Sexuality in Literature Essay

2653 Words 11 Pages
Sexuality has always an issue of conflict and debate. Who controls sexuality, and is male and female sexuality really distinguishable. People have always been having sex; for reproduction and for pleasure. Even though it is a women’s and a man’s rightful claim to this intercourse women tend to feel as if sexuality is against them. This would also be contingent on the type on society one lives in. In some societies the mere topic of sex is tabooed and the subject is not confronted with clarity, meanwhile in other societies it is encouraged, praised, and advocated to speak about it openly. Sexuality in The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood was one that was tabooed and against the strict, empowering rules of the Gilead state. Sex was …show more content…
"I remember the rules, rules that were never spelled out but that every woman knew; don’t open your door to a stranger, even if he is the police. Make him slide his ID under the door. Don’t stop on the road to help a motorist pretending to be in trouble. Keep the locks on and keep going. If anyone whistles, don’t turn to look. Don’t go into a laundromat, by yourself; at night ... Women were not protected then."(p. 24). For the rulers of Gilead the exchange of security is for the women to sacrifice everything in their lives. To step down from the roles they had once taken and enjoyed. From the freedom they had exercised where they made their own decisions whether right or wrong it was up to them and they faced the consequences. They were stripped down from their identities because before the revolution they were used and abused for their sexuality. But women had already been going through a lot before the Sons took over "There were stories in the newspapers... but they were about other women, and the men who did such things were other men. None of them were the men we knew. The newspaper stories were like dreams to us, bad dreams dreamt by others."(p.53)
The rulers and Aunts of Gilead catechize and brainwash the women by telling them that they were not respected or upheld in the society before because their bodies were used as commodities and women always felt unsafe