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Women & Children First.......or should it?
05-09-2005, 10:05 AM
Post: #1
Women & Children First.......or should it?

Watching the film Titanic and listening to the order of "Women & Children" first made me think.....why? On board the Titanic was a lot of wealth and a lot of very important, clever men - were their lifes deemed less worthy of that of women & children? Approx 1500 on board and about 190 of them were women & children. Of the dead approx 700 of those were crew but that still means that just over 600 men lost their lives. As I have stated there were a lot very clever people on board. Macroni (who invented the radio was supposed to be on board). Is a life of a 75 year old woman more important than that of a brilliant, young scientist on the threshold of his life? It was a foregone conclusion that people were going to die, and it also came down to class on board the Titanic - so if you were in first or second class and you were a woman or a child, you were pretty much going to survive.

In situations like this today, should it or is it still the case of "women & children first" or am I being way too harsh?

TRINITY JEWELLERY - DESIGNS THAT STAND OUT
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05-09-2005, 10:18 AM
Post: #2
Women & Children First.......or should it?
Bella, are you assuming that the men left behind were naturally cleverer than the women who were saved?

Basically I think the way of thinking is that men are replaceable, but women are breeding stock for the human race and that children are needed to replenish the ranks. For the human race to survive after a disaster of any kind you would only need a handful of men to re-procreate the species, but you would need a large stock of females due to the long gestational period in human females - i.e, it takes nearly a year to produce a single human child.

On a more humane level, I guess it is deemed fairer to save the weak first and leave the physically stronger until last in the hope that their strength will aid their survival for longer, or until help arrives.


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05-09-2005, 10:32 AM
Post: #3
Women & Children First.......or should it?
That's they way I understand it too, floops.

BTW, going off-topic AGAIN! You are about to post your 3,000th post. Make it a good one.
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05-09-2005, 10:56 AM
Post: #4
Women & Children First.......or should it?
floopy Wrote:Bella, are you assuming that the men left behind were naturally cleverer than the women who were saved?

I can see it has come out that way, and I have no doubt that there were probably a lot of influential women on board too. The point I was trying to make is that....and this does sound harsh.......is that a life of a young man who could make is mark on society is more important that an old woman of 75, who could offer nothing to society. I accept that she is someone's mother, grandmother but she has lived her life, she isn't going to be able to breed wheras the young man could plus he can give society more than the old lady.

I try to think of it if it was my husband on board, I would be a bit miffed at some-one in their 80's getting his place.

TRINITY JEWELLERY - DESIGNS THAT STAND OUT
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05-09-2005, 11:07 AM
Post: #5
Women & Children First.......or should it?
Bella Wrote:I try to think of it if it was my husband on board, I would be a bit miffed at some-one in their 80's getting his place.

But if your frail 80 year old mother got left to drown because some fit young 30 year old man was given her place, would you feel the same?

I guess in the kind of situations where this rule would come into place, you're talking about extreme disaster zones. Rules have to be general and easy to understand. After all, who else is going to decide which of us are "worthy" enough to survive. Should we each be assigned a worthiness ID card which shows what benefit we have been to society?


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05-09-2005, 11:19 AM
Post: #6
Women & Children First.......or should it?
floopy Wrote:But if your frail 80 year old mother got left to drown because some fit young 30 year old man was given her place, would you feel the same?

I guess in the kind of situations where this rule would come into place, you're talking about extreme disaster zones. Rules have to be general and easy to understand. After all, who else is going to decide which of us are "worthy" enough to survive. Should we each be assigned a worthiness ID card which shows what benefit we have been to society?


Fair point Floopy.....my mum is going to be a tad annoyed at being deemed at 80 though...:laugh:. You know I think if it was me who was the frail old lady at 80, I would quite happily give my place to a fit, young 30 year old man, I have had my life, done my bit and probably be dead in a few years anyway.

I appreciate there has to be rules, but if I was a man I would be a bit miffed!

