The Survival Podcast Forum

Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics => Lady Survivors => Topic started by: firefly on November 29, 2009, 07:14:04 PM

Title: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: firefly on November 29, 2009, 07:14:04 PM
I just watched 28 days later, I hadn’t seen it in a few years.  If you haven’t seen it I would recommend it, or at least read a synopsis of the plot to be able to follow where I’m going with this.   The end of the movie has made me think about the role of women in a TEOTWAWKI event.  If the marines with the two women that were traveling with the main character were able to hold up at that manor house for a long term duration, they would likely have children.  Would the gender roles of the past be reinstituted, with the women doing more domestic duties?  I’m not trying to be a sexist, but I think they would.  I’d like to hear other’s opinions and hear an interesting dialogue.  Thanks.   
Title: Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: Louisiana Suvivor on November 29, 2009, 07:30:25 PM
im pretty sure we would revert a few hundred years in some aspects. sorry to say but that's what i think
Title: Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: Mortie on November 29, 2009, 07:51:38 PM
I'm not too worried about a virus appearing that turns people into zombies, but it is always interesting to speculate what a societal breakdown would bring with it. I think the large scale disaster we may see will be from governments at every level going broke and being unable to maintain the monopoly on violence in their territories. With government shrinkage will come reduction in the ability to fund the government indoctrination centers (public schools and colleges) that promote what we think of as more "progressive" ways of thinking. This includes most of what we call feminism. If the government is weakened, it can not enforce politically correct ideology as effectively, so people will tend to revert to other ways of thinking and doing.

You may think this is good, you may think it is bad, but I think it would be a likely outcome of even a shrinkage in government power, let alone an all out collapse.
Title: Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: amanadoo on November 30, 2009, 11:17:29 AM
Regardless of what causes a collapse, if a collapse occurs I absolutely think that old roles will have to be assumed. I was thinking about this the other day...how many women may be dismayed to find that they need a man for protection. Rape WILL happen, as it has always happened on a widespread basis when societies are in a state of upset. And the self defense that may (or may not) work now, in relatively civilized times, probably won't be as effective as another man beside you saying "This is MY woman."

I hate it as much as anyone. But in a major societal meltdown, I don't see how it could play out any other way.

As far as division of labor, same thing. If nothing else, woman have to stick close to home in the late stages of pregnancy and when they have new babies. So, the men would have to be the ones out and about doing anything that needs to be done away from home. My husband is in the Coast Guard, so I try to think of what I would do (with two kids) if there was a major event and he was far from us, and being unable to get back to the home folks. In such a situation, I hope that other women in a similar situation would be able to find one another and look out for each other. Forming a community would be even more important than it will be anyway.
Title: Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: Who...me? on November 30, 2009, 11:58:19 AM
I disagree.  First I think that you are using to broad a brush.  It is a mistake to class all of any group in a certain way.  All women this, all men that.  Certainly some women would fall into the old ways without much of a struggle. In fact some would actually welcome it, IMHO.  But many would argue that they are just as capable as any man at hunting, defending the community...etc.

Using my wife as an example.  While she is no amazon or Bruce Lee wannabe I would pick her to prevail over the majority of men in a fight.  She just doesn't have any "give up" in her.  While skill is certainly a factor, The attitude that no matter what, you will not give in is more important.  She would suck out your eyeball and spit it in your face if that is what it took.  Course she would probably puke after the fact but by then it would be over. She is a better shot than most of the men I know. If you tried to force anything on her you would find yourself with her 20 gauge or .45 shoved in your face.

So no I don't think that we would automatically fall into the old way of doing things.  Every case would be different.
Title: Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: firefly on November 30, 2009, 06:25:58 PM
Quote
I disagree.  First I think that you are using to broad a brush.  It is a mistake to class all of any group in a certain way.  All women this, all men that.  Certainly some women would fall into the old ways without much of a struggle. In fact some would actually welcome it, IMHO.  But many would argue that they are just as capable as any man at hunting, defending the community...etc.

I'd have to say that I agree with some of what you say and disagree with a portion as well.  All of us are given birth to by a woman, and without systems of support provided by civilization they will likely have to breastfeed them until they are a toddler.  Those necessary roles would pave the way for the majority of domestic duties to fall on them.  That's not to say that they couldn't perform additional roles such as being a veterinarian, or even a mechanic.  But I do believe that their opinions will be held in equal regard to men's opinions.   

I agree with you that a woman defending her children or her home is a force to be reckoned with.  In situations like that, I think women have a much greater psychological strength to endure and overcome. 











Title: Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: amanadoo on December 01, 2009, 05:56:53 AM
I think many, if not most (all?), of the serious women survivalists could take any given man, if they had to. Especially if children were involved and the Mama Bears in us had to make an appearance. When I made the comment that having a man claiming you as "his," I was thinking specifically about GROUPS of hostile men. I think that I just took the question to the most terrifying place possible (for me), so that's how I was approaching it.

