General Post-Apocalyptic rambling about some ideas I want to explore in my fiction:The ugly side of life continues. Abortion and contraception are likely to be highly illegal. We MUST have those babies. There will be more than enough parents who have lost their own (or have received too high a radiation dose to chance the FLK problem) to look after any that are unwanted. Women are enslaved by their reproductive systems again. Don't like that but there is nothing we can do about it. The social pressure on women to have children will be immense in both material and moral senses. Women who can have children get the best of everything, the cleanest and best food, the most comfortable housing, the most careful protection. Women who can have children but refuse to do so will be social outcasts (and in this sort of society to be an outcast is virtually a death sentence). We're likely to see a situation where women of childbearing age are "protected" by severe restrictions ("don't go outside the house, the radiation may harm your babies" gets abbreviated to "don't go outside") . This is a grim and disturbing picture; we take an old woman out of her house and throw her in the snow to provide shelter for a pregnant mother and her children - then lock her in. Newborn babies obviously damaged by radiation are likely to be killed on the spot. That may or may not be justifiable but I think its inevitable.Source: Nuclear Warfare 103
In the course of
goofing off under the pretext of
researching nuclear war (my chosen method of ending the world as we know it), I found this article through TV Tropes. It's the last of a series of articles about Nuclear War that cover everything from how possessing nuclear weapons affects a company's policies through to the aftermath of a nuclear war (go here for Nuclear Warfare 101
and Nuclear Warfare 102
). The above quote is about the need to repopulate a country (specifically the U.S.) after a nuclear war.
Now, it's not like this essay is the first place I've seen this idea -- it's a pretty common post-apocalyptic trope -- but for some reason reading this article got me thinking. Probably because the dismissiveness of "Don't like that but there is nothing we can do about it" just emphasized that this was yet another post-apocalyptic scenario being envisioned by a man (the name of the author listed on the article is Stuart Slade) without considering the impact or even the input of the women who might survive.
Before I start going through this point by point, I want to start off by saying that I don't think the author was trying to ignore women or to put forth some kind of male fantasy playground where women exist simply as sex toys and brood mares. I think this was just a case of wanting to give a quick and dirty overview of a topic and not thinking about the unfortunate implications of what was being said. Also, please be warned that I'm going to touch on a few trigger-y topics throughout this essay.( Point by Point Ramblings, possible Trigger Warnings for rape, abuse, abortions and injury/death of children )