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Mrs. Waterford: The gender traitor

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On 6/12/2018 at 8:46 AM, AnswersWanted said:

I agree that the system of adoption can be riddled with all sorts of shady and illegal behavior that can do far more harm than good, especially when a lot of money is involved.

 For me though the very system that is engaged so that a handmaid can get pregnant in the first place is where things just stand out to me as being far more evil and cruel and inexcusable than anything we have currently when it comes to the profitable “baby market” as it were. 

 The statistics for women who give up children conceived through an act of rape or sexual assault vary depending on location and culture and religion and a number of other factors. As most of them are victims who too often end up silenced or not believed one way or another or they decline to give such a reason for giving up the child, I am sure the true numbers are never really known or reported.

But in Gilead every single one of a child born of a handmaid anywhere, whatever the household situation or location, is a child conceived through the act of rape.

In no way did or does the biological mother have a choice when she is forced to have sexual intercourse with her commander or as in the case of June her commander or his significantly more fertile driver that her mistress forces her to sleep with just to make sure that she gets pregnant.

 These women cannot make any decisions for themselves, they can’t even decide to not get pregnant, and if they do manage to get pregnant then they still are not given a single right towards the baby in any regard or their own bodies, they are seen as walking wombs or living baby incubators. 

 As we’ve seen with June, Serena got to throw herself a lavish baby shower where all her friends came and gave Serena gifts and twittered and giggled all over the idea that she was  going to be a mother, while June, the battered and raped true mother of the child in question was sequestered to a corner to watch the goings on all the time hearing how the baby growing inside of her was soon going to belong to this woman, and June would end up removed from this child’s life without a second thought, never to see the baby again when the time came, decided by either Serena or Lydia or both. 

Serena also took June into the baby’s room, wanting to show off her handiwork of decorations and all the little odds and ends to the special space where she plans to keep the stolen child that under normal circumstances is June’s and would remain so. 

I assumed that it was Serena trying to pass it off as a way of thanking tune for her sacrifice? For her generosity? For her willingness to be her and the commander’s surrogate of sorts? 

The reality is that Serena Joy sat on her bed and pinned June down on it each and every time her husband unbuckled his pants and thrusted his penis into her without a single notion that there was an ounce of consent given or even needed from the woman on her back, being invaded and violated. 

 It actually makes me think about what happens when all these children eventually grow up and learn how they were conceived.

If Gilead, hopefully, does fall and these young teens or young adults have to come to grips with the reality that the only reason they are alive and walking the face of the earth is that their mothers, their true mothers, went through the most degrading and despicable and disgusting and deplorable practices imaginable. 

I truly think that is part of the legacy that Serena Joy will never be able to escape, or should be allowed to, and rightfully so.

Bravo!  Excellent post.

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1 hour ago, lucindabelle said:

I guess there are the Pro and Anti Serena factions. I'm in the Pro: I don't handwave the things she did, BUT I also think she could be massively important in ending Gilead, even if it's out of self-interest.

Similarly, there were some Nazis who did subversive and kind things, and while they were still Nazis, those things mattered, and kept some people alive, like this doctor. Or this man, who prevented wholesale slaughter because he tipped off Danish officials.

I'm not a purist. Any good deed she does is a good deed, and better late than never. There's a Jewish legend of a man walking along a beach with a lot of stranded starfish. He throws one back in the sea. Another man watching says, "It won't make any difference." 

He answers, "It will make a difference to that one."

No, I don't believe in complete absolution (Like Darth Vader bopping along with the Ewoks all happy when you exploded Alderaan you don't get a pass)-- but I'm here for the Serena Joy Underground Railroad and I HOPE that's where the show is going.

Among other things, it will be INTERESTING. I haven't seen that done before.

That's exactly the way I am feeling as well, thank you for putting that so eloquently. As much as this sometimes scarily reflects real life, I am ultimately watching this show for the entertainment factor. If they can do something interesting with this kind of storyline with SJ then I am all for it. 

Edited by mamadrama
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1 hour ago, lucindabelle said:

I guess there are the Pro and Anti Serena factions. I'm in the Pro: I don't handwave the things she did, BUT I also think she could be massively important in ending Gilead, even if it's out of self-interest.

Similarly, there were some Nazis who did subversive and kind things, and while they were still Nazis, those things mattered, and kept some people alive, like this doctor. Or this man, who prevented wholesale slaughter because he tipped off Danish officials.

