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S02.E12: Postpartum

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Everyone is focusing on Commander Lawrence as the creator of the colonies, but I'm actually more interested in Aunt Lydia's description of him - the architect of Gilead's economy.  I would love for them to give us at least some explanations of how there is an economy - it seems that all major corporations and industries no longer exist.  There's some farming, agriculture, someone's got to be making all the red and teal and grey outfits, but what else is being made in Gilead, and who is buying it?  Does Wall Street still exist, in any form?  Is there a stock market?  From all I can see, it's a pretty shit economy, is that by design or did they seriously miscalculate how things would end up? 

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2 hours ago, Miles said:

He might have created the colonies to give people a fighting chance. After all, those are all people who were sentenced to death. They would have ended up on the wall or in a pool if not for the Colonies. Janine and Emily are alive because of him.

Exactly what I was thinking. They’re purposely playing him as possibly being evil but I want him to be the hero. If for no other reason, to finally move the plot ahead. And give us some misery relief already. We’ve earned it! 

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1 hour ago, AnswersWanted said:

 

I think the Commanders in charge are incredibly ignorant, prideful, and selfish men who seem to know little to nothing about babies and their needs. 

Honestly I have serious doubts many, if any, really care one way or another. 

A select few seem, at least amongst the main heads in charge, to have ever successfully reached fatherhood. 

I see the majority of them behaving like Fred, even when he was in the presence of a distressed Holly, screaming and crying, all he cared about was finding Eden and “bringing her to justice”, he didn’t care that he was stressing out this tiny little infant who supposedly should’ve been his world and his main focus at that time. 

He cared only about the “shame” Eden’s escape would bring upon him, another woman from the Waterford household that showed defiance and a way too easy ability to haul ass out of there before he knew what was up. 

These Commanders seem wrapped up with fighting to keep Gilead from being overtaken, their main concerns appear to be keeping the “womenfolk” in line, about the war, and “building their brand”, which is why Fred is now media director.

Maybe they’ll start broadcasting GNN, Gilead Nightly News. Then they’ll just show a 24/7 live feed of the hanging wall. 

I think the majority of those left in Gilead who actually give, somewhat, of a shit about kids among the power circle are some of the wives, but of course they gave up all rights and the ability to have any say about the system, how things should work or need to change if necessary. 

They must defer to their husbands’ will, the same bunch who pop off to Jezebel’s when it suits their fancy and often force their handmaids to sleep with them outside of the ceremony. 

I actually think that if anything, if the Gilead council de decided to reevaluate the current birthing system the breeding farm idea might just be the tip of the iceberg. 

These men already treat the women like sows to be tagged, caged, beaten and abused, mutilated, and eventually slaughtered when their “time is up”, I definitely could see them taking things even further down the black hole of misery that is Gilead. 

And even still I highly doubt the focus would be on the fertility crisis at its core and future generations being produced. 

You’re up in arms! ;-D I agree with you. It’s reverted back to the dark ages where men ruled. I’m surprised they aren’t burning women at the stake instead of whipping them when disobedient. All at the pretence of helping humanity. The men have it made in Gilead. 

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1 hour ago, ferjy said:

Make it triplets.  I was in the same boat as both of you (and was a bit perturbed that my flat chested friend had NO problem nursing her baby) and the stress it caused trying to breastfeed was probably worse for the baby and me than just going to the bottle. I was initially disappointed, but it was a joy seeing my son go from lethargic and emaciated to a cheerful chubby tot. Also nice that my husband could take a few night shifts to feed the baby (“Your turn to bond, Honey.”) so I could get a few hours sleep and feel human again. 

I was surprised there were no wet nurses too. Maybe not for every handmaiden since the norm was to keep the handmaiden around until the baby was weaned (convenient that Serena was able to defy the rule, I might add) but surely June wasn’t the only handmaiden to have milk supply problems. Or what if a handmaiden died during birth? No backup plan?

I was one of those people who just flat out did NOT want to breastfeed my children. Didn't even attempt with the first two because I just didn't like the idea. For something different, I tried with my third child, but it was so painful that I gave up after a week. I didn't like it and my baby didn't like it-she thrived on formula. People were always lecturing me about the benefits of breastfeeding and, in turn, I'd talk about the benefits of formula feeding. 