I really like what Firefly says about women's opinions holding as much water as mens; I agree. Anyone with anything valid to offer will be the bees' knees in a world where so many know so little about getting-by.
Title: Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: ebonearth on December 02, 2009, 09:32:25 PM
I believe that it has everything to do with the individual. While some people will slip back into traditional gender roles I expect that just as easily, men will fall into those 'home bound' roles as well. This stems from my belief that a lot of the male/female indoctrination of the previous mid-century is dying off, replaced with the idea that some men want 'the easy route' of homemaking as well. I do not believe that the gender lines will snap right back into place neatly in a PAW. There's too many culls that have survived into adulthood and the societal standards have to some degree allowed non-traditional identities to thrive. They don't just neatly go away in TEOTWAWKI.
Title: Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: UnwantedZombies on December 14, 2009, 03:14:12 AM
In my opinion the role women will take in a Post SHTF all depends on the woman. Hell, It'll even depend on the guy (A bum with no skills is worth even less than a housewife). The most important thing will be skills. Sex nor class will mean anything. My favorite example of this was in the book World War Z where this uppity buisness women became labor and her former cleaning lady took the role of the boss because of her experience.

So will some women have to become the housekeeper? Yes, But so will those soft men who have no skills in life or work and have the luck of having someone who would be willing to house them like their partner, friend or family member.
Title: Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: Heavy G on December 14, 2009, 07:29:07 AM
If SHTF, everything will change. 

And groups of people will become isolated and a little like tribes.  They will make up their own rules and do what make sense in their given situation.  Since the groups will be small, the inclinations of the individuals will have a large role.

So I see groups approaching the men/women thing differently.  I can see some groups like bikers treating women horribly.  I can see other groups--where the men and women have been so thoroughly immersed in the modern view--not even knowing how to live under traditional roles.  How many suburban sheeple even know what a woman's traditional role is?  How many typical suburban sheeple guys would even think to yell out, "Woman, get me a beer"?
Title: Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: liftsboxes on December 14, 2009, 07:36:42 AM
Well I can't speak for everybody else, but I think the following skills that my wife has would be rather valuable post-SHTF:

- can grow anything
- a midwife
- can crochet, sew, and quilt
- proficient with a pistol and a sword
- candle making
- canning
- looking and sounding deceptively innocent
Title: Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: M.Therium on December 14, 2009, 10:04:57 AM
It has been my experience that (as a generalization) women in emergency scenarios fall naturally into certain roles.  This does not mean that I look at my wife and say, "To the kitchen, woman!".  At least not unless I'd like to see how a piece of debris feels lodged in my hind quarters.  We function as equals with different specializations that happen to conform to somewhat traditional stereotypes.  Also, once someone has a hold of a role they know they can perform that will help the situation, they stop panicing.  That helps everyone. 

Now, if I've got a military trained and heavily armed female at my disposal, let me be the first to say that I'd make her muffins while she defended my chubby civilian butt.
Title: Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: donaldj on December 14, 2009, 10:15:38 AM
Similar to what's been said, post-SHTF will require maximum benefit per unit resource.

That being said, whoever is best qualified to do a job, will. If we can't risk wasting thread doing some stitching, my wife will stitch. If we can't waste apples dehydrating them, I will dehydrate them.  If we can't waste seeds planting a garden, we will ask someone who's done it before (it's on our list in the Spring).

I think in this day and age gender roles will be recognized, but the idea of gender roles has advanced enough such that task at hand required will dictate who does what.

D
Title: Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: endurance on December 14, 2009, 12:09:20 PM
I don't know what it would take to change my current relationship from the balance we've found.  There are traditional parts of it and there are parts that buck convention.  I'm the gardener, hunter, and defender of the home, but she does most of the projects around the house from painting to changing out light sockets.  She takes no guff from anyone when it comes to dealing with contractors and repairman, but some of that confidence probably comes from my willingness to back her up when it comes down to it.  Could I ever see her in a subordinate role?  Heck no, no matter what.  Does that mean she won't listen to me when I say in a command presence voice that we're not going that way?  Nope, while she's never shot a gun and probably never will, she respects and appreciates that I'm always carrying and have a better threat radar than she does.

As others have brought up, though, different people want to fall back into different roles and I don't doubt that some women will willingly choose to protect the hearth and home, while many men will elect to boldly take risks on the frontier.  I hope we've evolved enough to allow for all variations inbetween.
Title: Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: firefly on December 14, 2009, 06:42:05 PM
I appreciate all of these replies.  I'd imagine you all would be right in describing yourselves, your wives or sisters or any of the other women in your life.  But, what about your grandaughters if the world they live in is something we'd recognize as the 19th century? Do you believe that women would be the same as they are today?  I do not. 

I think that without our apparatus of civilization providing modern science, e.g birth control, and a hierarchy of economic services, such as child care, or public education.  Most women would have to raise their own children, there would be far fewer jobs for them to work at outside of the home anyways in a SHTF.  That kind of scenario would leave women doing what I picture women throughout the majority of cultures and history of doing, the stereotypical gender roles of the past.    The men would go out and till their farms and gardens and hunt and fish on the side while the women in the home would likely cook the meals. Many of the men would go into town to go about their business sell whatever surplus they have or offer other services for payment. 

