The Costa Concordia rescue is still ongoing even as I write this.
The media has been rife with accounts from survivors, stories of a gutless Captain and men who fought with old ladies to get onto the lifeboats first.
The accident has everyone comparing this sinking to the Titanic in 1912.
A N Wilson has written an insightful article “Whatever happened to women and children first?”
The article mentioned how men ensured that most whom were rescued when Titanic sank were children and women, men regardless of age, ensure that the “women and children” policy was acted upon even as they endangered their lives.
The writer laments the lost of chivalry in this modern age as women gain equal rights.
As much as I appreciate chivalry, we have taught men of this generation to respect women, to see us as equals. We can vote, work in the same jobs, earn a living and contribute as much as a man can. Perhaps the code of “women and children” first is indeed outdated. If we do want to be viewed as equals, we should not pick and choose circumstances to do so. We should not say we are equally as independent EXCEPT etc etc.
There are stories of dancer Rose Metcalf who were one of the few to stayed on to ensure
the rest got off the boat that serves to prove women are capable in a disaster.
Both adult women and men have the same chances of surviving/dying in catastrophes as this.
It may be more apt to change our thinking to “The elderly and the children first”.