It IS weird, though, that they don't have wet nurses floating around. That would have definitely solved the June issue, as well as been helpful for those women who can't supply breast milk for whatever reason. 

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1 hour ago, ferjy said:

Also nice that my husband could take a few night shifts to feed the baby (“Your turn to bond, Honey.”) so I could get a few hours sleep and feel human again. 

YES!!! In fact, when we went to the doctor (our GP who was also a pediatrician, NOT our ob-gyn who was very old-school but the only ob-gyn in town) his "orders" were for me to wrap my chest up and sleep for 48 hours and for hubby to take the night shifts!!! It was great for both -- well, ALL of us! And since he worked nights and came home around 1-2 a.m., he was happy to take the overnight and let me get up with her around 6-7 a.m.! 

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20 minutes ago, PamelaMaeSnap said:

YES!!! In fact, when we went to the doctor (our GP who was also a pediatrician, NOT our ob-gyn who was very old-school but the only ob-gyn in town) his "orders" were for me to wrap my chest up and sleep for 48 hours and for hubby to take the night shifts!!! It was great for both -- well, ALL of us! And since he worked nights and came home around 1-2 a.m., he was happy to take the overnight and let me get up with her around 6-7 a.m.! 

Sleep is good any time you're tired, but I was amazed how I went from a near zombie, to absolutely refreshed (there's a world out there!) from one night's uninterrupted sleep.

Can you imagine Fred getting up in the middle of the night to feed the baby? THAT should have been put in the Gilead men's roster of duties.

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6 hours ago, chaifan said:

Everyone is focusing on Commander Lawrence as the creator of the colonies, but I'm actually more interested in Aunt Lydia's description of him - the architect of Gilead's economy.  I would love for them to give us at least some explanations of how there is an economy - it seems that all major corporations and industries no longer exist.  There's some farming, agriculture, someone's got to be making all the red and teal and grey outfits, but what else is being made in Gilead, and who is buying it?  Does Wall Street still exist, in any form?  Is there a stock market?  From all I can see, it's a pretty shit economy, is that by design or did they seriously miscalculate how things would end up? 

There is so much they're not telling us. The book may have been from the handmaid's point of view, and for a TV series it's okay at the start, but if they're going to prolong the TV series, they need to explain all this to us. Day in and day out of looking through June's eyes (more of the same) is getting tedious. We need to learn what is going on beyond what June or any handmaid knows. Keep her in the dark if they wish, but clue us in already.

Edited by ferjy · Reason: I can't spell!
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2 minutes ago, ferjy said:

There is so much they're not telling us. The book may have been from the handmaid's point of view, and for a TV series it's okay at the start, but if they're going to prolong the TV series, they need to explain all this to us. Day in and day out of looking through June's eyes (more of the same) is getting tedious. We need to learn what is going on beyond what June or any handmaiden knows. Keep her in the dark if they wish, but clue us in already.

I agree. And as much as I have sympathy for June’s situation, she cannot carry this show. I’m sorry, Elizabeth Moss is not doing it for me. Her being the center of this series is not working and it’s getting boring  AF. Serena, Emily , Lydia and this even these couple of scenes with this new Commander have been a thousand times more interesting. Let’s expand on Cantplease, get some stuff happening with Alaska and Hawaii, the resistance, some actual information . 

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What did that verse that Serena quote at the end mean?  I cannot understand those old bible quotes for the life of me.

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On 7/4/2018 at 9:56 AM, Joana said:

 

Aunt Lydia's reaction to all the craziness in Emily's new household was priceless. Her facial expressions were hilarious. However, I get a feeling that for most of the season she's been used as a comic relief 

 

I could watch aunt Lydia’s facial expressions all day.  Unlike June.  But I wouldn’t call aunt Lydia funny all that often.  

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On 7/4/2018 at 6:01 PM, rubinia said:

I thought Serena was almost hoping (even though she knew she wouldn’t) that she would miraculously lactate. She wants to be  the baby’s mother so badly that she wants to experience that connection that only a lactating mother can have with a baby. She doesn’t want June to touch, much less nurse, the baby.