I know that I'm taking a part of a movie way off in a crazy direction, but it brings up some interesting questions, and I like reading your all's comments.   
Title: Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: Ann on December 15, 2009, 02:03:16 PM
Just chiming in with my 2 cents...

I honestly believe that women of child bearing age will most likely fall into the "traditional roles".  There is a legitimate reason for this, and it has nothing to do with sexual descrimination.  The traditional roles of the female in the past, being as the life bearer, were mostly (note!) relatively simple, repetitive, and most could be started and stopped without detriment to the task.

This does not mean in any way that these same tasks could not be done by either sex...except the child BEARING part.  However, in a SHTF scenario, the mother will have need to breast feed until the child is a certain age.  Once child bearing ceases, and the children reach a certain age, the woman can resume some of the typical "male" activities.

Again, this is not sexism.  This is simple fact.  Men cannot bear children.  Men cannot breast feed (don't even go there).
Title: Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: UnwantedZombies on December 15, 2009, 02:29:58 PM
I just wonder why in a Post SHTF time there would be a need to even have children. I'm sure plenty of seeds will be planted via just basic sexual needs without the proper control methods but why would women want to fall into the role of having children if lets say things are REALLY bad.

The only thing I can think of is that you'd want your children to be there for you to take care of you when you can no longer handle heavy duties that you would normally do. Also how would a post-SHTF life be for kids? Our children are extremly spoiled and depend on parents even beyond their teenage years are over. How would raising a kid in a post-SHTF be handled? Would it pretty much go back to the days where parents stacked up real chores on them or would the way most parents treat them today bleed over into the PSHTF world?
Title: Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: endurance on December 15, 2009, 03:30:28 PM
I think this is a difficult question to answer when there's very little agreement on what a SHTF situation will even look like or become.  I believe that any single event  (i.e. global war, economic collapse, meteor strike, etc.) will resolve in a relatively short period of time after an initial die off.  I think it's perfectly reasonable to expect the return of some or most forms of community and society in 18 months to five years at the most.  All of our roles will change, not just those of women, during the crisis, but would also return to where they were before shortly thereafter.  I certainly won't be going to my job if things get that unsettled, which means taking on entirely new roles myself, not just the women.  I think there are some misogynistic beliefs implied by a lot of the scenarios that have women return to their purpose as homebodies and childrearers that may be more of a projection of how you'd like things to be rather than based on facts.  Gender roles in every society are constantly evolving and will obviously continue to evolve, whether there's a SHTF scenario or not.  I'd like to hear your description of a scenario where a long-term or permanent adjustment of gender roles would be likely or necessary.
Title: Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: flagtag on December 15, 2009, 08:23:56 PM
I'm not sure women would revert back to the "homemaking" role so much.  As for childbearing - think of the past.  Women often worked in the garden, hunted, fished, etc. with the child carried in a sling-like device (can't think of what it was called - but there is a modern version).  They took the child with them - and fed them when needed while doing what they had to do to help provide for the family.  I don't think that would change. 
Sure, some who have been pampered will have to learn to do it - and that they can't necessarily depend on a man to do for them (the father could be injured/killed). But, they would have the incentive to learn. (Unless they were TOTALLY selfish!)

Both genders would have to learn to do shared tasks.  One may specialize in one area, the partner in another.  They would have to decide what they are best at. 
Title: Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: endurance on December 16, 2009, 09:56:41 AM
Perhaps some folks are waiting for this to return (humorous link) (http://www.theonion.com/content/news/woman_domesticated?utm_source=yahoowidget_rss_1).
Title: Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: liftsboxes on December 16, 2009, 11:51:33 AM
Perhaps some folks are waiting for this to return (humorous link) (http://www.theonion.com/content/news/woman_domesticated?utm_source=yahoowidget_rss_1).


Don't be fooled, they weren't domesticated ... we were on a catch and release program.
Title: Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: Morning Sunshine on December 16, 2009, 12:16:54 PM
I have been reading this thread for a while, but unable to comment since I generally only get to browse while nursing a baby, and that tends to make typing difficult :D

I think there is a bit of confusion about what a woman did before the industrial era.  There is this romanticized Victorian notion that a woman was only involved in child rearing and housekeeping.  And that may have been true in the Victorian-era CITIES for middle and upper-class women.  But if we are talking post-SHTF, TEOTWAWKI, we are not talking a Victorian Christmas, folks.

