malegendersign.pngIn A Handmaiden’s Tale characters are addressed according to their position and function in society. In the society names are not used in order to dehumanize each other. The roles of each gender are kept strictly separate. The roles in society are visually obvious, because the color of their attire is specific to their role. Men are divided into five distinct categories. Men are never thought to be infertile.

Men are divided into “Commanders of the Faithful, Eyes, Angels, Guardians of the Faith, and Gender Traitors.” Commanders of the Faithful are ranked highest; they are entitled to a household, a Wife, a Handmaiden, Marthas, and Guardians. Commanders drive black cars. The role of the Commanders is to produce offspring. The purpose of the “Eyes” is to function as a spy and find those who are violating the rules of the Gilead. “Angels” are soldiers who are fighting to expand the country’s borders. “Angles” are allowed to marry. “The Guardians aren’t real soldiers. They’re used for routine policing and other menial functions…they’re either stupid or older or disabled or very young, apart from the ones that are Eyes incognito” (20). “They think…of doing their duty and of promotion to the Angels, and of being allowed possibly to marry, and then if they are able to gain enough power and live to be old enough, of being allotted a Handmaiden of their own” (21). Guardians wear lime green uniforms. “Gender Traitors” are men who have engaged in activities that are considered homosexual. These men are either executed or sent to “colonies” where they endure a slow death.