Sunday, July 3, 2011
Survivalism and preparedness needs to get in touch with its feminine side. The vast majority of writing and other media on preparedness is almost always male oriented. Certainly, there are lots of female preppers out there, but they seem to have little voice. I am of course excepting our own Sue, who writes from a unique viewpoint, and has and is making a valuable contribution to this forum.
Unfortunately, she is in the minority. Where there are women‘s voices in the prepping world, they tend to fall into one of two broad categories: Either they tend to emulate the viewpoint and attitudes of their male colleagues, or they restrict themselves to traditional areas of female endeavour. The first might be from a desire to please a largely male readership, or it may be an attempt to fit in. The latter seems to largely grow out of the high proportion of conservative Christians in the prepping movement.
Not that there is anything wrong with writing from those viewpoints, except that it doesn’t really serve the needs of a large portion of women involved in preparedness. We need to see more women writing for women in this field. Then maybe we’ll hear fewer tales of hard to convince spouses, especially if prepping stops looking like another boys club.
So what areas are being missed? Here are just a few things I’ve noticed little or no attention being paid to over the years.
Load bearing Equipment - As some of you guys might have noticed, females are proportioned in delightfully different ways, which means for the most efficiency, safety, and weight capacity, packs designed specifically for women.
Weapons - Everything from knives and bows to assault rifles. The weapons themselves are not only not sized to a woman’s smaller frame and lesser physical strength, the available training rarely takes into account either the physicality or psychology of women.
Fitness and Health - Lots of emphasis on fitness in prepping, little of it directed at helping women. This is an especially important subject, given that women can be at a disadvantage in the strength department. The thing is, they don’t have to be.
There is a little discussion of women’s health issues, but what there is cursory, mostly confined to stocking up on tampons. Contraception, pregnancy, and a whole host of other subjects just don’t get mentioned much.
Martial Arts - In many scenarios, there is much discussion of civil disorder and the possibility of endemic crime, including assaults sexual and otherwise. Yet there is little space devoted to women being able to defend themselves physically. The assumption seems to be that some one with a Y chromosome will always be there to save them.
Those are just a few of the areas that need to be written about, but almost every area of prepping is involved. Even food can be an issue for women. For example, Canadian IMPs are fine in the short term, but are deficient in calcium and folic acid over the long term, two nutrients especially necessary in pregnancy, and folic acid is also necessary to prevent anemia, a problem for some women.
More than half the population is female. Perhaps more writing should address their concerns?