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Friday, March 11, 2011

A short note on the sunset of gallantry 


Via the always entertaining Good Shit (main page decidedly NSFW):

ONE OF THE LEAST VISITED memorials in Washington is a waterfront statue commemorating the men who died on the Titanic. Seventy-four percent of the women passengers survived the April 15, 1912, calamity, while 80 percent of the men perished. Why? Because the men followed the principle "women and children first."

The monument, an 18-foot granite male figure with arms outstretched to the side, was erected by "the women of America" in 1931 to show their gratitude. The inscription reads: "To the brave men who perished in the wreck of the Titanic. . . . They gave their lives that women and children might be saved."

Today, almost no one remembers those men. Women no longer bring flowers to the statue on April 15 to honor their chivalry. The idea of male gallantry makes many women nervous, suggesting (as it does) that women require special protection. It implies the sexes are objectively different. It tells us that some things are best left to men. Gallantry is a virtue that dare not speak its name.

Is the end of gallantry progress, or regression? While I immerse myself in what promises to be another very long day, discuss amongst yourselves.

16 Comments:

By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Fri Mar 11, 09:31:00 AM:

"Today, almost no one remembers those men."

Allow me to retort. James Cameron's Titanic (1997) became the highest-grossing movie of all time for a reason. The teen-age girls who made it "Star War for girls" back then are now 30-ish and I'd bet still have a place in their heart for Leo's Jack Dawson character. My 15-year old daughter just discovered this movie, and she and her girl friends have seen it several times.

Me -- I saw it beginning to end just once, but when channel surfing will often pause for what to me are the good parts. I love the shear physics of the ship's breaking up, and especially when that falling guy hits an obstacle and caroms off into space.

I do agree that many modern women have ambivalence about traditional male behavior. They don't want to own the equity, just the options.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Mar 11, 11:51:00 AM:

OF, but thanks for the Goodshit link. I just spent a highly entertained fifteen minutes reading the articles there. Really, it was the articles.  

By Blogger Lionel, at Fri Mar 11, 11:57:00 AM:

TH- You are probably familiar with the "Birkenhead Drill," which is where we got the notion of "women and children first."

Excerpts from Wikipedia:

"Women and children first" is a saying that implies that the lives of women and children are to be saved first if the lives of a group of people are at stake. The saying is most famously associated with the sinking of RMS Titanic in 1912.

The practice arose from the chivalrous actions of soldiers during sinking of HMS Birkenhead in 1852, though the phrase was not coined until 1860. Although never part of international maritime law, the phrase was popularised by its usage on the RMS Titanic, where, as a consequence of this practice...

Some analysts such as Dr Carey Roberts and Dr David Benatar have viewed the policy of "women and children first" (and conscription) as evidence of what Warren Farrell refers to as "male disposability," where preservation of a woman's life is given priority over preservation of a man's life. Further, this policy, particularly as applied to incidents like the sinking of the Titanic, resulted in high numbers of widows or orphans who might then face economic and social difficulty..."

I agree with the conclusions of Ignoramus.  

By Blogger Lionel, at Fri Mar 11, 12:08:00 PM:

I agree with the conclusions of Ignoramus. I know women who are militant about perceived incidents of inequality, unless it benefits them. Then they feel it's an entitlement.

You are probably familiar with the "Birkenhead Drill," which is the origin of the notion of "women and children first."

Excerpts from Wikipedia:

""Women and children first" is a saying that implies that the lives of women and children are to be saved first if the lives of a group of people are at stake...

The practice arose from the chivalrous actions of soldiers during sinking of HMS Birkenhead in 1852, though the phrase was not coined until 1860. Although never part of international maritime law, the phrase was popularised by its usage on the RMS Titanic, where, as a consequence of this practice, 74% of the women on board were saved and 52% of the children, but only 20% of the men.[3]

Some analysts such as Dr Carey Roberts and Dr David Benatar have viewed the policy of "women and children first" (and conscription) as evidence of what Warren Farrell refers to as "male disposability," where preservation of a woman's life is given priority over preservation of a man's life..."  