I'm not a purist. Any good deed she does is a good deed, and better late than never. There's a Jewish legend of a man walking along a beach with a lot of stranded starfish. He throws one back in the sea. Another man watching says, "It won't make any difference." 

He answers, "It will make a difference to that one."

No, I don't believe in complete absolution (Like Darth Vader bopping along with the Ewoks all happy when you exploded Alderaan you don't get a pass)-- but I'm here for the Serena Joy Underground Railroad and I HOPE that's where the show is going.

Among other things, it will be INTERESTING. I haven't seen that done before.

I am for that as well; however, Serena would need to come around VERY slowly. I don't think the story would be as good if Serena did a 180 overnight.

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Watching Serena Joy throw those matches in the fire (which I will get back to the fire after this thought), seemed like she knew she couldn't go because of the baby, her husband, her place in Gilead and hopefully her thinking she can help more people if she is still in Gilead.  I think that girl is getting ready to do something.  I would like to see her come to her end by something like throwing herself on a grenade to save the Handmaids.

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4 minutes ago, Baltimore Betty said:

Watching Serena Joy throw those matches in the fire (which I will get back to the fire after this thought), seemed like she knew she couldn't go because of the baby, her husband, her place in Gilead and hopefully her thinking she can help more people if she is still in Gilead.  I think that girl is getting ready to do something.  I would like to see her come to her end by something like throwing herself on a grenade to save the Handmaids.

I forgot to mention about the fire being lit, they arrived home days early but there was a roaring fire going in her fire place?

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56 minutes ago, Baltimore Betty said:

I forgot to mention about the fire being lit, they arrived home days early but there was a roaring fire going in her fire place?

 

 I’m going to assume that it was Rita who set the fire? Probably they called ahead and told her that they were coming home early and so she had to prepare their rooms as is her work detail being their Martha. 

 This episode once again put Serena in a position to show her true character, in my opinion, and she didn’t fail me, in that she remained a self centered, heartless, cow. 

June was trying so hard to seem pleasant and receptive to Serena, and her thanks was to be told that she would not even get a smidgen of bonding time with her baby, one of the few things that a handmaid has to look forward to before their babies are ripped away from them.

Well that and the ice cream, according to Janine. 

 I actually don’t buy that Serena truly loves children, I’m not even sure that Serena has ever loved anyone but herself at the end of the day. 

I think she sees a baby as the ultimate goal for her, as something that will have to love her, that it will have no choice because she’s mommy and all of that.

I have personally met a lot of women like Serena, that just have children to be extensions of themselves.

It has nothing to do with the actual child as a person or it being about the child’s actual well-being or future, it’s all about the mother’s wants and needs only and the child just so happens to fill a good portion of those.

I mean really, what if the baby grows up and says he or she is queer or gay or trans or other?

Serena is okay with gender traitors hanging, so does that mean she’d be the first to round up her own child and grab the rope when necessary?

Would she rather have a dead LGBTQ child because that goes against the order of nature according to her “god”?

Could she truly see herself loving the child despite that?

Or better yet could the child love a mother that approved and stood by as those who identified as they do were slaughtered by the thousands?

 I have always seen Serena’s desperate quest to have a child coming from the same place within her that started the movement.

She actually thinks she deserves a lot more than what she has and what people lesser than her have without trying. 

All those whorish harlots out in the world who actually claimed to have “unwanted pregnancies”, they were wasting even their ability to produce children at all by being gender traitors and the like, they were selfish trend setters putting off marriage and kids for career sake. 

 But godly and holy Serena was left barren and alone, so she pulled a Sarai from the Old Testament, if God is not moving fast enough for you then maybe you just have to help things along, but apparently she didn’t read that story all the way to the end. 

 For me, if Serena could see herself going to such great lengths to become a mother, then how could she live with herself knowing all the countless mothers whose children are dead because of her?

Whose children were lost because of her?  Whose children currently live in the homes of commanders and wives as their mothers barely survive with short memories and the ever lasting pain of knowing their baby is gone forever, never to know them and to be taught to never care they ever existed. 

Rita could barely hold herself together when June asked her to watch out for her baby, Rita is a real mother with compassion to spare and kindness and love to give.