Also, as someone who wasn’t able to produce enough milk for my own baby, it kind of bugs that this idea of “low milk supply” is somehow new and different? Does every woman in Gilead that gives birth automatically produce a ton of milk?

I assume their obsession with breastfeeding is some kind of religious fanaticism.  Otherwise Serena would just use formula and have June sent to the colonies.  

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The side Holly gave Serena when she was sucking on that dry nipple is one of the funniest things I've ever seen. She looked at Serena like, "WTF? I will cut you."

I wish I cared about Eden. She had so much potential, and she was wasted. Ugh.

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On 7/4/2018 at 9:10 PM, Ragingviolet said:

I haven't finished reading all the comments on the episode yet but I am really surprised to seeing so many people saying they like the new commander.  When he asked Emily if she had healed properly and she had this tear filled horrified look on her face I felt a tendril of ice go down my spine.  I mean he is a welcome addition but not because I think he will be a good person.  Did no one else respond to that scene in the same way?

I like that the character was introduced. I like how you can’t tell yet what type of person he is.  Does he regret creating Gilead or does he still believe in it? Why does he live so differently than the other powerful people?  Why does he seemingly take in the “rejects” that no one else will?  I’m happy they’ve expanded the story line. 

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I hold out hope that S3 will go in the direction of veering off of it being primarily from June's POV and follow the book's epilogue where there was more told about what happened to Gilead and the people there from an historical perspective ... it may be asking too much but I would love to see each episode address specific characters ... I think it would be easy to come up with, say, 12 key characters and then a 13th finale, including a June episode, an Emily episode, a Rita episode, an Aunt Lydia episode, a Nick episode, a Serena episode, a Fred episode, a Commander Lawrence episode, a Mrs. Lawrence episode, etc. ... maybe a Luke/Hannah/Moira episode ... obviously, many if not all would involve other characters we already know, but I'd like to see what happens to each person without it being a mish-mash. For those who read the book, we already know about a chosen few and I think those could be especially satisfying.

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I want to hope that Lawrence has staying power but knowing this show, this is a drive-by character. They have failed to expand on all of the interesting plots they've introduced so I expect this to go along the same lines.

I'll eat my words if he lasts past 2 episodes. 

Edited by Deputy Deputy CoS
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On 6/27/2018 at 6:43 PM, graefin said:

EDIT: Ah, nevermind. On fourth rewatch, it appears she's saying, "You're disgusting; I hate you!

She said that to her husband, not Emily.  She asked for Emily's real name and said her husband had done bad things because he engineered the whole colonies thing.

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28 minutes ago, Earlwoode said:

She said that to her husband, not Emily.  She asked for Emily's real name and said her husband had done bad things because he engineered the whole colonies thing.

Yes, I've got it now. The lighting is so dark and the previews so face paced that it's always hard for me to follow. Thanks!

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On ‎7‎/‎5‎/‎2018 at 12:37 PM, VagueDisclaimer said:

I agree that their likely is a wet nurse situation, because some women simply don’t produce enough and women die during childbirth as well. But i don’t think babies are precious enough to this society, or they would produce or import formula and it wouldn’t have been a covert op to get that qualified doctor turned Martha to attempt to help Janine’s baby. It’s much more about keeping women controlled and in their place than the babies. 

Yes, Gilead is all about controlling women.  It's as if the Manosphere took over America.

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10 hours ago, chaifan said:

Everyone is focusing on Commander Lawrence as the creator of the colonies, but I'm actually more interested in Aunt Lydia's description of him - the architect of Gilead's economy.  I would love for them to give us at least some explanations of how there is an economy - it seems that all major corporations and industries no longer exist.  There's some farming, agriculture, someone's got to be making all the red and teal and grey outfits, but what else is being made in Gilead, and who is buying it?  Does Wall Street still exist, in any form?  Is there a stock market?  From all I can see, it's a pretty shit economy, is that by design or did they seriously miscalculate how things would end up? 

This is a really interesting idea. A country's wealth being built on slave labor. 

Definitely taken from history. 

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On 7/4/2018 at 5:30 AM, watchTV said:

So an adopted child cannot be cared for by its non-biological parent? I think there are plenty of orphaned and adopted children who would disagree. There are also plenty of children with biological parents who are failures. The baby has no idea SJ stole her from her mother.

