Women and Children First

January 6th, 2010 by Pelle Billing

The principle of “women and children first” has deep historical roots, none of which should be blamed on feminism or contemporary gender discussions. Throughout most of history, it made perfect sense for any given society to keep women safe at the expense of men, since the death of every fertile woman meant that the next generation would be smaller. And a smaller generation meant less progress and less protection from neighbouring cultures. So the common practice of having women and children embark first or get help first in case of an accident or emergency, makes perfect sense in this context.

However, we no longer live in historical times, we live in the present. A society’s progress or its safety is no longer determined by the size of the population, it has more to do with having a modern infrastructure, a high level of education and modern defense equipment. Therefore, there is no need to keep on valuing women’s lives higher than the lives of men, as the phrase “women and children first” suggests.

Yet, the belief that women are worth more than men is alive and thriving, something that we are regularly reminded of in case of an accident. About a year ago, US Airways Flight 1549 was forced to land in the Hudson River. Thanks to the skill and experience of the pilot, nobody died or sustained any serious injuries. However, leaving the plane was still a dangerous activity, since the plane was about to sink. So what was the organizing principle for getting out of the plane?

As the evacuation began, with the plane beginning to sink slowly into the water, it was women and children first, with the three flight stewards on board carrying out the evacuation drill. The pilot then walked the length of the plane to make sure everyone was off safely.

“I was saying “relax, relax, women and children first,” said passenger Jeff Kolodjay. “Then the plane was filling with water.”

It seems that we are slow to change some of the patterns in society that guide gender relations, especially the ones that are to men’s disadvantage. If the opposite were true, i.e. if the expression was “men and children first”, would it not have been repeatedly challenged by feminist writers and leading poiticians?

I think it’s high time that we change the phrase “women and children first” to “children first”, or perhaps “parents and children first”. This doesn’t mean that you cannot be a hero as a man, if that is what you want. It simply means that society is no longer demanding that you be a hero, in an era where the previous perks of being a man have been removed.

108 Responses to “Women and Children First”

  1. Danny Says:

    I agree. The “women and children first” thing is a part of chivalry which I think is one of the most damaging things of all to the male gender role. First and foremost it pretty much tells men that they are the least valuable of people (I mean after women and children what is left?) and at the same time it tells women that they should not have to worry about their own safety (or the safety of men) and to wait for men to come along and take care of them even at the detriment of said men.

    Remember the movie Titanic (the Leonado DiCaprio one from the late 90s)? Two parts of that movie really hit me.

    First there was the part where while the life rafts were being filled with women and children there was a man that covered himself in a blanket and hid among them. You can clearly see the shame exuding from him as he did this. Why should it be that all those women thinking of their own safety is A-okay but this one man thinking of his own safety is an act of cowardice? That man (assuming there were some men that did that) would have been marked as a coward for life for that. This leaves men in a position of, “Should I be a coward and live or be brave and die?”

    Second there was the part where after getting on a life boat and floating off a bit the character played by Kathy Bates stood up and tried to rally the women on the boat to go back and help the men left behind. No one stood by her. Why is it that a woman that wanted to go back and help those men was left hanging like she was a freak of nature for not just thinking of herself?

    Its one thing to risk or even lose your life because you actively chose to perform that act but in times of emergency it is men who have their character weighed by how they act. While it is good to honor the men and women that die helping people why is it only men who are shamed for not doing so?

  2. Jay Hammers Says:

    I sure as hell wouldn’t be willing to die for the average American woman. Just as with “child support”, which ends up being a form of alimony for women rather than something that helps the child, women and children are falsely grouped together when we say “women and children first,” making it harder to challenge.

    I wonder how I’d have reacted on that plane if I were a passenger, assuming I was less aware of the misandry men face today than I am now. Would I have gone past my initial thought that it may make sense for children to go first and realized, as I saw American slobs that just happen to be female get a first pass off the plane, that I didn’t want to die for them?

  3. Betsy Says:

    Pelle,

    “previous perks of being a man have been removed.”
    What perks are you referring to?

    BTW, previous perks for EVERYONE have been largely removed.
    I wish men AND women could grasp this! We’ve got some real work to do…that further divisions distract from.

    See Richard Maybury’s:

    The Impoverishment of the Young (1/2)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7F51OfLO5Ts

    The Impoverishment of the Young (2/2)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STrKEo2eFuI&feature=related

    LOVE

  4. Buchi Says:

    I don’t know about your argument Pelle… It seems a teeny bit abstract. I am thinking if I (male) was in a dangerous scenario in a mixed group. Whether its historic or present day dangers. E.G In the face of a barbarian horde at the gates, or tsunami, the pragmatic suggestion is to evacuate the most vulnerable first. Agreed, the logic has more relevance in a hostile physical world. But, I would argue that logistically it has the best chance of ensuring the *maximum* survivors in most disastor scenarios.

    Say you have a flood, with 5 men, 5 women, 5 children and one boat which holds seven people max safely. (Its a simplistic scenario, but bear with me.) My first instinct is to rank it: children, women then men. And why? That is the percieved order socially of vulnerability. That ranking may not be statistically accurate for the group (maybe not even so in historic times) – but most ppl in the scenario are thinking the same, possibly because that thought is culturally ingrained.

    But this is vital, because in an emergency situation, the best chance of the most number of ppl surviving is everyone agrees on same plan. If ppl become individual, start bickering about who is more deserving then you have chaos, and less ppl overall are likely to survive. Or you get bystander effect, as in indifference by members. Lose-lose situation.

    You say ppl should break from this habit? Because there is a better way to ‘rank’ who gets first dibs on a Titanic lifeboat, Danny?? The rich first? Or most able? Every way is unfair. But vulnerable first – everyone (almost) is on the same wavelength…

    Military groups have always understood this principle I think. Basic rules of conduct that are understood explicitly by (intentionally drilled into) every member of the group. They may seem irrational/irrelevant to outsiders in the abstract, but they focus the group to better withstand a common stress and help max number of ppl survive, or group to succeed with objective.

    Yes, sometimes roles become redundant or even absurd if out of context. But not throw the baby out because the bathwater is offcolour to some (armchair) sensibilities. I hope in an emergency scenario you will “let the men be the hero” and let nature take its course. Anything else in all probability is courting bigger disaster, in my opinion. :)

  5. Jay Hammers Says:

    Why “rank” people at all in a situation like this? You get people off who happen to be closest to the exits at that moment, that’s it.

  6. Jim Says:

    “Say you have a flood, with 5 men, 5 women, 5 children and one boat which holds seven people max safely. (Its a simplistic scenario, but bear with me.) My first instinct is to rank it: children, women then men. ”

    That s culturally conditioned, and that is his point. The natural ranking is MY children ME and then MY wife, unless I happen to be in love with her, in which case there’s a dilemma. That kind of thinking is considered amorla by some, and inded there is a name for it, amoral familism. But the very fatc that it takes enculturation to overcome says how natural a drive it is.

    You are quite right that there will be “quibbling” (I love that!) and that the quiblling can endanger everyone. and that is why it’s importnat to have a common set of criteria for this business of ranking. The issue is just that – what is the commons et of critieria to be? and why is vulnerability of any value as a criteria. How about using something like who has the better claim to protection – children do, women don’t – vulnerability or not? Becuase otherwise you incentivize vulnerability.

  7. Eivind Says:

    Although I agree in principle, Pelle, this is one of those situations whereby if a man chooses to go for the TRUE version of equality – which would mean that a man and a woman are equal in such an instance – he would emasculate himself.

    So even though there is no fault with the argument that the women and children first mantra is outdated, there is also remembering that the masculine is here on this planet to serve the feminine. One of the ways – the MOST IMPORTANT way – a man does that is by serving a woman and defending her life. There is the macho way of doing this and there is the true spiritual warrior way of doing this.

    We have spoken about this challenging dilemma before – that there is such a thing as a man having to accept responsibility for his own reality and that when he so does, he will WANT to live by the “women and children first” mantra. Not because he is living according to lofty ideals of heroism or chivalry, but because the very energy that made him manifest on this planet commands him to. Serving the feminine is the essence of his life’s purpose.

    In truth, a man whose heart does not compel him to act according to this old mantra is not a true man. At the same time, a modern man may interpret it to mean that he is less valuable than a woman and thus feel small and inconsequential. True, this is a problem. But I’m not sure we want to feed the men’s soft and fluffy side anymore. If true equality means that men are going to become further emasculated, I’m not for it.

    Let’s talk more about these dilemmas in Malmö.

  8. Danny Says:

    Buchi:
    Say you have a flood, with 5 men, 5 women, 5 children and one boat which holds seven people max safely. (Its a simplistic scenario, but bear with me.) My first instinct is to rank it: children, women then men. And why? That is the percieved order socially of vulnerability. That ranking may not be statistically accurate for the group (maybe not even so in historic times) – but most ppl in the scenario are thinking the same, possibly because that thought is culturally ingrained.

    Okay most of the time when the time comes to choose who gets saved the thought behind “the greater good” of the group is that since women bear children they should take priority. Doesn’t that mean that said women are only being valued as self sustaining incubators, something that I’m pretty sure women don’t like?

    So women’s advocates get to chant that they are equal to men, can do anything men can and then some, and should be treated as equal…until disaster strikes and quite literally get a pussy pass to safety?

    When it comes down to it and my male biology is compared to a woman’s female biology and it is decided that her biology (her reproductive system) is more important then why should I expend my biology (my more than likely superior size, strength, and resistance) to save her? Now even beyond the biology of it, if a woman decides to save herself and six men die she was just doing what she did to survive but if one man decides to save himself and six women die he is a coward for not putting their safety over his. Why is there such a stigma attached to it when both male and female lives are supposedly equally important?

  9. Pelle Billing Says:

    I love this discussion. As an individual, I feel that Buchi and Eivind are making important points. And as an individual, I would likely let a woman enter a lifeboat before me. However, at a societal level I am against any and all discriminating laws.

    So what to do with this dilemma? I don’t know, but let’s keep on discussing it.

    When talking about male disposability, I always say that we shouldn’t prevent men from doing dangerous jobs or entering the army, as long as they are doing it consciously and fully informed. However, I think men (and women) should demand good compensation for the risks they take.