June could not ever envision putting someone through what she’s been through with Hannah or with the current baby she’s pregnant with, but Serena?

The heart of a mother? To me, she has no heart at all.

Edited by AnswersWanted
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14 minutes ago, mamadrama said:

In real life I wouldn't give them leeway much at all. As a television show with outstanding actresses, an interesting plot, and good storywriters I am totally onboard and want to see more. 

If Serena was played by a lesser actress I probably wouldn’t care, but IMO Yvonne is captivating. She’s just so beautiful to watch, and she plays so many emotions on her face. I hate her, and yet I find her enthralling whenever she’s on screen. She has to be one of the most vile human beings in television but at the same time every week I keep hoping against my better judgment she will take that one step towards redemption. That is the mark of a good actress and multilayered character ! ?

Edited by GraceK
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3 minutes ago, GraceK said:

If Serena was played by a lesser actress I probably wouldn’t care, but IMO Yvonne is captivating. She’s just so beautiful to watch, and she plays so many emotions on her face. I hate her, and yet I find her enthralling whenever she’s on screen. She has to be one of the most vile human beings in television but at the same time every week I keep hoping against my better judgment she will take that one step towards redemption. That is the mark of a good actress and multilayered character ! ?

I think you're right and I agree. I would probably feel totally different if it were a different actress playing the character a different way (or trying to play her the same way and failing). A good writer writing a "good" villain has to straddle that gray area a lot and a good actress knows how to play it well. 

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7 minutes ago, AnswersWanted said:

Serena has been seen doing the most obscene things imaginable, and often times she’s shown no guilt about it, she shows no remorse, and she continues to behave in a way that fuels my desire to see her get it in the end. 

This is true. The only fitting end for her is to pay for her crimes, or to go out in a blaze of self sacrifice. Anything else is would be gross to all of her victims. I’m not interested in seeing Serena Joy happy somewhere on an island, with a baby, reaping the rewards of turning her coat again. Anything less than owning up to what she has done and reaping what she has sown would be an injustice to everyone woman and child and man who has suffered under the regime she helped create. I don’t her want to have a happy ending. I will enjoy watching though whatever is in store cause Yvonne can sell it!!’ ?

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1 minute ago, GraceK said:

This is true. The only fitting end for her is to pay for her crimes, or to go out in a blaze of self sacrifice. Anything else is would be gross to all of her victims. I’m not interested in seeing Serena Joy happy somewhere on an island, with a baby, reaping the rewards of turning her coat again. Anything less than owning up to what she has done and reaping what she has sown would be an injustice to everyone woman and child and man who has suffered under the regime she helped create. I don’t her want to have a happy ending. I will enjoy watching though whatever is in store cause Yvonne can sell it!!’ ?

 

I concur 100%, heh.

I think with the talent at hand, both leading and supporting, the show can really come up with a great, entertaining end for such a villainous figure like Serena.

And they have an actress who can pull it off, that is not always the case for a lot of shows like this, all too many times I can recall when it was the opposite for some shows I used to watch. 

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More than anything else, I NEED (ha) the writers to clarify whether or not Serena could bear a child of her own, or if the gunshot removed that possibility.

I hope they do it, and do it soon. 

Her deciding against Hawaii and the book would make much more sense to me then.  I do think she thinks of June's baby as her own child, she's been drinking the Gilead Koolaid long enough to think of June as more of a surrogate, and less of a raped slave if she pointedly forces herself to do that, and to ignore CIA guy and those letters and protesters pointing it out to her.

Other than the possibility of having a child though? Her life in Gilead is hell for her, not as much hell as it is for other women, but still hell.

I so loved that Canada kicked them out, but part of me wishes she'd had one more meeting with the CIA guy.

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Wow Serena joy is soooo miserable. She was tempted. She really was. The look on her face when they gave her a sheet with symbols (I guess they know she must be able to read but don’t want to offend her).

she looked so wistfully at every aspect of modern society- the glance at a woman typing on her phone.

 

serena DOES love children- she even loved that little girl. I believe the show is heading on the Serena flips train but yes slowly which ramps up suspense. 

 

Glad the letters got out. Waterford is crazy to imagine tourism will ever happen in Gilead. Too many moving parts. 

 

But it how can Serena of anyone think it’s a good idea to separate mothers and children quickly after last week? When it was Janine and skin on skin that saved the baby? Granted a baby in Serena’s arms won’t fail to thrive from not being cuddled. Serena would cuddle it.

