Hot take: Serena doesn't deserve to be a handmaid

  1. If they're going where I think they're going with this storyline, then Serena's going to get the Handmaid experience without the SA. She'll experience the isolation, boredom and being under another woman's authority.

  2. I think she’s going to commit some Gilead crime while in their house, and they’ll witness it and use it to try to get her baby. Like I know they’re American citizens but they are also obviously tight with Gilead leaders and won’t hesitate to narc. As far as Serena should be thinking, these people were told they’d get her baby if Serena did anything wrong. Serena knows all the trumped-up crimes Gilead created to enslave women and steal their children. She isn’t on top at the Wheelers like she was at the Info Center, now she’s at the mercy of people who want what she has. If she’s learned anything by now, it’s that you can’t let your guard down near true believers, especially ones who want a child.

  3. I think when people are saying that, they are saying that it's fair for the former handmaids in Canada to feel that way, which I 100% agree with. I think they also mean that, from a story perspective, it would be interesting and ironic to watch Serena, a fictional character, suffer the fictional punishment that she came up with (after committing the crime of escaping Gilead, very similar to what June did and recieved the punishment of being a handmaid for).

  4. I agree with this take, no one is wishing rape on a real person. That’s something completely different than wanting to see poetic justice in a fictional story. That being said, I do like the direction they decided to go in as the handmaid route would have been too predictable. Serena getting the handmaid experience without being raped is ideal, and we know based on Yvonne saying Serena hits rock bottom this season that she is going to get what she deserves in one way or another.

  5. Eh you can search Serena handmaid in this sub, and find many, many, many comments that she should get what she deserves and become a handmaid. They absolutely are hoping for her to be raped as revenge.

  6. That's always struck me as being a little weird too - that people are calling for her to, essentially, get raped on a regular basis. And I say this as someone who has 0 sympathy for her. I just don't think that would be a satisfying or pleasant way to enjoy her downfall. I get why it's an interesting idea, but I don't want to be in a position where I'm rooting for someone to experience rape. I'd rather just root for her to get beaten to death by June lol.

  7. Totally agree, but I reckon, similar to the positive sentiments re Aunt Lydia, so much time has passed between the first couple of seasons where the explicit rape of the handmaids was portrayed that as audience members I think we forget that aspect of being a Handmaid. I remember at the time it being so confronting that I felt dirty just watching it. As the show has progressed they started focusing on the other brutalities that went along with being a Handmaid (i.e. the training, the stoning, all the horrible rituals, the pregnancies) and stopped showing the rapes so that my immediate thought about a handmaid goes to those as opposed to rape--all of which I'd be happy for Serena, the character, to experience--even still, in theory, I don't think in real life I could stomach watching even the most vile person going through that level of brutality.

  8. I would like to see her treated like a dumb child and slapped around by aunt Lydia, her child taken from her and being treated and tormented like she did to June.

  9. Yes, it’s unsettling how many people are rooting for her to be raped. I too want her to be punished and I get the sentiment but there are other ways to watch her character suffer.

  10. It seems likely (especially since she's already pregnant) that Serena will not be subjected to the SA portion of a Handmaid's life -- something that very likely would have happened had she stayed in Gilead as no single Commanders (even Lawrence) wanted the burden of her as a Wife.

  11. I think she’s getting a taste of her own medicine now and that’s pretty satisfying. The look on her face said it all. She’s now being treated less like a human and more like an object that carries a valuable good - her baby. She doesn’t need to be raped, she’s already carrying a baby that by Gilead law she shouldn’t be allowed to keep as a single mother. And that family she lives with now clearly wants that baby for themselves. It’ll be interesting how that’ll play out for her.

  12. It’s an interesting take. Why is it okay to root for her death but not her rape? Violence against women in society often includes murder and not just rape, if anything isn’t rooting for her murder an even more dangerous form of dehumanization?

  13. Yeah I don't understand why people think it's somehow better to be murdered, and some calling for her to be ripped apart like Fred was, and yet rape is where they draw the line at morality? I'm just mind boggled a bit

  14. I am right there with you! I will never, ever wish that anyone is subjected to rape. To be honest, once someone starts advocating rape, it’s hard to differentiate them from the other group advocating rape. The only difference is who is being raped. I feel the same irritation when people make prison rape jokes and comments. Just no.

