185 It’s All About June: The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 Analysis
In This EpisodeWe had hopes for season 2 of The Handmaid’s Tale. Hearing that creator Bruce Miller had received the criticism that season 1 did not properly address racism in Gilead, or his misguided “color-blind” casting choice, we hoped that Miller had given creative control over to a diverse staff of writers who would understand the nuances missing from season 1. Sigh. Alas, this did not happen. Instead, season 2 is arguably MORE racist than season 1, in its clumsy attempts to throw a few more faces of color into bit parts that go nowhere. The Handmaid’s Tale is obsessed with June, turning her from a selfish, reckless, “resistor” with nothing really at risk because she knows she’s pregnant in season 1, to a full-on action hero by the end of season 2. The absurdity in this is only overshadowed by how White Feminist this fucking show is. We referenced a few articles for this episode. Those written by Max S. Gordon on Medium are simply stunning, we HIGHLY recommend reading them if you have a moment. He puts everything wrong with race in The Handmaid’s Tale into perfect focus. His writing is clear, engaging, and poignant. The other article by Alex Zaragoza has one of our favorite summations of the issues with this show:
And too often, as a woman of color, it seems like the ones most freaked out about America becoming Gilead are white women with minimal experience with violent discrimination and oppression at an institutional level. It’s just torture porn masked as woke viewing for white ladies in pussy hats who are finally feeling the panic and subjugation Black and non-Black women of color have been feeling. The show’s failure in discussing race exacerbates this. The result is condescension aimed at these groups and an erasure of their experiences. With that in mind, this season of The Handmaid’s Tale has been going all-out in glorifying the lost America within the created world. In one scene, June turns on a car radio and hears a radio announcer (voiced by Oprah Winfrey no less) sharing some world news followed by this line: “And now a tune to remind everyone who’s listening, American patriot or Gilead traitor, we are still here. Stars and stripes forever, baby.” Then a live version of Bruce Springsteen’s “Hungry Heart” plays. In another scene, following the impactful release of secret letters from women in Gilead smuggled into Canada and delivered into Luke’s hands by Nick, American refugees go into a sing-along of “America the Beautiful.” The scenes are meant to give hope, but no one seems to point out that Gilead grew out of America—America fostered Gilead enough that it overthrew the country. And as a viewer watching the atrocities of the dystopian world go down, I ask myself if they’re longing for the America I currently live in. I can’t help but look around incredulously. Are you for real, Handmaids? Have you seen this place? Sure, I’m not wearing a bonnet or forced to become a baby factory, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. ——————— Excerpt from ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Is Way Too Real — and Watching It Has Become Masochistic by Alex Zaragoza on The Daily BeastLinks in the resources section below! Update to Previous Episode
We issued a clarification for Evolve Our Prison Farms and their mission statement, current projects, etc. in relation to a recent news item we covered about prison dairy farms:
- Why Not Prison Dairy (Evolve Our Prison Farms)
What do you call a young potato?
Links and InformationNews
- Top Vegan Organizations Join Forces To Build A Stronger, More United Movement (Plant Based News)
- Two amputations a week: the cost of working in a US meat plant (The Guardian)
- Trade helps propel second-quarter business (Politico)
- On Race and Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale | by Max S. Gordon (Medium)
- Walking On Broken Glass: How Bruce Miller’s The Handmaid’s Tale Turned Out Racist After All” | by Max S. Gorgon (Medium)
- ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Is Way Too Real — and Watching It Has Become Masochistic | by Alex Zaragoza (The Daily Beast)
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