Women on the American frontier were NOT confined to child and home duties.  I am going to focus on the American frontier from about 1830-1910, since that is the era and place I know best, having written my BA thesis on it.
Women were, first of all, rare on the frontier.  We are talking 10 (or more) men to 1 woman in most parts.  I mention this because it gave women social power.  Judges were likelier to grant divorces for adultery and abandonment on the frontier than in the cities.  Women on the frontier did not have to "take it."
Women worked the homesteads with their husbands.  They were out there plowing the fields, clearing the trees, wrangling the cows and horses.  They were a TEAM, husband and wife.  Neither could do it without the other.
We have heard about Annie Oakley, but she was not the only woman who could shoot.  She just happened to be able to make a name for herself doing it.
Women were doctors, vets (both the animal type and the military type), stagecoach drivers, ranchers, etc.
You think just cuz a man died, a woman folded in on herself and waited for another man to come along and "save" her?  Think Gone with the Wind when Scarlet shoots that "damn yankee" in her house.
Yes, they sewed, they cooked, they raised children.  Guess what?  Men did the same when the wives died.  Which they did on a regular basis.  the mortality rate of women on the frontier was crazy high;  it was 50% more for women than men (mostly from childbirth complications... can we say unsanitary!)
There was some division of labor along gender lines.  Childbearing and rearing does keep a woman closer to home.  Does to me these days too.  I really do NOT want to be far from home when I am close to delivery-time if I do not have to be.  I want my doctor and my things and to go home to my house after, thank you very much.  No pre-term labor 500 miles from home, thank you very much!  Little children need constant supervision.  up to about age 5.  We live in a very safe and sterilized environment for children these days.  The worst I have to worry about my crawling baby is he tumbles down the carpeted stairs to the mid-stair landing or that he picks up a small toy left by an older sibling.  150 years ago, my goodness - animal attacks, falling in wells, wandering off into the vast wilderness, falling into the fire, childhood diseases that killed instead of caused a few days in bed.  Plus the stairs and choking.  This does require a mom paying attention.

so, will there be a division of labor based on gender stereotypes?  no.  I don't think so.  Maybe a few masculine jerks in the immediate post-SHTF world would fall back on this victorian-helpless woman idea, but long term, I think it would be based more on abilities and inclinations.
Title: Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: Kayzonara on December 16, 2009, 12:35:59 PM
+1 Morning Sunshine!  I was thinking of the American frontier too when reading this thread.
Title: Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: TexDaddy on December 16, 2009, 12:50:14 PM
I think Morning Sunshine has hit the nail on the head.

My granny worked both inside the home and outside on the farm. She was tough. One day, when my Dad was about 5, he and his mother had taken the old Ford out to the corner of the farm where the corn was planted. After she had the corn and my Dad all loaded up, she tried to crank the car to get it started. The damn thing backfired and the crank came around and broke her right arm. She reached down with her left arm, cranked the thing started and drove herself 5 miles into town to the doctor.

Tell me something she couldn't do.
Title: Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: Heavy G on December 16, 2009, 06:55:35 PM
+1 Morning Sunshine.
Title: Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: firefly on December 16, 2009, 07:35:13 PM
Quote
I have been reading this thread for a while, but unable to comment since I generally only get to browse while nursing a baby, and that tends to make typing difficult

Well said.
Title: Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: Louisiana Suvivor on December 16, 2009, 09:06:30 PM
Morning Sunshine,

You have turned my opinion on the subject. I was thinking Dark Ages but 100 years ago would be about right. i get what ur saying. you have turned me. :)
Title: Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: Morning Sunshine on December 16, 2009, 09:22:17 PM
Morning Sunshine,

You have turned my opinion on the subject. I was thinking Dark Ages but 100 years ago would be about right. i get what ur saying. you have turned me. :)

oh good :)  Do not underestimate your grandmothers.  You do them a disservice.
as long as we have guns, I think American frontier is closer to the way it would be.  Guns are an equalizer: 100-lb woman has an equal chance against a 250-lb male.  but with swords, yeah, you are turning back further.
America has been very good for women.  whether it was the guns or the population difference (even Colonial Virginia had a gender disparity in the beginning), or the chance to EARN and OWN land, as Jack has mentioned, but women did not have to conform to societal rules.
Title: Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: TwoBluesMama on December 17, 2009, 08:04:44 AM
I started reading this thread from the very beginning thinking, "what?" and got down to Morning Sunshine's post and was immediately relieved. +1 to you.

You stated it exactly!  My husband's grandmother is my role model. That women was tough as nails and you didn't want to cross her but she loved like nobody's business. She could walk around and tell you what every plant and tree was. She started and ran her own business after she lost her husband at 30 years old during the depression and had 3 children to raise. She out lived all of her children and died at 93. A great lady and I can only hope to be half as good.

I'm not sure what the crisis is about men/women roles. I just do what needs to be done to help defend, feed and care for my family.  My husband also does what needs to be done to help defend, feed and care for us. It takes us both to do all that we do - hunting, gardening, storing of food, etc. Maybe it's my Cherokee/Irish ancestry but I'm willing to do whatever it takes to provide for us.

I agree that looking at the past will show us the future.  I'm sure there were women who were doormats (as there are now) and men who were jerks (as there are now) but during times of crisis you'll be busy providing for yourself in whatever way is needed and trying to stay alive to be too worried if you did the dishes last or if he did.
Title: Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: flagtag on December 17, 2009, 07:09:32 PM
I agree that the "older" generations (Great Depression era and before) could have taught us a lot - if we listened.
My paternal grandparents came over from the "old country" to escape the wars.  My grandparents had 9 children (one died) and my grandfather was killed in a coal mining accident at age 35 so my grandmother had to raise the remaining 8 children by herself! Not only did she manage that, but whenever she wanted to change something about her small (4 room) house, she did it herself (until she got much older - then sons and grandsons did the work for her).  She would just knock out a part of a wall and build a doorway, built steps, etc.  She also had a garden and canned.  She was able to do whatever needed doing. How many of us (male or female) could do that - or would even try?
Nothing could stop her - not even cataract surgery which left her legally blind for years. (It was later corrected, but she had no tear ducts and couldn't shed tears)

I would be proud if I could do even 1/2 of what she did. Amazing woman!!
Title: Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: Louisiana Suvivor on December 17, 2009, 08:26:55 PM

Nothing could stop her - not even cataract surgery which left her legally blind for years. (It was later corrected, but she had no tear ducts and couldn't shed tears)

that's one bad ass woman. only her and Chuck Norris CAN'T cry........
Title: Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: flagtag on December 17, 2009, 08:52:46 PM
that's one bad ass woman. only her and Chuck Norris CAN'T cry........

