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Shelly Rae

I wonder what we'd discover if we expanded this look into the "women & children first" rule into non-Western nations. I seem to recall the sinking of a ferry off Indonesia where most all the women & children drowned while the men took the lifevests & lifeboats. I don't think the idea that men (particularly young men) should sacrifice themselves to allow women & children to be saved is a world-wide concept. So, just to toss another question into the fray, should it be? I'm interested in the idea of children & (caretaking) parent first too.
Anon...

Rex

HF said: "As for Rex's comment, I have to disagree with the following: "Wouldn't your true status in society be determined simply by the order in which you're saved from threats to your life simply because it shows you your life's worth to society?" I think that "women and children first" is undoubtedly an ADVANTAGE that women have enjoyed that men don't enjoy. And it's an advantage that I think bears critiquing from both a feminist and a men's rights perspective. But that survival advantage in a fairly narrow category of situations does not change women's second class status throughout recorded history and even today in many areas."

Of of course not, and if I came across as excusing the second class citizenship women still have in most countries around the world, I apologize. I just posed the question as a potential talking point about what one's worth to society when a situation pushes their beliefs into the light.

HF said: "I am not sure about the protocols in Hurricane Katrina-- was it "women and children first" or "women with children first." One issue that I think bears examination is the fact that women still tend to be the primary caretakers of small children (a fact that often disadvantages us in many ways). So if a small child is to be evacuated, shouldn't the mother be evacuated with him or her? Or perhaps it should be "parents and children first"?"

- Well, most judges still have rather traditional views about women and men and whom is more than likely the better caretaker. I agree with both your points, especially that of parents and children. All too often in these situations a child is lost, putting them in greater danger.

Shelly Rae said: "I wonder what we'd discover if we expanded this look into the "women & children first" rule into non-Western nations. I seem to recall the sinking of a ferry off Indonesia where most all the women & children drowned while the men took the lifevests & lifeboats. I don't think the idea that men (particularly young men) should sacrifice themselves to allow women & children to be saved is a world-wide concept. So, just to toss another question into the fray, should it be? I'm interested in the idea of children & (caretaking) parent first too.
Anon..."

Ah, damn good point Shelly. Maybe it's tied closely to chivalry and enduring concepts about self sacrifice. I wonder if the japanese have remainders of bushido, essentially the oriental counterpart to chivalry. Honestly the idea is pretty sexist in both ways, since it automatically lumps women and children as weak.

The Myth of "Women & Children First"

You know I don't think it ever really existed....In Western or in Non-Western countries. It was a mytholization that became the catch phrase of the day after the Titanic went down. The Titanic also took a long time to go down, a couple of hours. So people had time to think before the panic set in and if the legends are true many behaved honourably...

The Empress of Ireland, (Titanic's Sister Ship) went down a in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in about 15 minutes in Spring of 1914, with a somewhat smaller number of passengers and crew the same number of people survived.
I'm sure the survivors could be statistically analysed for survival rates based on age and gender.

More recently durning the Tsunami, I read in Women's enews that the majority of Deaths in Sri Lanka and India were women and children for several reasons.
-Many were carrying children and couldn't out-run the waves
-Many women were pinned in wreckage by their long braided hair (a cultural imperative), and
-Most women could not swim due to the cultural preception that women not show themselves immodestly in the water and therefore most could not swim.

So a comination of accidents and disasters leads to the deaths of many people due to the foolish cultural imperatives that service the culture where they occur, and due a dis-service to the actual live people in those cultures.

By the way I don't point a finger at any one culture in this, how many women were trying to get down the stairs in the towers while wearing manolo stiletos? Their numbers will remain unknown.

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