 

so June telling Lydia obliquely that Waterford hits his wife means wife beating is not allowed. 

 

And aunt lydia speaks of the past.

 

i am still here for poor miserable Serena. 

Edited by lucindabelle
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6 hours ago, lucindabelle said:

The look on her face when they gave her a sheet with symbols (I guess they know she must be able to read but don’t want to offend her).

I dunno, I thought they were being a bit cheeky there. I mean "following the rules" but knowing it would probably piss her off. At least that was my take. Or else the Gilead top dogs demanded it. The woman who guided her in the botanical garden seemed to be trying to be nice, but underneath kind of appalled that she was given this babysitting job to someone she absolutely cannot understand or respect.

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6 hours ago, lucindabelle said:

Glad the letters got out. Waterford is crazy to imagine tourism will ever happen in Gilead. Too many moving parts. 

Spoiler

In the book tourism does happen, apparently. Japanese tourists, more specifically, are mentioned.

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7 hours ago, dleighg said:

I dunno, I thought they were being a bit cheeky there. I mean "following the rules" but knowing it would probably piss her off. At least that was my take. Or else the Gilead top dogs demanded it. The woman who guided her in the botanical garden seemed to be trying to be nice, but underneath kind of appalled that she was given this babysitting job to someone she absolutely cannot understand or respect.

I really took it as Canada trying to follow the customs of the delegates from the country they were welcoming.  I didn't at all take it as an insult.  After all, presumably Serena Joy was all in with women not reading.

This is where I go back to my thoughts that "there is no way in hell Serena Joy ever expected women not be allowed to read and write."  So again, for me?  It's proof that she had no part in the actual designing of Gilead as we now know it.  She loved being a writer, and it's common sense that a lot of people who read and would read her books were women. 

Couple that with so many other clues, the door shut in her face as the men started to design Gilead, and the Commanders talking about how they would "sell" the handmaids and the ceremony to the Wives, just to name two?  Serena carries a lot of blame for many things, but Gilead's ways of treating the women?  I just don't buy it.  Not the uniforms, not the handmaids, not the best neo-natal doctor prohibited from practicing medicine and made a Martha instead.  None of that was what Serena envisioned, for me it's a tale of "be careful what you wish for" and especially "look out if you give men ALL of the power and rights" or willingly forfeit women's rights, such as to reproduction.  I can see her furious about abortions and even birth control, those were "rights" she didn't think women should have. 

The problem is, when you start to erode women's rights, what does it lead to?  Serena Joy has found out, and it's a warning siren Atwood intended.

Her anger at all of this, not being allowed to read or do anything but garden or knit?  Has lead her to cruelly lash out, and the only ones she can lash out at are other women.  Do it to a man?  She will be punished, or killed. 

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8 hours ago, dleighg said:

I dunno, I thought they were being a bit cheeky there. I mean "following the rules" but knowing it would probably piss her off. At least that was my take. Or else the Gilead top dogs demanded it. The woman who guided her in the botanical garden seemed to be trying to be nice, but underneath kind of appalled that she was given this babysitting job to someone she absolutely cannot understand or respect.

 

I would certainly think that the leaders of Gilead were behind that, because it’s just too ridiculous, imo, to think that the welcoming committee in Canada would really think they would have to give Serena a piece of paper like that when they are fully aware that she can read.

They know her past as a writer and public speaker, there’d be no need to try and fake otherwise.

In Canada she is surrounded by words and signs and ads and posters and numbers and the like, If they really wanted to play up the “she’s not supposed to read” angle then they would’ve handed her a blindfold to wear the second she stepped off the plane.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Fred himself put in the request specifically, because that just seems like something he would do.  

It would definitely beef up the image that Serena has fully embraced her role as a proud wife of Gilead, to the point where she would not want silly, useless words on paper, give her pictures and symbols because that’s what a good humble wife accepts now as “reading materials”. 

I did think that her guide was, as you said, trying her hardest to show Serena some bit of respect without actual substance. 

To me the struggle was real when she was trying to think of things she could relate to Serena with, and all she could come up with was gardening and knitting, two things she wasn’t very good at and also way too busy working to improve on, a quip Serena definitely seemed to notice and it stung, 

There was no talk of even the simplest subjects like “what’s your favorite restaurant?” or “read any good books lately?”.