    In the past male disposability and male heroism was rewarded by respect and admiration for men. Nowadays that respect and admiration is fading quickly. Will men want to keep on sacrificing themselves in a society that looks down on men? Again, these are very complex issues and I do not have anything approaching a final answer yet.

  10. Danny Says:

    Pelle:
    In the past male disposability and male heroism was rewarded by respect and admiration for men. Nowadays that respect and admiration is fading quickly.

    I think there is more to it than that. Its not just that the respect and admiration is declining but that the things men did for that respect and admiration became normalized. It is to the point where a man wasn’t doing those things just for repsect and admiration he was doing them because those things became a part of the definition of a man. Similar to how a woman having premarital sex was a dark mark against her womanhood (it still it today but don’t waste time trying to argue that this taboo is just as strong now as it was even a few decades ago) a man that did not choose to risk or sacrifice his life (espcially for a woman) was branded a weak coward that didn’t deserve to be called a man.

    As Pelle says if a man chooses to perform dangerous tasks and/or risk/sacrifice his life for others because wanted to perform a noble deed that’s fine. But when he perform’s that deed because his gender role tells him he must do it in order to meet the requirements of being a man there is a big problem. Hell you could question whether or not it was his choice considering that according to some women that become housewives did so not because they wanted to but because their gender role said so. (That would be choice vs. “choice”.)

    I would personally like to see the “choice” of taking on dangerous jobs/situations and the believe that a man’s life is worth less that a woman’s removed from the list of things required to validate one’s manhood. After that if a man decides on his own to go into the military or to get a woman to safety while dies I’m cool with because then its just a matter of its his life his choice.

  11. Chris Marshall Says:

    Danny:

    I would personally like to see the “choice” of taking on dangerous jobs/situations and the believe that a man’s life is worth less that a woman’s removed from the list of things required to validate one’s manhood.

    I think that bias runs deep and is going to be with us for a long time, far longer than the black mark that premarital sex was against a woman’s character lasted, which I think there is hardly any trace left of.

    As Pelle pointed out in “why did feminism come first”, the liberation of men is a far scarier prospect for society to sit still for than the liberation of women was.

    The main thrust of the resistance to the liberation of women (relaxing their gender role so they didn’t have to start having children as soon as possible and could get an education or build a business) was the question: then who will take care of the children?

    The main thrust of the resistance to the liberation of men from their gender role (which will mostly amount to taking their safety far more seriously, their role in raising children more seriously, and their role as provider less seriously) is: then who will protect us?

    I think the amazing double think Americans do whenever the subject of circumcision comes up is a demonstration of just how deeply ingrained the rule is that the life of a man is worth less then the life of a woman.

    Just as power groups will make ocassional hits against their rivals for no other purpose than to prove that they can (and thus reassure members within the group that the leaders are not letting the borders they have fought for erode), I think one role the circumcision of males play in the societies that practice it is to demonstrate that men can be sacrificed if need be. If a parent can be convinced to take a knife to the penis of a their helpless child, which amounts to an inhumane torture of the first order of the child you are supposed to protect and cherish above all else, then it stands to reason that you won’t put up much of a fight when your son is called to fight in a dubious war. If society at large thought that it might face so much resistance to sending hordes of men to die in the next war that it might not be able to make war at will, I think it would start to panic long before such a war was on the horizon, for the same reason it would panic if it woke up one day and its standing army has been disbanded.

    It would sense its own vulnerability immediately.

  12. Jay Hammers Says:

    Men don’t have the same choices women do, however. Our choices are not equal. For example, men who enter the military because they have no other good choices face a much more dangerous situation than women who enter the military because they have no other good choices, but as far as I know they are compensated equally. Women just have a better set of choices in this case.

    I have a female cousin who entered the Marines because her life was going nowhere and she knew there was low risk of her being deployed anywhere dangerous. She is going to be deployed in Afghanistan, after all, in an office building. Apparently her female bunk mate “attempted” suicide when she found out she was being deployed. There’s still a chance something will happen to my cousin but I have a hard time giving the same respect to her that I would to a man going to the front lines who knew when he signed up that he was likely putting his life on the line. She only joined because she thought it would be very unlikely she would have to do that – and it is.

    Oh, and I forgot to mention – my cousin said even in boot camp female Marines have it much easier than males. I’ve heard before that for women considering entering the military the Marine Corps is the best place to be, as opposed to the Army for example.

  13. Danny Says:

    Chris:
    The main thrust of the resistance to the liberation of women (relaxing their gender role so they didn’t have to start having children as soon as possible and could get an education or build a business) was the question: then who will take care of the children?

    And as we have seen before when it comes to taking care of children there still two things happening.

    One there is still a massive school of thought that men by nature CANNOT appropriate for caring for children. When the possibility of a man being in the same place as children people go into “To Watch a Predator” mode and assume the only reason he is there is because he is looking for the next child to violate. Given that men as a class are villified as child molesters in way that is not proportional to how many of us actually are child molesters people are locked in fear over having an unknown man near any children, even his own.

    Two there is still a massive school of thought that women by nature MUST be appropriate for caring for children. When the possibility of a woman being in the same place as children people let their guard down because they have been lulled into a false sense of security that a woman could never hurt a child (and this sense of security increased ten fold if said woman has children of her own). Given that women are championed as child caregivers in a way that is not proportional to how many women are and want to be child caregivers people are lulled into trusting any woman near any child no matter how dangerous she might be.

    Those in power need both of these mentalities to stay in place. They need men to stay out of children’s lives so they can busy themselves working their lives away to make those at the top richer. They need women to stay in children’s lives so that those at the top have someone to dump their kids on while they work securing their power.

  14. Erik N Says:

    Eivind
    I disagree with that the masculine is here to serve the feminine.
    for that kind of argument, in my mind, both are just here to serve the next generation (by “serve” i here mean “create” and “protect till adulthood”).

  15. Eivind Says:

    My good man, Erik,

    Whether one agrees with the assertation that the Masculine is here to serve the Feminine or not depends on two things: One’s level of masculine evolution and one’s chosen perspective. I will focus on the first.

    Since our culture has lost the wisdom of initiation into manhood, most men in our culture have not really severed their energetic dependance to the feminine/mother (which is the purpose of initiation). So what defines a boy, then, is that he is still defined by his energetic dependance on his mother, in both a literal and more metaphysical sense. This has huge implications for his life.

    Understand that only a true man understands the truth of this statement. Since a boy is on so many levels still desperately trying to prove to himself that he is a man, he is pushing away from the feminine in such ways that he cannot realize his purpose of stewardship to the Feminine. He is still rebelling against it, see? And he is also not trusting strong masculine energy, because he is still too weak to realize the inherent gifts in masculine confrontation.

    This is not some cute philosophical concept that you are free to disagree with – it is an embodied reality that you start living as you gradually tune into your deeper masculinity.

    If this is something you cannot yet feel, know that it is accessible to you if you start working on your masculinity in an embodied way. That means: Out of your head, into your body. It will be revealed before you as with all other men who have travelled the same path. Just as it has to me. You gotta be brave, though. Live life as if you care.

    Men with a masculine essence are here as guardians of the Feminine. All indigenous cultures understand this. We are starting to rediscover it.

    Eivind

  16. Mark Davenport Says:

    @ Elvind,

    Do we have some pre/post (or pre/trans) fallacy here? I understand that the more fundamental (a nice term for primitive) the level of evolution at which a society (or an individual) operates, the stronger and more inviolate the roles of both males and females.

    I see the weakening of these limiting conditions in favor of simple individual variations (as we progress both historically and individually) as the route to an ever truer emancipation. Whether such a tragectory will ever end I do not know. While I am certain that as we progrees we shall see “masculinity” and “femininity” with ever new eyes, I doubt that we will ever “return” to some “indiginous” or more primitive view of our differences.

    That seems a kind of wishful romanticism, a rejection of the tremendous progress we in the West have already made in favor of some imagined pre-modern bliss of sexual harmony and smooth societal functioning. While virtually all of us want change from the status quo, let us not confuse retrogression with progress. Either condition can be confused with the other because neither is modern, but premodern perspectives in time only give way to modern (that is, the current sorry state of sexual confusion) perspectives.

    I’ll grant that if you are speaking of an absolute STATE of irreducible distinction between masculine and feminine states (rather than of ever evolving STAGES of increasing complexity and inclusiveness) then you may have a point. But such Omega points are beyong the scope of this blog.

  17. Buchi Says:

    I see the weakening of these limiting conditions in favor of simple individual variations (as we progress both historically and individually) as the route to an ever truer emancipation. Whether such a tragectory will ever end I do not know.

    I have no authority in the subject of anthropology, and probably limited knowledge of history. But I have to wonder at the wisdom of trusting that people will work it out for themselves.

    I have no children, but I imagine if I had a son that I would want to pass on advice from my life experiences that would enable him to navigate life, as a man, with confidence.
    From social observation, parents attempting to do this very thing, I cannot help but notice how very difficult this can be. Besides the inherent conflict of son asserting his separate individuality, the efforts of the father are also sabotaged by a culture (sometimes promulgated by the State) that ultimately promotes abrogation of responsibility and well, escapism frankly.
    It is no wonder that this situation where the child may choose to take his cues from a culture that says, “all directions are OK and equal” then finds himself at a crossroads later in his life where he inevitably wonders what exactly he stands for, and concludes that he is in fact, lost.
    Further, if this situation is prevalent for a sufficient number of the male population that this mindstate becomes dominant culture, and the situation just spirals, in my opinion.

    For sure, I can see myself that there is a gradual trend towards laws that can be discriminatory towards men, as a reaction to historic social conditions. One may argue that this with negative social side effects for all. But I wonder if that is really some deliberate policy, or actually more the result of (well intentioned) ‘benign neglect’.

    If you create a vacuum for self-identity, a greater force WILL fill this somehow, whether it is religion, (hedonistic OR emasculating) liberalism, nationalism or something. Tragically in our own age we can see it manisfest as growing fundamentalism.
    I think that only in rare limited (stable) conditions is the vacuum replaced by a responsible rationalism based on respect for other’s individuality. Rare that is in a global sense!

  18. Mark Davenport Says:

    “But I have to wonder at the wisdom of trusting that people will work it out for themselves.”

