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If the boat is going down?

  • Me first, get the [email protected]##$ out of the way!

    Votes: 2 2.3%
  • Doesn't matter as long as my family makes it

    Votes: 31 35.2%
  • Women and children first

    Votes: 55 62.5%
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Blog From : Survival of the Fittest: The Lessons of the 'Costa Concordia'

Mid-cruise to the Bahamas last February, my husband and I endured a dark and stormy night. I emailed my son back home: “The waves are really high tonight—we're in a storm. I hope we're shipwrecked, I've always wanted to be in a shipwreck. Good chance these days of the Coast Guard getting to us before the sharks do!”

I'm not quite so sanguine today at the thought of being shipwrecked, and I'm sure you know why. But it's not because the grounding of the Costa Concordia sobered me up about shipwreck reality: that passengers, lots of them, can drown even if they're cruising in a well-designed ship that runs aground close to the shores of a modern country.

No, it's because the wreck of the Costa Concordia reveals the ugly, barnacled underbelly of modern cultural mores. Over the last half century, compassion for the weak and vulnerable has been cast overboard like so much civilizational jetsam.

First, we have a captain, Francesco Schettino, crashing his ship into rocks and then (by his own account) tripping and falling into a lifeboat, and later attempting to escape in a taxi (after stopping to purchase dry socks) in a comedy of errors that served to make Gilligan and the Skipper look highly competent. The second and third officers also abandoned the passengers and saved themselves. Hundreds of male crew members and passengers followed their example, putting their own safety above that of women and children.

Listen to what female passengers had to say about their “rescue”:

Tracey Gunn, who was traveling with her husband and young daughter, said she was shoved aside by “grown men and women” in the mad dash for lifeboats.

Michelle Barraclough and her twelve-year-old daughter were “pushed aside by screaming people as they tried to board a lifeboat,” records the Australian. “We couldn't believe it—especially the men, they were worse than the women,” Barraclough said. “It was every man for himself.”

Sixty-two-year-old Sandra Rogers recalls, “There was no 'women and children first' policy. I was standing by the lifeboats and men, big men, were banging into me and knocking the girls [7-year-old twins Emma and Chloe]. . . . It was disgusting.”

There are even reports that wealthy Russians “stuffed wads of cash into the pockets of Costa Concordia crew members to bribe them for coveted places on the lifeboats” ahead of “wounded women and children.”

Given this brutish behavior, it is perhaps not surprising that some two thirds of those who died or went missing were among the most vulnerable: women, a little girl (five-year-old Dayana Arlotti), and elderly passengers. By contrast, as Rich Lowry writes in National Review Online, when the Titanic foundered 100 years ago, “More women from third class—deep in the bowels of the ship, where it was hard to escape and instructions were vague or nonexistent—survived than men from first class. Almost all of the women from first class (97 percent) and second class (84 percent) made it,” while “men from first class who were lost stayed behind voluntarily, true to their Edwardian ideals.”

As for the men of the Costa Concordia, shoving aside the weaker passengers to save themselves “appears to have been the natural order of things,” Lowry observes.

In a sense, it was natural—natural, that is, if you've been brought up, not with Edwardian ideals bolstered by Judeo-Christian beliefs, but in the Culture of Death, as John Paul II described it: a culture that long ago declared war on the weak, the vulnerable, and the sick.

In the Culture of Death, it's part of the “natural order” to kill inconvenient unborn babies by the millions, allow imperfect babies to starve, and pull the plug on sick, elderly parents who are using up too many of the family's resources.

The sexual revolution of the sixties, legalized abortion of the seventies, and the violent pornography of today have gone a long way in destroying respect for women, turning them into re-usable sex objects and victims of savage assaults.

Add to this the teachings of feminists who insist that males and females should be treated exactly the same, snapping the heads off men who dare to hold a door or pull out a chair for them. Men have learned this lesson so thoroughly that many now refuse to give their train or bus seat up even to heavily pregnant women.

As for the “survival of the fittest” teachings of evolutionary theorists—well, what happened on the Costa Concordia is what survival of the fittest looks like. It may be “natural” these days, but it isn't pretty.

