A Brief Content Warning List for The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu (Episodes 1-3)

Backlit woman dressed modestly The Handmaid's Tale
Actress Elizabeth Moss as Offred in her room at the Commander’s house. (Photo: Hulu)

EPISODES 1, 2, and 3

A NOTE: Everything shown in this TV show—and the original book is happening or has happened historically to women in real life.

If you find you need a real life example for something shown in the program, please feel free to ask me as I know a fair amount of women’s history and current events.

These items / themes are present in the book.

(If you haven’t read Margaret Atwood’s masterpiece, this list is a little spoiler-y, but does not tell you anything about the story itself.)


    -brainwashing (religious, blaming the victim)

    -gender-based violence

    -infertility (this is shown in much more emotional detail than the book)

    -state violence against women (laws, punitive punishment)

    -sexual slavery (rape, aftermath of rape, and human trafficking)

    -anti-LGBT+ laws, violence, language (it’s emotionally wrenching)

    -women-on-women violence

    -restrictive clothing

    -deliberately circuitous language

    -religion used as a reason for violence (sexual and physical)

    -attempted baby theft

Young woman in wide white bonnet stares straight ahead in close-up
Ofglen (Alexis Bledel) kneeling on pillow prior to a Salvaging. (Photo: Hulu)

These items were not discussed / shown in the book (at all, or in other cases, mentioned but never discussed at length).

Again, spoiler-y, but this list will tell you little about the story.

    —paramilitary violence against protestors

    -kidnapping of a child

    -genital mutilation (implied)

    -mistreatment of the mentally ill (coersion, violence)

    -tagging (branding) of women

If I think of anything else that should be added to this list—or you do—please let me know.

As I watch each new episode, I will create a new post with content warnings and link it back to this one.

Hey there, Cupcake! How are ya?

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