    I don’t know what to do with that statement. If people do not “work it out for themselves” then who do you nominate to prescribe the solutions. Am I misunderstanding you? History may march backward sometimes, but never for long. Just look over the history of our species and the eventual progress is obvious, at least to me. What is there to fear in the long run? Of course the short run is filled with difficulty and uncertainty, but when has the short run ever appeared otherwise?

    Please don’t be misled by strictly current confusions.

  19. Eivind Says:

    I fear that you are making the mistake, Mark, of assuming that since a civilization is on a whole less developed than ours, they have nothing to teach us. If you are a student of Spiral Dynamics, you will surely understand why this is a mistake.

    There is something quite fascinating about this, and I have come up with the hypothesis that the clarity for individuals around the inner realities of masculine and feminine is not directly connected with consciousness evolution.

    This is something I have given a whole lot of thought. I’m not sure if you know David Deida and SD, but if you do, let me reflect to you that I’ve come to the conclusion that you can be what David Deida calls a 3rd stage man while being on a pretty low level of SD. Or at least, I’m still toying with the idea.

    This to me is incredibly fascinating and I haven’t quite…mmm…resolved this in my mind. And to be frank, it seems neither David Deida nor Ken Wilber have either.

    The point I was addressing, though, is that on a deep energetic level, a boy is bound to the feminine energy of the mother and nature itself. As long as he does not learn to sever this energetic enslavement to feminine energy, he will never turn into a true man, and he will forever rebel against or be controlled by feminine energy. As long as that is true, he will posture and pretend to be a man in pretty naive or low-life ways. This is true for 95% of men out there.

    See, these are intelligent guys, but with regards to the development of their sexual energy, they are very immature. They are boys.

    This is a problem. And ancient cultures understood this well. We need to re-embrace the deep wisdom from these cultures without letting the arrogance of our over-inflated brains get in the way. Fat load of good they are doing in helping us steward the planet, right?

    Eivind

  20. Anonymous Says:

    @Eivind

    Levels and lines! I think its useful to think of SD as mainly measuring cultural values, as exposed by people or groups. And exposed values don’t necessarily have anything to do with other areas of their humanity or development. So basically, I think you’re absolutely right that people could be what Deida calls 3rd stage, and be very ‘primitive’ by western standards, in other areas.

    There are all kinds of ways that our relatively advanced western culture has emasculted men, and while its a pre/trans confusion to think that the ‘traditional’ cultures of this world hold a better model that we should copy, it dosn’t mean, as you say, that we don’t have things to learn from them and their embodiment of masculine and feminine energies.

    Its important to challenge the cultural values that no longer serve us as men and women in our culture, and that are based on outdated understandings and worldviews. But I think there is a real risk of absolving us men of responsibility by shouting about unfair we have it as men. It’s also the challenge of a ‘new’, new man to stay present, loving and uncollapsable in the face of feminist propoganda, and to craete a new cultural value around that embrace of the world.

    My 2 cents :)

  21. Mark Davenport Says:

    Elvind, I think we are talking past ech other. Of course I understand the importance of including the wisdom of past eras of history, just as I remember the adventures of my youth. But I see them in a new and relatively mature light. Include, but transcend.

    My arguements here have had a political motive, seeking what is the next best step for the West in these emerging post-post modern times. As such, I seek a complete secular removal of all legal sexual distinctions. Not as an end in itself but so as to allow true sexual differences to distribute themselves on an uncoerced and “natural” bell curve distribution.

    While my immediate concerns are secular and political, I think yours are more religious and philosophical. You talk more in terms of masculinity and femininity than of male and female. I agree that your concerns are ligitimate, but they are private – not public – concerns. Are you looking forward to some future where religion and politics are somehow reintegrated? To some time when “separation of church and state” has become an obsolete arguement?

    I’m sorry to leave this discussion with questions, but I don’t think I have any more to say about your concerns. Please understand that I respect your arguements and I hope I have not misunderstood you.

  22. Pelle Billing Says:

    Mark and Eivind,

    Very interesting exchange you are having. I also think that Mark is talking about the public/political and Eivind is talking about the private/spiritual. Obviously these domains are interrelated, but they are also distinct.

    In the public domain, I see no other way than to have gender neutral laws, and to work against all kinds of discrimination. That way we can have a equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities for all individuals. After all, not all men are masculine, and not all women are feminine, so it doesn’t make sense to have laws that are gender specific.

    In order to achieve the goal of a public domain where men and women have the same rights, we need a men’s movement. However, none of this contradicts the fact that men can do deep interior work, in groups or alone, which is indeed another form of men’s movement. Again, these movements are clearly interrelated, but also distinct.

    I see your respective viewpoints as being complementary. They are also irreducible, in the sense that they cannnot replace each other.

  23. Danny Says:

    Pelle:
    That way we can have a equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities for all individuals. After all, not all men are masculine, and not all women are feminine, so it doesn’t make sense to have laws that are gender specific.
    Nor does it make sense to enforce supposedly gender neutral law in a gendered manner.

  24. Jim Says:

    “As Pelle pointed out in “why did feminism come first”, the liberation of men is a far scarier prospect for society to sit still for than the liberation of women was.”

    This is a very good insight, Chris. Men have so thoroughly made “women’s work” redundant that we hardly notice it. When men invneted conveninence foods or even just pre-packaged raw foods, labor-saving (and time-saving) appliances, it made all that housekeeping work women did redundant. There was a time when all that was a major part of their role in society. Now even if a woman wants to and can card, spin, dye, weave her own yarn into clothes, no one in the family, least of all her kids, will wear any of it. And who neds a woman at home to kill, pluck and draw a chicken when you can just pick one up at the store? It’s all been industrialized and consumerized out of existence. That left a huge labor surplus that could go into outside work pretty painlessly. That leaves women with child birth and child rearing as their sole preserve and they are clinging to that like barnacles. Of course when men clung to their sole preserve, that was all just reactionary chauvinism, but this is different – soemhow.

  25. Erik N Says:

    Eivind

    I gotta say that your response feels quite heavy with “you are wrong because i am right”.
    You are basicly saying that i dont agree because i havent “travelled as far on the path of wisdom”.

  26. Eivind Says:

    It is possible, Mark, that we are indeed talking past each other, as both you and Pelle suggest.

    I’m largely an interiorist. The interior realms are my level of expertise and I view the exterior realms through the interior dimensions. To me, that makes more sense.

    Most of the debate I have observed on Pelle’s blog is leaning towards being exterior-centric, focusing more on how politics, structures and institutions shape the individual than the other way around. I’m a little wary of that because it’s real easy to enter victim mode. I’ve seen that happen here many times.

    I’m not really making religious or philosophical statements, Mark. At least, I don’t think I am. Maybe you are more qualified to tell than me. But what I mean to do is convey a lived reality that has become increasingly accessible for me through the fortunate events of grace and hard transformative work.

    I’m wary of the difficulty of separating laws that are meant to enable people’s freedom from the judgements about humanity that are found within them. E.g. – I think it’s hard to, if I understand you correct, remove all differential treatment under the law between the sexes without further neutralizing the gender roles and further imprisoning people in cells of comfort and security. If you have a way to do it, then please spend your every breath getting it implemented, but I know of no such way.

    You ask if I’m looking forward to the reintegration of religion and politics. Not really. But I’m looking forward to the day when a disciplined spiritual life is considered a defining characteristic of maturity, and spirituality becomes the simple fact of life that it should be. It’s simply put about men accessing their hearts and intuition. Most don’t dare to. Intellectual musings are much safer.

    In that world which I envision, a man won’t worry too much about things such as “women and children first”. You see, this idea is only a problem for men who are not yet fully mature. For men who have received true initiation into manhood, this statement is a given. Whether I am personally able to live up to it defines my maturity.

    There are of course some incredible difficult questions here, such as whether I should give my life in order to save a psychotic bitch just because she is a woman and I’m a man. I have no answers to these things.

    All of this being said, I’m glad you guys ARE addressing these issues. I just ask you to be mindful not to victimize yourselves too much. As long as you can maintain your strength and see that men of lesser power will feel victimized – and that our duty as the men on the vanguard of masculine evolution and the fledgling men’s movement – is to serve those men who feel victimized through our loving guidance and sensitive authority. If we ARE feeling victimized, we have no business in a men’s movement. Then, we have inner work to do.

    Enjoying your replies, Mark. Although I have no idea what a natural bell curve distribution is. :-)

    Eivind

  27. Eivind Says:

    Erik,

    Does that bother you? Of course, whenever someone who is right is discussing with someone who is wrong, the truth would perfectly align itself with a “you are wrong because I am right” argument.

    But this isn’t about me being right or you being wrong. Who knows what the reality is on that issue. There are too many subtle nuances here that have yet to be brought forth into the light for us to come to premature conclusions like that.

    I wrote what I wrote because I have accrued some expertise in the realms of men’s evolution and the polarity of Masculinity and Femininity. And I have concluded beyond any shadow of a doubt that true maturity for a man is his embracing the task of serving as a steward of the Feminine.

    Most modern men have no such understanding because they are largely silent victims of feminism, the war on boys and to some extent fathers, their relationships with independent working-girl partners etc. Speaking of relationships, it is exactly in that arena that the credibility of my statement can be tested. Here’s how:

    If a woman is able to trigger her man emotionally, so that he becomes hurt or defensive, he is an immature man.* If he loses his capacity to love her just because she is being irrational with him, he is an immature man. By that token, most men are immature. That holds true. Most women are immature too. But at the moment, it would appear that women on a whole are marginally more mature than men. This is their time. It has never before been like this.

    So if in relationship, your woman holds any sort of power over you in such a way as described above, you will not want to agree with me, because it would further castrate your ego. You would instead choose to build high towers in your mental fortress where you could speculate in heady ways about reasons why my theory is nonsense. And the partner would whole-heartedly agree to keep protecting her hard-earned, heart-breaking independence.

    That being said, it’s up to you to know whether you are an immature or mature man, and from what vantage point you are perceiving the role of the Masculine in relation to the Feminine. I don’t want to pass any judgment on you in that dimension. And truth be told, the recognition of immaturity is not meant to be a shameful event. It is a cause for rejoicing, for it is the start of maturity. Although I did NOT rejoice when I first realized how immature I was.

    Sum total, I’m merely offering to you some guidelines that I have spent an enormous amount of energy and experienced an enormous amount of suffering to realize. If it’s helpful to you, consider it. If not, leave it for now.