I thought that scene really showed that Serena has lost all sense of normalcy in life. 

She can’t really relate to anyone in Gilead, either because she outranks them and they are terrified of her or because they are equals but they are stuck in the same social quagmire she is, there’s no escape from the mundane and boring, tiresome and pointless nonsense that fills every day. 

 But when it comes to the outside world, she has absolutely no bearing whatsoever in it any longer, she has been fully removed from modern times and modern day relevance.

She’s a walking, talking relic. 

 I think that is what has actually pushed her desire to have a child into overdrive, she doesn’t just want a baby but she needs a baby to serve as a distraction, to give her some slight sense of purpose and direction.

She can only clip so many roses and replant so many seedlings and knit so many scarves, it’s driving her crazy. 

Serena has hung all hope on her sanity’s salvation on having a child, IMO. 

Edited by AnswersWanted
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30 minutes ago, AnswersWanted said:

 

I would certainly think that the leaders of Gilead were behind that, because it’s just too ridiculous, imo, to think that the welcoming committee in Canada would really think they would have to give Serena a piece of paper like that when they are fully aware that she can read.

 

 

Although they probably were rolling their eyes a little bit, this truly is a diplomacy thing. When foreign diplomats are welcomed like that, a TON of research is done on how to properly ensure that their customs and culture are respected and implemented as much as possible. For a time I worked at a major ivy league school here in the states and we had a special 6-month program that the children of foreign leaders and even foreign government officials would enroll in. I was specifically hired to help coordinate activities for the family members of these students. I went through extensive training on how to incorporate certain aspects of their culture into the activities and basically how not to put my foot into my mouth over some things. It was very difficult at times, especially since we occasionally had students and families from countries in which the women were VERY repressed. Not being allowed to look them in the eye, talk about certain subjects (like driving, the internet, or pop culture, etc.), shake their hand, was hard. We absolutely would have given Serena Joy a schedule in pictures because, in her country, she's not allowed to read. We would have wanted to make the visit as smooth and comfortable for them as possible. (I mean, we would've laughed about it as we were making it out, but we would've done it.) The way it was explained over and over is that it might not make any sense to US but those women eventually have to return to their own country and we have to think about how they're going to be treated there. We don't want to make things worse for them. If SJ isn't allowed to read and we give her something that requires reading, is Fred going to beat her up or have her killed upon return? We don't want that on our shoulders. Now, if she sneaks some racy romance in the bookstore or reads a road sign, that's on her. Not our problem. Anything WE gave her, though, would be following their "rules."

Edited by mamadrama
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15 minutes ago, mamadrama said:

Although they probably were rolling their eyes a little bit, this truly is a diplomacy thing. When foreign diplomats are welcomed like that, a TON of research is done on how to properly ensure that their customs and culture are respected and implemented as much as possible. For a time I worked at a major ivy league school here in the states and we had a special 6-month program that the children of foreign leaders and even foreign government officials would enroll in. I was specifically hired to help coordinate activities for the family members of these students. I went through extensive training on how to incorporate certain aspects of their culture into the activities and basically how not to put my foot into my mouth over some things. It was very difficult at times, especially since we occasionally had students and families from countries in which the women were VERY repressed. Not being allowed to look them in the eye, talk about certain subjects (like driving, the internet, or pop culture, etc.), shake their hand, was hard. We absolutely would have given Serena Joy a schedule in pictures because, in her country, she's not allowed to read. We would have wanted to make the visit as smooth and comfortable for them as possible. (I mean, we would've laughed about it as we were making it out, but we would've done it.) The way it was explained over and over is that it might not make any sense to US but those women eventually have to return to their own country and we have to think about how they're going to be treated there. We don't want to make things worse for them. If SJ isn't allowed to read and we give her something that requires reading, is Fred going to beat her up or have her killed upon return? We don't want that on our shoulders. Now, if she sneaks some racy romance in the bookstore or reads a road sign, that's on her. Not our problem. Anything WE gave her, though, would be following their "rules."

 

I get where you are coming from, I just think that sort research would be hard to gather when you’re dealing with a place like Gilead, shrouded in darkness and mystery and secrecy. 

Not to mention they are a brand new country still in the midst of heavy development. 

