Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Jailkeeper of Morale (Aunt Lydia)

I used to see it in their eyes- their disgust and the fighting spirit within them. It kills me to know that I’m responsible for the deaths of all these women. I may not be physically killing these women, but I am the murderer of these women’s dreams, beliefs and morale. Why is it that the only way to keep myself alive is to demolish the minds of others? I constantly question whether my life is worth living if all I do is contaminate minds with wretched concepts. Is it really worth it?
        The longer I continue this job, the more I realize that I am a jail keeper of morale and a propaganda tool for Gilead. I hate that I am supposed ingrain Gilead’s corrupt caste system into the minds of women. Gilead separates women into different categories and pits them against one other. Eco-wives versus handmaids, fruitful women versus barren women, wives versus handmaids, aunts versus women. I cannot help thinking that Gilead’s caste system is hauntingly similar to the caste system in India. Both systems divide people based on occupation and family lineage. Barren women are equivalent to the ‘untouchables’ of the India caste system, people whom are considered to be bad omen and frowned upon by society. Ecowives are next up in the caste system, followed by handmaids then wives. At the very top of the system, the ‘priestly class’, are the Commanders. According to Gilead Commanders can do no wrong and are not responsible for the declining population. After all, there is no such thing as infertile men, only fruitful or barren women.  At least, that’s what we’re supposed to believe.

          Another aspect of my job I loathe is twisting biblical ideas for Gilead’s sick purposes. I can feel my conscience twinge each time I tell these women that “Blessed are the meek”, but leave out “for they shall inherit the earth”. I know that by leaving out the part of the scripture, I am supporting Gilead’s ideology that a women’s glory arises from her meekness. I am telling these women that to speak out against Gilead would be a sinful action. To know that I am corrupting the original message of the Holy Scripture makes it even more difficult to do my job. All I wanted was to keep my life, but now I don’t know if it is worth keeping any longer. 


littlemissy said...

I once detested you because I couldn't understand how as a woman you could support the society Gilead has trapped women with. However your post has shed some light on the difficult position you were forced into by Gilead. Personally, I cannot justify promoting corrupted ideologies even under dire circumstances such as yours. Though I would have made a different decision, you are not the monster I thought you were. Your post made me realize that we are all unfortunate victims of Gilead.

- Moira

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