    Eivind

    * Another measure of a man’s maturity is his ability to receive criticism and endure confrontation with other men without becoming defensive. On this account, I personally fail too often to lay claim to full maturity. My ego is still too strong.

  28. Jim Says:

    “Most of the debate I have observed on Pelle’s blog is leaning towards being exterior-centric, focusing more on how politics, structures and institutions shape the individual than the other way around. I’m a little wary of that because it’s real easy to enter victim mode. I’ve seen that happen here many times. ”

    The inrterior matters if you don’t have an exterior to worry about. The political and legal issues matter a lot when the state is trying to take your children away form you, matter a lot more than you inners ense of whatever. Because if you can’t protect your children and raise them yourslef, all the interior stuff is pretty empty.

    And that’s about that I have to say about your slighting comment about people entering some victim mode. It’s easy to pontificate when you have nothing at stake.

    “If a woman is able to trigger her man emotionally, so that he becomes hurt or defensive, he is an immature man.*”

    I see the problem. This is really not about how some emotional meld with some breeder. There are more important things in life, take my word for it. This is really about a cultural, political and legal system of gender oppression.

  29. Erik N Says:

    Eivind

    What i reacted to is that you were prophesing it as truth with no possibility of being wrong.

    But yeah, i will leave it.

  30. Chris Marshall Says:

    Eivind:

    think it’s hard to, if I understand you correct, remove all differential treatment under the law between the sexes without further neutralizing the gender roles and further imprisoning people in cells of comfort and security

    So what would be a specific example of a way in which you think the law should treat men and women differently?

  31. Betsy Says:

    “Men have so thoroughly made “women’s work” redundant that we hardly notice it. When men invneted conveninence foods or even just pre-packaged raw foods, labor-saving (and time-saving) appliances, it made all that housekeeping work women did redundant.”

    Jim,

    It is not helpful to parrot the benefits to women of “labor-saving” advances…most of these are profit-makers for corporations…to whom we have become overly, and in some cases totally, dependent on. Many of the so-called benefits have been propagandized by the CORPORATION. These corporations are creating a world DICTATORSHIP! For example…check out the documentary:
    The World According to Monsanto (Monsanto has a monopoly of 90% of food genetics!)… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hErvV5YEHkE

    Also check out the documentary THE CORPORATION http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pin8fbdGV9Y

    Additionally, many products are made with planned obsolescence in mind(even tools we do need). Creating a vicious cycle.

    WORK DOES NOT BECOME REDUNDANT especially regarding raising children and house work. ALL WORK IS BLOOD, SWEAT, AND TEARS…some men and women do USE others to relieve themselves of toil. Some men and women are deluded by convenience and usury systems of community…where the state or daycare raises the children, BOTH parents work inside and outside the home, and families cannot afford health and dental care. Jobs and wages are in DECLINE. Now we are scrambling to not be so dependent on this system…as system failure is looming.

    Children require tons of attention and care especially when they are sick, they get into quarrels with siblings and need mediation, and they need to be taught survival skills outside of cooking and cleaning…which is largely ignored.

    I do make most meals from scratch…because preservatives affect health.
    Laundry, dishes, and garbage are daily jobs that need to be done. Mopping, sweeping, vacuuming, washing windows, dusting, yard and garden care, pet care, and cleaning surfaces like wiping off the phone, door handles, toilets, etc.. IS work(although not valued by our culture). Only extra money allows you to hire someone to take care of these duties. And usually the ones who add the least value to society can afford to do this!

    Cleaners ‘worth more to society’ than bankers – study
    By Martin Shankleman,
    Employment correspondent, BBC News
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8410489.stm
    (I do not agree with the last paragraph…but, I find this type of study interesting…Rather, I find it amazing we need a study!)…connecting quote from Khalil Gibran’s THE PROPHET:

    WORK…
    Often have I heard you say, as if speaking in sleep, “he who works in marble, and finds the shape of his own soul in the stone, is a nobler than he who ploughs the soil.
    And he who seizes the rainbow to lay it on a cloth in the likeness of man, is more than he who makes the sandals for our feet.”
    But I say, not in sleep but in the over-wakefulness of noontide, that the wind speaks not more sweetly to the giant oaks than to the least of all the blades of grass;
    And he alone is great who turns the voice of the wind into a song made sweeter by his own loving.
    Work is love made visible. …~Khalil Gibran THE PROPHET

    Any free time, as you allude to, is not transferred to EITHER parent…it is transferred to the child who used to have way more chores…look at the Amish. Amish children have daily chores and often the older children take care of the younger children to assist the community.

    We cannot keep thinking the same way on Wednesday as we did on Monday…NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENED ON TUESDAY. Times are changing…much of the convenience has become a PRISON.

    Long version of the facts:
    The Coming Collapse of the Middle Class
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akVL7QY0S8A

    short version:
    Elizabeth Warren: Death of the Middle Class
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBf70qX1sBw

    and
    The Disposable Worker
    By Peter Coy, Michelle Conlin and Moira Herbst
    Cover Story January 7, 2010, 5:00PM EST

    Pay is falling, benefits are vanishing, and no one’s job is secure. How companies are making the era of the temp more than temporary
    http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/10_03/b4163032935448.htm

    This is why I made the comment: Previous perks for EVERYONE have been largely removed.

    LOVE

  32. Betsy Says:

    Here is the reference on Monsanto’s monopoly on SEED(I mistakenly wrote food) genetics:
    AP INVESTIGATION: Monsanto seed biz role revealed
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091214/ap_on_bi_ge/us_seed_giant

    quote:


    “We now believe that Monsanto has control over as much as 90 percent of (seed genetics). This level of control is almost unbelievable,” said Neil Harl, agricultural economist at Iowa State University who has studied the seed industry for decades. “The upshot of that is that it’s tightening Monsanto’s control, and makes it possible for them to increase their prices long term. And we’ve seen this happening the last five years, and the end is not in sight.”
    At issue is how much power one company can have over seeds, the foundation of the world’s food supply. Without stiff competition, Monsanto could raise its seed prices at will, which in turn could raise the cost of everything from animal feed to wheat bread and cookies.”…

  33. Jim Says:

    “It is not helpful to parrot the benefits to women of “labor-saving” advances…most of these are profit-makers for corporations…to whom we have become overly, and in some cases totally, dependent on. Many of the so-called benefits have been propagandized by the CORPORATION.”

    I am not parroting anything, woman; I am recounting my own personal experience, and I don’t appreciate your arrogant dismissal of that. Grow some fucking manners.

    My point, which you missed, was that quite regardless of who else profits from these labor-saving devices, the devices make women redundant in my life except as kin and friends and co-workers, and that’s a benefit to me. I do not need someone at home all day doing these things for me.

    “I do make most meals from scratch”

    So do I, but again youre missing the point. Making a dinner from a “scratch” chicken you buy in a market, already dead, plucked. cleaned and packaged, is quite diffenrent form trreally doing it form scratch, which involves running around the backyard to catch the chicken. As for baking, that is even less form “scratch”. Hardly anyone grinds their own grain at home anymore, and most baked goods peopl want can’t be made successfully frm the meal or flour that results anyway.

    “WORK DOES NOT BECOME REDUNDANT ”

    Here you have to be strawmanning, because that was not my point either. I did not say that work had become redundant, just that WOMEN had. A woman can be replaced with a washing machine and a trip to the supermarket. And the same is true for women to some extent – a woman can climb up on the roof and clean the gutters as well as any man. They often just refuse, but that’s another matter. and maybe one day we’ll have the sense to build roofs without those goddamned gutters anyway!

    As for Monsanto, though, we are in agreement on that. Iowa is basically depopulated now because of industrial farming.

  34. Pelle Billing Says:

    “Grow some fucking manners”

    Agreed. But please abide by your own rules and refrain from using the f word.

  35. Betsy Says:

    Jim,

    “I am not parroting anything, woman; I am recounting my own personal experience, and I don’t appreciate your arrogant dismissal of that. Grow some fucking manners.”

    You have made several general comments on how MEN have done this or that for women.

    “It’s all been industrialized and consumerized out of existence. That left a huge labor surplus that could go into outside work pretty painlessly.”

    Painless for whom?…Just because we could, doesn’t mean we should:

    World
    Russia Bans U.S. Poultry Over Chlorine
    by Dan Flynn | Jan 07, 2010
    http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2010/01/russia-bans-us-poultry-over-chlorine/

    The labor surplus has only accelerated our global dependence on OIL.
    I know many individuals who are getting their own chickens, rabbits, and goats for meat, milk, eggs, and cheese…because it does matter how animals are raised and processed for consumption. And many others who are getting off the GRID(heat, electrical power, water, sewer, etc..)entirely, because our oil consumption is not sustainable.

    Life After the Oil Crash
    Deal With Reality or Reality Will Deal With You
    http://www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.net/
    quote:
    The issue is not one of “running out” so much as it is not having enough to keep our economy running. In this regard, the ramifications of Peak Oil for our civilization are similar to the ramifications of dehydration for the human body. The human body is 70 percent water. The body of a 200 pound man thus holds 140 pounds of water. Because water is so crucial to everything the human body does, the man doesn’t need to lose all 140 pounds of water weight before collapsing due to dehydration. A loss of as little as 10-15 pounds of water may be enough to kill him.

    In a similar sense, an oil based economy such as ours doesn’t need to deplete its entire reserve of oil before it begins to collapse. A shortfall between demand and supply as little as 10 to 15 percent is enough to wholly shatter an oil-dependent economy and reduce its citizenry to poverty.
    source:
    http://www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.net/

    “A woman can be replaced with a washing machine and a trip to the supermarket”

    WOW…I don’t even know how to respond to that comment.
    How is it that you keep defining this as women’s work anyway? Work is Work. Life gives unto Life. Women do not magically become obsolete in house work, neither does a man. SOMEONE has to assemble the washing machine, someone sells the machine, and someone has to purchase and use the washing machine…someone has to go to the store…someone has to operate and work at the store. Am I missing something here? Men and women can wash clothes with or without a machine. It is a personal choice.

    My experience:
    My ex-husband would much rather clean the gutters…HE refuses to clean up vomit from a sick child for example.

    My point being…I will, and do, accept work for the sake of work…not just for compensation or recognition…life giving unto life.

