The Handmaid's Tale season 1 episode 3 shocks with FGM scene that wasn't in the book

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

Hulu and Channel 4's The Handmaid's Tale is awash with chilling moments, but one that was added for the TV adaptation stood out as particularly affecting last night *spoilers ahead*.

When Ofglen (Alexis Bledel) was carted away in a black van, it turned out not to be because of her Mayday connections but down to her rule-breaking affair with her female housekeeper

Told by a court that her very "existence is an abomination", she was sentenced to "redemption" and later awoke in a hospital having been given what we are to assume was a clitoridectomy.

"The stitches will come out in a few days," Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd) tells her. 

"You can still have children of course [fertility is valued in Gilead], but things will be so much easier for you now."

The Handmaid's Tale episode 3 final scene (spoilers)

The Handmaid's Tale creators apparently consulted the UN over depicting FGM, which is sadly still a threat facing many women around the world.

Like many other moments in the show before it, it resonated with the current political climate, particularly with regards to, as the Guardian notes, the continued legality of gay conversion therapy in the UK, the US vice president Mike Pence's views on homosexuality and the potential rollback of US bathroom degenderisation.

"Found last night's episode of #HandmaidsTale deeply disturbing," one viewer wrote on Twitter, "echoed the anger and nightmares that we're seeing now..."

"FGM wasn't in the book but it's a totally believable addition to this world," another added.