I believe Canada would have been more likely to rely on information straight from the horses’mouths, the regime leaders and Fred. That was the point I was making earlier. 

They didn’t invite Gilead there to offend them, they are Canadians after all, heh, so certainly they were wanting to be diplomatic, I just think that meant asking questions of Gilead and going directly off the script they were then given.

That way they would be absolutely sure they had all their bases covered.

Otherwise why not just offer her a blindfold to make sure she couldn’t break any law whether intentionally or not. 

Fred had been coresponding with them plenty, a dos and don’ts list for Serena could have easily been discussed. 

Which ever way the discussion transpired, Serena was going to end up being handed those pictographs and everything else would’ve happened the same way I would assume.

After all her real purpose for coming still was merely going to play the part of Fred’s obedient and humble wife, a figurehead for him to show off.

Everything else, to me, was just filler, much like how she lives, making a big deal about doing nothing at all. 

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41 minutes ago, AnswersWanted said:

 

I get where you are coming from, I just think that sort research would be hard to gather when you’re dealing with a place like Gilead, shrouded in darkness and mystery and secrecy. 

Not to mention they are a brand new country still in the midst of heavy development. 

I believe Canada would have been more likely to rely on information straight from the horses’mouths, the regime leaders and Fred. That was the point I was making earlier. 

They didn’t invite Gilead there to offend them, they are Canadians after all, heh, so certainly they were wanting to be diplomatic, I just think that meant asking questions of Gilead and going directly off the script they were then given.

That way they would be absolutely sure they had all their bases covered.

Otherwise why not just offer her a blindfold to make sure she couldn’t break any law whether intentionally or not. 

Fred had been coresponding with them plenty, a dos and don’ts list for Serena could have easily been discussed. 

Which ever way the discussion transpired, Serena was going to end up being handed those pictographs and everything else would’ve happened the same way I would assume.

After all her real purpose for coming still was merely going to play the part of Fred’s obedient and humble wife, a figurehead for him to show off.

Everything else, to me, was just filler, much like how she lives, making a big deal about doing nothing at all. 

Well, the US guy seemed to know an awful lot about Serena...I am sure they have people on the inside down there, feeding them intelligence. Look at how they had the names of the women who died in the bombing-not to mention the Martha and other women who have escaped and could talk about what it was like inside the households. 

And who knows-perhaps Gilead officials DID send them information before the trip. We always received a dossier containing need to know information before they arrived. 

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Either scenario works logically for me so I don’t want to seem nitpicky about details like that, the show leaves a lot up to personal interpretation.

However the pictographs came into being it was a straight up slap in Serena’s face to receive them. 

 For the first time a product of her own handiwork in giving life to Gilead was given to her to signify her lowered’s status, not just in the eyes of those within the sealed borders of Gilead, but from an outsider’s perspective.

 To me that is what hit her so hard, that it really had happened, in the opinions of the rest of the world she was now a marked woman who was now denied access to the simple right of reading words.

Even if she were to travel to another country where their women had all freedom, she would be subjugated and segregated and separated from those rights based solely on her leaders’ wishes and her husband’s orders.

I think that’s a type of humiliation you can’t really even put into words, pun intended.

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Women in Gilead are FORBIDDEN to read. 

Full Stop.

Of course Canada wouldn't violate such a basic rule and possibly get her in trouble.  That was straight up diplomacy.

Also, Serena was quite famous, remember June recognizing her right away from her TV and books?  Putting together a dossier on her wouldn't be hard.

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As we only have one more episode of the season to go, and considering how they showcased Serena and her so called mothering abilities in episode 12, I am more convinced than ever that they should not have given her the baby.

 I believe they did because the baby continues to bring an element of humanity to her that would not exist otherwise.

Janine's baby triggered a similar response from her already. 

But at this point is just feels like cheap, emotional filler.

'Look at that everybody, the episode started with Serena not wanting June to breathe in the same room as Holly, but when we get to the end she has softened her heart and lets June nurse her!'

I see that as the underlying ploy they came up with and I boo it soundly.  

 Serena and June are not a twosome made up of a mother and stepmother sharing parenting duties while figuring out their own relationship and how best to get along for the baby's sake.

Serena is June's rapist, full stop.

 June is her slave.

 Serena stole June's newborn baby and is keeping her for herself and herself alone. 