The funny thing is, no matter what people think they believe about how we should treat one another, in a crisis, they grab onto those tossed-aside Judeo-Christian beliefs as though they were life preservers. All those outraged comments—both from survivors and from members of the press—about men shoving women and children out of their way in a mad dash to the Costa Concordia's lifeboats reveal that deep down, we all know know perfectly well that the strong really should protect the weak and vulnerable, not abandon them to their fate.

C.S. Lewis commented on this phenomenon in Mere Christianity. In a chapter titled “The Law of Human Nature,” Lewis writes that we all behave as though we believe in some standard of decent human behavior. Even when someone claims not to believe in a standard of right and wrong, Lewis writes, “you will find the same man going back on this a moment later. He may break his promise to you, but if you try breaking one to him he will be complaining 'It's not fair' before you can say Jack Robinson. A nation may say treaties do not matter; but then, the next minute, they spoil their case by saying that the particular treaty they want to break was an unfair one. . . . Have they not let the cat out of the bag and shown that, whatever they say, they really know the Law of nature just like anyone else?”

While different cultures might have some differences in their moralities, these differences did not amount to anything like a total difference, Lewis notes: “Think of a country where people were admired for running away in battle, or where a man felt proud of double-crossing all of the people who had been kindest to him. Men have differed as regard what people you ought to be unselfish to—whether it was only your own family, or your fellow countrymen, or everyone. But they have always agreed that you ought not to put yourself first. Selfishness has never been admired.”

The last survivor of the Titanic died in 2009, leaving us with no eyewitnesses to the selflessness of those brave Edwardian men of all classes who sacrificed their lives to save women and children. And we will lose even the memory of this kind of self-sacrifice unless we fire some cultural distress rockets—and begin teaching our young once again what it is to live lives of honor, decency, and bravery.

Anne Morse is a writer for BreakPoint.
 

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I believe in "Women and Children first" and I would make sure my wife and son got to safety, regardless if I did or not
 

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I vote women and children first out of moral conviction and upbringing.

I'm not a Italian ship captain who jumped into a raft first, with his adviser, a yellow rubber ducky.It would have been hard to tell the yellow duck from the captain. Both had yellow streaks. Rumor has it there are some skunks with yellow streaks,too. Da captain fits that peg in it's hole.


Now ask how I really feel. :)
 

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I agree QD. But, after thinking about this I don't know if it would be possible to be women and children first anymore. Now there are so many coward pansie yellow self-absorbed jackwagons that will force their way to the front and create a flood of chaos that unless you were armed or wearing Sandman's shirt, about the best you can hope for is to get out with your family and children.
 

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My family first, then the children. If you put women in front of men, isn't that now considered 'gender discrimination'.

For those who might think that government 'goodies' don't come with a cost, think again. 'Legally enforced' equality by the guvment is just another one bearing unintended consequences.

Men have always been the protectors of women, ours, and others, it has been engrained in us. But, it is disappearing, and will continue to vanish with each new generation, as guvment and liberals seek to blend the genders.

Women can enjoy this new guvment enforced equality, but in doing so, they have forfeited the 'natural' equality that has been afforded them by men since the beginning, 'along with' their 'natural' ability to control men.

So girls, enjoy your make believe chic flicks with the 200 pound bad guy getting knocked out by a girl, and strive to be police officers and combat infantry ('without' male backup.......won't happen), and demand to play baseball and football with boys, but it comes with a price.

So, my family first, then the kids, then me. Ladies, you're on your own.
 
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I am having a hard time choosing between my family or all women and children first. Having been on several cruises, and having parents that have been on 16, I can't imagine being on the costa Concordia or some other similar cruise disaster. I typically am always women and children first when going about everyday life. Even if there was a local emergency disaster, absolutely women and children first. But being in a ship far far away, my somewhat selfish self is leaning toward my family first. Im not going to push women and kids down, and would do everything to assist others getting in the boat I was at. If the ship appears to be in a position that all the life boats would be used and lowered, I would feel better about getting my wife on one, and waiting around. But on the costa, that wasn't the case. In that scenario, I would have helped as many on to a boat as possible, and then if I couldn't get on one, I probably would have just got in the water since it was so close to shore. But without that scenario, I can't really say. I would hope and pray that folks would help my mom if an emergency ever arrived on a cruise.

