonies" but just to satisfy them, not to grow the population. It looks like Margaret Atwood agrees with the diverse cast though, as she agrees with the addition of plots and the changes in the original text. She also consults and maybe gives her blessing to such changes.

I just think that the writers could have written new characters and/or new stories for the women of color that they cast as Handmaids, just to be truer to the original idea of a white christian supremacist society. I think it would even give the actors richer storylines. 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

This forum is for discussing Race, Diversity and Culture as occurs within The Handmaid's Tale television series and novel. Anything else is off topic and not permitted. 

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post

The show is never going to actually address race, are they?  It's completely ridiculous. Spoilers for ep 6, First Blood.

Spoiler

Just watched First Blood.  In the flashbacks the protestors were calling Serena a Nazi.  Nazism is based on the concept of white supremacy and racial purity.  In the present, were there ANY Commanders of color at the meeting?  We have seen a few POC handmaids.  That's nice.  We met another interracial couple.  A black man got lynched so June could feel sad and guilty.  Bruce Miller said in interviews he understood the criticism of how the show handled race in season 1 and would address it in season 2.  We are halfway through and nothing.

This show really needed a show runner who was not a white man.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
On 4/25/2018 at 7:24 AM, alexvillage said:

I am late to this, just watching the series now.

I read the book and I am not too impressed by the show, but still enjoying it. I think that it would have been better it the show runners had decided to keep Gilead all white, and explore that bigotry in the changes it made when writing for TV. 

I think it would be harder for me to accept the show if the Gilead leaders were super overtly racist. I read an interesting statistic recently that something like 40% of the US military is non-white racial or ethnic minorities. I already have a hard enough time that Gilead could gonto actual war with the military as it is now and win. If they publically said to 40% of that military that they would be enslaved or hang it would be too much for me to accept.  Especially since that would be 40% plus everyone else who doesn't agree with them fighting for the other side. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Ofglen 2 was a oman of color. Considering how often the actions of one person who is a minority are often used to paint an entire community, I wouldn’t be surprised if Gilead’s propaganda machine turned this racial now.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
9 hours ago, bijoux said:

Ofglen 2 was a oman of color. Considering how often the actions of one person who is a minority are often used to paint an entire community, I wouldn’t be surprised if Gilead’s propaganda machine turned this racial now.

That could happen, good guess.

After all Muslim Terrorists killed congress and the president in this story. (eyeroll)  Odd that they left that in and kept the racism out.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
On 5/24/2018 at 6:10 AM, bijoux said:

Ofglen 2 was a oman of color. Considering how often the actions of one person who is a minority are often used to paint an entire community, I wouldn’t be surprised if Gilead’s propaganda machine turned this racial now.

That would make sense but why do that when they can just throw in another interracial couple?  Which I bet they do.  It is also interesting that every couple we have seen on this show involving a POC is interracial...even Moira's hook up at the club was white.  Except for one.  Luke and Annie...and he left her for a white women. I just cannot deal with this weird ass universe that thinks tokenism means white supremacy doesn't exist.  It's insanely offensive.  I guess it shouldn't be surprising when you consider the lack of diversity in the production of the show.  None of the directors have been POC.  Yahlin Chang, who wrote "Other Women" is the only POC writer.  That's pathetic.

Honestly, I'm just about at the point of quitting watching.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
On 5/23/2018 at 6:13 PM, Kel Varnsen said:

I think it would be harder for me to accept the show if the Gilead leaders were super overtly racist. I read an interesting statistic recently that something like 40% of the US military is non-white racial or ethnic minorities. I already have a hard enough time that Gilead could gonto actual war with the military as it is now and win. If they publically said to 40% of that military that they would be enslaved or hang it would be too much for me to accept.  Especially since that would be 40% plus everyone else who doesn't agree with them fighting for the other side. 

I don't disagree with the logic, I just like the book approach better. Since the book leaves a lot for us to imagine and speculate, the show runners could have used the actors of color in a different way that is not so far from the intention of the book - Gilead as a white supremacist society. Then explore more of that in the following seasons.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I was being rhetorical when I said I thought they would just throw in another interracial couple.  Mostly.  But they did it any way.  This is just insulting and ridiculous.  The show is never going to address race in any meaningful because that might actually be hard.  Or they might have to actually hire some POC on the production side.

http://www.newsweek.com/2018/05/11/handmaids-tale-season-2-how-margaret-atwood-and-bruce-miller-agreed-disagree-901162.html

Quote

“We certainly take it to heart,” Miller says of such criticism. “We want the show to feel like the real world, and we know we have room for improvement.” After reading the Twitter discussions—which he called “incredibly respectful and helpful”—the showrunner vowed to do better in Season 2. And in the first six episodes made available to the press, more characters of color are introduced. But there’s still no reference to race as a concept. “We try to address it in big and small ways, and we’ll continue try to address it in big and small ways” is all Miller will say.

