Hello y’all! I’m back with another posting. I rarely do these types of posts, but I feel that I cannot help myself in this case. I don’t know how many of you saw the Super bowl over the weekend, but I did and I happened to notice the commercial for season 3 of the Hulu original, The Handmaid’s Tale. Now, I’ve been deeply involved again in my personal Star Trek journey as I’m trying to watch the entire series (from The Original Series all the way to Star Trek Beyond) chronologically and that’s really been all I’ve been watching on TV, but seeing that commercial reignited by interest in that show. I remember seeing trailers for it at the movie theater and various TV programs in the past about season 1 and I wanted to see it then, but it wasn’t until after the Super bowl that I finally started watching it. If you haven’t seen it, be prepared for an INSANE ride.
The synopsis as per Google is as follows: “Based on the best-selling novel by Margaret Atwood, this series is set in Gilead, a totalitarian society in what used to be part of the United States. Gilead is ruled by a fundamentalist regime that treats women as property of the state, and is faced with environmental disasters and a plummeting birth rate. In a desperate attempt to repopulate a devastated world, the few remaining fertile women are forced into sexual servitude. One of these women, Offred, is determined to survive the terrifying world she lives in, and find the daughter that was taken from her.” HOLY SMOKES, right?!?!
I won’t go into much detail about it aside from this. As what’s said in that synopsis, the now former United States of America is now a totalitarian society named Gilead. In Gilead, women are servants to men in all aspects of life. There are different classes of women, but none of the women are allowed to read or write. How insane is that, right?! The women are also forced into Plain Dress attire, and the men are kinda midway through it themselves, and the most horrible aspects of this all involved the violence in the name of religion. And violence in all forms as you’d suspect.
Now, for those that haven’t seen the show or read the book (I still have to read the book myself), all this happens over the span of about 5 years or so where rights are taken away and people start getting brutally murdered either by gunfire or hanging. Throughout the show, I’ve been thinking to myself, “How the HELL did the people who didn’t believe in these crazy people’s beliefs not leave?!” Well, the way it’s shown from the episodes I’ve seen is that people fought back and tried to maintain their rights as American citizens until it was too late for them to escape and they ended up in a life of slavery due to their non-conformity. It’s brutal. Catholics, LGBTQs, unmarried couples, divorced and remarried people, and basically anybody else that does not believe in that particular protestant sect’s beliefs are hunted down and publicly hanged, or shot for their beliefs or lifestyles. In a particularly hard scene for me to watch during episode 2 of season 1, two of the main characters, handmaids, are walking down a street in Cambridge, Massachusetts (where the show mainly takes place) and see St. Paul Church, a parish church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, being torn down. One handmaid tells the other that the régime also bulldozed St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan to try to “erase” the fact that it ever existed. Seeing that happen on the show just broke my heart. I started to wonder what I would have done in that situation. Granted, for at least the immediate future, I’ll still be here in El Paso where if something like this happened… wait, well first off, I think Texas as a state would throw up the proverbial middle finger to this protestant sect and go independent republic like we were from 1836-1845. Granted, the Republic of Texas existed 183-174 years ago, that independent spirit of native Texans still is strong. Anyway, with that said, again if Texas didn’t become its own republic again and instead became part of Gilead, it would be pretty easy for people here in El Paso to cross the border into Mexico and escape.
The question is, would people who didn’t believe in radical Gilead retreat or fight? What would I do? That’s really the question here. What the hell would I do? I didn’t give it much thought, I’d flee. Now, that’s what I’m trying to figure out about how exactly to feel about my decision. Does that make me a coward? Does that make me a non-believer in Jesus Christ? That’s what I’ve been struggling with. I mean, sure, it’s said in a few scriptures to be willing to die for the faith, but at what cost? It’s the double edged sword of laying down one’s life for Christ, but at the same time fighting for one’s life. An argument can be made for both sides, in my opinion. I have always just had a very strong sense of self preservation, so I’d find a way to escape and then find a way to fight back any way I could to overthrow evil.
With that said, my next question as I’m watching the show is “Why the hell didn’t these people leave in droves to escape either north or south?!” From what it looks like to me, it went down like this: First off, protests took place denouncing the beginning of the removal of rights, etc. all the while, people believed that this protestant group wasn’t going to really take over the United States and as much crap as they were doing, the country would never cease to exist. Next, and finally, when the United States of America ceased to exist, all the people who didn’t believe it could happen and fought back instead were then trapped and forced into either slavery, or outright murdered. I could totally see this happening too. I mean, who in their right mind would think that something like this could happen? Ask the German people when the Nazi party took over in 1933. Of course people say now that something like that will never happen again, but history has a tendency to repeat itself, and that thought alone terrifies me.
So, I’m going to keep watching The Handmaid’s Tale, as I’m on episode 7 of season 1 as of this writing, and keep wondering what I’d do in this world. I love shows like this. Shows that make me either think about my own life or make me dream about how I hope life will turn out for humanity as a whole is what sparks my interest.
Have y’all seen this show?! What are your thoughts on the matter? Do you question your life and the decisions you’d have to make if thrust into this situation?
Blessed be the fruit and praise be!