 ;D

Yeah. The only thing that could stop her was a stroke.
Many people don't realize how important tears are.  I'm not just talking about moisture to protect the eyes, but being able to shed them helps relieve grief, pain, etc.  Yeah, she "cried" (heartbroken sobs) when family members died, but she didn't have tears to shed. (There are times when a "good cry" is needed to relieve stress, feelings of frustration - without doing physical damage)
Title: Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: Kayzonara on December 18, 2009, 06:54:31 AM
Well said.

"Had a kind of poetry to it, sir."
Title: Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: firefly on December 18, 2009, 07:32:27 PM
Quote
"Had a kind of poetry to it, sir."

LOL  :D  great quote
Title: Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: SnugInMyPod on December 21, 2009, 12:14:05 AM
Fellow Survivalists,

All kidding from The Onion aside, too many people of all genders in the U.S. and the West have fought, bled, and died for recognition of the individual rights of women and for equal justice for all.  I can't speak for anyone else, but in any realm of mine, in any place I would call home, everyone pulls their own weight and bears burdens equally and everyone is rewarded in accordance with their ability, whether the SHTF or not.  

And any knuckle-dragging cavemen who hold or capture women and girls as property in a post-SHTF world should be regarded as yet another class of looters and thugs.  They (the cavemen) should think themselves lucky if they escape getting flailed with axe-handles by decent citizens.



Title: Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: SnugInMyPod on December 21, 2009, 12:37:14 AM
Howdy, Morning Sunshine and TwoBluesMama!

You both made an excellent posts on the strength and resourcefulness of women back in the day.  I should add that in frontier times, it was nothing for families to have homestead cemetaries filled with 13 or 14 still-born children before one child survived.  My Grandparents and even my own Mom had siblings that didn't live very long after birth.  How women of that time physically and mentally kept it all together in the midst of such unspeakable tragedy is simply super-human!

I imagine that if times ever got bad enough, we would see many more women of raw nerve and sinew come from the experience.  Let's hope so.  They are an inspiration to us all, regardless of gender.



Title: Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: SnugInMyPod on December 21, 2009, 12:49:15 AM
Howdy, Flagtag!

I missed your post.  Much love to your Grandmother and Grandfather too!  All of my Grandparents also raised multiple children, but fortunately, none of them became widows or widowers in the process of raising children, so it must have been a huge task for your Grandmother.

It's also a challenge when all of the children are all one sex or another.  My Dad was one of 5 rough-and-tumble boys, so poor Grammy had to have had it real bad.  The mere thought of eight children is enough to make a man consider DIY vasectomy.

 ;D
Title: Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: flagtag on December 21, 2009, 11:52:49 AM
My grandparents had 6 girls and 2 boys. Which was good for my grandmother since the girls helped out around the house. 

The point is: we can ALL do whatever is needed if it comes right down to it.  We CAN survive (with or without a man).  Many women who depend on men for support now, may find that they will have to give up the "take care of me, I'm too frail" mindset. 
Many women would be surprised at their abilities under duress and would learn just how "strong" they really are.
Title: Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: mamabear on December 21, 2009, 01:21:26 PM
Many women would be surprised at their abilities under duress and would learn just how "strong" they really are.
Sadly, Many women never discover this about themselves. I thought for years that I was not "strong" enough to handle life that was being thrown my way. Imagine my suprise when my mom booted me out on my arse and said yes I could. (she didn't really boot me out-just strongly encouraged it!) And I could. I have been doing it all on my own for years now. Even being a single mom. Turns out I actually kind of like how things turned out. I am a better stronger person for it. I am very thankful that I was able to discover just how strong I was before I ended up needing to know. We, people and women in particular, are all capable of more than we think. We have just been told we can't, so we don't. One day we will all know that we can because there is no one to tell us otherwise.
Title: Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: Ann on December 21, 2009, 03:17:13 PM
Howdy, Flagtag!

I missed your post.  Much love to your Grandmother and Grandfather too!  All of my Grandparents also raised multiple children, but fortunately, none of them became widows or widowers in the process of raising children, so it must have been a huge task for your Grandmother.

It's also a challenge when all of the children are all one sex or another.  My Dad was one of 5 rough-and-tumble boys, so poor Grammy had to have had it real bad.  The mere thought of eight children is enough to make a man consider DIY vasectomy.

