On the feminine in the post-apocalypse - required reading for Apocalyptica

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While this article is already out-of-date in terms of its political statements, I think it's vital reading for anyone playing a post-apocalyptic RPG. There's some thought-provoking stuff in there, and I encourage you to think of ways to apply it to your game of Apocalypse World.


Do you have any thoughts on how this kind of dynamic has appeared (or failed to appear) in your game?

How might you do things differently in your next game (or even the next session)?

Let's talk.

Re: On the feminine in the post-apocalypse - required reading for Apocalyptica
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2016, 03:14:37 PM »
A thought provoking and well written piece.

In terms of the dynamic of my game; entirely by accident two out of the four major factions in Steel City are currently led by women, one was lead by a brother/sister pair and the remaining one rotates leaders on a minute-to-minute basis.
Women are leaders in my game, and they are followers. They're the meanest, nastiest pieces of work around like Mimi; but they're also no-nonsense doctors who will fix you up without a complaint as long as you're fair with payment, like Kettle.
Men are big and scary brutes like Stomp, The Faceless; but kind, caring and protective (like Stomp, The Faceless).

The Apocalypse means the complete breakdown of social order. The post-apocalypse means that people start to seep back into the hole left behind, fitting themselves where they fit regardless of gender, colour or sexuality.

Generally I think I've handled it pretty well, and I couldn't be prouder of my players for how they act around NPCs; female or otherwise. In terms of what I would do differently, I always always always think I should be adding more depth to female characters (I know, make them just not that complicated) partially due to my instincts as an amateur writer who is aware of his masculinity, but we're getting some juicy plothooks along those lines bubbling to the surface at the moment.
Newton respects Stomp for his strength, but she hates it when he gets protective and he's also slightly scared of her, so there's some interesting push-and-pull going on there. Our Brainer did a Deep Brain Scan on Kettle, and found out that the reason she's constantly high on chillstabs is that an accident left her with nerve damage when she was a young woman. Lovely stuff.
The flipside of this is that I have a tendency to make male characters less interesting as I overcompensate in the other direction, but the world is full of enough male-focused stories, and I have an inherent advantage when it comes to creating male characters (being male myself) so I don't consider this in urgent need of fixing.

I'm interested to hear others' thoughts on the subject.

Re: On the feminine in the post-apocalypse - required reading for Apocalyptica
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2016, 01:24:59 PM »
Although it's intended as a political message, Bill Maher makes an interesting observation about female authority figures in post-apocalyptic fiction here:

https://youtu.be/XTMWByLjohs?t=1421 (starts at the relevant moment; no need to watch the whole thing)