  15. The only time I can even think about rape happening to someone else and not feel bad.... Is when it is a pedophile. If that makes me a bad person, well ... anyone who does that to a child, I have little compassion.

  16. I am not hardcore on the Serena being made a handmaid bandwagon, but I can see the reason why ppl are gung ho about it. It's very "an eye for an eye" mentality

  17. Agree 1000 percent. I do not understand ppl saying what Gilead is doing is wrong but then wanting to do the same thing to Serena and such.

  18. exactly, I understand that people want to see her get punished in a gratifying way, but how on earth would watching her get raped be gratifying?

  19. This is exactly what I was thinking reading some of the comments in this sub. Like... Serena being a handmaid means that the system has not been destroyed which is a loss for women everywhere.

  20. Ngl, the sheer quantity of the demands for Serena to be raped/brutally murdered/victim of violence is, at this rate, a pretty big discomfort and it's getting increasingly hard to even filter them out.

  21. i dont generally believe in capital punishment, but in this scenario of the options are rape or murder i would say murder is the less awful choice. as a survivor sexual assault feels like a fate worse than death.

  22. I agree 100%. I want her to have her baby taken away from her and for her to experience that kind of loss firsthand. however, I would absolutely never, under any set of circumstances, wish rape on anyone. I truly do not understand that line of thinking. What Serena did was awful and she definitely deserves to answer for it in some way, but rape should never be used as a punishment. That’s awful, as well as highly hypocritical. What the person is indirectly saying Is that rape is acceptable in some instances, or that some women “deserve” to be raped, which is a very cruel and a very Gilead way of justice. Those same people are also troubled by the idea that the Gilead government decided that some women were less than and “earned” this type of treatment and abuse.

  23. I also agree that in our world/time Rape should never be used to punish women…ever. And, I would hope that if there were a population crisis we would think of more scientific, humane and fully voluntary system would occur.

  24. I agree with you but can we stop using psychosis as an insult? It’s not an insult, it’s a type of illness that’s massively debilitating, not an indication of someone’s character.

  25. Thank you so much for bringing this up! I've had this same thought, and I often feel like voicing it comes across as being a Serena apologist or giving her a pass when that isn't the case at all. The sentiment that Serena should become a handmaid really rubs me the wrong way because it implies that rape is in some way an acceptable form of "punishment" depending on the severity of someone's crime - when really rape should not be on the table for anyone in the first place. It's like people realize that rape is vile and reprehensible and that no one should go through it - except when it's someone we don't like. As a survivor, I would literally never wish rape or sexual violence on anyone. I can fully understand the line of thinking, and I can also understand especially why other survivors may have these feelings as well, so I don't want to police anyone's emotions or imply that they're wrong for feeling that way. I'm not a judge or a jury, so who am I to say that my way of thinking is right? But in my opinion, saying "well, Serena's a terrible person so she deserves it" leads to a really slippery slope, because it implies that there is some universe where people can deserve to be raped. No one deserves it, period.

  26. It’s not punishment, my dear. It’s her God given duty to bear children, and by his hand, she shall give upon Gilead many more of Gods precious gifts

  27. I honestly agree with this a lot. I've seen a lot of people call for her to be a Handmaid and I considered it at first myself- but I really prefer the way the show seems to be taking things.

  28. I think the current Serena story parallels June’s experience with Hannah more closely than June’s experience as a handmaid. Both Serena and June expected, rightfully, for these to be their kids. And an oppressive system has conspired to take them away. There’s a whole different kind of violence in the handmaid system that doesn’t apply to Serena’s current situation. It’s no less painful, but it is qualitatively different.

  29. I hope June gets to cut her lights out while giving us one of those horrid stares and a song plays that’s eerily descriptive of what we’re seeing happen

  30. If it were real life, and I were applying my actual moral values, then yes, I would be opposed to making Serena a handmaid. Doing so would be a betrayal of the values we hold dear that Gilead suppressed.