 ;D

irk!!!!  That would make most women consider a chastity belt!
Title: Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: shadewolf on December 27, 2009, 11:28:40 AM
In my opinion the role women will take in a Post SHTF all depends on the woman. Hell, It'll even depend on the guy (A bum with no skills is worth even less than a housewife). The most important thing will be skills. Sex nor class will mean anything. My favorite example of this was in the book World War Z where this uppity buisness women became labor and her former cleaning lady took the role of the boss because of her experience.

So will some women have to become the housekeeper? Yes, But so will those soft men who have no skills in life or work and have the luck of having someone who would be willing to house them like their partner, friend or family member.

One thing to note, housekeeping if you are on a homestead is not easy at all, and if one is a male 'unskilled bum' you're equally as not likely to be able to cope with all that needs doing. There's alot of skill to be learned to successfully run a homestead. For instance, if you get your canning process wrong, you could pave the way for pathogens to poison your food and thus your family. Or if you are trying to make soap, you better know how to safely handle lye so you don't seriously burn yourself. Then there's the sheer physicality needed for many things around the homestead.

I just got laid off my full time computer job in the city and now work our farm full time. It will take time and great effort to turn it into a fully functioning/producing homestead. So, while my husband is away in the city making money, I am working at: building outbuildings myself, forking hay and hauling water for the livestock, cooking & cleaning & laundry in the house, building our farm store, selling our eggs and produced goods locally, managing our farm store website, planning for next season's gardens while growing winter gardens indoors, renovate the house myself, breeding rabbits and chickens for meat and eggs, slaughtering and butchering livestock for the freezer/canning/smoking/dehydrating, processing the skins into useable leather.

When my husband comes home, although he gets a list of stuff to do or he helps me with the 2-person jobs, I still have to teach him many of the skills needed to run the farm because he isn't specialised in a number of those skills. We'd be in a really sorry state if I didn't know how to do most of the things I do (and without his complementary skillset) and I just sat around the house doing only basic cooking, cleaning, and laundry. We knew what we were getting into when we left the city and I had spent years learning the skills I'd need before I even met my husband. If he wasn't handy and had some skills already that are really useful like how to build fences or knowing building construction/repair, or how to make useful gadgets & troubleshoot, likely we wouldn't have gotten together as I wouldn't want to have to support an unskilled person. Even our son is learning the skills needed to run the farm and look after everything as he is old enough to understand the Why and How of how we run the place, and he likes to produce the food we eat.

But make no mistake, those of you not already living on and running a producing homestead: the work is not easy, it's physically demanding, there's some things you need 2 or more people to safely accomplish, and there's a lot of learned skill you need to pull it off successfully. When you reach the point in your preps of getting that perfect chunk of land to setup your homestead, walk into it well aware of the work ahead of you to get it fully up and producing for you. Never take it for granted the efforts of any spouse who chooses to work the homestead full-time especially if there are children around they also have to take care of simultaneously.  ;D
Title: Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: shadewolf on December 27, 2009, 11:38:20 AM
I have been reading this thread for a while, but unable to comment since I generally only get to browse while nursing a baby, and that tends to make typing difficult :D

I have a solution for you! Install voice recognition software on your computer (windows 7 has it built right in) and then you can dictate your forum responses!
Title: Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: “Mark” on December 27, 2009, 12:33:44 PM
The tough ones will survive. The weak will perish. Modern society has turned a lot of people into pansies, men included.

Honestly, I don't think all that much will change. Some women will put up with men's bullshit, just as they do now. Other women won't put up with it, just as they don't now.

I don't think situations change our underlying humanity or personality. Situations, along with experience, can really only bring out what's already there. We're adaptable people, and we will do what's necessary to survive.
Title: Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: Who...me? on December 27, 2009, 08:22:35 PM
The tough ones will survive. The weak will perish. Modern society has turned a lot of people into pansies, men included.

Honestly, I don't think all that much will change. Some women will put up with men's bullshit, just as they do now. Other women won't put up with it, just as they don't now.

I don't think situations change our underlying humanity or personality. Situations, along with experience, can really only bring out what's already there. We're adaptable people, and we will do what's necessary to survive.


Add to the weak the incredibly stupid that TPTB have allowed to get old enough to breed and have incredibly stupid children.  And how have TPTB accomplished this curtailment of natural selection you ask? 

 Labels on everything in the world that informs those that are able to read (or have family that can) but not smart enough to know you shouldn't use your hair dryer in the shower or not to stick your hand into the washing machine while its on spin cycle. 

After SHTF they will be culls that won't survive.
Title: Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: Heavy G on December 28, 2009, 06:58:59 AM
"TPTB" is The Powers That Be, by the way.
Title: Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: Kayzonara on December 29, 2009, 10:07:28 AM
Allow me to give you your first +1, Shadewolf, and welcome to the board! ;D
Title: Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: DIM TIM on January 04, 2010, 01:13:46 PM
I have been reading this thread for a while, but unable to comment since I generally only get to browse while nursing a baby, and that tends to make typing difficult :D

I think there is a bit of confusion about what a woman did before the industrial era.  There is this romanticized Victorian notion that a woman was only involved in child rearing and housekeeping.  And that may have been true in the Victorian-era CITIES for middle and upper-class women.  But if we are talking post-SHTF, TEOTWAWKI, we are not talking a Victorian Christmas, folks.

