The Handmaids Tale is a television show based on a book by the same name told from the perspective of one of the handmaids Offred originally known as June in a dystopian future were society has digressed and women no longer have a say in how the country is run. Although the story does seem to focus a lot on religion it has just a strongly centers around reproduction and the inability to conceive.
From the very beginning we are introduced to this idea that in this society the ability to have children is rare that the main objective of a handmaid is to provide to children for the powerful in society. More than that we are introduced to a society were the inability to provide children is fully put on the women and rather then the viewing the capturing and enslavement of these once free women as unjust they are forced to believe that it is a privilege. This is seen around 17:43 were June is having a flashback to when she was put in a school to properly learn how to be a handmaid. Throughout this scene Aunt Lydia is telling all the women captured why women are now unable to have children by describing how they had become dirty and no longer pure
Within in this society it’s easy to see how women no longer have a voice and that the only real power any of them have is the ability to reproduce but even then this power is still constantly checked to the point were even if you are capable conceiving it doesn’t guarantee you safety. Around the start of minute 19 we see Janine speak out against the ideas being told to her by aunt Lydia and rather being safe is shocked in the neck as both a demonstration to the rest of the women their but also to prove a point that just because you can conceive doesn’t mean you’re safe.
Further into the show in 41:21 the handmaids are brought into a ritual and when they get there June talks to Alma about there commanders. In this seen Alma talks about her commanders inability to conceive and even though this might be true the blame will still fully be on her for inability to provide a child. The first episode really shows the levels to which toxic masculinity can truly wreck among a society and the levels to which they go to hide this fact all together. The people at the top of this society might put religion as the center focus of there society but is only done so to mask there true nature as well as to gain full power be cause what better way then to use ones faith against one another, a faith that helps to the oppressors of this society at the top without question.