  31. I think the thing missing here is its not real. She is a fictional character. I don't want real women to have this punishment. I'm not sitting around eating cheese-its watching true crime rapes and murders. I am very specifically watching fiction. These people are not real people. I want the story to go wherever the story has set up. I am very much in defense in being true to the world and story a writer has set up. Writers are the back bone of my entertainment, so tell your story! They set up a monstrous world. So go then, show me the awful world, show me that hope remains in it. Show me the good and the bad and the ugly. If theres a dragon I want it to hoard gold and eat some damsels. If theres a gun I want it to go off. If there are zombies I want people to get eaten. If there is blue meth I want someone to do the blue meth. If I am watching final destination, I want those people to get crushed by a roller coaster or whatever. If Serena set up a trap for women then I want her to fall into that trap as a woman. I want zero of those things to happen in real life. It's pretty ridiculous to try to act like wanting a story to work within the established parameters of the world in that story means people are advocating for real life rape. It's a story. It's like saying that if you read the original snow white you actually want older women to dance in red hot iron shoes til their feet are bloody stumps and they die. Or even the Disney one. I don't actually want a mean old queen to fall to her death. Thats like a horrible way to die too. I just want to see the whole story and experience the story good or bad as the writers intend. I don't want them to hold back on the story. Just tell me the damn story! And if anyone really had a problem with actors acting out this kind of story they should have bailed day 1. Not act like they are morally above a story with fictional rape 49 hours in. Everyone was cool experiencing the story telling when it's June but Serena is a step to far? If you are still here it is because you enjoyed the tale that included rape as punishment enough to follow it this far. You were already cool with an acted out pretend story where it was the way things were done. There is no moral high ground to be claimed at this point. You already decided you were ok with it enough to continue watching nearly 50 hours of this story where you knew any fertile women becoming a hand maid was a possibility.

  32. and my discomfort is less at the story for it’s depiction of rape bc it’s intentionally morally awful and we aren’t supposed to support gilead. but to hear FANS saying stuff like that leaves a weird taste in my mouth…

  33. here’s the thing tho, i get what you’re saying but the way it’s phrased is super invalidating as a survivor. nobody is demonizing anybody. nowhere did i say that this was what crossed the line for me. i think there might be a fundamental misunderstanding here: fiction doesn’t exist in a vacuum, especially feminist fiction and even more especially any sort of fiction about rape. the reason why this show got so popular was because of how relevant it is, so it’s not that unrealistic for viewers watching the show to relate it to real life. im not just expanding it to real life bc i got bored one day, fiction has real and tangible impacts on ppls lives bc that’s what art does. i also began watching this show before 1. i was in the abusive relationship that i escaped and 2. before i was sexually assaulted. obviously it was all deeply disturbing to me before, but now that i have experienced what i have experienced it’s offputting to hear so many ppl talk abt rape they way they have on this sub. again i’m not attacking you or anything and i understand where you’re coming from, but let’s not neglect the real power fiction has to impact the lives of whoever consumes it.

  34. The fact that people are advocating for the rape of a woman and justifying it because “it’s fiction” still doesn’t sit well with me. I’m not demonizing anyone, but I just don’t understand the reasoning behind it it is all. The whole “rape is bad and no one deserves that…but the rape of a fictional character is okay and she deserves it” is just a concept I personally don’t understand. Why should rape ever be justified, fact or fiction? In my opinion, the justification of rape on screen does nothing but desensitize is as a society to the idea. Over time, those lines can get blurred.

  35. The intention of people wanting her to be a handmaid is not for her to subjected to heinous crimes but more so because we want to see her in a similar state of a handmaid, controlled and powerless. Yeah I know that it comes with it but its more towards her being guilty.

  36. Of course we know rape and slavery is cruel! But it's a story about handmaids being raped baby vessels! Serena being forced to become a handmaid would just. fit. so. WELL with the story. Sweeeeeeet justice and I'm here for it. FINALLY.

