Author Topic: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF  (Read 23933 times)

Offline firefly

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28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
« 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.   

Offline Louisiana Suvivor

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Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
« Reply #1 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

Offline Mortie

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Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
« Reply #2 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.

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Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
« Reply #3 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.

Offline Who...me?

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Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
« Reply #4 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.

Offline firefly

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Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
« Reply #5 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. 












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Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
« Reply #6 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.

Offline ebonearth

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Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
« Reply #7 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.

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Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
« Reply #8 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.

Offline Heavy G

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Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
« Reply #9 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"?

Offline liftsboxes

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Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
« Reply #10 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

Offline M.Therium

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Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
« Reply #11 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.

Offline donaldj

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Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
« Reply #12 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

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Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
« Reply #13 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.

Offline firefly

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Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
« Reply #14 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.   

Offline Ann

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Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
« Reply #15 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).
« Last Edit: December 15, 2009, 02:10:05 PM by Ann »

UnwantedZombies

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Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
« Reply #16 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?

endurance

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Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
« Reply #17 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.

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Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
« Reply #18 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. 

endurance

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Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
« Reply #19 on: December 16, 2009, 09:56:41 AM »
Perhaps some folks are waiting for this to return (humorous link).

Offline liftsboxes

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Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
« Reply #20 on: December 16, 2009, 11:51:33 AM »
Perhaps some folks are waiting for this to return (humorous link).


Don't be fooled, they weren't domesticated ... we were on a catch and release program.

Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
« Reply #21 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.

Offline Kayzonara

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Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
« Reply #22 on: December 16, 2009, 12:35:59 PM »
+1 Morning Sunshine!  I was thinking of the American frontier too when reading this thread.

Offline TexDaddy

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Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
« Reply #23 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.

Offline Heavy G

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Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
« Reply #24 on: December 16, 2009, 06:55:35 PM »
+1 Morning Sunshine.

Offline firefly

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Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
« Reply #25 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.

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Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
« Reply #26 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. :)

Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
« Reply #27 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.

Offline TwoBluesMama

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Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
« Reply #28 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.

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Re: 28 Days Later: The Role of Women in a post SHTF
« Reply #29 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!!