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Tue Jan 17, 2012, 06:03 AM

Costa Concordia: are women still prioritised over men in evacuation procedures?

I found this interesting article and comments when I was lazing around at work today getting cold feet over the cruise I booked a month or so ago on an equally massive ship as the Concordia. I've seen a fair few people both in RL and on the internet using that antiquated 'women and children first' thinking, and I agree with the person in the article who said it's real Victorian thinking from a time long gone.

'There's no such thing as "women and children first" in the international regulations that set out the evacuation procedures at sea. The only priority that is made is that specially adapted lifeboats are provided for people with mobility problems In reality, studies show that people tend to behave in relatively selfless ways and help the people who require it. Even if they express fear, true panic is relatively uncommon.

The International Maritime Organisation's guidance on maritime safety mentioned above and known as Solas is not openly available as a PDF. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency have pointed me towards three statutory instruments 2721, 2722 and 1561, which translates that international guidance into UK law applying to all vessels operating from British ports. I'm going to have a look through those to see if they tell us anymore.

But considering the fact that women and children first is a cultural notion rather than in anyway a legal requirement, what do you think? Should people still adhere to a Victorian notion of prioritising women in disaster situations? Is it a handy shortcut to prioritising those in need in high stress situations or a sexist relic of another era?'

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/reality-check-with-polly-curtis/2012/jan/16/costa-concordia-women

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Response to Violet_Crumble (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 10:37 AM

1. I agree with one of the commenters there that it's a Hollywood notion more than anything else.

Given enough capacity for evacuation, there should be no need for rationing the process. But it does give some people something to whine about.

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Response to Violet_Crumble (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 10:48 AM

2. help whomever and would expect children to be watched over. and women be a part of that

 

along with the men. and others that need help by able bodies of both gender. i agree that mostly people are selfless in these situations. true heros.

that being said, last night in the latest trauma of my 16 yr old sons heartbreak i have talked of, here at du. well, du2. late last night i was thinking. why the hell of we not accepted and adopted both gender taking responsibility on asking out and paying for the date. why hasnt that gone to the side of the road yet.

anyway....

was on my mind and i wanted to express.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 11:19 AM

3. Some women are afraid to seem desperate.

That is one reason why many women do not do the approaching / asking out. I think if more men spoke up about the need for this, and stated openly that they would respect women who did so, and not consider them desperate, too aggressive, etc. that it would go a long way toward assuaging some of those fears and helping to change things where that issue is concerned.

As for paying, I think that's just down to tradition, and the tendency (given the culture we live in) that a man who does not do so is taking advantage of a woman, or treating her poorly (players will have their partners pay for everything).

Personally I used to think it was due to women earning less, rationalizing that once women are earning the same as men, I'd pay.

In all seriousness though I worked it out with each date on a case by case basis, depending on our income disparity (if I earned more, I paid; if he earned more, he paid; if we were about the same we split the tab).

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Response to redqueen (Reply #3)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 11:25 AM

4. then maybe it ought to be talked about and let go. there is the same "desperate" that comes off for

 

a guy.

as far as the money goes. so the woman loses either way cause i gotta tell you, the new and escalating meme i am hearing is that man pays for his sex one way or another, when referring to prostitutes. so it seems we are not coming out fine in that area

i didnt accept these traditions two decades ago. i like them even less today.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #4)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 11:38 AM

7. I'm not aware that men who ask women out seem desperate...

men are traditionally the 'hunters' (oh how I hate using that term), who enjoy the 'thrill of the chase' and are therefore put off by women who cut them off before they can engage in that ritual. (Edit to add I'm not advocating these views, just relating that many if not most in our society still seem to subscribe to them.)

I definitely agree with you though about the idiotic idea that some men think they 'pay' for sex in various ways, but that's not limited to paying for dates. That applies to anything at all they do for a woman they're interested in. It seems that, going by that type of 'logic', the only reason men do anything for women they're interested in is in order to buy sex.

But you're right that some people do think that after a few dates a man is 'owed' sex, and that IMO is the best reason for women to avoid that by paying their own way. I go a step further in my personal life and didn't normally even want to be picked up for dates, at least at first. It's just smart thinking IMO to have your own way home in case things don't turn out well.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #7)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 12:46 PM

8. you know the mens forum, talking about their liberation? i think this one fits in

 

the old hunter dude. the chase.

we all like a little here and there chse, and we all have our insecurities and vulnerabilities. we pretend that men are blase about the rejections in their "hunt". they are humans and have the same frailities of us women. i have always seen this growing up with men and watching a couple little ones growing up, too.

i free my boys and liberate them, right here and now.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #8)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 01:02 PM

9. I agree.

It's one of many ideas about manliness that hasn't been challenged, but far be it from me to tell men how they should be.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #9)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 01:10 PM

10. i have no qualms. lol. nt

 

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Response to Violet_Crumble (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 11:30 AM

5. interesting tidbits in the article

 

The phrase "women and children first" was first associated with the sinking of HMS Birkenhead in 1852 but was subsequently also closely associated with the Titanic. The Wikipedia entry for the saying points out that of the Titanic casualties, "74% of the women on board were saved and 52% of the children, but only 20% of the men"


I had thought that what really determined your chances of survival on the Titanic was class; that's popular wisdom, I think. Seems I was wrong:

http://www.anesi.com/titanic.htm

First of all, if you were a man, you were outta luck. The overall survival rate for men was 20%. For women, it was 74%, and for children, 52%. Yes, it was indeed "women and children first."

