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A Titanic mistake? New research sinks the “women and children first” myth.

Another manifestation of Sink Misandry

The Titanic sank 100 years ago today, and Men’s Rights Activists are still pissed off about it.

They’re not really pissed off that it sank. They’re pissed off that the men on board were more likely to go down with the ship than the women. You know, that whole “women and children first” thing.

Some MRAs were so pissed off about this that they were planning to march on Washington on this very day in an attempt, as they put it, to “Sink Misandry.”

You don’t know how much I would have loved to see this, a dozen angry dudes marching in circles on the National Mall carrying signs protesting the sinking of the Titanic and demanding that in all future sinkings of the Titanic that women and men be equally likely to drown in the cold waters of the North Atlantic. For that would be justice at last!

But, alas, due to unspecified logistical problems this march was cancelled some months back, and so misandry remains unsunk.

Or does it?

For you see, it turns out that the whole “women and children first” thing was not really a thing. Oh, on The Titanic it was. But women unfortunate enough to be passengers on sinking ships that weren’t the Titanic (or the HMS Birkenhead, which sunk off the coast of South Africa in 1852) weren’t able to push ahead to the front of the line. That, at least, is the conclusion of a new Swedish study (link is to a pdf of it).

As Discovery News explains:

The chivalrous code “women and children first” appears to have sunk with the Titanic 100 years ago.

Long believed to be the golden standard of conduct in a shipwreck, the noble edict is in fact “a myth that has been nourished by the Titanic disaster,” economist Mikael Elinder of Uppsala University, Sweden, told Discovery News.

Elinder and colleague Oscar Erixson analyzed a database of 18 peace-time shipwrecks over the period 1852–2011 in a new study into survival advantages at sea disasters.

Looking at the fate of over 15,000 people of more than 30 nationalities, the researchers found that more women and children die than men in maritime disasters, while captains and crew have a greater chance of survival than any passengers.

Being a woman was an advantage on only two ships: on the Birkenhead in 1852 and on the Titanic in 1912.

The notion of “women and children first” may have captured the popular imagination, but it’s never been an official policy for ship evacuations. It wouldn’t be fair, nor would it be an efficient way to get as many people as possible to safety.

Nor was “women and children” strictly enforced even on the Titanic. True, my great-grandfather, the mystery writer Jacques Futrelle, was one of those who went down with the ship, while his wife and my great-grandmother, writer Lily May Futrelle made it off safely (in the last lifeboat). But there were many men who survived, and many women who died.

If you want to get mad about the sinking of the Titanic all those years ago, get mad at the White Star Line for not bothering to equip the ship with lifeboats enough for everyone on it. Blame the captain, for ordering the ship to continue plowing ahead on a dark, foggy night into an area of the Atlantic where numerous icebergs had just been sighted by a number of other ships. Blame the crew for botching the evacuation – for the strange lack of urgency after the ship hit the iceberg, for the lifeboats leaving the sinking ship with half as many passengers as they could fit.

Much like the iceberg that sank the Titanic, Elinder and Erixson’s research has poked a giant hole in the “women and children first” myth. Of course, MRAs aren’t interested in historical accuracy. They’re looking for excuses to demonize women and feminists. So I imagine we’ll be hearing about the Titanic from them for years to come.

Here’s another tragic sinking, of yet another ship without a sufficient number of lifeboats:

EDIT: I added a couple of relevant links and fixed a somewhat egregious typo.

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hellkell
hellkell
9 years ago

Hellkell, you think? I’m not getting that vibe, but Basta certainly is tiresome and obtuse. Seems more consistently angry and hostile than our other little friend, but I haven’t recognized any of his other socks either.

Not sure. It could be another rage filled for no reason, privilege-blind asshole, there’s enough of them in the manosphere. But his socks never stray too far from his pet peeves, and male disposability is a biggie.

hellkell
hellkell
9 years ago

Oh, and what’s even funnier about PASTA!’s ranting is that Haiti is the only time that MRAs give a flying fuck about men of color. If black men here were lining up for food, I’m sure they’d have other not-so-nice ideas about how to handle it.

