Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Hm. I see your point, but guess I'm just old-fashioned.

I haven't been following the story about that Italian cruise ship. In this story, it seems it spawned the usual tales of heroism...
'He shouted: "Jump, jump, jump". I can't swim so he gave me his life jacket.

'I froze and couldn’t jump, but he jumped off the ship and shouted upwards 'Come on, don't worry.

'I jumped off and the last thing I heard him say was that I would be fine. Then I never saw him again.'

And...not so much...
‘There was no “women and children first” policy. There were big men, crew members, pushing their way past us to get into the lifeboats. It was disgusting.’

And I'm sure it was.

Over at Vox Popoli, the writer attempts to turn this into a point about the unintended consequences of feminism, as it has been commonly practiced...
This was not so much predictable as predicted. Women have methodically attacked the concept of male duty and honor through every possible means for the past ninety years, and now they are whining that they don't get special treatment simply because a ship happens to be sinking. Why, exactly, should any man "prioritise women, expectant mothers and children"? On what grounds can they be reasonably expected to do so, those outdated traditional grounds that the schools teach is hateful, sexist, and bigoted?

Those big, burly crewmen shoving aside women as they prioritized their own escape should have been wearing t-shirts that said "this is what a feminist looks like". Enjoy the crash.

Okay. I, too, love the smell of schadenfreude in the morning. But the foolishness of others never, ever becomes an acceptable excuse for your own bad behavior.

Robert Heinlein, that most quotable of authors, wasn't right about everything but his batting average is better than 50% and I have to go with him on this:
All societies are based on rules to protect pregnant women and young children. All else is surplusage, excrescence, adornment, luxury, or folly, which can — and must — be dumped in emergency to preserve this prime function.
His emphasis is on "society," about which I don't really give a damn. But I do care about the one guy I have to live with, 24/7. I care what he thinks about me, and I HATE it when he wakes me up abruptly with some vivid memory of a hateful, dishonorable, or simply embarrassing thing I've done. If I'd ever pushed a woman out of the way to get myself on a lifeboat, I'm pretty sure I'd find it difficult to live with the memory. And that's coming from a guy who really doesn't care too much for feminism the way it was commonly practiced, y'know?

Guess I'm just old-fashioned. The wages of feminism be damned, a man does the right thing because that's the way he proves to himself that he's a proper man. It's a proof that needs to be renewed regularly, and never more than when he's terrified and there's a part of him that would trample his own mother to get himself out of danger. If he can later live with his own actions during those moments, then he knows he's okay and needs not be too concerned about smaller imperfections in his character, which all men have.

If he can't, then he carries the consequences with him always. That's a very high price to pay. It's not heroism. It's self interest.

Individual life is very important. My individual life is extremely important. But musings about "society" notwithstanding, every life - even mine - brings moments when it's not the most important thing. So get the hell out of the way and let the women and children on the boats.

Afterward, if you live, you can find and kill the guy who didn't supply enough damn boats.


DonkeyBuster said...

For my two cents, being fit & abled (for the moment) I do consider it my job to help those weaker than myself, regardless of gender, age, nationality... because I too have to live w/the consequences if I do live.

Just the daily practice of opening doors for each other, vacating a seat for the elderly, infirm or hugely pregnant... ordinary everyday kindness.

And I agree. Though my life is extremely important, how I use that life is what gives it importance. Being a gutless scum sucking bottom feeder is not what I consider the best use of this good fortune.

Not too mention, I can probably swim the 400 yards to shore.

DonkeyBuster said...

And this is OT, but what kind of numbskull takes someone else's $570 million dollar boat w/several thousand passengers for a little unscheduled side trip? And then blames the ROCK for being there?

Joel said...

A first-rate numbskull.

MamaLiberty said...

And I hear that "captain" was one of the first shoving women aside to get on the boat. I hope the rest of his crew find him and give him some lumps, at the very least. He also gets to look in the mirror for the rest of his life. I don't envy him.

Maybe he can get a job at Starbucks...
Nahhh He's "overqualified."

gooch said...

There is one thing that I can pretty confidently prognosticate about that particular "captain's" future.
Even IF he doesn't wind up in prison for 33 charges of manslaughter [where he fully deserves to be] he will Never work on another ship or boat for the rest of his life.

Sailors may have a poor reputation when it comes to Rum, loose women and chasing the filthy buck BUT they won't forgive or forget the name and face of an unmitigated Coward that has blackened the eye of the entire seafaring profession.

That person should seriously avoid waterfront bars IF he evades prison.

Grrrowl, grumble, grumble.