SJ can be the architect of this dystopian mess and still care for this child. Those two are not mutually exclusive.

And she is foul. She deserves no redemption.

Thank you! As an adopted children, I have been feeling increasing angry and uncomfortable at the idea that a biological mother must be considered a child's "real" mother. My biological ,other is NOT my real mother.

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8 minutes ago, DangerousMinds said:

Thank you! As an adopted children, I have been feeling increasing angry and uncomfortable at the idea that a biological mother must be considered a child's "real" mother. My biological ,other is NOT my real mother.

I have also been feeling uncomfortable and angry about this direction. Char-Angela was exhibiting signs of failure to thrive because while her basic needs were being met (food, diaper changes, etc.), she didn't seem to be getting the physical stimulation or the cuddling/contact that babies need. She perked up with Janine because someone finally offered her some skin-to-skin contact, physical affection, and stimulation (playing with her, singing to her, etc.). Janine just happened to be Char-Angela's biological mother but, theoretically, if Naomi had been offering this to her all along then she may not have fallen ill. While babies DO know their birth mother's scent (and their voice), the love and affection they receive is just as important-even if it's from someone else. With time, they will also get to know THAT person's scent and voice and will find it just as soothing.

Babies are also good at feeling people's emotions. When my babies cried and couldn't be soothed, I often found myself feeling frustrated. The longer I kept holding them, the more agitated they got. I'd usually try to put the baby down or call in someone else to help because the longer I held on, the more frustrated I became and the fussier the baby got. What I got out of that last scene was not only did Holly get soothed because she was she was in June's arms, but more importantly that Serena Joy realized that she DID need help and that the two women were bound together tightly, regardless of her feelings towards June. 

I don't want to step on anyone's toes here, but I feel like it's important to keep the comments Serena Joy-specific and not so general. We have lots of foster mothers, adoptive mothers, and adopted children on this board. To imply that ONLY the birth mother could soothe the child or offer comfort or even love the child really might hurt someone's feelings. I don't want to do that. 

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16 hours ago, Miles said:

He might have created the colonies to give people a fighting chance. After all, those are all people who were sentenced to death. They would have ended up on the wall or in a pool if not for the Colonies. Janine and Emily are alive because of him.

Janine and Emily were sent there to work to death. The only reason they have a second chance is due to another handmaid's courage who sacrificed her own life.

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The scene where Serena lets June nurse Holly. Was anybody else expecting Serena to sit behind June in the chair so she could ‘participate’ in the feed much as she ‘participated’ in the Ceremony?

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I've read about 1/3 of the posts in this episode thread, so forgive me if someone has already mentioned this.

During the episode I was wondering why the wives weren't required to try to breastfeed the babies themselves, using induced lactation methods. I've done a bit of reading about it, and while sometimes it can only be accomplished using medication (hormones), apparently some women are able to breastfeed a baby not their own by stimulating their breasts using a breast pump in the weeks leading up to the baby's birth. With all the strange labor/birth ceremonies the wives go through when the handmaids are giving birth, it seems inconsistent (to me) they wouldn't require the wives to follow an induced lactation protocol - and strange the wives wouldn't want to do that (if Serena's dry-feeding Holly/Nichole is any indication).

Thoughts? I realize induced lactation doesn't always succeed (even with the use of hormones), but neither does the rape of the handmaids always result in pregnancy/birth.

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It would have been a nice touch to see Hannah with her adoptive mother.  We saw the picture of the two of them together and it looks like the adoptive mother is pretty nice.  Then maybe it wouldn't feel like, to some people, that biological motherhood was being glorified over non-biological motherhood.

