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New Webseries Is the Intersectional Handmaid’s Tale We’ve Been Waiting For

Have a minute to spare? Looking for a new Instagram account to follow? One that also happens to be a webseries? @MENACEseries has you covered.

The webseries, told in 1-minute episodes designed for Instagram, follows three women — Ana, an undocumented immigrant looking for a U.S. citizen husband; Daisy, a fiercely independent dominatrix; and Jane, a domestic abuse survivor — as they band together to survive in the face of mass femicides and violations of women’s rights. Using dark humor to bring awareness to issues of violence, race, immigration, and intersectionality, the show is funny, witty, and all too relatable.

The world these women live in is ours. A recent report from the CDC reveals that over half of the killings of American women can be attributed to intimate partner violence, with Black women being killed at higher rates than any other group. In fact, the CDC has labeled intimate partner violence a public health crisis. Attacks on abortion rights threaten the lives and livelihoods of women, with poor women of color being the most affected. Trans women are killed simply for existing. We don’t have to wait for a dystopian future to see what rampant violence against women looks like — for many of us, it’s our reality already.

Still, it’s refreshing to see a series and a team of creatives that place intersectionality at the forefront of discussions about women’s wellbeing. Flavia Borges, one of the series’s co-creators and actors, told me that the ways women of color, and more specifically immigrant women of color, experience gendered and raced oppression is a key part of the story they’re telling. And unfortunately, this isn’t the narrative we’re used to hearing. She went on:

We love The Handmaid’s Tale but we definitely felt like, “Where are the racial dynamics here?” It really feels devoid of the particular struggles of women of color. I’m also hypersensitive to this, being of color myself. For us, the only way to not tell a color blind story was to hit the nail on the head. In our series, Ana is dark skinned and clearly at higher risk than the other two women so when they ban[d] together, it’s bound to come up. I back the importance of Handmaid’s as a feminist piece and I’m here for it but negating history doesn’t help feminism. This is an exciting time where women feel empowered to advocate for representation in media they consume. If you fail to address intersectionality in 2017, you are behind.

I can’t wait until the series comes out later this fall. In the meantime, you check out the trailer below and follow @MENACEseries on Instagram.

Durham, NC

Barbara is a doctoral student at The University of North Carolina interested in im/migration and migrant activism and organizing.

Barbara is a doctoral student at The University of North Carolina interested in im/migration and migrant activism and organizing.

Read more about Barbara

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