BASTA!
BASTA!
9 years ago

That said, if I am kind enough to assume you’re not actually THAT big of a shithead, and just suck at expressing yourself

Fuck the hell off, or learn Polish (while not living in Poland) and then I will watch how awesome you are at expressing yourself.

can you explain what exactly you think was going wrong for young, able-bodied men? They were able to wait in line. They were not being denied food and supplies.

So you say, but I am not convinced.

hellkell
hellkell
9 years ago

Oooooh, the rage is strong in this one. Can we poke him till he bursts? Shouldn’t take long.

Holly Pervocracy
9 years ago

Okay… so you’re not convinced.

That’s a shame and all. Oh well. Not my job to convince you of every fact you randomly choose not to believe.

ozymandias42
9 years ago

Basta, you didn’t answer my fucking question. Does “the UN is doing its best to help everyone” or the “the UN is fucking over men because the UN hates men” more plausible, given the evidence?

Kendra, the bionic mommy
Kendra, the bionic mommy
9 years ago

I still think Basta is Buttman, but it’s only a hunch.

Basta, I was not erasing able bodied, adult men. The thieves weren’t pushing them and stealing their food, so that’s why I didn’t mention them. The bullies instead targeted women, children, the disabled, and the elderly because they viewed them as weaker targets. First, you said that women goaded the bullies into stealing the food, now you’re saying the bullies were targeting able bodied adult men. Your basic argument is that if aid distribution programs set up special lines for marginalized groups, that they are doing it to harm men. Your arguments are all over the place.

Are you arguing because you want to help male victims of disasters, or because you want to use them as a beatstick against feminists? I appreciate all of the people and corporations that provided clothes, food, and school supplies for my husband and sons. Those generous people really did help male vicitms of a disaster. Male victims do not benefit from MRA’s trolling feminist blogs, though.

BASTA!
BASTA!
9 years ago

Haiti is the only time that MRAs give a flying fuck about men of color

This is a typical slanderous half-truth. The full truth is that MRAs don’t give a fuck about color as a variable because they are constantly aware of the simple statistical fact that being male is a far stronger predictor of misery than any other birth group affiliation.

hellkell
hellkell
9 years ago

This is a typical slanderous half-truth. The full truth is that MRAs don’t give a fuck about color as a variable because they are constantly aware of the simple statistical fact that being male is a far stronger predictor of misery than any other birth group affiliation.

HAHAHAHAHAHHAHA, tell me another, please. And throw in a citation or two while you’re doing it.

Holly Pervocracy
9 years ago

This is a typical slanderous half-truth. The full truth is that MRAs don’t give a fuck about color as a variable because they are constantly aware of the simple statistical fact that being male is a far stronger predictor of misery than any other birth group affiliation.

Like… stronger than being born without limbs?

This whole “men suffer not just oppression, but the worst oppression” thing is kind of familiar I gotta say. But far be it from me to assume there’s only one idiot in the world…

Snowy
Snowy
9 years ago

So BASTA! is that why they’re so incredibly racist? Because they don’t care about color?

Lady Zombie
Lady Zombie
9 years ago

because they are constantly aware of the simple statistical fact that being male is a far stronger predictor of misery than any other birth group affiliation.

Oh fuck off you lying, disingenuous scumbag. There are numerous instances out there in your beloved manosphere where MRAs say blatantly racist shit.

Out of all the disgusting and reprehensible shit you guys say, crying about Haitai is one of the worst.

cloudiah
9 years ago

being male is a far stronger predictor of misery than any other birth group affiliation

Hm. Well, I do believe that you are miserable, Basta, because misery and anger seem to ooze from your every comment. I do not think the cause is what you think it is.

Amused
9 years ago

I just want to point out — since I grew up in a country where it was mostly women who stood in lines — just because you see a woman standing in line to get food doesn’t mean she’s the one who gets to eat all of it, or most of it, or any of it. In some cultures, standing in line for food is simply women’s job.

ozymandias42
9 years ago

Intersectionality, motherfuckers, have you heard of it?

Being a black man is clearly and objectively far worse than being a white man. Black men, on average, make less money than white women do and almost three-quarters as much as white men. Men of color are far more likely to be imprisoned, homeless, or victims of violent crime. They are the primary victims of the prison-industrial complex and the drug war.

BASTA!
BASTA!
9 years ago

@ozymandias42: The answer is, the UN is doing its best to help everyone when that is attainable, and when not, it’s “to women according to their needs, man is the smith of his own fortune”.

