The Handmaid’s Tale – ‘Violence Porn’ or Reality Check?

Dr Ruth Lexton June 17, 2019

Provocative, beautiful and enthralling, the dystopic 2017-18 TV series The Handmaid’s Tale serves up what some critics have seen as ‘violence porn’, titillating viewers with scenes of women subjected to torture, mutilation and rape. However, The Handmaid’s Tale is also firmly rooted in reality resonating with issues such as anti-abortion legislation and the separation of parents and children at borders in the US. By portraying gendered and sexualised violence, The Handmaid’s Tale examines highly topical questions about the workings of power and the society in which we live.




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