A recent trend, not only in our society but also in Europe, is to raise genderless children. In one extreme example in Canada, a couple refuses to divulge the gender of their third child lest “it” be relentlessly categorized as either a boy or a girl.
Besides the patent absurdity of going through life thinking of oneself as genderless, the fact of the matter is we desperately need the gender roles we were biologically assigned in order to make it through hard times.
That’s because each gender brings unique strengths, skills, interests, and abilities toward Preparedness. This is where we fall into the realm of stereotypes, but stereotypes usually exist because they’re based on a kernel of truth. And the one thing to remember is that a blend of stereotypical behavior between the genders can lead to a well-balanced whole.
The fact of the matter is, we all have a job to do. Or, to be more precise, we will all have a job to do at some point in the future if our current life of ease and luxury is interrupted for whatever reason. Those “jobs” should represent our innate strengths and interests.
Of course any particular issue will cross gender lines to some degree, but unquestionably the interest in guns, ammo, and family protection tends to fall on men, and the interest in food preservation and medical care tend to fall on women. It is time to embrace, not fight, these strengths, because the time may come when we may need every strength we can get.
Contrary to what some people say, our society has progressed beyond the sexist role assignments of our forefathers (and fore-mothers). No longer is a woman presumed to be intellectually inferior and fit only to cook meals and clean toilets. Please, don’t misinterpret what I mean when I urge people to embrace their gender roles.
But the fact also exists that toilets (or outhouses) must be cleaned and meals must be cooked. Similarly – to resume the look at pioneer gender roles – fields must be plowed, animals must be butchered, and homes must be protected. Back in pioneer days, people seldom whined about gender roles because both men and women recognized the value of both sides of the equation.
So when preparing for hard times, go with your strengths. My husband could try endlessly, but he will never awaken in me anything more than a lukewarm interest in the nitty-gritty details of firearms. I can shoot and shoot well, but that’s it.
Nor will I ever be able to awaken in him more than a passing interest in canning. He knows a wide-mouth from a regular-mouth canning jar, and that’s it.
So he takes care of our household protection, and I take care of the food storage. Both of us are happier for it, and both of us do well in our “assigned” roles. And since both things need to get done, who does it isn’t an issue.
The problem with trying to erase gender roles is it also erases the function of those genders. Who will be the warriors if boys are not encouraged to be boys? Who will be the nurturers if girls are not encouraged to be girls?
Because I can assure you of this: the enemy doesn’t care about your gender neutrality. The enemy only wants to win. Whether that enemy is literally the barbarians at the gate, or the desperate “golden horde” raising a city after an EMP attack, or even just coping with a long-term power outage – we need the warriors among us to protect and defend, just as we need the nurturers among us to care for the wounded and act as quartermasters.
Like it or not, men have testosterone, bigger muscles, and bigger bodies. They are biologically designed to do the heavy work as well as the brave work. Like it or not, women have estrogen and slimmer bodies. They are biologically designed to bear and nurture children and be keepers of the home. By no stretch of the imagination should either of these roles be denigrated by either gender, because the roles and duties and preferences and interests and abilities are critically necessary as a whole unit to keep things functioning.
But if you have a society of pansy-boys and bulldog-girls who have no understanding or (more importantly) appreciation for their biological destinies, then you’ve lost the critical infrastructure that has allowed societies and cultures to flourish for thousands of years.
I believe both genders should be able to cross the gender divide in order to perform whatever functions are necessary. It is useful if both genders can cook a meal, bandage a wound, shoot a gun, bury the dead, console the grieving, preach a sermon, clean a house, grow a garden, butcher a steer, etc. In other words, in a Prepper situation, both genders have to be able to do what must be done. The list is endless.
But within this list, it’s necessary to understand that there are certain things men will do better than women, and vice-versa. That’s just the way we’re built, and those strengths should be recognized, embraced, and appreciated (by both genders).
In a changed world, a genderless society may no longer be possible. If there are no sleek air-conditioned offices for us to work in because the power grid has brought America’s infrastructure to its knees, we had all better be at least marginally familiar with the gender-given strengths we were born with; not only familiar, but willing to embrace them if necessary.