But what about class? Well, third class women were 41% more likely to survive than first class men. And third class men were twice as likely to survive as second class men.

Yes, class is a far weaker variable in determining survival rate than sex or age. Indeed, most of the variance in first class vs. third class survival rates can be attributed to sex alone. The reason for this is simple: 44% of the first class passengers were women, while only 23% of the third class passengers were women. Because the survival rate for women was far greater than the survival rate for men, we would thus expect a much higher survival rate for first class passengers as a whole than for third class passengers as a whole.


Sex influenced the survival rates by class, rather than vice versa. There's a table there that shows the relative outcomes clearly. The article also points out that first class passengers had easier access to the boat deck because of their location. Well, that doesn't obviate the fact that they had a higher survival rate; they were in that location because of their class ... but yes, once disaster struck, they weren't intentionally privileged, it seems.

Anyhow, yes, Victorian artefact, if it ever existed. As the article says, people will generally act decently in terms of helping who needs help, and it's near impossible to make rules to govern behaviour in crises and panics. Hopefully, individuals will give precedence to others more in need of special assistance. When it's life or death, children first is a basic species survival rule maybe and worth preserving out of basic humanity, but after that, who is to say that it is better to for any individual to sacrifice their possibility of survival for someone else's?

My own experience -- boarding buses in the rain and the like -- has generally been that it's women first when it doesn't put men out, anyhow.

It certainly never applies in the labour market! Unless it's a case of "first fired".

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Response to iverglas (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 11:36 AM

6. really determined your chances of survival on the Titanic was class;

 

interesting. i thought so, too.

thanks for actually reading the article, lol

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Response to Violet_Crumble (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 07:27 PM

11. Families with young children first

I wouldn't expect modern women to want their husbands left behind on the ship to have to worry about that, too. Unless it was someone who insisted on staying to help.

And of course men can be disabled, elderly, too.

Enough of this macho crap. Get the children off first, and of course with their parents.

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Response to Violet_Crumble (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 08:05 PM

12. an interesting read

 

I posted this in a GD thread on the subject, but you know ... there are other things one can do with pearls that don't involved clutching.

From the Daily Mail, no less!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2087585/Cruise-ship-Costa-Concordia-sinking-Whatever-happened-women-children-first.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

The Daily Mail, in an editorial of April 17, 1912, claimed that it was The Law of the Sea that: ‘Those who are saved are not the strong and able-bodied but the weak and the dependent — not the grasping millionaire from the private suite on the promenade deck, clutching a roll of bank-notes . . . but the defenceless wives and sisters and children.’

Yet surprisingly, perhaps, such an attitude provoked sharp responses from early feminists, who believed that ‘women and children first’ infantilised women, and it gave rise to the slogan ‘Votes not Boats’ for the female sex. The Mail published several feminist ripostes to its celebration of chivalrous behaviour on the Titanic.

... There were countless cases not so long before the Titanic sank in which soldiers and sailors displayed an utter disregard for the notion of protecting women and children, and there still exists many a seaman’s first-hand account of such behaviour, ...

After the Pegasus ran aground in 1843 against rocks off the Northumberland coast, one survivor wrote of how ‘the stewardess attempted to get hold of me, but I extricated myself from her in order to save my own life’.

Likewise, a survivor from the Northfleet, which sank in the English Channel in 1873, described meeting clusters of women on deck as the ship went down, but said: ‘I did not stop to speak to them for I was looking towards the boats, thinking I might get hold of one of them yet.’

... The notion of women and children first reached its apogee in the late Victorian and Edwardian eras, for the idea that women are weak and need protecting by males went hand-in-hand with the belief that women should be excluded from positions of responsibility.


The whole article is an interesting read. Just stop before you get to the last three paragraphs.


I wasn't the only person in the GD thread to make the point that the way we do these things, these days, is to make sure there is adequate emergency equipment on board ships. And handle the emergency properly.

Of course, there will always be those who don't, and that seems to have been the case in this case.

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Response to Violet_Crumble (Original post)

Sat Jan 21, 2012, 02:53 PM

13. I took my first cruise over New Year's and they mentioned "women and children first" as part of the

mandatory safety drill before we set sail. This was a Carnival ship.

It certainly surprised me! My husband and I both did a visible double-take and looked at each other like, "Did we REALLY just hear that, in 2011?"

I can't imagine most women today being willing to leave a male partner behind in this sort of a crisis.

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Response to Violet_Crumble (Original post)

Sat Jan 21, 2012, 05:19 PM

14. If there was an obnoxious

 

dude who misbehaved during the cruise. Damn right, any woman should throw his hairy butt overboard and take his place on the dingy

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