If the "apocalypse&quo t; occurred tomorrow...

(20 Posts)
StuffezLaYoni Tue 30-Apr-13 21:00:16

Sorry, this may sound flippant, but it's a genuine wonder of mine.
So, say civilisation crumbled tomorrow, in whatever circumstances. Do you think humans would revert to the gender stereotypes you see on programmes/films such as Walking Dead, The Road, The Stand, etc? By that I mean men leading groups with guns and brute force; women playing the "support" role; women being brutalised and raped.... And so on.

I think we would see the very worst of inequality, but would welcome any thoughts!

kim147 Tue 30-Apr-13 21:04:34

Look what happens when law breaks down and in war zones sad

When there are no real consequences and people become brutalised.

StuffezLaYoni Tue 30-Apr-13 21:05:43

Thank you Kim, that's a comparison I hadn't considered.

CheerfulYank Tue 30-Apr-13 21:38:14

Yes, probably. I remember in the Stand when Franny is thinking "she badly needed a man." It left a bad taste in my mouth but it's probably true. A woman would need a protective man or access to weapons and the ability to use them. Especially a pregnant woman like Franny.

I was just thinking about this the other day while watching TWD!

CheerfulYank Tue 30-Apr-13 21:39:26

I mean you do have the occasional exception, like Michonne.

StuffezLaYoni Tue 30-Apr-13 22:04:09

Oh cheerful yank - you know your stuff! :-)
I had forgotten that Frannie quote. I wonder if I would feel the same in that situation. Incidentally, I am off to bed with a tiny brandy to watch episode 16 of TWD which someone's given me. Heaven.

StuffezLaYoni Tue 30-Apr-13 22:05:26

Speaking of TWD, Andrea is so frustrating. Capable with gun, brave, fit. But the second a man says "leave babe and let us sort this out" (or similar) she does so.

MaterFacit Tue 30-Apr-13 22:36:13

I guess it would depend on a lot of factors e.g. cause of apocalypse, population levels, location when apocalypse hit etc.

In an army town for example it would perhaps depend on the sex of the surviving commanding officer, in a bunker it would be the gender of the surviving politico, if you were in a group it would be the strongest character.

Examples from literature and TV I can think of are Abby and Anya from Survivors, Samantha Willis from Survivors (the politician), Jenny Sutherland from Afterlight (middle aged woman who runs a community on an oil rig), Michonne etc from TWD, Nerit, Katie and Jenni from the 'As the World Dies' series. Charlie Higson has a massive zombie epidemic with only teenagers left and IIRC there were quite a few female fighters, although some of the girls did prefer the traditional caring roles.

If it was a massive population loss due to disease I think it would be more likely to keep a level of equality, but perhaps with zombies or an inner city situation it would be more likely to resolve around survival of the fittest and strongest. But then again, surely all hands should be holding machetes/hatchets in that situation -as in Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland? Oh and in World War Z too, lots of females fighting e.g. SUV woman, woman who goes around dispatching frozen zombies, women who volunteer to clear houses etc.

I'd like to think (and oh boy have I overthought this!) that in certain areas and situations (and personalities) that women would maintain a level of equality. With regards to the Franny quote, perhaps its not a man she needs but simply a larger group.

Bunnylion Tue 30-Apr-13 23:55:40

I reckon the book/film The Road could be an accurate representation - a few people trying to retain some degree of humanity but on the whole a very violent place for all, but mostly those who are not adult men (possibly without the cannibalism).

Horror stories of what's happened to people in the DRC are also what I imagine could provide an indicator of what may happen. Living in constant fear, pillage, widespread unprovoked random attacks and murders of innocent villagers, torture, burning down houses, kidnap, child soldiers, ethnic cleansing through rape and murder.

Off to bed now, sweet dreams! confused

MaterFacit Wed 01-May-13 08:59:51

Bunnylion - In 'The Road' the main problems caused by the apocalypse are a hostile environment, scarcity of resources and a relatively large population that survived the initial apocalypse. I agree that in that combination then the circumstances described in the book are most likely to happen, but if there was a smaller, scattered population and relatively plentiful resources e.g. after a disease, or a common dangerous enemy that threatened everyone e.g. zombies people might be more co-operative/create a range of communities depending on location, population, threat level, resources available, weapons available and the character and personalities of those who form groups / location of nearest authority figures.