Women on the American frontier were NOT confined to child and home duties.  I am going to focus on the American frontier from about 1830-1910, since that is the era and place I know best, having written my BA thesis on it.
Women were, first of all, rare on the frontier.  We are talking 10 (or more) men to 1 woman in most parts.  I mention this because it gave women social power.  Judges were likelier to grant divorces for adultery and abandonment on the frontier than in the cities.  Women on the frontier did not have to "take it."
Women worked the homesteads with their husbands.  They were out there plowing the fields, clearing the trees, wrangling the cows and horses.  They were a TEAM, husband and wife.  Neither could do it without the other.
We have heard about Annie Oakley, but she was not the only woman who could shoot.  She just happened to be able to make a name for herself doing it.
Women were doctors, vets (both the animal type and the military type), stagecoach drivers, ranchers, etc.
You think just cuz a man died, a woman folded in on herself and waited for another man to come along and "save" her?  Think Gone with the Wind when Scarlet shoots that "damn yankee" in her house.
Yes, they sewed, they cooked, they raised children.  Guess what?  Men did the same when the wives died.  Which they did on a regular basis.  the mortality rate of women on the frontier was crazy high;  it was 50% more for women than men (mostly from childbirth complications... can we say unsanitary!)
There was some division of labor along gender lines.  Childbearing and rearing does keep a woman closer to home.  Does to me these days too.  I really do NOT want to be far from home when I am close to delivery-time if I do not have to be.  I want my doctor and my things and to go home to my house after, thank you very much.  No pre-term labor 500 miles from home, thank you very much!  Little children need constant supervision.  up to about age 5.  We live in a very safe and sterilized environment for children these days.  The worst I have to worry about my crawling baby is he tumbles down the carpeted stairs to the mid-stair landing or that he picks up a small toy left by an older sibling.  150 years ago, my goodness - animal attacks, falling in wells, wandering off into the vast wilderness, falling into the fire, childhood diseases that killed instead of caused a few days in bed.  Plus the stairs and choking.  This does require a mom paying attention.

so, will there be a division of labor based on gender stereotypes?  no.  I don't think so.  Maybe a few masculine jerks in the immediate post-SHTF world would fall back on this victorian-helpless woman idea, but long term, I think it would be based more on abilities and inclinations.

Normally I would not have stopped to check out this board, let alone this thread, but the title got the best of my curiosity.

Morning Sunshine has some very good points. My own great-grandmother rasied 13 children, helped her husband work a farm, worked for the United States Postal service as a mail carrier, delivering mail up and down the hills and "hollers" of Kentucky, on mule back with a hogleg .45 for years before moving to Ohio. During the war years, she worked in the GM factories turning out the machines of war.

One of the greatest women I have had the pleasure of knowing. Women like her can be on my side any day.   ;D
Title: Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: PAGUY on October 30, 2010, 12:23:59 PM
I am watching 28 Days Later right now.  It is one of those movies that makes you say "What if".  Not in the sense of a viral outbreak occurs and causes people to become violent to the point of eating the flesh of others but, in the sense that if SHTF and you had to defend yourself and provide for yourself in any manor necessary how would you go about it.  How would you interact with others that you might meet up with if you have not prepared for a protect in place defense? Would you realize that even though you and a member of the other sex are not a perfect match but, there is a need to keep the human race going.  You might say that this is the last thing on your mind but, there is a time when you have to do what you have to do.   I know that this is off the initial trail of this thread but, think about it.  Would you do what has to be done or say "No way in HE double hockey sticks would I ever"..........just some food for thought.
Title: Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: dodgetruckmom on October 31, 2010, 06:56:30 AM
One of my favorite sci-fi series is the collection of Darkover books by Marion Zimmer Bradley. Long story short: a colony ship headed for a new planet crash lands on a different (habitable) planet. The 50 or so people who survive the crash and the initial couple of weeks have to figure out how to keep themselves going. The kicker is that half of them are "colonists" with survival skills and half are "technologists" whose skills aren't in quite as high demand in this new situation. The series deals with the establishment of a new society and what happens when the colonists are "rediscovered" by Earth.

The crash part of the story is detailed in the book Darkover Landfall. What I found most interesting was that the survivors of the crash had to come to some pretty difficult (for them) conclusions. The colonists are scorned by the technologists--who think the colonists have archaic skills--until the colonists become the ones who save everybody else's butts. Women who expected to remain childless for the sake of their careers were told that--for the good of the entire community--they had to bear as many children as possible to as many different men as possible. Monogamy goes out the window (it's considered selfish) and group marriage becomes common. At first, women are allowed to maintain leadership roles because they can foster out their children to other women. Later on in the series, though, things begin to change because of a societal breeding program (you'll have to read the books to find out) and women are valued more for their breeding ability than anything else. Things quickly devolve into a patriarchal society.