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I think the issue some people are having is not a case of biological motherhood being glorified over adoptive motherhood, it’s that in this specific show and society, these aren’t normal circumstances. These aren’t “adoptive mothers”. Of course the natural mothers are gonna be seen in a better and sympathetic light, because their children are  literally being ripped away and stolen. Babies are being born  through rape and just being taken from other women and given to someone else to raise against the will of the natural parent. In a show where the bio mom is literally crying and leaking milk cause she’s desperate to hold her own child and the “adoptive” parent won’t let her, and she’s forced to lay on the floor and just listen to her own child cry, how is that supposed to be seen as normal? I’m treading lightly here because I’m trying not to be combative. We have been shown healthy surrogacy before in that case with Moira in a flashback, everyone left that situation pretty satisfied and the baby went with happy parents. That’s how is supposed to work. And I agree in the case with Janine’s baby. If the Putnams showed that baby any warmth, or affection, I’m sure she would have been ok. But they didn’t. It’s a testament to how messed up that society is that they are also forcing women like Mrs.Putnam, who has no inclination to be a mother, to have to be one. I don’t think they are trying to denigrate adoption, I think they are trying to show the horrors of what happens when you try to control people.  And mothers who DO want their children, DO have a natural and biological bond with them. And it’s one of the cruelest and unnatural things to rip that away.

Edited by GraceK
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20 hours ago, chaifan said:

Everyone is focusing on Commander Lawrence as the creator of the colonies, but I'm actually more interested in Aunt Lydia's description of him - the architect of Gilead's economy.  I would love for them to give us at least some explanations of how there is an economy - it seems that all major corporations and industries no longer exist.  There's some farming, agriculture, someone's got to be making all the red and teal and grey outfits, but what else is being made in Gilead, and who is buying it?  Does Wall Street still exist, in any form?  Is there a stock market?  From all I can see, it's a pretty shit economy, is that by design or did they seriously miscalculate how things would end up? 

 

10 hours ago, guilfoyleatpp said:

This is a really interesting idea. A country's wealth being built on slave labor. 

Definitely taken from history. 

Yes, but historically, even when a product is being produced by slave labor - tobacco or cotton, for example - there's someone out there buying it.  The rest of the world has boycotted Gilead, so even if there was a surplus of any product to export, no one is buying it.  And there was always an economy separate from slave labor industries.  Gilead has a military to feed & house, utilities to run (although sparingly), roads to upkeep, garbage to collect, etc., and the only way to do that is with tax revenue.  But without industry you don't have jobs, and without jobs you don't have taxes.  See the circle I'm going in? 

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We got glimpses of the black market via Jezebel’s & Emily trading for sad medical supplies in the colonies. Any centrally controlled economy is going to have lots of corruption & “invisible” markets. I’m surprised we haven’t heard more about economic traitors, even in assisting in people fleeing Gilead. Many will look the other way for bribes vs morality (or bribes may help them find their morality). 

I guess they’re too busy cracking down on literacy and unauthorized sex.

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31 minutes ago, chaifan said:

 

Yes, but historically, even when a product is being produced by slave labor - tobacco or cotton, for example - there's someone out there buying it.  The rest of the world has boycotted Gilead, so even if there was a surplus of any product to export, no one is buying it.  And there was always an economy separate from slave labor industries.  Gilead has a military to feed & house, utilities to run (although sparingly), roads to upkeep, garbage to collect, etc., and the only way to do that is with tax revenue.  But without industry you don't have jobs, and without jobs you don't have taxes.  See the circle I'm going in? 

You don't need to trade with other countries to have an economy.  It won't be a great economy, but you can have an economy without having to buy or sell products outside your borders.  Your people consume only what they produce, which is why the characters talk about some products not being available. I would question the availability of cinnamon, given that it doesn't just grow anywhere, but, some Gilead merchants might be allowed to go overseas and purchase some things.  In that case the other country is trading with a merchant, not with a country, so, it could be done.

I don't think we are expected to believe that all industries have disappeared, but that production has been significantly slashed, to the point that there is rationing.  They still have gas to fill up their cars, so, some oil wells and some refineries must still be operational, just not as many as before, therefore, there are restrictions on transport.  From what I understand from the show, the Sons of Jacob advocate for less consumption not for a complete return to feudal times. But they get to decide who consumes what because they think they know best.  Obviously, the Commanders and their families get more than others (they can drive cars, while econofamilies travel by train), but that seems to be the gist of it (as presented on the show).

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On 7/5/2018 at 5:26 PM, Miles said:

 

Have the gilleadians never heard of how important body contact is? I mean feed the baby from the bottle all you want, but take her clothes off and feed her on your bare chest woman. It's important for bonding and the health of the baby.

 

Well again born in 60s and this wasn’t done. I’m sure I was cuddled and held and all that as were friends and siblings but people didn’t undress to bottle feed.