 Serene has no desire or plans to share the mothering of Holly with June, beyond allowing her to feed her right now so the baby does not get sick or dies. 

 Serena is protecting her investment, which is Holly.

It is no concern or worry of hers about what this fucked up and twisted "arrangement" is doing to June.

For her to be cruelly sentenced to the meager role of becoming her own daughter's wetnurse, to only get to be near her flesh and blood to feed her, and then to have her abuser/rapist/owner take the baby away.

For me it's just too much.

I am tapped out thanks to the unrelentless barrage of misery.

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I am starting to feel like they're writing Serena Joy as a caricature. Her wishy washy emotions and over-the-top antics are starting to come off as melodramatic and even kind of funny. (I don't mean that it's funny that she helped Fred rape June, just funny in the lack of consistency.) The woman goes from 0 to Hot Bitch in less than 3 seconds. It's starting to come across as less Bi-polar and more cartoonish. They're kind of doing Fred the same way. He's starting to look less like a complex man who started out weak and is now abusing people with his newfound power, and more like an evil Scooby Doo villain (though not as smart). 

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15 minutes ago, mamadrama said:

I am starting to feel like they're writing Serena Joy as a caricature. Her wishy washy emotions and over-the-top antics are starting to come off as melodramatic and even kind of funny. (I don't mean that it's funny that she helped Fred rape June, just funny in the lack of consistency.) The woman goes from 0 to Hot Bitch in less than 3 seconds. It's starting to come across as less Bi-polar and more cartoonish. They're kind of doing Fred the same way. He's starting to look less like a complex man who started out weak and is now abusing people with his newfound power, and more like an evil Scooby Doo villain (though not as smart). 

All she needs is some of that Faye Dunaway face mask and to have her hair in rollers the next time she pitches a coniption fit.

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Oddly, Serena make sense to me, at least far more than Aunt Lydia's massive mood and character swings. 

She's consistently hated everything about Gilead.  She's made herself go through the motions for one goal, and one goal only, a child, a baby.  Each day she fights that inside herself, convincing herself that the baby will make it all worth it.

She pulls out her smarts happily, but they are always rejected now when once were cherished by the world and by her husband.  She pulled them out again to save all of their asses, and was the happiest we've ever seen her.  She was working with another smart woman, June.  She was saving the entire household from probable death by conning the Gilead powers that be.

So much was clear in the best episode this season, the Canada episode.  She was so longing to be one of those women, then found out just how much they alternately pitied or hated her, and she knew that was real, not the pretend politeness of Gilead because of her station and husband's power.  The reactions in Canada let her know she better stick it out in Gilead, closed a distant option for her.

She desperately misses sex.  I think she is religious, but she not happy with Gilead's version of that. 

She's able to cope with being a Gileadean most of the time, gritting her teeth and knitting and wearing teal and participating in the detested "ceremony."  Then she isn't.

People snap.  Pressure builds and frustrations mount, like dealing with her nincompoop horny husband and his various stupidities, such as at the Lake House, where she finally boiled over and screamed the truth at him. 

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10 minutes ago, LordOfLotion said:

All she needs is some of that Faye Dunaway face mask and to have her hair in rollers the next time she pitches a coniption fit.

No more wire hangers! ;-)

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I hope that SJ sees the Fred betrayal that she may start to poison his tea next season.  I mean she does have access to certain plants, flowers, etc in her greenhouse.  A little oleander in his nightly tea?  It's not like they have enough doctors to rule it poison. 

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I do seriously love Serena. yes it's the actress but I also think they've set up her arc very well. All along she's been miffed at how her expertise got dissed. She told Fred the truth that she did it for the baby. I never saw her turning on June as a flip-flop but the totally predictable reaction of a proud person not wanting sympathy when humiliated. Her shock at the death of Eden did foreshadow what she would do and I buy it that she knows she needs to get Nichole out. And I also buy the understanding between the women and why June would now call the baby Nichole (though I realize others don't). 

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On 7/18/2018 at 10:06 AM, lucindabelle said:

And I also buy the understanding between the women and why June would now call the baby Nichole (though I realize others don't). 

I get the understanding, even though their relationship has been rocky, to put it mildly, with June bearing the brunt of Serena's misery and frustration. Getting down to basics. they are both women who are the helpless property of males who dominate and subjugate them and that alone could be enough to forge a bond, no matter how tenuous.

