The Myth of the Peaceful Woman by outofthedarkness
There’s a persistent trope in science fiction and fantasy about a society consisting solely of women. It’s a peaceful and prosperous society, free from all violence. There may be some female warriors, who are somehow better than all male warriors everywhere despite having no real pressure or battles to harden themselves on. As a female reader with a strong taste for rational thinking, I am begging authors to stop doing this. Every female over the age of seven knows that a planet full of only women would not be peaceful. Every female Odd will picture this situation as The Special Hell. Allow me to explain the matter for anyone confused as to what this situation would actually look like.
Female social structure is completely different from male social structure. Men tend to organize in a hierarchy of sorts. There’s one guy at the top, a few guys he trusts underneath him, etc. downward until you reach the guys that are on the bottom of the pile. The structure makes sense. It’s efficient, everyone knows who’s in charge, and it’s largely based around the individual. Someone can rise or fall in this hierarchy based on any number of things, but their position is usually pretty clear from the outside looking in.
Female social structure is more fluid. It’s based more on group identity than on individual characteristics. You tend to have one woman who is kind of in charge, your queen bee as it were. Those in her favor circle around her, and the circles continue outward until you have the women who are not part of the group. They aren’t at the bottom of the pile, they pretty much don’t exist. At least, if they’re lucky they don’t. One’s position in the social hierarchy can change at any time, to include who the queen bee is. Remember the scene in Mean Girls where Regina tries to sit at the lunch table with the other plastics but isn’t wearing the right color clothes? She was just knocked out of her position in the social hierarchy.
In a social structure like this, there’s no room for difference of opinion or people who stand out too much. If an individual, even by noncompliance, threatens the group identity; she will gain the ire of the entire group. They will hunt her without mercy until she complies with the demands of the group, is removed from their reach by either death or physical distance (which is getting much harder with the internet), or manages to win enough females to her side to either form a new group around her or replace the existing leader. The last option allows her to push her standard on the group as a whole. There is no option to live and let live. In other words, female social structure is closer to the Borg than the complex world we currently enjoy.
I can already hear the cries of, “But women aren’t violent!” If you’re talking about direct violence, you’re mostly right. Women are not men, and we don’t hunt in the way that men do. Our weapons are usually words and emotions, not direct violence. Instead of a brawl in which two people fight it out and determine which is the strongest, you’re looking at extreme emotional abuse for anyone who is outside the group and unlucky enough to have their attention. Emotional abuse attacks a person in the most deeply personal of ways, and the scars it creates are more damaging than the physical scars of a beating. We wonder why girls who stand out grow so bitter, but if you’re a little too pretty or a little too different, other girls swarm on you and rip you apart with constant emotional abuse. They attack who you are at the base of your being, your very self-perception. This is why you see truly beautiful women who struggle to see their worth. Other girls have been ripping into them since the nursery, and it only gets worse as they get older. Boys court you and try in their awkward boyish way to get your attention, but you’re mostly convinced that it’s a cruel joke they’re playing on you, because of course you aren’t pretty or smart or special. The scars run deep and never fully heal.
However, physical violence is not out of the question either. Female genital mutilation is a very physical violence that is inflicted on women, mostly by other women. It is not unique to or even required by Islam, the religion we think of most on this issue. It’s tradition, and women will inflict this on their daughters and granddaughters quietly in dirty back rooms with rusty and unsterilized razor blades if the society they live in declare it to be illegal. If enough women decide to mob on some unfortunate outside their group, they may well turn physically violent and the beating will not stop once the point is made. It will stop when the target of their wrath is dead or nearly dead. Women don’t really have much of an “off switch” when we move into physical violence out of anger.
So what would a world made up totally of women really be like? It would be tyrannical beyond belief. No one would be willing to speak against the accepted narrative unless they were willing to be unpersoned or killed. Think of a mix between 1984, the very worst social aspects of socialist regimes, and the Borg. There would be constant pushing for position, usually by starting whisper campaigns or setting someone above oneself up to be badly embarrassed. Look at the SJWs of today’s world and see how they operate. That’s what it would look like, writ large across the entire planet. They attack anyone outside the group who doesn’t comply with their demands, and if someone inside the group says a single word out of line according to the ever-shifting standards the entire group turns on them without mercy. The only way to get back in their good graces is to loudly proclaim your “sin” and accept their abuse until they get bored of you. Even afterward, you’ll forever be “tainted” with the sin of noncompliance.
When you write your books and send them out into the world, please stop writing women as soft, cuddly pacifists. We aren’t. Kipling was completely right about the female of the species being the more dangerous sex. He was also right about the price of letting women control society. If any thinking individualist finds themselves in a society run by women, may God have mercy on their souls because those women will have none at all.