 

somehow, we bonded. 

 

On anothwr note, how much did I love aunt Lydia and June’s exchange over true bran muffin and June’s oh well look. 

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7 hours ago, GraceK said:

I think the issue some people are having is not a case of biological motherhood being glorified over adoptive motherhood, it’s that in this specific show and society, these aren’t normal circumstances. These aren’t “adoptive mothers”. Of course the natural mothers are gonna be seen in a better and sympathetic light, because their children are  literally being ripped away and stolen. Babies are being born  through rape and just being taken from other women and given to someone else to raise against the will of the natural parent. In a show where the bio mom is literally crying and leaking milk cause she’s desperate to hold her own child and the “adoptive” parent won’t let her, and she’s forced to lay on the floor and just listen to her own child cry, how is that supposed to be seen as normal? I’m treading lightly here because I’m trying not to be combative. We have been shown healthy surrogacy before in that case with Moira in a flashback, everyone left that situation pretty satisfied and the baby went with happy parents. That’s how is supposed to work. And I agree in the case with Janine’s baby. If the Putnams showed that baby any warmth, or affection, I’m sure she would have been ok. But they didn’t. It’s a testament to how messed up that society is that they are also forcing women like Mrs.Putnam, who has no inclination to be a mother, to have to be one. I don’t think they are trying to denigrate adoption, I think they are trying to show the horrors of what happens when you try to control people.  And mothers who DO want their children, DO have a natural and biological bond with them. And it’s one of the cruelest and unnatural things to rip that away.

 

I completely agree with you. 

The handmaids sytem is about dealing in blood babies.

Children born to mothers who have been vilified, enslaved, and abused by a society that sees their worth as living wombs only, walking, breathing incubators, or better yet fertile sows that are trapped and kept for easy sex accessibility and maybe they will get pregnant if they’re lucky, since the Commanders seem mostly infertile but still want to stick it in somewhere whenever possible. 

 The leaders of Gilead are not people who are initiating the process out of the goodness of their own hearts, they are not attempting to save children from undesirable and dangerous situations, they are in fact only gaining a baby out of the worst possible circumstance imaginable: systemic rape. 

The handmaids are property, the very lives that may grow inside of them get labeled and marked as belonging to their masters, there is no fair or kind arraignment or agreement in place. There is no question raised about “what’s best for the baby”. 

These women have no choice about anything, they breed or they die, they fight back and they die, they protest and they die, they are living solely on borrowed time. 

June did not give up her rights to her baby, the courts did not intervene and remove her rights, those rights no longer even exist in Gilead.

When June became “Offred” she became human chattel, no more able to have a say about her own life and body than a mere table leg or the living room rug. 

This regime took away her personhood and her basic human rights, they took away her husband and daughter, they took away her very name and sense of identity, all so that they could then steal her baby/babies.

Can Serena essentially be a “mother” to Holly? Sure, she’s not so incompetent that she can’t learn how to take care of a child. Fred on the other hand...yeesh. 

But the child in question is not hers to mother, full stop, she does not need, at all, for her to play Mommy for her sake.

Holly already has a perfectly fine and fit and loving Mama that desperately aches for her and wants her back beyond all else. 

Serena did not get that baby through a fair, just, or legal process, she robbed a womb so that her own personal cradle would finally serve a purpose. 

She raped the mother until her body’s biological process was activated and finally gave up the goods, and then she snatched the child away to hoard for herself. 

Serena got that baby due to countless other innocent lives, many of them children, many of them infants, that were sacrificed to make it happen. 

IMO, Serena is only a “mother” because of rape, torture, abuse, and murder all by her own complicity and direct involvement. 

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This is another reason that the only major change in the book canon which was abandoned by the show really hurts credibility here.

There is so much I could believe IF they hadn't changed that. 

Spoiler

The white race birthrate was almost non-existent, possibly because of more industrialization/chemicals, etc. in first world countries.  POC birthrates were fine, same as always.

If that had remained true in the show?  I'd believe commanders wanted these children. The larger issue at hand (for them) would have been even more pressing.  Also, simply the fact that

Spoiler

racism

and misogyny go hand in hand.