Viscaria
Viscaria
9 years ago

Haiti is the only time that MRAs give a flying fuck about men of color

This is a typical slanderous half-truth. The full truth is that MRAs don’t give a fuck about color as a variable because they are constantly aware of the simple statistical fact that being male is a far stronger predictor of misery than any other birth group affiliation.

Yeah, you can go ahead and fuck right the hell off.

ozymandias42
9 years ago

Okay, so, what evidence do you have that this is actually the case, as opposed to the UN actually doing what they’re saying they’re doing? Occam’s Razor suggests the latter is true.

BASTA!
BASTA!
9 years ago

HAHAHAHAHAHHAHA, tell me another, please. And throw in a citation or two while you’re doing it.

Life expectancy and suicide rate. Data are everywhere.

Viscaria
Viscaria
9 years ago

Or, put more clearly: among the many, many people whose struggles you’re erasing are many, many men.

cloudiah
9 years ago

Life expectancy and suicide rate. Data are everywhere.

And what is the cause, pray tell? [waits expectantly]

hellkell
hellkell
9 years ago

Life expectancy and suicide rate. Data are everywhere.

Sorry, my little rage filled crumpet, I’m not the google bitch here, as I am not advancing the claim. Nice try though.

BASTA!
BASTA!
9 years ago

@ozumandias42: the evidence is the rhetoric of female moral superiority that they use to justify policies such as that which we are discussing. Earlier in the discussion some academic papers were linked providing different, much more rational (if sometimes ill-founded) arguments in favor of such policies, but these are not the arguments that the UN uses. Instead, they just say that women are the loving, caring, sharing variety of humans, therefore they will do better job at distributing the supplies equitably. That’s what they say, but the underlying sentiment may well be even worse: women are the loving, caring, sharing variety of humans, therefore they deserve stuff, period.

BASTA!
BASTA!
9 years ago

@Hellkell: be a common knowledge bitch then.

hellkell
hellkell
9 years ago

So where are these arguments that the UN uses, PASTA?

cloudiah
9 years ago

Citations, BASTA? We’ve got ’em, but you don’t. That’s not looking so good for you, liebling.

BlackBloc
BlackBloc
9 years ago

The MRAs are innumerates who have no idea how statistics work. You are aware, Mr. BASTA (fuck you btw, that word is trademarked by us revolutionary socialists, you don’t get to use it) that there is no statistically significant difference between men and women when it comes to suicide rates or life expectancy? You are aware that the argument basically amounts to “but the sampled rates are different!” even though the margin is so negligible as to be fully explainable by typical variance (i.e. chance)? That is without going into the fact that even if there was 99% significance, ideologues like the MRAs are specifically looking for an axe to grind, and that if they examine a hundred different statistics and find one that has 99% significance, that is the number of expected FALSE POSITIVES you might get?

This is basically the entire basis of the unscientific food/agribusiness propaganda research branch of science. Test a couple hundred food products against a hundred different illnesses, then take any where you get 99% significance of a correlation and trumpet in the lamestream media that a glass of wine helps with your heart or omega 3s reduce incidence of cancer. Never mention that if you’re literally testing thousands of possible correlations, you ought find dozens of false positives.

BASTA!
BASTA!
9 years ago

Mostly gone after two years. What still remains in circulation is the “men are morally inferior” corollary that happened to have much greater media buoyancy, and is evidenced in many news reports you guys have provided so far.

cloudiah
9 years ago

BASTA (fuck you btw, that word is trademarked by us revolutionary socialists, you don’t get to use it)

QFT! 🙂

hellkell
hellkell
9 years ago

Oh, PASTA, now you’re not even trying, just pulling it out of your ass. Phoning it in, really. I am disappoint.

BASTA!
BASTA!
9 years ago

You are aware, Mr. BASTA (fuck you btw, that word is trademarked by us revolutionary socialists, you don’t get to use it) that there is no statistically significant difference between men and women when it comes to suicide rates or life expectancy?

Last time I checked (which was a few minutes ago) the ratio of male/female suicide rates in the US was around 4, and that’s what I am aware of. Enlighten me please, how is that insignificant?

