In this novel, the women who are more commonly known as handmaids were specifically isolated for child birth. They are held against their will and are constantly dismeanered against and abused physically and mentally. Back in the 1980’s, the judge’s didn’t even glance at a mans criminal background which pretty much enabled these men to commit these crimes. Back then, men who were middle class and lower were normally held responsible for crimes like these, but men who were high class couldnt and wouldnt be touched for rape. In this novel there are some more elaborate and harsher ways of rape and it is more formally known as the “Ceremony and Particicution.” This ceremony is not one of love and affection but one that involves multiple people (handmaid’s, commander and his wife).
These women are “kidnaped and become sex slaves to the Aunts then are held down by the wives and the penetrated by the males.” This is a religious and socially acceptable ceremony that is in no way shape or form consensual. When rapes like these would go to trial in the 1980’s, these women were completely made fun of due to the fact that no one would believe them.
The handmaids are made to work in these red 1950’s looking uniforms that are an unforgiving colour of red. They are made to wear red as this is “a sign of their sinful conditions.” These women are praised for bringing life into this world but punished in the most brutal ways. They were spat on like they were dirt and were told that the reason they were rapped was because they were too weak to handle themselves or the defense would argue that they werent rapped at all but were just looking for attention. Its things like this that we should be looking at in disgust. How dare they accuse the handmaid’s of such things when they were put through such painful doings. And meanwhile the men would be let off with warnings or not even be taken to trial.
There is a certain relationship formed between sex and power that shows how the sexual abuse of the female body, be it through childbirth or rape.