Without the misogyny of course, sperm counts would be tested, as cute CIA guy says they are doing in Hawaii, and spun or whatever to make the semen more fertile, inserted via the medical equivalent of a turkey baster.  Also, there would be no need for rape, although forced pregnancy might still be a thing, but no need for handmaid's to live in some dude with power's house.

Edited by Umbelina · Reason: thought better of my comment about repetitive comments
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16 hours ago, Ruby said:

It would have been a nice touch to see Hannah with her adoptive mother.  We saw the picture of the two of them together and it looks like the adoptive mother is pretty nice.  Then maybe it wouldn't feel like, to some people, that biological motherhood was being glorified over non-biological motherhood.

I don't think that's what they meant when they brought that issue up. Here is the clarification in the quote below.

 

On 7/4/2018 at 7:04 PM, NoSpam said:

No, I'm not talking about the Gilead treatment of biological mothers. I'm talking about  what the show has presented.

I mean how only Janine could cure her baby (after a respected neo natal doctor said nothing could be done). The whole june/Hannah reunion, where June is so overcome by seeing her that she puts all their lives at risk. The birthing in the house alone...all of the flashbacks to Hannah's birth. It's all been too melodramatic.

YMMV, Whatevs.

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There are a lot of posts declaring the benefits of formula feeding and that's fine but in this particular world where the birth mother is a vessel, as stated by Aunt Lydia, none of those things woudl matter.  I don't really think anyone in this particular society cares if it's easier for a mother to get more sleep or that it hurts for some or any of those things.  What they care about is what their old school ideas are about what's "best for baby."  Breast milk is the best, most natural thing for a baby to eat.  It's easy to digest, it carries health benefits.  There are many reasons that they would force the handmaids to breastfeed the babies despite them not liking it or not wanting to etc.  In the handmaids' circumstances they can even force them into a diet that would increase milk production and make them do whatever it took in order for them to produce.  The whole point is that once they have the baby that is really their only job....producing milk for the baby.  That's it.  All this going to the store and whatever else June does around the house doesn't matter.  Her sole purpose now becomes being a cow basically.  That is what is so terrifying about the situation. 

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31 minutes ago, watchTV said:

I don't think that's what they meant when they brought that issue up. Here is the clarification in the quote below.

 

I do not understand how June's reaction to seeing her child is glorifying being a biological mother.  How else was she supposed to act?  I also thought it was pretty clear that the reason Janine's baby did better was because Janine actually took care of it unlike the commander's wife.  So I really still don't understand this whole glorifying motherhood sentiment.

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7 hours ago, Ragingviolet said:

do not understand how June's reaction to seeing her child is glorifying being a biological mother.  How else was she supposed to act? 

I Agree . This is the child that was literally taken from her by armed soldiers while she was dragged away screaming. What is she supposed to do? Be all “ new phone who dis”?

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9 hours ago, Ragingviolet said:

I do not understand how June's reaction to seeing her child is glorifying being a biological mother.  How else was she supposed to act?  I also thought it was pretty clear that the reason Janine's baby did better was because Janine actually took care of it unlike the commander's wife.  So I really still don't understand this whole glorifying motherhood sentiment.

Agreed.  And I do not see the show as saying anything negative about adoptive mothers.

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In the book....

Spoiler

….how is it that only whites suffer from infertility?  If it's the result of pollution, everyone would be effected.

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This show just keeps accidentally almost hitting on hot topics, the US coming out against the WHO to protect, support, and promote breast milk today, after ALL the talk in this thread?  World's colliding once again.  I bet the writers are just shaking their heads today. 

(not political, just a comment on the spooky prescience of this show, even when it's something so completely out there, there is no way it was planned.)

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5 hours ago, Ruby said:

In the book....

  Reveal hidden contents

….how is it that only whites suffer from infertility?  If it's the result of pollution, everyone would be effected.

answered you in the Palimpsest thread.

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On ‎7‎/‎4‎/‎2018 at 3:01 PM, rubinia said:

I thought Serena was almost hoping (even though she knew she wouldn’t) that she would miraculously lactate. She wants to be  the baby’s mother so badly that she wants to experience that connection that only a lactating mother can have with a baby. She doesn’t want June to touch, much less nurse, the baby.