    LOVE

  36. Jim Says:

    “Painless for whom?…Just because we could, doesn’t mean we should:”

    Should as opposed to could? That’s called moving the goal posts. That’s not really arguing in good faith

    ““A woman can be replaced with a washing machine and a trip to the supermarket”
    WOW…I don’t even know how to respond to that comment.
    How is it that you keep defining this as women’s work anyway? ”

    You must be very young if you don’t know that up until WWII, or really for that matter up until 1970, all housework was considered the burden and preserve of women. In fact that was a very big talking point of the Women’s Movement at the time.

    And since that is the case, when men invented all these consumer goods and services, the primary consumers of these goods were female customers who initially saw the value of them. That is why I say that women benefited form these inventions by men. But now since then, these consumer goods and services have also begun to benefit men who choose to live without housewives.

    I cannot explain this any more simply to you. So it is really not to the point at all to go off into metaphysics about work when we are having a discussion about actual historical and cultural conditions.

    “Men and women can wash clothes with or without a machine. It is a personal choice.”

    This is frankly an idle commnent, and you wouldn’t be making it if you had ever had to wash clothes by hand as a routine. This “choice” involves a difference of several hours of fairly heavy physical work. The obesity stats in the US suggest that nobody “chooses’ to do this kind of labor very much anymore.

    “My experience:
    My ex-husband would much rather clean the gutters…HE refuses to clean up vomit from a sick child for example.”

    Well, my expereince is exactly the opposite. Cleaning up vomit takes about five minutes at most of very negligible labor. Cleaning the gutters takes typically an hour of waht can be rather dangerous work on a roof, and is always very rough on your hands. It’s telling, isn’t it, that you have to refer to your husbnad here rather than your own experience of cleaning gutters. I take it then that you have never done that job, and aren’t really in any position to compare the two.

  37. Betsy Says:

    Jim,

    Thank you for clarifying your position.

    I am young, I do see that most people only care about hand outs, power positions, or more legal rights…and could care less to really look at the monopoly of the entire system for the benefit of a few elite families, bankers, and politicians.

    I am talking about a monopoly of public education, health care, mass media, the justice system, oil resources, economy/fiat money, and even science is skewed for private benefit…and we are at war with each other over this. From my perspective this has influenced and caused most gender wars as well. Many individuals who are in prominent power positions world wide are there on purpose…and their families have ruled for CENTURIES. So, no matter what rights or benefits we think we have acquired, it is largely an illusion.

    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. ~Jiddu Krishnamurti

    “A woman can be replaced with a washing machine and a trip to the supermarket”

    I understand where your coming from on this…but to me it represents a unnatural divisiveness…like a women saying, with her new independence, she can raise a child without the father.

    I think we need each other more than ever to wade through the sh** that has become society.

    Me and my ex-husband are still living together to make ends meet and raise our children…we both have good incomes…but both of us would be dependent on state assistance these days if we lived independently. I know of NO single parent who can survive without tons of assistance…the burden on the middle class is too high these days.

    Reagan, Deregulation and the Slippery Road to Poisoned Assets
    http://www.opednews.com/articles/Reagan-Deregulation-and-t-by-Bill-Hare-090311-548.html

    How Deregulation Fueled the Financial Crisis
    http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article8210.html

    My children are growing up in the collapse…there is no political justice, no free-market, few jobs, and lots of lies.

    Lastly, my ex-husband wears tool bags all day at work that I cannot wear for 1 hour without collapsing. More upper body strength is an attribute men have.

    LOVE

  38. Eivind Says:

    Chris,

    You asked “So what would be a specific example of a way in which you think the law should treat men and women differently?”

    To be honest, when it comes to politics and legislation, I’m more the questions guy than I am the answers guy. And I didn’t mean to suggest that I have good answers, merely that we must be mindful of why and how we change laws to be gender-neutral.

    That said, your question has piqued my interest and I have carried it with me for a couple of days now. No clear answers yet, but I have a few reflections.

    One thing that came to mind was mandatory military service for women. If the consequence of full equality between the sexes is achieved, then this is a given. But I think it’s the wrong way to go. I think society has ALREADY deceived women too much into thinking they must be like men. Further limiting their feminine gifts to the world by making them hard-ass, independent femme fatales is not helpful to society. That doesn’t mean that some women don’t belong in the army, it just means that – overall as a group – their gifts are not best expressed in the military.

    I’m looking at Israel and wondering if the mandatory military service for women is part and parcel of the fear and aggression that the nation as a whole is vibrating. Women have the gift of relaxing masculine tension, but if they have become totally taken by it themselves, that gift disappears. Those are just entertaining thoughts for myself though.

    Anyway, mandatory military service for women is a no go. We must rather professionalize the army.

    So what I have discovered from your question is that it’s not just about equality – it’s what are the terms of that equality. Which equality do we choose? And why? Do we base our legislation on political correct ignorance or on a deeper recognition of truth? I think to do that wisely, we need to understand the deeper issues of man/woman, masculine/feminine.

    I also came to think about the Rotary club for some reason. It used to be a men’s club only, and that was of course not kosher, so now women are in there too. I think that’s a huge blunder. There should be some places where men meet only other men. Particularly considering that the biggest problem modern men have is their enslavement to the mother energy in their lives (that is, they have not discovered their masculinity as a potent force whole unto itself). We must not force equality everywhere, because we are destroying the mystery of the sexes, the attraction, creativity and passion that lies as a potential between us. That’s what makes life good. And in the absence, people become superficial, depressed consumers with sloppy sexual habits and no commitment in love.

    They may not be good answers for your question, but they are the thoughts that were triggered. I will continue to think about it though Chris.

    Thanks, inspiring!

    Eivind

  39. Sophie Says:

    This has to do with human race survival. It has nothing to do with the battle of the sexes. This phrase was mentioned in times where men were thought to be more than women, so why would they then take it back and all of a sudden say that women are valued more than men at the moment of a crisis. Makes no sense.

    The reason why they did this was because women are the ones who can have babies. Imagine if they saved many men before saving women everytime a chaos occured. This would mean less and less women everytime. In other words, less chance for human race survival.

    One man can fertilize several women at the same time.

    On the other hand, if you were to tell me that men can now give birth, then that would be a totally different story. THEN I would think this is unfair. Other than that, the deal is human race survival, for coming generations. This is true.

  40. Jay Hammers Says:

    Oh, don’t be a Silly Sophie. We don’t base public policy on what will perpetuate the human race most effectively. I think overpopulation is more likely. Are you going to argue that abortion and homosexuality should be illegal too because they don’t spawn babies?

  41. Sophie Says:

    No. I am a homosexual. However, in the extremeness of me needing to have sex with a male in order to have a baby to continue the human race, I will do it.

    Overpopulation is more likely because of the fact that for so many years it’s been “women and children first.”

    Again, I repeat, it is not because of the fact that women have been considered greater than men, because during the 1800′s women were treated less than men, however at the time of crisis this policy was enforced. And my question was, were they going to suddenly make women more than men just at THAT moment of crisis? No. The reason was not that. The reason for this policy is for survival. You people only see the smaller piture. Look at the bigger picture. Every one woman saved more than a male has contributed a life to today’s society.

    However, I DO think abortion should be illegal, because of the fact that I just think it’s murder and that there are way too many people that cannot have children and wish to adopt. There is no need to kill the poor thing. But that is besides the topic at hand. I digress.

  42. Pelle Billing Says:

    Sophie:
    “The reason why they did this was because women are the ones who can have babies. ”

    This is exactly what I wrote in the post.
    And it goes to show that gender roles are much more complex than “men oppressing women”.

  43. Jay Hammers Says:

    Sophie, you’re being hypocritical. You can’t argue that it should be women and children first because it helps survival of the human race while supporting other policies that harm survival of the human race. And if you want to claim that you don’t support women and children first policies and are just providing an explanation for why they exist, then you should agree that it’s a pretty stupid reason.

    “You people only see the smaller piture. Look at the bigger picture. Every one woman saved more than a male has contributed a life to today’s society.”

    Nevermind, you do support it, and that’s pretty stupid.

    But let me try following your argument. So every homosexual converted is a baby on the way. Every homosexual burned at the stake is a heterosexual saved. Let’s outlaw homosexuality. Especially lesbians since women are the ones with wombs, like you said.

    Pretty stupid, huh? It is YOU who doesn’t see the bigger picture. You’re one of those people who decides your position on something and then struggles to find support for it. When that support erodes you have two choices: Find a different way to attempt to support your assertion or realize that your assertion was wrong. And when you run out of ways to support your assertion you’re forced to acknowledge you were wrong.

    Those who stick to a point of view no matter what the evidence suggests are easy to see through. They’re also not worth trying to convince because they won’t ever change their minds no matter what you say. So I’ll stop trying, Sophie.

  44. Sophie Says:

    You obviously did not read my first statement.

    Homosexuality has nothing to do with my gender or procreation. A woman who is a lesbian can still have babies if needed to. I said, I am a lesbian, however if I need to have sex with a male in order to have babies, I will do it. Homosexuality is not something that is against procreation. Go get your facts straight. Regardless of a woman being homosexual or not, she still has a vagina, hence she can have babies. What you’re explaining makes no sense.

    I am NOT wrong. I KNOW what I am talking about. I just explained everything to you, however you still don’t seem to understand.

    I am not trying to struggle to find support on anything. This article is doing that. I actually think that what I am saying is pretty logical and I gave a logical reason for it.

    Picture this scenario: 1800s

    Male: Women are less than men. They should be treated less than men. They do what men say. They are bitches and I rape them and get away with it.

    -FUCKED UP SITUATION HAPPENS WHERE PEOPLE NEED TO BE SAVED-

    Male: WOMEN AND CHILDREN FIRST BECAUSE ALL OF A SUDDEN MALES ARE LESS THAN FEMALES NOW <—– WRONG! I don’t think that’s what they would be thinking when saying this. They’re not going to just change their minds about women all of a sudden, this is why I am saying that they placed in this policy for OTHER reasons.

    Male: WOMEN AND CHILDREN FIRST – Children: because they are the next generation.
    Women: Because they can procreate more babies and one male can fertilize many women. Other than many males and just one woman, since that would lead to less babies. Less procreation.

    It’s fucking logic. Again, homosexuality has nothing to do with procreation. Just because I’m lesbian doesn’t mean I still don’t have a vagina. I can procreate if neccessary.

