Coming to CBC: A Week Without Women

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Coming to CBC: A Week Without Women



“A Week without Women” is a reality-type show in production for CBC that's being called a "social experiment" in which all the women in a small town leave town for a week, and men are left to perform roles normally taken on by women. Sites are being looked at in BC and Alberta.

From the production company's [url=]website:[/url]


Paperny Films is developing an exciting new television series that explores what happens when all the women in an ordinary Canadian town disappear for a week and leave the men and children to cope on their own.

What happens to a workplace without women? What happens in a community? What happens on the home front without girlfriends, wives, sisters or mothers?

remind remind's picture

Well, this will be interesting to see how it unfolds. My daughter today, in reaction to the Elizabeth May word's and resulting regressive words being spewed about woman's rights, wanted to call out a general woman's day strike. Where all women, or as many who would support such a great idea, do absolutely nothing for 2 days, all across Canada, do not go into work, do not perform any household functions, or do other tasks within society that we fulfill, and see how things go!

This will be a mini preview of how it could be on a massive scale.


I've already seen it. It's called Lord of the Flies.


I'd like to think such a show would be a thoughtful exploration of how the roles of individuals are hopelessly intertwined and mixed in any community. Unfortunately I imagine much of the show will be a focus on idiotic 'Mr Mom' moments where they find the doofus who can't cook or who screws up the laundry or something.

For a town of 1000 people, there will likely be some total morons who will make good TV fodder. I suspect the 400 decent guys who just miss their partners but aren't, actually, totally useless will be largely ignored.

I doubt there will be much in the way of thoughtful discussion of gender roles. It's TV after all.


Readers might like to note that the UK version was a disaster for both the BBC and the village concerned, Harby, where I live.

We were the first victims of this dreadful programme idea. I would advise any community thinking of accepting ‘the challenge’ to tell the producers where to go. It’s divisive, it’s staged, it’s harmful and it’s not even good TV! The original series was made by the BBC by a team with something to prove (quite what we never really found out), but along the way it split our tiny community of 240 people and the damage still reverberates nearly two years on. Most of the main participants have now left the village but we are left with bad memories. To anybody thinking about making this programme (Paperny Films please note), it’s rubbish TV, the viewing figures were dreadful (despite huge numbers of promos and hype).To anybody thinking about taking part I’d say ‘don’t do it, you’ll regret it’.

To Paperny Films I'd say 'think again', it's rotten TV and boring to boot, don't ruin your reputation. The people responsible for it at the BBC have now left . . .

This format was tried in the USA but they couldn’t find a community stupid enough to take it on! Beware, the whole thing is a con!




Helical, this sounds really interesting. Welcome to babble.

Could you expand more on how it's split your town and how some of the participants have left? How did it do that? Were people fighting over some of the stuff that was said on the show or something?

Doesn't surprise me that much of it was staged.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

IN 1975, TIME magazine made "American Women" their "Person of the Year". The link below gives the entire lead essay which might be interesting reading for those not born before 1975. Just be cautious in reading anything from that magazine; I see in the first few paragraphs they try to spread the lie that


Once the doctrine of well-educated middle-class women, often young and single, it (equal rights for women - N.Beltov) has taken hold among working-class women, farm wives, blacks, Puerto Ricans, white "ethnics."

... when the opposite is just as true. The celebration of IWW on March 8, for example, comes from commemorating a strike of working class women in the textile/garment industry in New York City in 1908. [See NOTE below] The essay might be an interesting read as long as one is aware of the prejudices and bias of TIME magazine.

Anyway, I didn't dig up that quote just to slag TIME. The essay notes that [b]in October of 1975 the women of Iceland went on a one day strike.[/b] I wonder if the organizers of the "week without women" checked into that at all? After all, a strike is a much better way to make a point.


TIME: To demonstrate that the country cannot function without them, Icelandic women staged a one-day strike in October: schools, theaters and telephone service were all shut down.

[url= Women - TIME "Person of the Year" for 1975[/url]




On March 8, 1857, garment workers in New York City marched and picketed, demanding improved working conditions, a ten hour day, and equal rights for women. Their ranks were broken up by the police. Fifty-one years later, March 8, 1908, their sisters in the needle trades in New York marched again, honoring the 1857 march, demanding the vote, and an end to sweatshops and child labor. The police were present on this occasion too.

In 1910 at the Second International, a world wide socialist party congress, German socialist Clara Zetkin proposed that March 8th be proclaimed International Women's Day, to commemorate the US demonstrations and honor working women the world over.

The quote is taken from an [url=] A History of International Women's Day. [/url]

[ 07 January 2007: Message edited by: N.Beltov ]



Before the 'show', some of us with experience of the media knew what was coming, others thought it was their time for '15 minutes of fame'. The majority probably couldn't have cared less, either way.

In the end only about 38 women out of 120 actually left the village for their expenses paid week away. Less than 20 men participated. Compare this with the figures that the BBC declared of 70, 80 or even ALL the women.

The BBC had to go outside the village, actually into the next county to find 'suitable' and willing people. The village shop, school and church refused to take part. The pub did, but soon found out what it was about as things were 'set up'.

On the plus side some of the aerial shots of the village taken from an 80 foot crane were quite good. Some of the participants dropped out part way through 'the week' after finding out how it was being done. Some lapped it up, even if others saw their 'performance' in a different light. The BBC stitched the men up with 'activities' over and above their duties at home and work. These involved concrete gateways and fence making etc. Some men participated in this for the community good, didn't do anything controversial and were never seen on screen after a whole week of hard work. Fortunately the men had been forewarned by others about what was likely to happen and this riled the BBC because nobody really messed up, despite the BBC trying as hard as possible to upset the cart.

We 'lost' 38 women and gained 80 BBC crew who seemed to delight in trying to set things up (without people realising). They even pulled a stunt with a hired motorbike whereby the rider 'fell off' with a boy on the back. A witness who saw it says it was completely staged. An ambulance was called to deal with it (wasting emergency services time) to heighten the 'drama'.

I could go on, but I suspect that you've got the drift by now. Paperny might be more honourable but it IS reality TV that we're talking about. Reality is boring, it has to be spiced up, so I doubt whether it would be any different in Canada.

There's not many people left in the village who actively took part and it has pretty much passed into 'don't talk about it' territory.

The finished programme was boring in the extreme (hence the poor viewing figures and it being 'buried' in the August holiday schedules. At 1.4 million UK pounds it was hardly cheap TV and certainly not value for money for the licence fee payer.

We can't be sure why some people left, they were mainly recent residents but there was certainly friction. Some of the women didn't come out of it very well and my real concen (with hindsight) is the damage that it might have done to some of the children, especially the adolescents whose lives were shown in sometimes cruel detail.

Is that enough? [img]smile.gif" border="0[/img]

Best wishes from the UK!

[ 07 January 2007: Message edited by: Helical ]

[ 07 January 2007: Message edited by: Helical ]


Sounds like a fine time to be the "only gay in the village". [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]



So the show, called "The Week the Women Went", began this past Monday on CBC. Don't know how it compares to the BBC original since I missed the first episode, but here is the show's site, which is set up to look like a newspaper:

[url=]The Week the Women Went[/url]