Most of the coverage of the Costa Concordia disaster at the moment seems to be focusing on the Italian cruise ship’s captain and his douchey behavior, which involved not only running the ship aground but also abandoning ship prestissimo while passengers remained trapped on board.
MRAs, by contrast, are using the tragedy as an excuse to rail against the notion of “women and children first” and, of course, to make jokes about women drowning.
Now, the Titanic aside, “women and children first” isn’t now, and hasn’t ever really been, the standard way to evacuate those on a sinking ship, though many in the public — including some of those who were on board the Costa Concordia – seem to believe that it is. (See here for more details on how evacuations are typically handled these days; generally only those with mobility problems are given special treatment.)
In the case of this particular evacuation, some on board apparently tried to enforce an informal “women and children” policy, but many men weren’t willing to wait.
What’s got some MRAs in a snit is that some people, in the media and online, are calling these dudes cowards. In The Daily Mail, a right-wing British tabloid, A N Wilson wrote:
[I]n our day, with the advent of feminism and the professional woman, chivalry and manners are considered stuffy and old-fashioned.
As the father of three daughters, I do not, with a single fibre of my being, wish to go back to a time when women could not have the vote or get a university degree. Nor do I, surrounded by extremely strong-charactered and intelligent women in my family and among my friends, feel tempted to regard women as the frail sex.
But the fact remains that there is a longing among most men to protect women and children, and chivalry is simply a manifestation of that longing.
And whatever transpires about the reason for the Costa Concordia disaster, the disappearance of a chivalric code is a sorry reflection on society today.
This is not what you’d call a feminist argument; it’s a traditionalist argument, published in a tabloid rag that’s generally quite hostile to feminism.
Nonetheless, some MRAs are using the Costa Concordia disaster as an opportunity to deliver a big “told you so!” to the … imaginary feminists who live in their head.
The MRM is getting more vocal, and a lot of guys are now saying, “You wanted equality. This is what it looks like.” And they are saying it aloud and in public. Even a few women chimed in, saying that men have no obligation to die for women if women want equality. (Somehow I suspect there wasn’t much, “I am woman, hear me roar, watch me drown” on the Costa Concordia itself, but hey, it’s a start.)
MRAs: Always up-to-the-minute with their pop culture references!
This post was helpfully illustrated with a stock photo of a woman drowning.
Commenters got in their digs as well.
Keyster riffed on Lyn87’s incredibly au courant Helen Reddy reference:
I am woman hear me…blurp….rah…gurgle…raha…ffftt…orr…roar…gurgle…help me…somebody…fffft…please…blurp…help…help me please!
Aharon told both ladies and fish what’s what:
I eat fish. Fish don’t eat me. My life is too precious to sacrifice it so some spoiled bitch can have a pussy pass into the life boats.
Anti Idiocy got all hypothetical-cruise-ship tough guy on us:
Anyone who attempts to keep me on a sinking ship because of the genitals with which I was born is attempting to murder me. I have the right to respond accordingly.
And Thomas Tell-truth kicked chivalry – not to mention basic human decency — to the ocean floor:
Equality means that when the ship is going down and you are a woman, you had better get out of my way or you are going to drown with my footprints on your back.
Apparently Thomas Tell-truth is actually George Costanza:
Jeb, meanwhile, offered a more scientific rationalization for being a complete douchenozzle:
As far as I’ve heard, the one and only sport in which women naturally out-do men is endurance swimming. Women are also more bouyant, and as survivalists will explain, women float easiest on their backs (making it easy to breathe while expending minimal energy) whereas men float easiest in “the dead man’s float” (ie. face down, head in the water) and must expend more energy to stay alive. Furthermore, women have more body-fat than men which insulates them better against aquatic dangers such as hypothermia.
Given all these factors it is quite rational for men to pick women up by the seat of their pants and toss them overboard to make way for men and children to safely be rowed ashore on the lifeboats.
It’s all about doing the right thing and saving lives, after all.
MRA humor is very sophisticated indeed.
EDITED TO ADD: The Spearhead has put up a followup post, once again taking aim at imaginary “lifeboat feminists,” though the only person the post cites lamenting the end of “women and children” is Rich Lowry from the National Review (not a feminist publication).