    Go and get your facts straight and again stop whining and trying to make everything sound bias and racist. Makes you look stupid. This article is bullshit. Go read some peer-reviwed articles at the library that actually make sense and hold some real evidence, and not some ignorant opinion.

    I know we all have different points of view and I would love to see things from your perspective, but I just can’t seem to get my head that far up my ass.

  45. Pelle Billing Says:

    “Male: Women are less than men. They should be treated less than men. They do what men say. They are bitches and I rape them and get away with it.”

    Do you really believe this is what most men thought in the 1800s? How about this option:

    Male: I need to work really hard in the field, or down in the mine, so I can support my wife and children, that I love more than anything else. It’s all worth it when I come home and have a couple of hours with my loved ones before going to bed.

  46. Jay Hammers Says:

    Sophie, I don’t care if you CAN push out a baby even if you’re lesbian. You’re less likely to do so than a straight woman just as a woman who’s not saved first on a flight is less likely to do so. I would also bet that career women are less likely to push out babies because they’re busy working and so women shouldn’t have careers. Single women are even less likely to push out babies. So basically women shouldn’t be lesbians, shouldn’t have careers, and shouldn’t be allowed to stay single past a certain age, because all these decrease the chance they’ll pop out babies. That’s the conclusion I reach following your outlook.

    You’re confusing the historical reasoning for women and children first and the reasoning today, which is really just “because it’s always been that way.” The same rules don’t apply because 1) population has soared, 2) social dynamics have changed such that women are often independent and they aren’t solely relegated to childcare and housework. Women aren’t that special today and any one of them can pop out a baby. They don’t have greater value than men. In fact, they have less in a survival situation.

    There’s no good reason women should go before men in an emergency situation anymore. It also depends on the situation. If you’re getting out of a plane in the arctic, you may as well leave the women in the plane to die because men stand a much better chance of surviving. There’s really no situation where survivability is increased when women get off the plane first. The only reason to get them off first is due to a mistaken assumption that they have more value which is clearly not the case – see above.

    Sophie, I really think you’re blinded by hatred for men which may make it difficult for you to be objective about this.

    Oh, and here’s an article regarding the myth of women’s oppression, no need to claim women were oppressed again: http://www.avoiceformen.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=323:thy-myth-of-womens-oppression&catid=1:oarticles&Itemid=19

  47. Danny Says:

    The whole women and children first thing is just a part of the cycle of having one’s cake and eating it too.

    There are women want their child bearing capacity to be treated like a blank check they can assign whatever value is needed for the desired outcome in a situation. That is how their child bearing capacity can simultaneously mean that they should come first when disaster strikes while at the same time not be held against them in anyway when competing in the workplace.

    Sophie:
    Male: WOMEN AND CHILDREN FIRST BECAUSE ALL OF A SUDDEN MALES ARE LESS THAN FEMALES NOW <—– WRONG! I don’t think that’s what they would be thinking when saying this. They’re not going to just change their minds about women all of a sudden, this is why I am saying that they placed in this policy for OTHER reasons.

    Male: WOMEN AND CHILDREN FIRST – Children: because they are the next generation.
    Women: Because they can procreate more babies and one male can fertilize many women. Other than many males and just one woman, since that would lead to less babies. Less procreation.

    Actually I’d say both of those scenarios are happening. The thinking is that men are worth less because women and children are the next generation and that next generation will produce more fodder….oh I mean men. So due to biological differences men are worth less and are more easily replaced as far as some are concerned. This also leads men to thinking that since they can’t bear children they have to prove their worth in another way.

  48. Jay Hammers Says:

    I really have a hard time believing there’s anything special about women having children. They are the rate limiting factor with one child per 9 months, and they only last for 40 some years, maybe. But you don’t see women having 30 kids non-stop. It’s not like they’re pushing their limits. They might have 2 1/2 kids on average. So we really only need them for a little over 2 years. Women above X age aren’t worth saving in terms of baby-making, and if they’ve already had 2 children they don’t have much more to offer. Men, on the other hand, can create more children until their death. So who is really more valuable when it comes to bearing children?

  49. Danny Says:

    Jay chances are the explaination someone would give to that is something along the lines of, “Women don’t have as much reproductive time as men which is why they are so much more important.”

    But I just thought of a new question. If the imperative is that women bear children therefore they’re of higher priority wouldn’t it seem that those people would check to see when women were still able to bear children in the even of disaster. I mean take the Titanic for example. If the reasoning was to save women over men because women bear children then why were elderly women (who would have little to no chance of having a child due to their age) given priority over even young men? Surely even though those young men could bear no children they would still be more useful to the ongoing survival of the race than old women right?

    So it’s not just “women can bear children so they take priority”. For some reason its been concluded that simply being a woman (whether she can bear children or not) is more valuable than a man when it comes time to decide who to save.

  50. Jim Says:

    “Again, I repeat, it is not because of the fact that women have been considered greater than men, because during the 1800’s women were treated less than men, ”

    Their lives were considerd less than men’s? In what society?

    In the US for instance, at the end of the hideously deadly Civil War in which 625,000 men had died, that supposed brute Sherman was proud, actually proud, that no women (of course he only meant white women) had been killed, or even just raped, in his supposedly brutish March to the Sea through undeniably rebel territory. He was proud that his troops treated women, who had materially contributed to the recruiting efforts of the Confederacy, with the utmost delicacy.

    Was this really some kind of one-off in the Anglosphere of that era? How hard would it be to find parallels in Britain or the rest of the US in that century? How disposable were British women in Britain’s colonial wars of that era? How many women worked in mines, or were expected to during that era?

  51. Jim Says:

    “I really have a hard time believing there’s anything special about women having children. ”

    The other error that usually bedevils these discussions is that people so often equate human children to herring spawn and just assume that giving birth is the same as producing children that grow into adulthood to cintinue and expand the population. Human children require at a very bare minimum a decade and a half of close care, and a single parent cannot do it alone – it requires all kinds of social support in the form of protection and resources and protection of resources, not to mention mentoring that a single parent, whatever the gender, is most likely going to be unable to provide.

  52. Danny Says:

    Their lives were considerd less than men’s? In what society?

    In the US for instance, at the end of the hideously deadly Civil War in which 625,000 men had died, that supposed brute Sherman was proud, actually proud, that no women (of course he only meant white women) had been killed, or even just raped, in his supposedly brutish March to the Sea through undeniably rebel territory. He was proud that his troops treated women, who had materially contributed to the recruiting efforts of the Confederacy, with the utmost delicacy.

    Was this really some kind of one-off in the Anglosphere of that era? How hard would it be to find parallels in Britain or the rest of the US in that century? How disposable were British women in Britain’s colonial wars of that era? How many women worked in mines, or were expected to during that era?

    Jim they ignore things like that because they are selectively drawing from instances where men did in fact mistreat women. Why? Because it suits their arguments.

    That is why despite women being a large part of the recruiting effort in war times (mostly through shaming taunts along the lines of “what kind of a man are you if you aren’t willing to go fight and die?”) supposedly wars are the fault of men and men alone.

    That is why somehow it is okay to use examples of some men that mistreated women in the 1800s as represenation of how all men treated women but things like what you mention here are ignored.

    That is why despite all the free labor white women got out of the Atlantic Slave Trade in today’s discussion of it only “the white MAN” is called on it.

  53. Jim Says:

    “That is why despite all the free labor white women got out of the Atlantic Slave Trade in today’s discussion of it only “the white MAN” is called on it.”

    In that connection…….when white feminists babble on about the “rape culture” in which rape was and is condoned as used as a method of control blah blah and then turn around and wonder why they get called racists (when historically illiterate cretin might describe them better) …..

    BTW, I have a name for white feminists who babble on about the “rape culture” – “Mayellas”. Remember the courtroom scene in “To Kill A Mockingbird”?

  54. Sophie Says:

    I never said either or had greater value. I am just saying that the reason why this has been this way and will continue to be this way is for reproduction. It has nothing to do with gender roles. It’s so simple, I don’t know why you keep talking about other shit. It’s biology based, not social based.

    And yes, many years ago women were treated less than men, and still today in other countries where they have fixed marriages and women have to abide to everything the man says and doesn’t have her own say, however this was not the point. The point was, and I don’t know how many times am I going to have to repeat myself, that in a society where women were considered less than men, why would they implement a rule that meant that men were less than women? That is my question and the answer is because it doesn’t have to do with survival capacity, nor who is less than the other (I believe both are equal), but with the fact that they believed that women brought the offsprings.

  55. Jay Hammers Says:

    As previously stated:
    a) Women were NOT less than men
    b) Regardless of the historical reason for “women and children first” that reason no longer applies.

  56. Danny Says:

    I never said either or had greater value. I am just saying that the reason why this has been this way and will continue to be this way is for reproduction. It has nothing to do with gender roles. It’s so simple, I don’t know why you keep talking about other shit. It’s biology based, not social based.
    I’m saying that what has happened is that it has become more than just biological. If were just biological then why is it that a man that doesn’t perform his duty to protect a woman is shamed as a coward and not accused of endagering the survival of the group?

    The point was, and I don’t know how many times am I going to have to repeat myself, that in a society where women were considered less than men, why would they implement a rule that meant that men were less than women? That is my question and the answer is because it doesn’t have to do with survival capacity, nor who is less than the other (I believe both are equal), but with the fact that they believed that women brought the offsprings.
    The system is going to do what it can in order to survive and those in power are willing to step on the shoulders of anyone to do it. That is why women are/were kept down as incubators and men are/were kept down as fodder. I think the problem some people have is that they are trying to figure this out from the starting point that “society works to keep men up and women down”. With that mentality they will do everything they can to relate all suffering, even the suffering that primary harms men, back to women as if all the primary goal of the system is to harm women, not maintain power for itself.

  57. Sophie Says:

    A la pinga con este articulo.

  58. hopeless_case Says:

    Sophie:

    Go and get your facts straight and again stop whining and trying to make everything sound bias and racist.

    You were saying that
    1) the reason a woman’s saftey had historically been worth more than a man’s is that you could lose most of the male population and still recover in a single generation because it only takes a few men to keep all of the women pregnant. So far we agree
    2) because of this fact, you can’t say the origin of this rule was sexist or represented a (non-reality based) anti-male bias. I still agree with you.
    3) Today, this rule still applies, so stop whining about how society values women more than men. Here is where we part company.

