After seeing Mad Max: Fury Road. What can I say.
I guess I could say that I’m sort of a connoisseur of apocalyptic-themed film. I mean, what better way to prepare yourself then to furiously study all things not to do when in said situations. (Lesson 1: avoid patriarchal war lords with embellished breathing apparatus). Generally, women are portrayed in these films as either utterly useless, as a means to the success of a man, or as an object for the male gaze. Not much to look up to really… Alas! George Miller to the rescue! His characters Imperitor Furiosa, the wives, and the granny bandit squad were all strong, capable women. Yes, the wives were scantily clad Victoria’s Secret models, but hey, they took control of the situations they were in and were almost as badass as Furiosa herself.
Ladies, let’s all take a page from this film as we try to imagine our own place within an apocalyptic group dynamic. All, or most, of us have been in situations where our voices and/or actions have been stifled due to that which lies between our legs. It is no simple task deconstructing this patriarchal ideology, which we have so deeply internalized, as we try to navigate our place within society. Ideally, the allies you associate with would render any pre-apocalyptic societal gender roles obsolete. If you are a great marksman, there is no need for you to be back at the camp tending to the fire. If you have great cardio, you should be doing supply runs, regardless of the danger involved.
What Zombie Survival Camp has done for me (and hopefully for many other women) was to reinforce the knowledge that I do possess equal potential - potential that should be recognized and respected based on merit alone. I can recall a specific camp outbreak scenario where a female survivor stepped up to the plate and acted as group leader for the duration of the simulation. Nobody asked her to play the part, nor did they dismiss her undertaking; she spoke up and seized the opportunity. At the end of the day, she had done an amazing job. I overheard her speaking about the experience afterwards: she had never thought of herself as a leader before, but the camp experience and the positive group dynamic had given her the confidence to rise to the occasion. Move over Rick Grimes, there’s a new sheriff in town.
You will know for certain that you have found your community when your skills are respected and properly utilized for the overall survival of the group, regardless of your gender. Max didn’t storm onto the scene and take control over Furiosa’s agenda- he could appreciate what she was trying to accomplish and he fully recognized her abilities. My advice - go to camp, discover your potential, hone your skills, and never settle for less.
Special thanks to Mako for sharing this article with us. Mako has been a camper, a zombie, and took part in our 50km bug-out last fall, proving that in the apocalypse everyone can be a badass.