“Domestic Feminism”: The Politics of Reproduction and Motherhood in Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale

Publication Name

Television and New Media


Popularized by Hulu’s television adaptation, the allegories and iconography of The Handmaid’s Tale have been used in women’s reproductive rights activism around the world. However, at the same time, the series has been recognized and critiqued as offering white, conservative feminism. This article explores how Hulu’s adaptation often works to domesticate Margaret Atwood’s novel and the series’ feminist implications in regard to reproduction and motherhood. While The Handmaid’s Tale has become spectacularly visible as a popular feminist television series, its reproductive politics and representations of women, family and motherhood are largely conservative: waging a limited resistance on behalf of neotraditional white Anglo-western mothers. In light of the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, this article is motivated by the conviction that it is increasingly important to hold sociocultural representations of reproduction and motherhood to account.

Open Access Status

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