    The power and wealth of the world no longer belongs to the country / society that produces the most children and takes the greatest risks with the lives of its men. It belong to the country/society that makes the best use of its workforce and does the best job of educating its population.

    At this point, the rule “women’s safety first” is no longer based in reality. All that’s left is an irrational bias against the safety and value of men.

  59. hopeless_case Says:

    Sophie:

    Continuing my last post…

    You also talk about how unfair it was that historically women had so little control over their lives, as if that were an anti-female bias and not a result of the same observation you made about men being disposable and women not. If a woman’s ability to reproduce and a man’s ability to fight were so important to the survival of ancient societies, don’t you see how the restricted role of women also followed from that?

    Suppose a man didn’t want to fight or a woman didn’t want to devote herself to raising children? What do you think they were told? That man would have been told “If you don’t stand ready to fight for your tribe and protect us, then what good are you to us?”, and the woman would have been told,”If you are not going to devote yourself to raising children, then what good are you to us?”

  60. Jim Says:

    “don’t you see how the restricted role of women also followed from that?”

    The Golden Cage – women were too precious to lose, and too precious to be allowed any freedom. This is exactly the dynamic that keeps women down in tradtionally dangerous places like Afghanistan.

  61. John Says:

    This is probably the most pathetic thread of comments I have ever seen. It certainly is the most bizarre and sad collection of “sociological” commentary I have ever seen.

    First of all , in this day and age, it is highly unlikely that any of us will be faced with a “Titanic” type situation. Secondly, if such a situation did arise, if there is a man out there who could look at himself in the mirror after stepping over a woman or child to save his own skin, then that’s a sorry commentary in and of itself.

  62. Jay Hammers Says:

    Shaming language, check.
    Putting women and children on an equal level, check.
    Nothin’ new, John.

  63. Danny Says:

    John:
    First of all , in this day and age, it is highly unlikely that any of us will be faced with a “Titanic” type situation. Secondly, if such a situation did arise, if there is a man out there who could look at himself in the mirror after stepping over a woman or child to save his own skin, then that’s a sorry commentary in and of itself.
    Yeah this is that attitude that we are talking about. For some reason part of being a man, not a good person mind you just man, is the willingness to give your life up for a woman or child (and lumping women in the children as if women can’t do for themselves is pretty sexist if you ask me).

    So does the shame only come into play when a man doesn’t give his life up for a woman or does it work in any other arrangement (man/man woman/man woman/woman)?

  64. John Says:

    Jay, Danny:

    I just knew I’d get this response. Say what you will, and make all the arguments you want, but at the end of the day, a man that would do such things is still slime. So yes I guess I’m closed minded and not really interested in a debate.

    By the way looking at the length of this thread, it seems that some people have way too much time on their hands (ok – I will admit it’s kind of fun).

  65. Jay Hammers Says:

    I’ll be slime; you’re an ape.

  66. John Says:

    Of course Jay, just keep telling yourself that.

  67. hopeless_case Says:

    John:

    Kindly explain why a man should generally be expected to sacrifice himself for a woman in a titanic type situation.

    Because women generally nuture children (more so than men) and the loss of a mother is more devestating to a child than the loss of a father?

    What if the man has a number of children (not on the sinking ship but safe on shore) that depend on him and the woman has none?

    If your position is firmly grounded in common sense then you should be able to explain it if you take some time to reflect.

    If you absolutely refuse to do that, then I suspect your true reasons can’t stand the light of day.

  68. Danny Says:

    John:
    I just knew I’d get this response. Say what you will, and make all the arguments you want, but at the end of the day, a man that would do such things is still slime. So yes I guess I’m closed minded and not really interested in a debate.

    By the way looking at the length of this thread, it seems that some people have way too much time on their hands (ok – I will admit it’s kind of fun).

    You saw it coming yet you have no response for it other than, “I knew you’d say that.”

    So in vein with hopeless_case’s questions first why is it fair to expect that of anyone and two why is it fair to only expect that of men?

  69. John Says:

    Danny, hopeless_case:

    I don’t think I’m going to be able to explain this to you in a way that will register with you. I find the whole pseudo-intellectual/sociological tone of this thread fascinating.

    If you want to get into some kind of college level ethics debate, then this really is a waste of time. Utilitarianism vs. deontological ethics – which is right?

    This is not an argument “firmly grounded in common sense, ” rather common decency. It is purely an individual decision, but not immune to outside commentary.

    How would any of us truly behave in a “Titanic” situation – who knows. I would like to believe that I would behave in a fashion consistent with my basic moral values. If your value system includes stepping over women and children to save yourself, then, that speaks for itself.

  70. Danny Says:

    John:

    I would like to believe that I would behave in a fashion consistent with my basic moral values. If your value system includes stepping over women and children to save yourself, then, that speaks for itself.

    Precisely my point. If you chose to make such a choice because that is what your moral values dictate then by all means do so and won’t think any different of you. In fact you making that choice is what elevates you to status of being honored and remembered as a hero. However what I won’t stand for is the idea that you are somehow expected to make that choice for any other reason such as validating your manhood or the idea that your life is worth less that a woman’s or child’s. And I most certainly won’t stand for someone trying to call me or you or anyone who may not make that choice a coward simply because they did not make that choice.

    And who said anything about stepping over women and children. You’re trying make it sound like when disaster strikes we would actively push them aside to save our own skins. That is not what I’m talking about and wouldn’t approve of it even we were merely talking about pushing other men to the side for our own sake. What I mean are situations in which you go out of your way to perform an action that MIGHT save the other person and spell certain death for you. So despite your word twisting I’ll say that while I would not actively push them aside to save myself, I may or may not go back down into the flooded levels to make sure all the women and children made it out okay while risking my own death but if I don’t it does not mean that as a man that didn’t make that choice I deserve to be ridiculed for it.

    I don’t know if you’re doing it to make yourself feel better about making that choice but you seem hell bent on looking down on people who would not make that choice as if you are more of a man than they are.

    And you didn’t answer my earlier questions.
    1. Why is it fair to expect, or borderline demand, anyone to be willing to give their life up for another in the first place?
    2. More specifically why is it fair to only hold men to this expectation/demand?

    Many agree that children are more important that women. Based on this line of thought its okay to come down on women like a ton of bricks for not giving their lives up for children. Yet I’ve never heard of anyone calling women cowards for not giving their lives up for children.

  71. hopeless_case Says:

    John:

    you wrote:

    This is not an argument “firmly grounded in common sense, ” rather common decency.

    Moral values exist for very practical reasons. Treating other people decently makes sense. Consider the golden rule, for example. The people who treat others like they themselves want to be treated (with kindness and respect, mostly) add up to a society in which people cooperate and help each other out and everyone lives a better life. Those few who don’t treat other people with respect are generally isolated and resisted by the vast majority who do.

    Any real virtue can be defended with a similar analysis of the practical consequences of its widespread adoption or rejection.

    False virtues, however, can not be defended with such analysis.

    That you refuse to offer any such analysis in support of your rule that men should be willing to sacrifice themselves for women (and that women should *not* be willing to sacrifice themselves for men) tells me that your rule can’t stand the light of day.

    It’s nothing but anti-male bigotry.

  72. Jim Says:

    “I find the whole pseudo-intellectual/sociological tone of this thread fascinating. ”

    If you are going to use “pseudo-intellectual/sociological” as an insiult, then maybe you should avoid adopting the very same tone in the very same comment as delivers the attempted insult.

    What I find fascinating is your parochialism, or is it simply lack of life experience, in is blandly stating “First of all , in this day and age, it is highly unlikely that any of us will be faced with a “Titanic” type situation.”

    Wherever do you live that natural disasters are such a remote possiblity? I happen to live in a major urban area smack in the middle of a subduction zone, in the vicinity of a major volcano, and I am hardly unique. The whole West Coast is prone to earthquakes, the entire Gulf Coast and Florida are prone to hurricanes, the entire Midwest is prone to hugely destructive tornadoes and floods – I mena how does anyone make a statement such as yours with a straight face?

    And in any case your question is irerelvant, because as Danny points out, the issue is not decency between humans as disaster victims, it’s about gender roles and expectations. And it’s not some idle “college level ethics debate”; as it happens this issue is very much a real-world question. Right now UN food distribution sites in Haiti are turning men away and feeding only women.

  73. John Says:

    Danny, hopeless_cause, Jim:

    This is great fun. It really is like a college level ethics debate – OK now I’ll admit – what’s wrong with that, other than it does become a waste of time to a large degree, since no one ever convinces anyone else that their position is wrong.

    Danny:

    “And who said anything about stepping over women and children. You’re trying make it sound like when disaster strikes we would actively push them aside to save our own skins. That is not what I’m talking about and wouldn’t approve of it even we were merely talking about pushing other men to the side for our own sake. What I mean are situations in which you go out of your way to perform an action that MIGHT save the other person and spell certain death for you. So despite your word twisting I’ll say that while I would not actively push them aside to save myself, I may or may not go back down into the flooded levels to make sure all the women and children made it out okay while risking my own death…”

    Exactly right. I don’t suggest a duty to go back into a burning building for example. I don’t see much of disagreement here.

    hopeless_cause:

    “Any real virtue can be defended with a similar analysis of the practical consequences of its widespread adoption or rejection. ”

    This is where we get into the “waste of time,” because it now becomes an argument between different schools of ethical thought. I disagree with your conclusion, this is your ethical definition of virtue – but obviously there are many other schools which would differ with your definition.

    Who’s “right?” – round and round we go

    Jim:

    It sounds like you need to move, ouch.

    Widespread natural disasters present a whole new set of potential issues for sure, but – if a “classic” lifeboat or “orderly” evacuation scenario arises the principle is still the same.

    With regards to Haiti, this is from the 29 January 2010 UN press conference (http://www.un.org/News/briefings/docs/2010/100129_Holmes.doc.htm)

    “As for security matters, the focus of several questions, Mr. Holmes stressed that the ultimate objective was to make sure no one got injured at any of the food distribution points and that such operations were carried out in an orderly fashion. The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), along with troops from the United States and Canada, were coordinating to secure most sites before major food distribution occurred. At those that were not secure, he said, the situation tended to deteriorate.

    “We’re trying to make sure that the food doesn’t go to the same strong young men who fight their way to the front every time,” he said, adding that the vast majority of the food drops went ahead with long, but orderly queues.”