  37. Serena is a terrible person. But I wouldn’t want anyone to be a handmaid and have to experience SA. As a victim of rape, it was terrible and wouldn’t wish it on anyone. I can’t even imagine how much worse it would have been as a handmaid and living in a household with the rapist and him trying to in-pregnant me every month.

  38. If they make Serena a handmaid and treat as some kind of karmic comeuppance that would be a major betrayal of the show’s integrity and core message to me. I could not get past it.

  39. THANK YOU. Truly disturbing how people want her to become a handmaid, knowing all that happens to them. Serena should be locked up and her baby taken away from her. That's about it. June should get to punch her in the face once every day for each day she spent as a handmaid. No one should get to rape her.

  40. I never had or ever will have any empathy for Serena. She took part in rapes and abused the people her and Fred were basically holding against their will. Serena took pleasure in creating a society that killed people, ripped children from their parents and destroyed lives. She most certainly deserves a dose of what she did to others.

  41. This is a FICTIONAL show. We are not cheerleaders for rape for a real person that’s the difference. We are allowed to want to see the worst happen to someone that’s fictional.

  42. the show may be fictional but ritualized rape and sex slavery is very real. the person serena is based on (phyllis schlafley) was real. there are women out there like serena, women who are mindnumbingly cruel and privileged. and those are still women i wouldn’t wish it on. fiction, particularly this show, doesn’t exist in a vacuum and it’s relevance to real life is the reason why it’s so popular.

  43. I’m one of those who is uneasy with people advocating for her to a handmaid, and I recognize it’s a TV show set in a different world. For me, I don’t want to be put in a position where I feel sympathy for Serena because the alternative would be rooting for her to be raped and violated. That just isn’t something I’d feel comfortable doing, Even though it’s fictional, I just can’t justify to myself and be ok with the concept that rape is ok in any situation in any sense and if I’m being honest, I never want to get to a point where I can. I guess I just can’t compartmentalize it like others can into “fictional, it’s ok” and “real, it’s not ok”, and that probably stems from being a sexual abuse victim myself.

  44. i agree with this 100%, it would be great for the storyline and yes i want to see her punished but i can’t wish being a handmaid on someone

  45. Thank you for this post. After my kidnapper and rapist went to prison, every person around me would say “well he’s so pretty, now he’s going to be somebody’s bitch“ “he better not drop the soap” “at least he’s going to get back what he deserves”. To peoples surprise I explained how in no way would I wish that upon him. No one deserves that, I didn’t, he doesn’t. No one deserves to be sexually assaulted.

  46. As much as I dislike Serena. No one deserves to be a handmaid. She just deserves a fair trial and then jail time for betraying her country.

  47. I highly doubt that the show will go in that direction regardless of how many people want it to. I also don't think that those who are advocating for her to become a handmaid necessarily mean it. This show is raw and incredibly emotionally draining (not to mention mimics real life so closely). Serena has, for the most part, skated by unscathed and is arguably one of the worst humans on the show. A true narcissist. The actress who plays her is incredibly talented (and brave!) to nail this role so perfectly. I'd guess that a lot of people automatically go to her becoming a handmaid as her punishment as logically she's still a part of Gilead (which also makes me wonder if that's why Mark was so insistent that she break ties with them & why he complimented June on doing what she had to to serve Fred his much deserved end).

  48. I haven't necessarily hoped for her to become a handmaid, and I don't think that's exactly what's going to happen. I think whatever she's doing at the Wheeler's house, it's a new thing that won't involve sexual assault. I'm not chomping at the bit for her to be made into a handmaid. I don't really want her raped or killed, I just want her to lose all control forever, and to live with the knowledge of what she's done every second for the rest of her long life.

  49. i think because of her violent tendencies and extreme fundamentalist beliefs she would be a dangerous parent. to subject a child to that kind of mother is just cruel to me. i think she can do what’s necessary for the baby’s health (feeding, skin to skin contact, whatever), but she held a woman down to be raped. she actively upheld a totalitarian theocracy. she has a temper and is known to lash out physically when she’s angry. i don’t trust that kind of person to take care of a child, at least not for a long time.

