Episode 636: Feminine Mystique

Zombie Cliche Lookout: Women in the Apocalypse

Even in our fairly progressive modern society, women are often held to a different standard than men. Without getting too political, some things are just plain harder when you’re a woman. It can be tougher to be taken seriously in certain industries or types of work, and women can frequently be paid less than a man doing the same work. While these things are without a doubt troubling, just imagine how imbalanced things would get in the midst of a zombie apocalypse.

Indeed, as a society we would likely take a big step backwards in a lot of ways. Certainly our technology, economy, and infrastructure would be severely impacted. Gender equality would be imperiled as well, although not across the board. I imagine every group would deal with the subject in different ways. Some would consider the sexes as equals, while others would become positively prehistoric, with women treated as little more than chattel.

About this Episode

I’m typing out this write-up on an old laptop with a really weird keyboard. The layout is pretty normal, but some buttons have to be pressed really hard, which others stick really easily. As a result, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were more typos than normal. I do, of course, read through the write-ups before publishing, but it’s easy to miss your own mistakes since you know what you’re trying to say.

Discussion Question: Can You Blame Tara?

As discussed above, it can be a hell of a lot harder to be a woman when times get tough. Bearing that in mind, it makes a lot of sense for female survivors to take and create every advantage they can. Considering that, do you blame Tara for keeping a secret (or perhaps more than one)? What would you have done in her shoes?



First off, I have to question the wording of the comic here: Tara states: “A girl …” That, to me, implies that she’s very young, possibly teenage. Most of the times I see written references to someone keeping secrets, their gender and age are usually accurately stated. If this is just US convention, don’t worry about it, but if you meant to imply that she’s a woman and knows it, then you might want to redo her dialog a bit. 😀 Just putting that out there.


It must be a US convention; it’s a phrase that shows up often, and is generally spoken by adult women.


”and women can frequently be paid less than a man doing the same work.”


Not in America, Dave. Or in any other developed western countries.
The myth that women can be (and are) paid 23% less than a man doing the same job has been disproven many times. If it was true, men everywhere would get fired & replaced with women just so the the employers could save their money.
There are many statistical factors that never get counted in to the studies.
This video is quite good (& recent)


There are good arguments made on both sides. I tend to believe in the pay gap, at least in certain industries and jobs. We see if personally. My wife can compare her income to men doing the same job, and the difference is startling.


Gender equality will probably go out the window during the zed apocalypse. Sure during the initial stages where everyone will be equal cause zeds just don’t care who or what you are gender equality will finally be reached but after. Say about where the Walking Dead comics are now. Then the issue of children and athe future changes things. Women can only birth children and with medical science taking a nose dive birth rates and deaths during child birth will go up. Pretty soon the “man protect fragile woman” ways will come back in style.

Also LGBT rights will probably see a drop. After all if you are not contributing to the gene pool what is your function?


Yes! This! This is exactly what I’m getting at, although I’m trying to be very careful about how I phrase things. I don’t want to suggest that it’s some sort of “natural order” or anything like that.


Tara’s used her wildcard here… Secrets can be kept until they are found… Sam shouldn’t accept another “feminine secret”. BUT she is giving the gun back to Sam… and that makes me scratch my head… I guess she’s still a good person (I hope I’m not being fooled by her sexy glasses and smile…).


She’s not actually giving the gun to Sam. That was bad body language on my part. I didn’t notice it until I went to do the write-up several days later.


I see that Tara’s little secret (girls or not) could have been a very bad one. Imagine if grandpa had gotten up and accidently spooked Sam.
As far as the equal rights item – I won’t comment on present day situation or opinions. That being said:
In the ZA I would hope that no matter your background ( LGBT or not). I think after getting to know the individuals there would probably be two categories, those that can and dead weight. I could see favortism toward more masculine persons, for example Michonne and Tyresse


I think you’re absolutely right BT.

That said, I’m going to be more careful about injecting my own politics into things. I want to tell a fun zombie story, not write a political blog.


Do you think its ok for people to lie about the people they are traveling with while roaming through the zed invasion? Heck, I would be telling everyone I travel with a pack of velociraptor riding, bear wrestling, bikers if I thought it would keep people from potentially robbing me <.< and I'm a dude!


I don’t know that right and wrong really work in this context. I can understand them doing so as a survival tactic, and it’s one that I – like you – would almost certainly use myself.

The interesting thing is it could work both ways. I might lie about being with those bear wrestling bikers to keep people from messing with me, but I might also lie about loved ones in my group for want of putting them at risk.

Definitely an interesting discussion.

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