“We were told that the Constitution would shortly be reinstated, and that the state of emergency would soon be over. That was correct, but not in the way we’d assumed.”— Aunt Lydia narrating about legal changes following the takeover
Principle of Social ClassesEdit
The Republic of Gilead does not hold general equality before the law; the legal position of individuals is based on their affiliation to a certain social group called "class": While members of different classes can be sentenced variably for identical "crimes" (see Criminal Law), the individual legal protection within one social class appears uniform. In that spirit, the Gileadean class system "replaces" the Equal Protection Clause of the suspended Constitution of the United States.
Legal Specifics of Female Classes Edit
Single women in Gilead must fear to be classed as "Unwomen", i.e. stripped of any human rights, which means they can be detained arbitrarily to be executed or obliged to force labor without trial. However, prospective Unwomen are consistently offered to be married off or to "redeem" themselves as Martha, Handmaid, or Jezebel.
Due Process Edit
Unlike married women and known male classes, some classes of unmarried women like Marthas and Handmaids lack the right to a fair trial, they have their mouth muzzled during trial when being charged.
Ban of PropertyEdit
Ban of AlphabetizationEdit
Gileadean females who aren't classed as Aunts (or one of their subclasses) are not allowed to read or write. Any breech is punished by amputation of a finger or even a whole hand.
Criminal law is absolute in Gilead, and is often based on literal interpretation of biblical verses. Any rule-breaking or subversion is harshly punished. Criminals are often executed ("salvaged") and their bodies displayed on central places like the Wall as a severe warning; other punishments called "Redemption" include mutilations or social reclassifications.
See also: Adultery (main article)
Homosexuality ("Gender Treachery") Edit
- "Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones."
- - Romans 1:26
Possessing Contraceptives Edit
After their witnessed Ceremony, June Osborne meets Commander Lawrence in the kitchen where he passes her a packet of birth-control pills. June remarks that under the laws of Gilead, anyone possessing contraceptives would be punished by being ripped apart by dogs ("Witness")
- ↑ The Testaments, V Van
- ↑ Episode 2.12, Postpartum; See also: Late, June (Episode)
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 V Van
- ↑ Episode 3.3, Useful
- ↑ VII Stadium
- ↑ e.g. Maureen in Useful/Liars
- ↑ e.g. Heather in Other Women
- ↑ e.g. Moira in Jezebels/XII_Jezebels
- ↑ e.g. Econowife Eden and Guardian Isaac in Episode 2.12, "Postpartum"
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Episode 1.3, Late
- ↑ see e.g. Episode 1.6, A Woman's Place
- ↑ Chapter XI Sackcloth
- ↑ Chapter II Shopping, Section 6
- ↑ Episode 3, "Late"
See also: Laws in Gilead (Category)