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Jason Byrd

Outline
The Republic of Gilead came to its demise due to its
Strict Regime
Execute gays and lesbians,destroy porn and sexual clothing, kill abortion doctors,out law divorce
and 2nd marriages
It is attempting to separate sex from sexuality, The problem wasnt only with the woman, he
says. The main problem was with the men..they do
Attitude towards woman
They treat woman like a child is they only thing they are good for. It takes the sex out of
sexuality, I used to think of my body as an instrument of pleasure or a means of
transportation within its translucent wrapping.
Fear of sexuality
The regime underestimates and fears sexuality
The commander reveals not only that he carried out a series of affairs with his handmaids
The gov cant forbid illicit sexual activity just by threatening fearful punishments, by doing this
it almost encourages those in power to act out against these regulations
"Maybe none of this is about control. Maybe it isn't really about who can own whom, who can
do what to whom and get away with it, even as far as death. Maybe it isn't about who can sit can
who has to kneel or stand or lie down, legs spread open. Maybe it's about who can do what to
whom and be forgiven for it. Never tell me it amounts to the same thing." Chapter 23, pg. 135

Jason Byrd
Reacting to the Past: Conflict and Resolution in Early America
30 September 2014
Margaret Arwoods A Handmaids Tale
Regulation of society of the Republic of Gilead

In Margaret Atwoods A Handmaids Tale, the use of sexuality is a key component to how
the society regulates and controls its society. By stripping away these social norms woman and
men seem to both feel worthless and purposeless. The citizens then are more easily swayed. True
Love does not exist in this society let alone the feeling of worth. They treat the Woman like the
only thing they are good for is becoming pregnant and giving birth to continue their society on,
while the leave the Men even more lost than the Woman. The Men feel like they have no one to
fight for or protect and are left lost due to this feeling of insignificance. Gilead knew just what
they were doing. They knew this was the perfect recipe for control in their own society. The
Republic of Gilead uses sex and sexuality as a way to regulate and reorder society because of the
strict regime, attitude towards woman, and its fear of sexuality.

The Republic of Gilead uses its strict regime to regulate society; they kill abortion
doctors, execute homosexuals, out law divorce and second marriages, destroy sexual clothing
and pornography. They try to take the sex out of sexuality in order to completely control their
citizens. This society is completely stripped of the things that are meant to be the choice of the
citizen. This strongly affects not only the woman but the men as well. The problem wasnt
only with the women, he says. The main problem was with the men. There was nothing for

them anymore . . . Im not talking about sex, he says. That was part of it, the sex was too
easy . . . You know what they were complaining about the most? Inability to feel. Men were
turning off on sex, even. They were turning off on marriage. Do they feel now? I say. Yes, he
says, looking at me. They do, (Atwood 210). Men and Woman both feel as though they have no
purpose in life. Sex became too easy to obtain that it lost meaning. The benefits of this society of
Gilead are not worth the human pain. These citizens are emotionally lost and the society is taking
advantage of that fact in hopes of controlling their citizens.

Gilead also uses its attitude toward woman to reorder society. Women no longer feel they
are needed for any other purpose than producing children so the society can continue on.
Without the love and the desire to have children, the Women are not going to put as much love
and affection into raising their children, which will continue a cycle of even more issues. These
Women should have the right to decide on whether or not they want to have children, it should
not be the decision of the society. I used to think of my body as an instrument, of pleasure, or a
means of transportation, or an implement for the accomplishment of my will . . . Now the flesh
arranges itself differently. Im a cloud, congealed around a central object, the shape of a pear,
which is hard and more real than I am and glows red within its translucent wrapping. (Atwood
95). Offred once thought her body was an instrument but in this new society they treat woman as
objects as a natural resource, She used to believe she had the right to decide when she would
give herself to someone. It once was something special two people shared, it has become so
easily obtainable that neither gender desires sex as much as before. The society uses this as a
way to make woman feel powerless. If the society treats the woman as worthless, it is easier to
control and regulate their behavior. By making them feel they are not good enough, they are

much more likely to just listen to whatever the society is asking or demanding of them.

Fear of sexuality is also a tactic the Republic of Gilead uses to regulate their society. The
regime demonstrates both its fear of and underestimation of sexuality. The commander admits he
has committed several affairs with his handmaids. Little does the government know that the more
they threaten punishment on sexual activities the more those in power are encouraged to act out
against these rules. The more control they push down on their citizens, the more they are going to
rebel. If the society is going to treat their citizens like children, the citizens are going to act like
children and disobey their Parents. Only difference here is that these Parents of the Gilead
society do not have the best interest of their citizens at heart. They are only thinking of
themselves. Offred takes a many risks to continue seeing Nick, she shows the power of sexual
acts. The regime can give as many punishments as it wants; yet ordinary women like Offred will
continue to risk everything for the possibility of love in this bizzare society. "Maybe none of this
is about control. Maybe it isn't really about who can own whom, who can do what to whom and
get away with it, even as far as death. Maybe it isn't about who can sit can who has to kneel or
stand or lie down, legs spread open. Maybe it's about who can do what to whom and be forgiven
for it. Never tell me it amounts to the same thing," (Atwood 135). This society just ignores or
forgives absolutely disgusting things because they do not wish to deal with it, or to keep their
citizens living in fear, while maintaining their own control.

It is almost inevitable for the Gileadean regime to eventually destroy itself. The society
lived in absolute fear of sexuality because of the way they dealt with it. By creating this attitude
toward woman, it lowered every womans self confidence, she felt as though she had no purpose

but to create a baby with no true love involved. Men also felt as though their lives lost purpose
without a woman to protect and take care of. Men and Women are a delicate balance that should
not be disturbed.