He's so full of it.  Like I said, this show desperately needed a show runner who was not a white man.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
On 5/26/2018 at 8:18 AM, alexvillage said:

I don't disagree with the logic, I just like the book approach better. Since the book leaves a lot for us to imagine and speculate, the show runners could have used the actors of color in a different way that is not so far from the intention of the book - Gilead as a white supremacist society. Then explore more of that in the following seasons.

There are degrees of racism though, so just because the leaders of Gilead aren't burning crosses and lynching black people doesn't mean they are completely cool with other races. And i keep coming back to that stat about the military, since in last week's episode Nick said he would even go to the front to get out of the Waterford house. If Gilead was a full on white supremacist society, i don't think they could have won that war if it was against the portion of the military that contained non-white people, Jews, Catholics, Muslims, LGBT military personnel, free thinking women (i assume any woman in  the military who was pro-Gilead would have to resign) and anyone who would be on the side of those people. The Gilead military would just be too small. Especially since they also seem to be anti-education/higher learning so that would also eliminate a lot of the officers from their side. And those are the people you need to fly figher jets and be engineers and plan operations and other very important stuff you need tp do when at war.

I can totally see the white commanders being at least smart enough to figure that they would deal with the other races once they deal with the other people they hate first.

Share this post


Link to post
7 hours ago, Kel Varnsen said:

If Gilead was a full on white supremacist society

My understanding is that is the premise of the book. I don't disagree with your analyses, I just wish they had portrayed Gilead as the book does, even if it is not "realistic". Besides, that could be used as another plot for the sow,

Spoiler

just like what happened with the Handmaids that came back because so many others died in the explosion. 

Share this post


Link to post

Overzealous police harassing and murdering innocent people who were reaching for their identification. Hmm...Sounds like a fucked up society I think I heard about before. 

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
16 hours ago, alexvillage said:

My understanding is that is the premise of the book. I don't disagree with your analyses, I just wish they had portrayed Gilead as the book does, even if it is not "realistic". Besides, that could be used as another plot for the sow,

  Reveal hidden contents

just like what happened with the Handmaids that came back because so many others died in the explosion. 

Fair enough, it would just bug me too much. Although thinking about the military and such, how did a jerkwad like Waterford(and I guess the others) convince actual military types to accept his self-appointed rank of commander?

Share this post


Link to post
9 minutes ago, Kel Varnsen said:

Fair enough, it would just bug me too much. Although thinking about the military and such, how did a jerkwad like Waterford(and I guess the others) convince actual military types to accept his self-appointed rank of commander?

By helping to murder all of his former country leaders?

He was part of a Coup, the Coup won, but also, remember, they blamed those murders on Islamic Terrorists.  They blamed all of their actions, martial law, shooting down citizens, all of it on Islamic Terrorists.  Not everyone in the military obeyed, there ARE active resistance places in the (former) USA.  Some are citizens, but certainly some are former military.

After that, the same way they've suppressed everyone else.

Edited by Umbelina
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
On 31/05/2018 at 8:40 PM, Umbelina said:

By helping to murder all of his former country leaders?

He was part of a Coup, the Coup won, but also, remember, they blamed those murders on Islamic Terrorists.  They blamed all of their actions, martial law, shooting down citizens, all of it on Islamic Terrorists.  Not everyone in the military obeyed, there ARE active resistance places in the (former) USA.  Some are citizens, but certainly some are former military.

After that, the same way they've suppressed everyone else.

Oh i get that it could happen and it doesn't really bug me. I just think it is funny to imagine battle-hardened generals (even Gilead true believers) looking at Waterford and being like "you want me to call you commander?".

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
4 hours ago, madpsych78 said:

I have a question - have all the Marthas been POC? And all the Aunts been White?

Show?  No.  We've seen a black Aunt, and white Martha's.  We have also seen a black Commander and Wife on the show.

The book is completely different than the show about race though, you can find out in the book thread if you wish.

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×