Plus, suicide rate and life expectancy are not just any cherrypicked variables. We focus on them because they are overall measures of misery that are immune to cherrypicking, unlike single factors that can be selected to paint any picture you wish.

cloudiah
9 years ago

Pasta! You must know, because you’re so good at research, that women in the U.S. attempt suicide 2 to 3 times more often than men do. How do you make that inconvenient fact go away?

Shadow
Shadow
9 years ago

http://www.afsp.org/index.cfm?page_id=04ea1254-bd31-1fa3-c549d77e6ca6aa37

Women attempt suicide three times as much as men. What this tells me is that suicide is on the rise in the US and that both genders are suffering.

*ducks as evidence ricochets back in my direction*

Shadow
Shadow
9 years ago

Why hello Cloudiah. Fancy being ninjaed by you here!

cloudiah
9 years ago

@Shadow, All I have to say to that is this. 🙂

Viscaria
Viscaria
9 years ago

I assume suicide rates are exactly the same for men of all races, classes, sexual orientations, genders assigned at birth, ability, etc., yes? Since there’s no reason for MRAs to give a crap about things like race, since men’s oppression is totes the worst oppression you guys, and suicide rates prove it?

Shadow
Shadow
9 years ago

@Viscaria

Nuance is misandry!

BASTA!
BASTA!
9 years ago

women in the U.S. attempt suicide 2 to 3 times more often than men do.

Dot one: ever heard about feigned suicide attempts? Dot two: women in crisis are seen as deserving help, while men in crisis are seen as losers. Dot three: feigning a suicide attempt effectively communicates to others that you are in crisis. Dot four: a credibly feigned suicide attempt makes others believe that your life is at risk. Dot five: women’s life is valued more than men’s. Connect the dots. Who will feign suicide more often, men or women?

Holly Pervocracy
9 years ago

women in crisis are seen as deserving help, while men in crisis are seen as losers

Whereas clearly it should be the reverse.

Hey, do you think making light of people who “feign” suicide saves a lot of men’s lives? Or does it send a very clear “really do it or no one will care” message?

There are pressures on men to use more lethal suicide methods, and they’re not coming from feminists.

cloudiah
9 years ago

Pasta! Please enlighten us further. What percentage of women’s vs. men’s suicide attempts are feigned, according to your good friend Common Knowledge? About the rest of your dots, this.

speedlines
speedlines
9 years ago

So now we’ve got “feigned suicide” to go along with “false rape.” Oh-kay.

Shadow
Shadow
9 years ago

It’s also a known fact, that murders are simetimes disguised as suicides. Clearly this means that we don’t need to worry about men committing suicide because it’s probably just people caught up in organized crime.
/keyboard explodes from angry, sarcastic typing

You really are scum, you know that. You can’t just draw imaginary dots and then tell us to connect them, because all we learn is the picture you want to paint. But clearly reality and decency are feminist plots too

Shadow
Shadow
9 years ago

Besides, your dumb ass decided to tell us that the fact that men commit so many suicides is proof that men are miserable. Even if we took your reality-denying bullshit as fact, that still means that 2-3 times more women than men are in crisis. Of course those of us who have even a basic understanding of reality know that suicides and suicide attempts are not just a simple x=y situation.

Shadow
Shadow
9 years ago

@cloudiah

Your last link goes to a 404. I died laughing at “Then a miracle happens”

cloudiah
9 years ago

Oh, how’d that happen? Here is what the cosmos thinks of Pasta, without any HTML coding:
http://i.imgur.com/P8yTL.jpg

princessbonbon
9 years ago

So basically what you are saying Pasta is that if a woman tries to commit suicide, fails, she is only doing it for attention and not because her life has become so soul crushingly without hope that the only option she feels she has is to kill herself because nothing else will stop the pain.

Let me join in with the chorus of fuck offs and tell you to fuck right off.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
9 years ago

Dot six – women are lying bitches by nature, so obviously they’re just faking suicide for the attention. It all makes so much sense if you start from the assumption that women are evil.

Kendra, the bionic mommy
Kendra, the bionic mommy
9 years ago

I just read BASTA’s comments on natural disasters to my husband, and his reaction was disgust. He says to stop speaking on his behalf. Nobody has treated him as if he’s disposable, and nobody has denied giving him help for being a man. In other words, BASTA, stop being an asshole that uses other peoples’ misfortunes as a beat stick against feminists.