There's definitely no way I would push people down to get me on first. But I would get my family on one and do everything possible to get on at least a different boat. Just being honest.
 

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Well I voted women and kids first. I would hope I would get my family in, stand there with hopefully a few others of like mind and knock the crap out of any gent trying to bull his way thru. Would this happen in real life? Won't know until or rather unless it happens. Not likely to find out tho as my wife wants to do a cruise but can't due to a perforated eardrum. One super fast case of seasickness.

Sarge
 

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My family first, then the children. If you put women in front of men, isn't that now considered 'gender discrimination'.

For those who might think that government 'goodies' don't come with a cost, think again. 'Legally enforced' equality by the guvment is just another one bearing unintended consequences.
hah! what a double edge blade that is..
My family first! Child, wife, mother. in that order. If mom doesn't make it. she can use my corpse as a flotation device. Just hit me over the head with something. Drowning does not appease to me. as Richard brown wrote. "every one who swims regularly (or something along those lines) at one point, seriously considers what it would be like to drown." I have.. Don't wanna do it.
 

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Jc85, I would agree. I'm aware I personally can or rather could swim for a few miles but that is in a pool with warm water. A chilly ocean with wave action would complicate things.

Sarge
 

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I put family first because I want them to live and experience life even if I don't make it. I asked myself honestly, if it came to my son and a boy I didn't know, who would go first? My heart told me, and my head agreed, get your son off. If that's selfish, then I am. But at least I'm honest with myself. Just hope it never comes to that.
 

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I don't agree with your analysis as to the origins of the difference between the Titanic and the Costa Concordia. As you see from the voting, most people, most men, still believe 'women and children first'. The difference is very simply the behavior of the crew. On the Titanic, the crew behaved superbly. As they were the authority figures, they maintained the social fabric and everybody had something to live up to.
On the Concordia, the crew abandoned their responsibilities (with minor exceptions) as they abandoned their passengers and their ship. The society aboard the ship promptly disintegrated. When a good man, who might have voted, who truly believed in, 'women and children first', sees one man pushing past a child - and there is no authority to correct the behavior their behavior promptly degrades, if for no other reason, than to see his family given a fair chance.
Perhaps the only surprise is the speed with which a small society can disintegrate. Let that be your warning.
 
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Definitely Women and children first. I can't think of any scenario where I wouldn't choose that answer.
 
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Regardless of how other folks behave during a crisis, my wife and I will continue to conduct ourselves with dignity, compassion, and empathy.

I certainly can't even begin to imagine myself trampling the weak to save myself. It's just too disgusting.

 

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This query falls under the unfortunate category of a false choice.

If there is a cohesive plan in the event of an emergency, such extreme measures are hardly necessary. In the event that the survival of a group requires the sacrifice of one of its members, that will be a bridge which will need to be crossed by the participants regardless of what ideals any of them have about selecting people for survival.

Shall a veteran be selected for death over a spoiled 19 year old girl?

Will an older woman be saved at the expense of a single father and his child?Should he be denied decades with his daughter in exchange for the life of a woman whose time has passed?

Rigid rules regarding survival are the first dictums tossed into the wind when the toll of the Reaper comes due for payment, and for what this statement is worth I feel making a hard and fast choice is extremely easy to do from behind an anonymous computer screen. Its altogether different situation when the lights are about to go out and everyone is interested in surviving at any way possible.I pray no one online in this forum ever faces that monster in living color.
 

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I didn't vote.

I know what I'd like to think I would do (ie women and children first), but in all honesty I've no idea how I would react.
 

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I am a dinosaur and I believe it is a man's job to protect women and children. So, I voted women and children first. Just because our society has screwed everything up, it doesn't mean we have to follow.
 
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