Bonnie's Reviews > Y: The Last Man, Vol. 10: Whys and Wherefores

Y by Brian K. Vaughan
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Dec 02, 2014

it was ok
bookshelves: apocalypse-dystopia, graphic-novel, 2008-books

Reflecting on this series, I'm going to say: not impressed.

The series tended to irk me a lot. The idea is still thought-provoking and fascinating (you know the drill by now: what happened if every male mammal was wiped out, besides one Everyman and his monkey). But how Vaughan dealt with it was just ri-fucking-diculous.

You know what, Vaughan? Very little of my life revolves around men and Fighting the Patriarchy. Seriously, is this supposed to be set in the 1960s? Nearly every woman in this thing is OBSESSED with the patriarchy and the oppression of women by men. All the post-apocalyptic secret societies revolve around MEN despite the fact that there aren't any anymore: the Amazons, the Setauket Ring, etc. etc. Do you know what women don't tend to do? Stand around and spout giant blocks of text at each other about the Oppressive Patriarchy. There were very few personal conversations about men. You know, the fathers, brothers, sons, friends, husbands, etc., etc. that every woman left standing lost. Instead everyone thinks about Men and spouts off ideological crap at every opportunity. (another favorite target is religion, especially the Catholic church, but that is a whole other bucket of worms)

And despite all the dead men, this is actually one of the tamest apocalypses I've read about. Electricity, heat, sewage, etc., etc. seems to be in perfect working order almost continuously. Everyone is wearing normal clothes and looking clean and decently fed and healthy. Seriously??? Life As We Know It is over, but it reads more like it's normal life, minus men. And the attitudes of the women - even putting aside their weird obsession with The Patriarchy - are kind of insane. THEY ARE FACING THE EXTINCTION OF THE HUMAN SPECIES. No more babies, no more humans. And they don't seem concerned with this. Even when a male is dropped into their laps, they're mostly like "oh, that's interesting/strange/let's kill him [the Amazons]". There is not a massive WE NEED TO HAVE SEX TO PRESERVE HUMANITY mentality. In the same don't-seem-to-realize-they-are-the-last-generation vein are things like the Israelis who have their weird little machinations which seem to revolve around the idea of a future - which besides the farfetched cloning hope (which I guess worked out in the end, but was not really something to bet on) - was really not likely for most of this series.

And there were stupid random tidbits thrown in about How the World Would Be If Only Women Were Left that was just so much bull-fucking-shit. Because apparently after the apocalypse, women would clear out the shampoo aisle but leave the canned food. Because the cosmetic companies were run by men but farms still run okey-dokey post-apocalypse or some such shit. Shampoo is important but (1) people washed their hair before Vidal Sassoon became a thing (2) ANY SEMI INTELLIGENT HUMAN BEING WOULD ALSO TAKE ALL THE FOOD NOT JUST COSMETICS BECAUSE THERE WOULD DEFINITELY BE FOOD SHORTAGES WITH HALF THE POPULATION DEAD, SOCIETY IN DISARRAY AND THE QUICK EXTINCTION OF ALL MAMMALS. Jesus. Was this book supposed to make me think women are pathetic? Because in this book they are. (well, maybe the men are just as dumb and lame, but we really just have Yorick to go on).

Oh, and if every male mammal in the world died, you don't think this would fuck up the ecosystem just a little?

I just think it was a weird, weird series in its outlook. I would really love to read a version of this written by a woman. I do not think Vaughan did a good job of capturing what actual women would be like in this situation. Because according to him we would mostly be really, really angry and railing against the Unfair Power of Men or just kind of cool chicks riding out the apocalypse trying to avoid the ire of the feminazis.
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