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05-09-2005, 11:53 AM
Post: #7
Women & Children First.......or should it?
Just googled it and found this:



Quote:

This tradition, a gallant one, was started in 1852 when the HMS Birkenhead sailed around the coast of southern Africa:



The HMS Birkenhead was a 1900 ton warship. Her hull was made out of iron - almost unheard of in those days, as hulls were generally made out of wood. Besides sails, she sported steam-driven paddles as well. Eight lifeboats were lashed to paddle boxes. On 7 January 1852 she sailed from Cork in Ireland on her fateful voyage to South Africa.



The Birkenhead stopped over at Simon's Town and took on coal and other provisions. On 25 February she set sail for Cape Town. There were 638 people, including 476 British soldiers and 20 women and children. The soldiers were to be despatched to the Eighth Frontier War in the Eastern Cape.



The Birkenhead had an uneventful voyage - there were no storms and they steered well clear of the coast of Africa, known for it's treacherous rocks. No one is quite how or why it happened, but in the early hours of the morning on 26 February 1852, the ship ran on to a pinnacle of rock, just off Danger Point - which lies between Cape Hangklip and Cape Agulhas.



The metal hull was torn open and just over a hundred soldiers drowned as they lay sleeping. The rest of the troops rushed on deck and tried to help the crew to man the pumps and free the lifeboats. Alas, the lifeboats had rarely, if ever, been used and the rigging was clogged with paint and they were only able to free three of the lifeboats. The women and children were ushered into the three lifeboats.



The ship was sinking, and the captain knew that time had run out. He shouted out the words "Every man for himself."



The soldier's commanding officers, Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Seton, drew his sword and ordered his men to stand fast - to rush the lifeboats might mean that the women and children aboard the boats would be swamped and would perish. He threatened to use his sword to stop anyone who panicked. He had no need to use the sword - each soldier remained in their ranks. The horses on board were blindfolded and driven over the side of the ship so that the horses could try to swim ashore. The soldiers did not budge even as the ship split in two and the main mast crashed on to the deck.



445 people died - many drowned as the ship sank, sharks savaged others as they tried to swim ashore. Only 193 people survived - a few were picked up by the lifeboats, others clung to pieces of wreckage and others managed to elude the sharks and swim ashore. The captain and the courageous Lieutenant-Colonel Seton were among the dead.

The rock on which the ship was wrecked is known as Birkenhead Rock and is seen as a memorial to the brave souls who perished on 26 February 1852. Forever will the cry "Women and children first" be honoured, because of the gallant actions of a commanding officer and his men.




Or maybe they just ditched the women and children cos they couldnt row hard enough :laugh:


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05-09-2005, 12:15 PM
Post: #8
Women & Children First.......or should it?
Lets face it Bella. It's not likely to affect many men in their lifetime and they have everything else far too easy, it gives them something to worry about.
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05-09-2005, 03:48 PM
Post: #9
Women & Children First.......or should it?
I wondered for a while about this. And my take on it is that 'the male' being seen as the protective and supporting role 'allows' the women and children to go first - as it is seen as their inbuilt 'male' protectiveness!

The same could be seen in the armed and no armed forces as little as 10 years ago. Women were not sent to the front line for fear that if they were injured the men would jeopardise the 'mission' to stay with/care for or merely worry about the women. The same happened in the police force [when I joined nearly 20 years ago] - women were never sent out 'alone' at night, we were always double crewed. This relaxed as the years went on, as the women proved themselves equal on all counts to the men, and were seen to be equal.

I always cook with wine, and sometimes I actually put it in the food.
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07-09-2005, 07:03 AM
Post: #10
Women & Children First.......or should it?
floopy Wrote:Bella, are you assuming that the men left behind were naturally cleverer than the women who were saved?

Basically I think the way of thinking is that men are replaceable, but women are breeding stock for the human race and that children are needed to replenish the ranks. For the human race to survive after a disaster of any kind you would only need a handful of men to re-procreate the species, but you would need a large stock of females due to the long gestational period in human females - i.e, it takes nearly a year to produce a single human child.

On a more humane level, I guess it is deemed fairer to save the weak first and leave the physically stronger until last in the hope that their strength will aid their survival for longer, or until help arrives.

That's what I always thought aswell! :smartie:
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