Handmaid's Tale Themes

582 Words3 Pages
Many themes present in this week’s assigned reading of the Handmaids Tale exist in our contemporary society. The two most intriguing scenarios that demonstrate this include the doctor forcing himself on Offred and the reaction to Janine’s fourteen year old rape story. Offred recounts her most recent doctor’s visit at the end of the fourth chapter. The doctor examines her and is friendlier than he is supposed to be, and Offred is skeptical of this from the start of the appointment. After the examination he secretly offers to “help” Offred, attempting to manipulate her into believing having sex with him will save her. When Offred declines his offer, he threatens to tamper with her examination results and implies that next month she’ll have…show more content…
Janine admits to being gang-raped at fourteen as well as to the abortion that followed. Rather than expressing sympathy, the Aunt’s make the girls chant that Janine is at fault for being raped. The girls taunt Janine, chanting that the rape was her fault, that she led the men on, and that she was raped as a lesson. After two weeks in a row of telling this story at the testifying session, the girls made Janine truly believe that the assault was her fault, and the chanting was no longer necessary as Janine began to state the words herself. “’It was my fault”, she says. “It was my own fault. I led them on. I deserved the pain”. (Atwood 72). Our society today makes many women feel like they are at fault when sexually assaulted. Whether its intoxication, risqué attire or innocent flirting, women are always blamed for men’s inability to keep it in their pants- just as Janine is blamed for being gang-raped. Society has made women fear things they shouldn’t have to fear because of the expectation that men want to have sex. In a male-controlled society penetration becomes the norm. Excuses are made for the perpetrator and the victim is shamed. Sexual assault is perceived as NORMAL- to the extent where public figures defend it. In 2013, before he announced his intentions to run for the presidency, Donald trump tweeted on his personal account that there are “26,000 unreported sexual assaults in
Open Document