By Blogger Progressively Defensive, at Fri Mar 11, 12:13:00 PM:

Ignoramus - you owe me a response from six months ago. But I forget the post.

Good like "equity, options."

But on chivalry; most woman I showed loyalty to in life has betrayed me. I must seek different company.

But I see horrible women betraying wonderful men all the time. Of course and perhaps more so horrible men betray wonderful women. The point is that you'd better distinguish between a tramp and a lady in life the best you are able to do so because the cost of being wrong is your life, all at once or one day at a time.  

By Blogger Carolyn, at Fri Mar 11, 12:23:00 PM:

I find it interesting that women think they must reject gallantry by men, but still seek "gallantry" (special treatment) from government. Feminism is not always intellectually consistent. Perhaps it's true that it takes years to learn how to think like a proper feminist.  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Fri Mar 11, 12:59:00 PM:

Handling the cognitive dissonance and hypocrisy required is truly heroic, and requires many years of practice.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Mar 11, 02:02:00 PM:

Jack Nicholson quote in his Oscar-winning role as author Melvin Udall:


Receptionist: How do you write women so well?
Melvin Udall: I think of a man, and I take away reason and accountability.  

By Anonymous feeblemind, at Fri Mar 11, 03:05:00 PM:

Re Is the end of gallantry progress, or regression?

It depends upon your point of view. If you view the feminization of our culture as a good thing, it is progress.

I endeavor to be gallant with women, even when it is unappreciated.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Mar 11, 04:24:00 PM:

“Women and children first” didn’t end with Titanic. 9/11 had many examples, including Dean Eberling -- a mild mannered 44-year old equity analyst at Keefe Bruyette -- who managed to pry open a jammed elevator door long enough to get two women out. Dean didn’t make it.  

By Blogger RoseB, at Fri Mar 11, 05:12:00 PM:

Any woman who has any sense at all will appreciate gallantry. The women who do not have absolutely no confidence in themselves and probably walk in lockstep the with nutty, old-school feminists. As far as I'm concerned, that's regression.  

By Anonymous tyree, at Sat Mar 12, 01:30:00 AM:

Regression.
Civilized societies protect the women and children.  

By Blogger Assistant Village Idiot, at Sat Mar 12, 12:39:00 PM:

I have five sons, 15-31. One simply teaches that value and informs them they are expected to adhere to it, whether anyone is grateful or not. They will absorb the lesson in varying degrees.

There is a related concept among evangelicals called "servant leadership."  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Sun Mar 13, 12:03:00 AM:

Men protect their women openly with great flourish.

Women protect their men secretly and anonymously.

Not a perfect arrangement, but it maintain the species and the society.

Let's not forget that the 74% of women who survived the Titanic disaster ALLOWED the 80% of men who died to go down with the ship.

Does that imply that women are NOT gallant and are, indeed, the "weaker sex".

...or were they just doing what was expected of them, as did the men.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Mar 13, 05:22:00 AM:

a woman's reaction to gallantry, are, like tattoos, excellent easily-observed indicators of that woman's character. (or, in the case of the tats, "intelligence".)

tattoos are dumbshit indicators. use that advance knowledge wisely, and don't waste your time using big words or complex concepts when speaking to them. actually, better yet, just go ahead and expolit them. darwin. you know.

a woman whose response to gallantry, even just pro-forma gallantry, is anything but a gracious "thanks" - even if it is only pro-forma thanks - can reliably be assumed to be a scuzzbucket unworthy of your time/attention/money. pitch her out of the lifeboat into the freezing waters and take the seat for yourself. as steve martin said to kathleen turner, "back to the mud, scum queen!"  

By Anonymous Sam L., at Sun Mar 13, 09:06:00 PM:

Should a woman, who appears to be in need of assistance, declines my assistance, I shall write her a note:

"I am reliably informed that(Name of woman)can take care of herself. Do not call me."  

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