15 most frightening laws in a maid’s tale


The waitress’ story is one of the most frightening dystopias in television history. The United States of America has been replaced by the Republic of Gilead, an extremely oppressive theocracy that enslaves and subjugates almost every one of its citizens, and even its ruling class is often the victim of its barbaric punishments.

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Almost no one would want to live in a land like Gilead, so that the nation’s politicians have passed laws that have basically ensured that no one in the country can travel, either because they do not know how or because they are too afraid to stand up against their government. Virtually every one of their laws is an object lesson in the horrors of extremism, but some laws stand out as the worst of the worst. These are the most frightening laws in Gilead.

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Women can not vote.


Any woman living in the Western world would be shocked at the thought of having their right to vote revoked, and it says a great deal about Gilead’s social structure and laws that this is actually one of the least horrific laws they have adopted on their population.

Gilead’s governing body is utterly confusing and obscure, and this seems to be a deliberate move to obscure where power really lies. So in that sense, it’s really a question of how much voting in the “Republic” of Gilead matters at all at this point.

Certain classes are not entitled to a fair trial.


Americans are brought up with the view that they have the right to certain rights that apply to everyone, and one of the biggest is the right to a fair trial.


And while the preferred classes in Gilead may have an opportunity for a “fair” hearing (if it can be considered reasonable to have a hand cut off for bad behavior), others do not even have the opportunity to speak in their own defense. As Emily’s arrest early in the series showed, she was literally unable to speak.

Women can not write.


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It’s more than bizarre to imagine a government making it literally illegal for half of their population to write at all, but Gilead is nothing, if not the most extreme imaginable oppression. The biblical justification for this law is largely non-existent, but the actual words of the Bible clearly do not have much influence on the realities of Gilead’s extremist laws.


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Words have power, as Serena Joy Waterford’s previous career as an extreme right-wing writer showed. And since women in Gilead are supposed to have as little power as possible, it is no shock that they are now banned from writing.

Women can not read.


This law, of course, goes hand in hand with the previous law, but in addition to being banned from writing, women are also banned from reading.

This is also a horrible but ingenious little twist of a law from Gilead, because even though they use the Bible to justify any horrible thing they do if women are forbidden to read, they can not exactly prove or disprove that Gilead’s laws are in fact completely fabricated nonsense. As fans saw in the previous season of The Servant’s Numbere, Gilead takes this law very seriously, and Serena was lucky to lose only one finger instead of one hand.


Women can be legally considered “unmarried” and deprived of all rights.


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Women are clearly extremely limited in the Republic of Gilead, but incredibly, it is possible to be even lower on the totem pole than a Gilead woman.

Uw women are basically women who for some reason can not fit into the new Gilead community. Either they can not adapt to the new world order, or they are “criminals” (ie, they were proponents of social justice or in before the Gilead era, or engaged in another profession or behavior that Gilead found unacceptable).

Competing religions are forbidden.


In a theocracy, it is disturbingly realistic to assume that all other religions will be banned and that people who adhere to these religions can be punished very harshly for their different views.


But Gilead’s particular brand of Christianity appears to be the most extreme fire-and-saliva version of the religion, and although they have made “competing” religions illegal, they have also made every branch of Christianity besides their own illegal. And of course, anyone who is discovered to be of a different faith is typically sentenced to death for their heresy.

Women cannot own property.


This is yet another of the more insidious laws of Gilead’s society. For given the entire societal structure of the nation, this really comes as no surprise. But when it comes to depriving its people of the right to vote, there is in fact no major extreme that they could go to.


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Things like literacy and freedom of religion are undoubtedly important, inalienable rights of all people on earth, but denying any ownership of literally anything in the world completely traps them in their position in life and gives them no opportunity to escape, which obviously the idea behind this law.

Contraception is illegal.


Like anyone who has seen more than 40 seconds of The waitress’ story already know, the whole country of Gilead is apparently built around solving the declining birth rates in any necessary manner.

However, the oppressive nation tends to speak out of both sides of the mouth here, for paradoxically, anyone found using contraception is punished with death (and if having children is all that matters, how any death of fertile people could be justified). And in case coercion was not terrifying enough in concept, the reality of maids is enough to turn someone’s belly up.


Abortion is illegal retroactively.


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Given Gilead’s stance on childbirth and childbirth in general, abortion, which is the biggest taboo, is not a big shock. But what makes their laws regarding it even more frightening is that not only is it illegal in Gilead, but it is a crime if a woman has ever had an abortion, even if she got it at some point or place, where it was legal.

And it does not surprisingly allow the state to arrest fertile women and condemn them to serve as maids to atone for their sins.

Male relatives regulate women and children.


Gilead is a nation that depends on the submission of its people to function, and one of the clearest and easiest ways they have made this happen is by giving only some real legal rights to men. The women and children in their community are largely the property of their male relatives, whether it is their father, husband or whatever man is left after the revolution.


At this time, most people would imagine that it is impossible because any rational person understands that one human being cannot be owned by another, but this idea is one of the cornerstones of Gilead’s existence.

Second marriage has been made illegal retroactively.


Though flashbacks of June’s story have shown that she was literally an adulterer who began his relationship with Luke while still married to another, that is not all that qualifies as infidelity in Gilead’s eyes.

According to their laws, only first marriage is legal. This means that anyone in the United States who had been divorced and then remarried had their second marriage dissolved and was considered a criminal in the eyes of the state.


Actions can be made illegal retroactively.


This idea is self-evident because there are already specific acts that Gilead has made illegal retroactively, but laws with retroactive effect are extremely uncommon in civilized societies because it is an incredibly dangerous precedent to create.

It is even more frightening in the brutal political atmosphere of Gilead because it basically means that those in power can make laws to target their enemies despite the fact that they did not actually do anything illegal at the time the action was taken. .

“Gender treason” is illegal.


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According to Gilead’s laws, sexual intercourse is for reproduction only and is therefore only lawfully permitted between a man and a woman. So, of course, anyone who is not heterosexual is illegal.


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It is one thing to forbid behavior, but to make the existence of an actual person illegal is really incomprehensible. It is at least not surprising that a bunch of religious ideologues would view LGBTQ + sexualities as a sin or even as a crime, but it violates the most fundamental human rights in the world.

The free press is illegal.


This is one of those laws that once again seems directly logical according to Gilead’s complete illogic, but once freedom of the press is gone, it is quite clear how important it is as a fundamental human right.


Half the population can’t read anyway, and Gilead’s government has no interest in letting its people know what it’s up to, so the notion that they would have any press at all seems a bit of a stretch. But concealment of information and truth is one of the most dangerous and easiest ways to control millions of people.

Freedom of speech is illegal.


Anyone who’s ever been on Twitter has questioned whether freedom of speech really should be free at least once in their lives, but the realities of what a ban on free speech means are rightly frightening to look at. The waitress’ story.

Regulating what people can say to each other at all is a level of control that only the most intimidating totalitarian regimes subscribe to, and putting any person in the country in a mindset where they are always in danger if they ever express themselves openly, really deprives them of their own personality. Gilead’s rule of law is to fall in line or die, and nothing could make this clearer.


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