But Seriously, How Do the Handmaids in Washington D.C. Eat?

Spoilers ahead for this week’s episode of The Handmaid’s Tale. If you haven’t watched “Household” yet, feel free to save this article for another time!

On this week’s episode of Handmaid’s, June and co. went to D.C. so the Waterfords could take political action to get Nichole back from Canada.

If you thought being a handmaid in June’s area was bad, you were apparently wrong, because the D.C. handmaids have it worse. It’s revealed early in the episode that each girl has three rings in her mouth that completely prevent her from talking. That’s disturbing in and of itself, but it also brings up a whole host of important questions, like…

How the hell do these girls eat?

The girls obviously have rings that prevent them from opening their mouths. Wouldn’t that also prevent them from eating? We know that food and nutrition are important in Gilead for the handmaids because the people in charge want the women to be strong enough to be able to have kids, so this seems pretty contradictory to their whole M.O. If girls can’t eat, they can’t have kids because they will literally die.

Highly doubt they’re all on a juice cleanse or something.

Unfortunately, there’s no actual answer for this question. The show hasn’t given us the answer and no one on the internet seems to have an answer. Maybe we’ll find out in the next few episodes.

How do they brush their teeth?

If you can’t take out the rings in your mouth, you can’t brush your teeth, which means your oral hygiene would be absolutely heinous. You would have so many cavities! Your breath would be so stinky! Don’t the people of Gilead want their handmaids to be clean?

How do they sneeze?

You know how when you sneeze your mouth opens involuntarily? What happens if you CAN’T OPEN YOUR MOUTH? Just something to think about.

How did they get so many of them?

This is a serious question. Did they call them in from somewhere? Do they just have more in the capital because more important families live there?

It’s possible that because the final scene is something the Waterford family is filming in order to get Nichole back, they made handmaids from other districts come to be in this shot. But still, there are SO MANY.

Are June and the rest of the handmaids going to have to eventually wear rings?

Another serious Q. If the handmaids in Washington are supposed to set the example for the rest of Gilead, does that mean the other women will have to wear rings in their mouths too? Aunt Lydia seemed genuinely horrified when she had to put June’s mask on her, so it seems like she’d be against it.

There isn’t a super clear answer to this because that would obviously be a spoiler, but series creator and showrunner Bruce Miller did say this in a recent interview:

“Like so many things, the intention is first it’s voluntary, then it’s encouraged, then it becomes required,” he said. “So Aunt Lydia and June can both see that coming down the road. In fact, Lydia, in that episode, is not too happy about it. She sees her girls as people, not as walking wombs as Washington does.”

So it looks like it’s a definite possibility??

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