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Does The Handmaid's Tale verge on torture porn

With the second season of The Handmaid’s Tale expanding on where the book finished, the ante is continually upped in terms of violence and horror. To keep the tension building, the torture and suffering the women in The Handmaid’s Tale keeps getting worse and worse. Is this feminist tv show crossing the line with how much suffering is shown?

  • Anyone taking on this topic needs to acknowledge that men also suffer, are tortured and exploited in The Handmaid's Tale: Commander Warren Putnam's hand is amputated as punishment for his lustful feelings and behaviour towards Janine, Nick is exploited as a sperm donor and forced into an arranged marriage. Also, I suggest that the topic be re-worded slightly: Rather than presume that the suffering is worsening solely for the purpose of building tension, why not ask 'what is the purpose of the escalation of horror and suffering? Is it inappropriate, and does it compare with torture porn?' Anyone responding to this topic as it is worded would have to be familiar with 'torture porn', which complicates matters for the potential writer. – Jos 2 years ago
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  • While it is definitely devastating to watch, I wouldn't necessarily label it as "torture porn", because that would imply that we derive pleasure from watching the characters suffer. We see plenty of horrible things in shows like Game of Thrones, and we keep watching not because of the events depicted, but because of how the characters respond. – RebaZatz 2 years ago
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