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Women Don't Belong In The Post-Petro Workplace!Dusko Jocic (November 30th, 2005)

Although women have come a long way in our society with regards to equality in the workforce, there will never be true equality. As long as the real objects of value in our society are primarily built by males women will always be dependent on man. Cheap energy has enabled womens' liberation to thrive and women to have equal income and say in the family but that age of cheap and abundent fossil fuel is ending and so too is the age of equality. Unfortunately, peak oil will effect women and their careers in the worst ways.

Jobs where real value is created, like construction, farming, mining, fishing, manufacturing and transportation are mostly male oriented. Those are the essential elements for the existance of society and have been for centuries. Why doesn't the majority of women work in these types of jobs? Small numbers of women have choosen these careers but it is not very feminine to chip a nail, let alone cover your body in dirty coal, smelly fish or manure. Women have always felt the need for pampering and beauty to attract their mates and men expect no less. Biology, ensures that unless you're a desperate single mother, or the masculinized bull dyke type you won't work at one of these jobs.

Modern women work primarily in the retail and service industry, as waitresses, store clerks, office workers, care givers and other non-essential services. As the economy goes through recession and ultimately energy based depression these are the jobs that will be lost, never to return. We always hear about factory jobs being lost and men losing their jobs. But in reality, food, shelter, energy and transportation industries are essential and are male dominated. This form of employment will deminish but will still thrive. And what will happen when survival is all that matters? Will men in those industries simply hand over jobs to their unemployed sisters, mothers, daughters, etc? Women will protest for meaningful employment and income to the
government and there will be none. Will modern governments, mostly run by male politicians, risk losing an election by helping women? More women will also lose their new consumer powers and take on the traditional role of mothers, fulltime. It is Inevitable.

Recently, I viewed the film, Dark Country. It takes place during the recession of the early 90's and it's about sexual harrassment of female employees at a mine. This uplifting story is about how women fight for respect in the male oriented workforce and get it. Harrassment is one thing, equal representation for employment is another. Fraternity has kept men together for centuries just as surely as gossip has brought women closer to each other. During times of hardship men bond and help one another, so do families, but men can handle emotional burdens better than women because they can bottle up emotions longer. In general, women need to deal with their emotions quicker, but their complaints will fall on the deaf ears of a society struggling to
maintain order and survival.

Women will remain the in the workforce but only those lucky or strong enough to do it. Many will have to start their own businesses and compete for jobs as plumbers, electricians, construction workers and truck drivers. But having a career and family won't be as easy as it was in the mid to late twentieth century. After hurricane Katrina in The Southeast, women have become the endangered species. Three months after the disaster it seems like New Orleans has become similar to San Francisco during the California Gold Rush. The gold rush produced the Lavender Cowboy and ultimately created the gay capitol of America. Women in New Orleans have taken their children and left for other cities and towns until their boyfriends' and husbands clean up
the city and make it worth living in again. Peak oil will be global, women will have nowhere to run and hide during that crisis. The greatest thing of value in society are people and it looks like many women will have the job of making and raising new ones fulltime.

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By: Dusko Jocic

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