I think also there are always those who long for peace and stability and the return of the status quo, just as there are those who lean towards destruction.

The Gate to Women's Country is a good exploration of a female run society after an apocalypse (quite some time after though)

YouMakeMeWannaLaLa Wed 01-May-13 21:11:04

The worst bit about 28 Days Later was Selena going from spunky, brave, machete-wielder leader to needing to be rescued whilst wearing a pink ball-gown! Still love the film, though and the plot is obviously not as simplistic as that grin

Personally, if it happened today I think we would regress to extreme inequality because it is ingrained in the vast majority of us, even though many now try to rail against it, backed up by laws and support (which would crumble in an apocalypse) but maybe when if it happens in 50 years it may be different if we ensure the next generations are less exposed to sexism --not bloody likely.

BasilBabyEater Wed 01-May-13 23:07:36

Depends on how many men survived vs how many women survived.

It would be difficult for men to brutalise and dominate women if they were only 10% of the population.

If they were 80%, it would be easy.

Matirfacit, I can tell that you have a very extensive zombie plan. Probably on a powerpoint presentation. With links to spreadsheets. grin

DeafLeopard Wed 01-May-13 23:25:54

Sadly I think any breakdown of a civil society would result in the very worst - but not just towards women, I think men would be treating men badly - fighting and stealing etc to survive or establish control and women treating women badly.

In terms of our family unit, I do think that we would revert to stereotypes, but only as a means of playing to our strengths. DH is physically stronger than me and is an all round jack of all trades, so I can well imagine him and (teen) DS building us a shelter or working out a way of purifying a water source etc, while I would be caring for (much younger) DD / making sure they were fed etc. DH isn't remotely sexist btw - he has been a SAHD while I have been the main wage earner for example.

CheerfulYank Thu 02-May-13 05:51:08

My DH is also an extremely good hunter, whereas I would most likely shoot myself in the leg.

MaterFacit Thu 02-May-13 09:35:11

Basil

angry

Not just a zombie plan.

I am fully planned up for all conceivable disasters.

grin

In a disaster I don't think DH and I would revert to stereotypes. He is much softer and calmer than me, whereas I am hideously stubborn with a streak of steel that borders on callousness. I have confidence in my plan and would be able to attract lots of lost, confused, traumatised and weak people and bend them to my will. Whilst everyone else is wandering around I would hit my targets, my safe places and begin to stockpile.

If I am going to survive an apocalypse I'm damn sure I'm not just going to become a baby making machine and die in five years

<hasn't thought about this at all>

Bunnylion Thu 02-May-13 09:49:26

materfacit I would like to join your tribe, should the worst happen.

I have animal husbandry, textiles and electronics skills.

Try watching 'Revolution'. The women in that are getting on with the fighting.

MaterFacit Thu 02-May-13 11:25:54

All very welcome in my benevolent dictatorship Bunny.

MrsGeologist Thu 02-May-13 11:33:24

Eventually, the survivors would need one another to continue to survive. One would hope that people's focus would be on survival and not on oppression.

VerySmallSqueak Thu 02-May-13 19:50:40

I absolutely think it would be survival of the fittest,and I think we are fooling ourselves if we don't realise that bad people will take the opportunity with both hands to practice their badness.
I think many would resort to stereotypes when it comes to the more physical aspects,and violent confrontation.
There has to be consideration given to the fact that because of stereotyping many of us have already been exposed to,it will sometimes be a case that there is a gender divide with certain skill sets - and in a survival situation it would be madness to ignore that!

Having said that,in my family unit,I both myself and my DH are able to shoot and have good survival skills that complement each other.For example,I can skin or pluck and gut an animal that he has caught and killed and we are both capable of building a good fire to cook it.
There would be no special treatment afforded to me on the basis of my gender!

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