Also, as someone who wasn’t able to produce enough milk for my own baby, it kind of bugs that this idea of “low milk supply” is somehow new and different? Does every woman in Gilead that gives birth automatically produce a ton of milk?

That's what confused me.  I also struggled with milk supply.  In a place like Gilead where seemingly very few babies actually remain with their birth mothers, it seems exceptionally odd that there wouldn't be any formula available.  Babies are so rare, the chances of having a steady supply of breastmilk seems very very slim.   It's....weird.

I also think some people are confusing being a mother with mothering.  Serena is trying hard to do the best "mothering" she can (within her own narrow view of what that should look like) but of course she's not a mother because no mother would steal another woman's baby.  I think the comments about adoption were aimed at those posts implying that Holly was crying because she knew Serena wasn't her biological mother.  That leads to the natural implication that babies can only be happy and thrive with their biological mothers which is, of course, ridiculous.

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Punishment in Gilead is so freaking random. You never know if your “crime” will result in a beating, or re-assignment to Jezebels or the Colonies, or losing a body part, or an execution. It all seems so capricious. That just makes everything worse.

So who gets the fun job of recovering bodied from the bottom of the pool? 

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On 7/4/2018 at 1:17 AM, LittleRed84 said:

Omg I snorted out loud. She has no idea what she is saying!

Lydia doesn't know that the baby's is Nick's?  Is that right?

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2 minutes ago, Ms Blue Jay said:

Lydia doesn't know that the baby's is Nick's?  Is that right?

Not a chance, she'd probably turn them all in.  She's the closest thing to a true believer in Gilead.

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On 7/4/2018 at 8:22 AM, alexvillage said:

Nicole (or Nichole, as in the CC). Not so subtle name. I wonder who chose it.

OMG.  I never put that together until you said it.

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On 7/4/2018 at 5:11 PM, charmed1 said:

Yes! That’s exactly what I said when I saw her. “Well isn’t that nice? Mr. Rochester’s wife didn’t die in that fire after all.” At first glance, I thought the actress was Sarah Jessica Parker.

I thought it was Michaela Watkins and I was so excited, but instead it's someone who looks like her.  Michaela Watkins and Bradley Whitford have acted together too.

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On 7/4/2018 at 9:41 PM, Umbelina said:

I never saw Gilmore Girls, but I loved her in Sisterhood, and especially loved her in Mad Men.  I'm always shocked when GG fans talk about her, because I've always thought she is so talented...she's great in this.

Rory Gilmore is a very, very, very annoying and polarizing character.  I love the show Gilmore Girls, but I hate Rory Gilmore, personally.  Speaking for myself.  Alexis was honestly just too young and underdeveloped as an actor.  I don't blame her whatsoever.  I think she was chosen for those eyes which mimic Lauren Graham's - they freaking mention those damn eyes all the time on the show.   In everything else I've seen her in, she's been great.

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23 hours ago, Ragingviolet said:

I do not understand how June's reaction to seeing her child is glorifying being a biological mother.  How else was she supposed to act?  I also thought it was pretty clear that the reason Janine's baby did better was because Janine actually took care of it unlike the commander's wife.  So I really still don't understand this whole glorifying motherhood sentiment.

 

When the glorification of biological mothers was first brought up, someone interpreted  that as dismissing the handmaids in  favor of the commander's wives. Not so. My understanding is this show is in a way overrepresenting the role of a biological mother.

June, Luke, and Hannah  happy together. Remember that, Hannah?  June reminded her daughter of her former life. For what?  This child could not return to that. In short, she caused her daughter more pain. That situation was already very risky and the other guardian kept telling them they needed to go. June then ran outside to say more words that ultimately resulted in what exactly? Great seeing you but nothing's changing. You're going right back to your new life. You know? Away from me. This extended scene resulted in Nick's abduction and June left on her own while ready to pop.

An actual doctor, who was an expert in her field, basically said it's over. Yet, through some unexplained miracle her baby healed. There are a lot of unexplainable things on the show so I guess we'll just have to buy it. The whole episode felt like one long extended scene of June giving birth. It's like the long close up scenes of her face emoting for filler. Did we really need that? Handmaids can have babies. We know. But in case you didn't know, here's what it looks like. Naked. In the dark. On the floor. Without much vernix. Why? Unexplained.

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