Handmaid’s Tale as an Infertile Woman

So this weekend I finally binge-watched the Handmaid’s Tale. I know, lots of you out there are like, it took you that long? And my response to that is absolutely. It isn’t that I didn’t want to watch it. I read about the hype, heard people talk about it, saw the awards it was winning. The problem though is that as an infertile woman, stories about forced birth for infertile women make me uncomfortable.

So what did I think of the show, being an infertile woman?

Really at first, it made me think some really ugly thoughts. I could definitely empathize with the wives. I understand their desperation. And empathizing with women that were raping women to steal their babies feels really fucking gross. But there it is. I understand their desperation.

The other side is that it really reinforces my pro-choice stance. As desperately as I want a baby, I could never force another woman to birth a child and hand that child over to me. If that is her choice, awesome! But the magic word here is choice. Forced reproduction is unacceptable, full stop.

It’s also a scary storyline given our current political climate. The alt-right evangelicals would love a society filled with forced reproduction and a return to women being subservient to men. It feels like we’re just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Gilead. That idea should horrify people.

The sad part though is that the people who need to see it, won’t.

In the end, if you are infertile and still on the fence about watching it. I recommend it, but with a guarded heart. You will likely have to confront some ugly feelings, but they are truly feelings worthy of confrontation. And in the end, it is a great story. I just hope it stays a story.

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