This question concerns with possibly loaded subjects and contain assumptions that may be false. It is not the intention or the interest of the questioner to provoke reactions or discussions based principally on the truth or morality of these subjects.

Definition, premises and details
Setting: North America, 2014~2016 when apocalypse begin. North America is the focus of the discussion though the apocalypse affects the entire globe.

Apocalypse detail: This involves beams of exotic matter striking the Earth. All types organisms are affected. Ecological disruptions by death of significant percentages of organisms and mutations that result in new species. The exotic matter interacts with ordinary matter, including organisms, and resembles magic.

Impact on humanity: up to 70% of all human beings die, deaths are distributed evenly throughout the world. Technologies such as electricity and fossil fuel machinery can no longer be used, at least not in a short time or on large scales. 50% of the remaining human beings gain the equivalent of magic power with various degrees of potency, distribution is even throughout ethnic and gender groups. The event and spectacle of the apocalypse and the acquisition of magic powers may lead to the belief of divine intervention. (exempli gratia: some people think they are the new saviours of human race appointed by some deity)

***Sexual discrimination: In most parts of North America, survivors form communities in which men has clearly greater power, in affairs such as decision making, ownership of properties, right to be elected as leaders and cultural and marital customs, including polygamy.

Sexual egalitarianism: Assuming that all above premises are true/plausible, one community is formed in which men and women have similar extents of power, and this practice is maintain deliberately by the leadership through political interventions. One possible motive is to recruit those with similar opinions and women from other community who wish to enjoy greater power.


  • In the triple-asterisked section "Sexual discrimination", the event described is an assumption. Is there any strong indication/rationale suggesting the likelihood of this event?
  • Would the practice of egalitarianism be sustainable? Would special circumstances be needed (such as geographical isolation from the other communities in order to avoid conflicts). Would factors such as birth rate resulting from monogamy and female independence be deleterious to the community?
  • How would magic powers (magnifying an individuals' combat competence by 2 to 10 times that of a normal person and providing other conveniences such as lighting, fire-starting and movement) affect sexual discrimination and egalitarianism?
  • $\begingroup$ Hello, and welcome to the site. Unfortunately, this type of question does not fall within the scope of WB SE. You see, you are asking us to extrapolate a LOT of events based on very little information. At best, the question is incredibly broad. At worst, it is opinion based. Your first question alone would make a pretty intense post, never mind the rest of it. I suggest you limit the scope of what you're asking us, and then ask follow-up questions once you've established what you want the circumstances of your world to be. $\endgroup$ – AndreiROM May 21 '16 at 4:39
  • $\begingroup$ I also suggest reading the question Preventing post-apocalyptic society from becoming misogynistic, which, although different, still discusses equality in a post-apocalyptic world. $\endgroup$ – AndreiROM May 21 '16 at 4:40
  • $\begingroup$ A good read regarding WB scope and risk factors when asking questions: meta.worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/3206/… $\endgroup$ – AndreiROM May 21 '16 at 4:41
  • $\begingroup$ To give you an idea of how you might constrain the question, tell us more about your community, their magical powers, whether those powers are stronger in men or women, etc. Tell us more about the mentality of the people living there, how many of them are women, how many men, how, and if they have to defend themselves, etc. All these factors are going to affect whether men or women end up as equals. $\endgroup$ – AndreiROM May 21 '16 at 4:48
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ So it sounds like in your post-apocalyptic world, not much really changes. $\endgroup$ – ozone May 21 '16 at 14:52

Question 1: Your human population is near extinction and your technology has shot back to the dark ages, these thing create the perfect breeding ground for a sexual discrimination society like you described to form. With no more technology modern society would split apart into smaller groups fight one anther for resources. But fight war you need soldiers, with so many humans dead many groups may try to breed as many humans as possible not only to created more soldier and works but to strengthen the human race and repopulate the earth. Eventually people start realize that one man can produce a lot more kids if he has more than one woman to breed with, so they start to introduce polygamy into their community. Some of their woman refuse allow take part in this practice, but the leaders need to repopulate the earth so they pass law force woman to part polygamy effectively taking away their right to chose who to Mary. The leaders rationalize this by saying their they need to put the survival of the human race above the individual rights of woman. Now after this law is past the leaders will pass more law that are designed to "protect woman" and "protect the human race" but in practice each one of these laws will take more and more right from woman and place them in the hands of the leaders. To prevent the woman form change these laws, more laws will be part that take away woman's right to vote and to hold office.

QUESTION 2: May be in short term but in the long term and think both societies population would even themselves out. You could also explain the equal population by say the start off after the apocalypse one group was larger with and equal number of males and females while the other group was smaller with an unequal number of males and females.

Question 3: with the addition of magic I see the possibility of a society were the woman with who magic retain most if not all the rights that woman in enjoy to day, while those woman without magic are second class citizens.

Alternatively it possible that the male leadership fears a revolt of magic woman against the male dominated leadership. So they pass laws forbidding woman who have magic from learning how to use it. Any woman who manages to train themselves will be hunted down by a magical death squad and publicly executed.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.