  50. Do I think she deserves to be a handmaid? Yes. Do I want to see her be put through that? No. It’s sad and horrible and evil even if I think she deserves it.

  51. Yeah, I wouldn't wish any kind of abuse on other people, but Serena...knowing that she was the one who wrote the "manual" and then subjected so many girls and ladies (yes, girls) to all aspects of abuse before the series started where it started is despicable. This is the instance where I think she deserves to experience what she advocates. Maybe, just maybe, she will realize why June is the way she is towards her.

  52. If we're operating by Gilead rules, she does deserve it. I think on some level Gilead has become more normalized after a few seasons of this show (at least to me). It's terrible, obviously, and scary how easily that can happen.

  53. I 100% agree and got downvoted to hell last year for saying I found it disgusting and disappointing that people were advocating for a woman’s rape because she’d done bad things. As a SA survivor myself, I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. I’d rather die than experience SA again.

  54. Kind of a weird take to say that someone doesn’t deserve to be raped yet they deserve to be killed? The same reasons you claim that rape shouldn’t be used as a tool of punishment exist for not inflicting the death penalty: “cruel and vile,” “dehumanizing.”

  55. “polite dissenter” calls me a dumbass lol. to each his own i suppose…..and perhaps you’re right, gilead would eat me alive. they would eat most ppl alive. id rather die knowing i retained my compassion and softness than live conforming to what gilead would want me to be.

  56. I couldn’t agree with you more. The only reason everyone wants Serena to be a handmaid (myself included) is purely in a world of suspended reality where our rage can be directed or misdirected at whichever character we want bc they’re not real and this show is not real. The helpless rage this show triggers in all of us results in very dark thoughts of vengeance and violence. If this were real I’d never condone ANY WOMAN being subjected to this. Period. And it’s not that I want Serena to be raped, god in no way do I want that! I want her to suffer like June suffered. Which I know means SA… but that’s not what I envision when I imagine her suffering. Anyway, you’re right.

  57. I completely agree with you, OP, and you’ve stated this very well. We should honestly guard against any revenge fantasies in my opinion because we cannot sink to the level of these monsters. Nearly every day I’ll see comments on some news story hoping someone who hurt a kid gets raped in prison. Oof. Complicated. I get it, but it’s not ok.

  58. What Serena might deserve and what she’ll get are two different things. I do think the Wheelers will try to take her baby and keep Serena for the breast milk. And I think Gilead will support their efforts. Serena would have a way out through Mark but not with the baby. Whether or not that makes her wake up is anyone’s guess.

  59. I agree, I know she is a terrible person who makes a poor argument for her own redemption. But I sincerely hope that she sees this as a rude awakening and manages to get out of there and claim asylum. I don't care if June never forgives her and she ends up dying, whether by June's hand or Gileads, but I'd much rather see her do one final act of defiance and repentance before that happens. Take her baby, make her die in childbirth...whatever, just...yeah I agree with OP, she can have her karma or dramatic irony or whatever without becoming a sex slave.

  60. It would just be simply a fitting narrative shift from a story telling perspective. A dark fate, one caught in the mechanisms of their own hand. In a real sense, it is of course, horrible, a moral society does not visit evil upon those who commit evil because it’s a barbaric philosophy. However, Gilliad is a barbaric society, so strictly from a story telling perspective it is “fitting”, but still also objectively horrible.

  61. Here's my problem with what you said. "The punishment has to fit the crime," and then you implied that rape is worse than murder. Don't be a clown. Murder is clearly worse.

  62. Unpopular opinion, but I never wanted Serena to be raped/ turned into a handmaiden either. I feel like she doesn’t deserve that kind of redeeming arc- it would garner her so much pity that she does not deserve, especially if she gets a sort of paradigm shift from it and comes out a hero. I’d much rather prefer to see her kid be taken away to be raised by other people, without ever knowing that she was the one that gave birth to him.

  63. Thank you for saying this. I never understood how people are rooting for Gilead to be taken down and at the same time hope that a woman is systematically raped and tortured. You can’t have both. I do think that making that happen, and to portray it as a “win”, would go against everything this show has been preaching.

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