A feminist Titanic would have enough lifeboats

leave a comment »

Emily Esfahani Smith at The Atlantic writes:

Feminists want men to treat women as equals; traditionalists want men to treat women like ladies. Are the two mutually exclusive?

Chivalry is about respect. It is about not harming or hurting others, especially those who are more vulnerable than you. It is about putting other people first and serving others often in a heroic or courageous manner. It is about being polite and courteous. In other words, chivalry in the age of post-feminism is another name we give to civility.

This is not true. It doesn’t even make sense–nobody would be debating chivalry if it were simply about courtesy.  The point of contention is the gendered character of chivalrous obligations, both the stupid ones (door-holding, restaurant payment) and the the extreme ones that expect me to die for strangers.

Plenty of feminists of have explained how chivalry is bad for women, but as a dude who wants to survive shipwrecks I’ve got another beef with it.  Stories of men giving up their lifeboat spots for women are supposed to inspire me to noble sacrifice, but they don’t.  They scare me by turning heroism in the face of death into a minimal expectation for men.

It’s even dumber in the case of the Titanic, since stricter safety requirements could have easily prevented mass death.  But what if you are in a situation in which  not everyone will survive? Here’s my proposal:

1) First, kill the outspoken racists.  I stopped watching Walking Dead in frustration after the survivors repeatedly risked their own lives to save Merle Dixon, whose hatred endangered them all.  I don’t advocate killing racists in non-emergencies, but you don’t let a good crisis go to waste.

2) Alright, let the children go first.  They take up less space and my intuition suggests it’s cruel to let a child die in uncomprehending fear.

3) Let people volunteer to stay behind.  People who are really into dying with honor get to go out like champs, so it’s almost a win-win.

4) Draw lots.  Good luck!

Seriously though just enforce safety codes better and you’ll avoid 90% of these situations.


Written by pinkocrat

December 28, 2012 at 6:17 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: