This is the second post in the 2012 (Post-)Apocalypse Blogfest. In this post, I will detail how various parts of the United States cope with the apocalypse in the graphic novel Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra, published by Vertigo. Although the adventures in the graphic novel eventually expand to outside the United States, I am keeping this post within the United States to avoid spoilers.
urban communities, immediately after
Here is a list of things that change drastically after the gendercide. Since it happened during rush hour along the eastern seaboard, most highways can’t be traveled by cars still filled with gas. Motorcycles and mopeds are preferable for that, if you manage to get them away from the Amazons (who I will explain later). Supply lines were disrupted, so fresh food suddenly became a commodity. Women were now living off canned food, junk food — things that don’t spoil over time. Electricity is down because power plant workers were mostly men. Same with public transportation and running water (I presume).
Cross-country transportation starts up again. Trains are now the main mode of transportation if you want to leave the city. Freight trains were converted for passenger trains. Women migrate away from places that remind them of their husbands, boyfriend, sons, fathers, etc. Boats are still working as well. In fact, our heroes eventually take one across the Pacific. A girl near the Washington Monument tells Yorick she was crossing the Atlantic to London. Airplanes are no longer as common as they are since most pilots were male. Inasmuch, traveling now took a lot longer than it does in our current world.
With all this, women still find work for food. A supermodel in D.C. starts collecting bodies in exchange for food. One body equals one can of food. Someone has to keep the trains running, so women get hired as conductors. The text doesn’t go into detail about other things, but we know the government builds itself back up. There were apparently less women in office in 2002, so the title of President of the United States goes to the Secretary of Agriculture. There is some dispute over who would take over the positions suddenly vacant from the gendercide. Quite a few wives of representatives and congressman believe they should take over the titles of elected officials, and they are quickly bulled over by the arrival of the new President, who states that representatives are elected officials.
The most notable group of women aren’t well liked by anyone not them. The Daughters of the Amazons is a group of girls and women who attempt to rid the changed world from anything resembling “the patriarchy”. These are the women who burn down sperm banks, graffiti the Washington Monument, and hunt down Yorick as soon as they hear about him. The woman are led by Victoria, a woman whose hatred for men seems to stem from the fact that she was denied entry into chess tournaments on the grounds that she was a woman. Spoiler (As interesting as her psychology is, her life is short lived ) end Spoiler. Take away Victoria, and the Amazons are just a group of girls who gathered under the one group of stability that made itself known.
rural communities, six months after
Probably the best places to be for the gendercide are rural areas. Plants weren’t affected very much by the gendercide, so women could continue to plant food and such. Since animals were also affected by the gendercide, they are suddenly saved for special occasions. So farming communities survive fairly well. In addition, about half of agriculturalists were women, so at least the planet will be well sustained with food.
In Marrisville, Ohio, the women started up their small town immediately after the gendercide. One of the first things they did was get their electricity grid back online so they could do useful things like laundry and refrigerate food. They even started a greenhouse so they can have fresh food. They also maintain a farm of animals. When Yorick arrives, the women vote to slaughter a cow for a feast. What an honor!
cross-country relations, one year after
Electricity is back online. Fresh food is available. Materials such as textiles and food are used for trade. Women start businesses for other women who need to release their sexual energy. But there is a problem. Despite working trains and the migration of women, supplies are disrupted between the west coast and the east coast. A small group of militia women have taken the opportunity to block the main highway going through Arizona. Spoiler ( And then Agent 355 comes along, but let’s not spoil anything, shall we? ) end Spoiler.
Communication technology comes to a standstill, apparently. Radios are down and so is the Internet. Then again, the Internet isn’t the presence and power it is today. So of course no one thinks to use the Internet for communication. World communication is extremely limited, only meant for government officials with radios, apparently. Other than that, if you want to send a message, you either have to walk the distance yourself or send someone with a letter.
Government power doesn’t have much of a presence anywhere. The Arizona militia women? They wouldn’t have been able to set up their blockade if the government weren’t so busy elsewhere. But it takes time to get everything back up and running, so give these guys some patience. Their politicians, of course it’s going to take a while to see some action.
On Friday, I’ll have an article with some literary analysis of Y: The Last Man.
Discussion Question: If all the men in the world did, what would be your survival plan?