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I think (or rather felt) it was June's way of thanking, or at least acknowledging that Serena was also acting as a mother by letting her child go, at that moment, she gave up what she wanted more than anything in the world, a baby, for the good of Nichole.

I still don't see why the child couldn't have two names, Holly Nichole is rather pretty. 

That said, the writers once again made June look like a complete idiot by not telling Emily her last name, or her husband's last name though.  I don't care how upset she was at that moment, that's simple common sense, and no, I don't think June would "forget" to do that, anymore than I believe she would dawdle around.  Writing the message took a few seconds, and I can believe her doing that, just not all the rest of the slow-mo escape.

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One woman is there through her own actions. She helped to create that hell for the rest of them. She may be a victim of it *now*, but not as much as the handmaids, Marthas, econowives, little girls. It's only through having a baby girl around, that she claimed as her own, and seeing someone else lose her daughter, that has her seeing them all as victims. 

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Adding to the above: there are women with misogynistic attitudes towards other women, even now. Some women will happily create hell for other women. Sit down, shut up, don't do this or that. Except when it comes to themselves, or women they agree with. And some will do it for the men in their lives, or just for men in general.

Edited by Anela
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I know someone mentioned it before, but I'll bring it up again...

Anyone on here reading The Transformed Wife's blog or FB page? If anyone doubts that women like Serena Joy exist today, behold Exhibit A. 

I love some of the comments on the FB posts:

- Ah, I see the Wives are now allowed to Facebook from Gilead!

- Serena Joy, is it difficult to FB with only 9 fingers?

- So, how's Fred?

- Anyone else waiting for "biological destiny" to come up?

 

(Some of them may or may not be my own comments.) 

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12 hours ago, Anela said:

One woman is there through her own actions. She helped to create that hell for the rest of them. She may be a victim of it *now*, but not as much as the handmaids, Marthas, econowives, little girls. It's only through having a baby girl around, that she claimed as her own, and seeing someone else lose her daughter, that has her seeing them all as victims. 

This is a real argument that happens though.  Basically, yes, we know you helped bring this about through your own selfish or short-sighted actions, but do we want to quibble now about culpability or whose suffering is greater or do we want to pull together, even if just for the time being, to deal with the bigger picture threat that's crushing us all?  We all know Serena played a not insignificant hand in getting all the women and girls there, but as these last few episodes have made clear that same regime she helped bring to power has also stripped her of any of her own.  It certainly hasn't saved her from an ass beating or losing a finger.  It won't protect her "daughter" when the time comes any more than it protected Eden or any of the handmaids because as Serena has come to realize a gilded cage is still a cage.

I can feel how I feel about June letting Nichole as a name stand and still appreciate it as a gesture of June acknowledging that in letting this long sought after baby go to have a shot at freedom and safety, Serena was thinking and acting as a mother.  More so than any of the endless dress up or parading her about as she's been doing.  That doesn't mean if both characters ever get to a point where they're both out from under Gilead and on equal footing that June or anyone else might not have quite a lot to say about all the abuse and damage Serena inflicted.

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5 hours ago, nodorothyparker said:

This is a real argument that happens though.  Basically, yes, we know you helped bring this about through your own selfish or short-sighted actions, but do we want to quibble now about culpability or whose suffering is greater or do we want to pull together, even if just for the time being, to deal with the bigger picture threat that's crushing us all?  We all know Serena played a not insignificant hand in getting all the women and girls there, but as these last few episodes have made clear that same regime she helped bring to power has also stripped her of any of her own.  It certainly hasn't saved her from an ass beating or losing a finger.  It won't protect her "daughter" when the time comes any more than it protected Eden or any of the handmaids because as Serena has come to realize a gilded cage is still a cage.

I can feel how I feel about June letting Nichole as a name stand and still appreciate it as a gesture of June acknowledging that in letting this long sought after baby go to have a shot at freedom and safety, Serena was thinking and acting as a mother.  More so than any of the endless dress up or parading her about as she's been doing.  That doesn't mean if both characters ever get to a point where they're both out from under Gilead and on equal footing that June or anyone else might not have quite a lot to say about all the abuse and damage Serena inflicted.

Exactly what I was saying.  Being a mother has nothing to do with changing your darling's clothes 10 times a day, or singing to them.  Serena acted as a real mother would, and June honored that action with the name.

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