The whole series spans a couple thousand years of history of this new planet. I've read and re-read these books hundreds of times, and I always find something new and interesting in them.
Title: Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
Post by: mangyhyena on November 01, 2010, 12:10:15 PM
Okay, I've read all the comments so far.  Excellent topic.  I'm researching for a book I intend to write at a later point, specifically about Neanderthals.  Believe it or not, some of what I've researched might have to do with this topic.

There has been no evidence found in our DNA that Neanderthals and Humans interbred.  In other words, looking at modern human DNA, we can not identify Neanderthal-specific genes.  If humans and Neanderthals did successfully interbreed, the children were probably sterile and incapable of procreating or it happened so infrequently that the Neanderthal genes were forever lost in the gene pool to overwhelming human DNA through the generations.  So it is generally accepted that Neanderthals died out 30,000 years ago, or so.

Neanderthals were much stronger than humans.  A 12 year old Neanderthal girl could quite literally rip the arms off a fully grown human male.  As such, most anthropologists believe that neanderthal women and men were equal partners in the hunt.  These neanderthal people were like supermen/superwomen in some ways, far stronger than their human counterparts.  Yet, they died out and we survived and thrived.

Lots of theories have been put forth about why they died out, everything from humans killing them all in a competition for territory to humans hunting them down and eating them. :o  The one that makes the most sense to me is that humans had an advantage over neanderthals when it came to a division of labor.  (Here's where the things I've researched may have to do with this discussion.)

Since both male and female neanderthals hunted together, there wasn't much in the way of a division of labor.  Since they all hunted together, if they failed to kill something for dinner, the whole tribe went hungry until they succeeded.  Neanderthals also tended to gather in smaller groups than humans, since it takes only so many to take down a large animal.  If they had banded into larger groups, they would have had to make more kills to feed themselves.  Usually, neanderthals banded together in groups of six or less.

Humans, on the other hand, split up the work of putting food on the table, which anthropologists say kept humans going during hard times.  Human men tended to hunt while human women tended to gather plants and nuts for food.  Even if the men failed to kill anything to eat, there was still a good chance that the women would have gathered something for dinner, allowing the tribe to eat.  This division of labor was crucial to the survival of humans, according to some of the theories.  This worked so well that humans tended to gather in bigger and bigger groups.

So, if humans prevailed against neanderthals because they had a division of labor, it would make sense that if TSHTF or TEOTWAWKI happened, we would go back to a division of labor to get more done during a single day.  Jack is always saying that most things come down to energy at the end of the day.  A division of labor is a better use of energy which leads to more overall productivity.

What that would look like would depend on how much of our current technology we manage to preserve and use.  The division of labor would look very different on a homestead that has no power or machines to help with productivity.  A homestead that has power and fuel for equipment, say, a homestead that uses a wood gasifier and/or solar panels to provide electricity and makes alcohol to fuel engines, would require a different division of labor, I think, because power allows for more productivity, which takes some of the stress off the people who have to do the work.  The more of our technology we manage to preserve and use, the easier things will be to endure, the less sever the division of labor will need to be.  (That's just my theory.)

Like a lot of others who responded to this thread, I believe that each partner will bring their specific skills to bear in order to best provide for the family.  If the woman is a good hunter and her partner is not, she'll wind up doing the hunting.  If the guy is great with a needle and thread, he'll wind up doing most of the sewing.

The physical aspect comes into play when applied to specific jobs that require strength and endurance.  In general, a man is usually stronger than a woman.  Not always, but usually.  My wife can probably split wood for fire with an axe, but she can't split as much as I can in the amount of time it takes me to accomplish that task.  If there's wood to be split, I'll handle it.  Likewise, I can cook, but I can't cook as well as my wife can.  For everyone's sake, she'd usually do the cooking.  That's not to say my wife would never split wood or that I would never cook.  Just that I'm better at one and she's better at the other, so we'd usually do what we're better at doing.
Apply some technology to this equation and things look different.  If, for instance, we have electricity to run a microwave, I can more easily handle the cooking.  I might not be as good as her, but I'm not half bad with ye ole microwave.  As well, if we have a log splitter (the machine that splits logs without you having to swing an axe), then she could split about as much wood as I can split.  Technology reduces the importance of physical strength and endurance. 

As mentioned previously, firearms are great equalizers.  An armed woman is more than a match for an unarmed man twice her size and strength.  Still, an armed woman with an armed mate can better defend the family due to more firepower and the fact that one can keep watch while the other sleeps.  Again, technology changes the dynamics.  (Back in the pioneer days, firearms and ammo were expensive, so not every member of a family old enough to shoot had one of their own.)  If there are no firearms, the woman will most likely require her man to help defend her, assuming things are all Mad Max and roving bands of biker brigands are looking for beautiful women to enslave. ;)  If the woman has been well trained to defend herself using hand-to-hand combat, the dynamics change again and her man might require her to help defend him.

In any case, that's my take on the roles men and women might take on after a disaster.  I honestly do not think it would look the same as back in the pioneer days because we have different technology to apply to our tasks and we have a different knowledge base.  One thing that probably will not change is that each partner will take on the tasks they are skilled at doing.  Perhaps we're even smart enough to cross train so each partner can accomplish any task the other knows how to do.  Maybe there's hope for us yet.