  74. hopeless_case Says:

    John:

    This is where we get into the “waste of time,” because it now becomes an argument between different schools of ethical thought. I disagree with your conclusion, this is your ethical definition of virtue – but obviously there are many other schools which would differ with your definition.

    Who’s “right?” – round and round we go

    You are trying to have it both ways. Either ethics have significant consequences in the real world or they don’t: pick one. I think ethics have very real consequences. do you think that or not? If you do, start naming the consequences you are aware of and find relevant to this case.

    I think some of the consequences of the old “women before men” rule, back when society was not so secure, was to protect women from imminent harm so society would not suffer a crushing numerical loss from which it could not recover.

    The consequences of this rule now that society is vastly more secure are that there is a bias against men’s safety and women’s adulthood. Women are not thought worthy of being leaders because they are like children that need to be protected from harm and not like adults that can face possible death and bodily harm with their eyes open.

    Perhaps you realize this consequence all too well and that’s why you like the rule.

    As I said earlier, I suspected your real reasons wouldn’t stand the light of day.

  75. hopeless_case Says:

    John:

    Jim:

    It sounds like you need to move, ouch.

    Jim’s point was that even in a powerful, secure country like the U.S., natural disasters can and do happen regularly, and trying to avoid having to wrestle with the ethics of natural disasters is not realistic.

  76. Danny Says:

    hopless:

    Jim’s point was that even in a powerful, secure country like the U.S., natural disasters can and do happen regularly, and trying to avoid having to wrestle with the ethics of natural disasters is not realistic.

    Seriously. If that were the case then no one would be able to live:
    in California or most of the west coast because of earthquakes and summertime fires.
    on the gulf coast all the way around to east coast up to about Virgina because of hurricanes and flooding.
    on the east coast from Maryland on up because of snow storms
    in the Midwest because of tornados

    By the time its all said and done we would all be living in a space from about the Dakotas out to Washington state. And imagine if you were to take this little idea global…

  77. hopeless_case Says:

    John:

    Exactly right. I don’t suggest a duty to go back into a burning building for example. I don’t see much of disagreement here.

    Danny was calling you on your assertion that men should sacrifice themselves in a titanic type situation and that women should not. Of course you disagree with him.

    BTW, I am not sure I get the relevance of your quotation regarding Haiti to the current discussion. You quoted it because it shows how people are dealing with a current natural disaster and it seems to align more with the ‘women before men’ principle that you are defending, thus implying that it is a practical principle?

  78. John Says:

    Danny, hopeless_cause:

    Ok now see what you’ve done – you’ve gotten me sucked into this vortex too! Don’t get too hung up on my intentionally smart-ass comment on Jim needing to move. Relax a little. As I said: “Widespread natural disasters present a whole new set of potential issues for sure, but – if a “classic” lifeboat or “orderly” evacuation scenario arises the principle is still the same.”

    hopeless_case:

    I understand what you are saying. I think you might be missing my point, however. Again, it all boils down to what ethical school you adhere to. I’m sure you are aware of this. I get the impression that you are of more of a utilitarianism bent – I am not. I consider myself more of a deontologist. We can go round and round forever and it won’t change anyone’s mind.

    Oh BTW, I included the Haiti info because Jim stated that only women were being provided food at camps and that men were being turned away. Not quite what was going on – “We’re trying to make sure that the food doesn’t go to the same strong young men who fight their way to the front every time.”

    Danny:

    From what you’ve said, I really don’t think we have much a fundamental disagreement. I agree exactly with what you’ve said regarding the classic Titanic type situation. By including other men into the women and children group, I think you’ve taken even more of an admirable position.

  79. Danny Says:

    I think we are close to agreeing John so I’m gonna just lay it out there and ask if you agree.

    If a man actively chooses that go out of his way and risk his life to save a woman because that is what his moral code dictates then I have no problem with it. What I do have a problem is teasing, ridiculing, and shaming men who do no make such a choice. My question to you is: Is it right to tease, shame, and ridicule men because they choose not to go out of their way and risk their lives to save a woman or child?

    2 Scenarios
    1. Five people in a combat unit get ambused. While running for cover one of the five is hit in the leg and she goes down in the open on the ground with no cover. One of the other four men goes out drags her to safety, but takes one in the back and dies. Now that one man is honored and remembered as a hero and at the same time I would dare you to find a person that would try to shame the other three for not doing the same.

    2. Cruise ship is going down. Instead of going to the life boats a group of men hear the sound of a screaming woman. One of them turns back and heads to lower decks. By the time he gets there the area is flooded. He is able to get to her and get her to safety but in the attempt he gashes his leg open on a jagged piece of metal and bleeds to death before he can get help. While I have no problem honoring that man why is it that when it comes to light that there were other men that heard her screaming but didn’t go to help they are shamed?

    Oh BTW, I included the Haiti info because Jim stated that only women were being provided food at camps and that men were being turned away. Not quite what was going on – “We’re trying to make sure that the food doesn’t go to the same strong young men who fight their way to the front every time.”
    If that is the case then why not just say like that unlike the folks at Salon going through long drawn out posts about how “women are more concnered about the family while men are just looking out for themselves” nonsense. Some of those strong young men might be fighting to get to the front because they are trying to help their families too. You know doing that whole “provider” role that men have been doing for ages.* And really wonder if its just the ones that are pushing to the front that are being turned away or are they just blanketly turning away all men.

    * – No that does not mean that being the provider gives them the right to push people out of the way to get to supplies I’m saying it means that it is a bit dishonest at best and outright unfair at worst to just assume that the men pushing to the front are only looking out for themselves.

  80. Jim Says:

    ‘Don’t get too hung up on my intentionally smart-ass comment on Jim needing to move. ”

    Good advice. I didn’t get bent over it; the Seattle area is beautuiful and worth the risk. Everyplace has its risks, either natural – China, Japan, California, Kansas, etc – or man-made – Europe, the Middle east, etc – and you just cope.

    My bigger still stands – anywhere you live you can get intothese real-life situations that require you to make triage decisions, you as an an individual. and everyone else’s point still stands too – the cultural norm is that women get valued over men, as much as if they were children, and that is unacceptable – unless maybe, just maybe, if the women has some instrumental value to some child, someone who has a truly valid claim on special protection. Otherewise she should just be lumped in the rest of us dog-meat.

  81. Jay Hammers Says:

    “Oh BTW, I included the Haiti info because Jim stated that only women were being provided food at camps and that men were being turned away. Not quite what was going on – “We’re trying to make sure that the food doesn’t go to the same strong young men who fight their way to the front every time.””

    If that were the case they’d enforce providing food to both men and women, not just women. It’s a transparent lie.

  82. Johm Says:

    Danny, Jim:

    Danny:

    I absolutely agree with what you are saying in your examples. Re-entering a sinking ship, or a free-fire zone (or a burning building) to rescue another certainly rises to the level of heroism, well “above and beyond” the call of duty, in my opinion. Highly admirable behavior, I’d say, but not expected.

    This still leaves the question of the “lifeboat” situation. My position on this remains the same, and doesn’t sound much different from yours.

    As far as Haiti, I doubt there is a conspiracy to prevent men for obtaining food – whatever their motives might be – but rather a recognition of the need for preventing the strong from depriving the weaker of their needs. However, who knows what’s really happening there – maybe we’ll find out later.

    Jim:

    Seattle is cool. I think we may have to agree to disagree on the rest Pure triage decisions are made on urgency of need for care / likelihood of survival. The “who gets in the lifeboat” situation is different. Ultimately it comes down to what an individual regards as morally or ethically “right” and I still stand by my position in this regard. Women and children first.

  83. Danny Says:

    This still leaves the question of the “lifeboat” situation. My position on this remains the same, and doesn’t sound much different from yours.

    Just we’re clear though. In the life boat situation you would give up your spot in line to a woman. Cool. Is it right to ridicule a man that wouldn’t do the same? I’m not talking about a man that pushes people out of the way to get to the front I’m talking about people lined up waiting for the boats to come.

    Honesty I don’t know what I would do and that is reason enough for me to not shame another man who won’t do the same as you.

    And as for Haiti if those guys are pushing to front then yes they need to be restrained and those that can’t push to the front need to be looked out for. My problem like I said is the “those men are pushing to front and only thinking of themselves while the women that can’t are actually looking out for their families.” As with the life boat situation when bad things happen people can go off the beaten path so to speak. I don’t like the idea that those men are being painted up as brutes that are only looking out for themselves. How many of those men are doing that because their families are immobile and they are the only that can go out for food? How many of those men lost all their family and are scared from having to fend totally for themselves (I don’t even want to think about the terror of going from having a loving supporting family to all alone in the world in a single day.), a consideration that I’m sure is being extended to women who have lost all their family. No one is taking the time to ask those questions and just writing them off as violent men trying to rob women of valuable supplies. Almost reminds me of Katrina when white people were “scavenging” for food but black people were “looting” food.

  84. Jay Hammers Says:

    If ethics are undefendable they’re unethical.

  85. hopeless_case Says:

    Regarding the situation in Haiti, I wonder exactly what is going on in the food distribution lines. I think we being told a very incomplete story.

    If men are pushing their way to the front of those lines without caring about other people, and lines in which only women are allowed don’t result in the stronger women pushing to the front, then why don’t the stronger men just hang back from the distribution areas and ambush the women once they leave the protected area?

    For that matter, why don’t the men just wait in the villages until the women come back with the food, then take the food from them there?

  86. hopeless_case Says:

    Danny:

    No one is taking the time to ask those questions and just writing them off as violent men trying to rob women of valuable supplies. Almost reminds me of Katrina when white people were “scavenging” for food but black people were “looting” food.

    I hadn’t thought of that parallel. Excellent connection.

  87. Pelle Billing Says:

    Danny and hopeless_case: Excellent remarks.

  88. Jim Says:

    “Pure triage decisions are made on urgency of need for care / likelihood of survival.”

    In some settings yes, in some no. In military settings triage is determined first by the organizational value of the individuals under consideration. Pilots get better care than officers, officers better than enlisted, infantry better than suppply types. What you are suggetsing by putting women and children first is exactly the same thing.

    And just for the record, when you say “I still stand by my position in this regard. Women and children first.” you are in effect equating women with children. That is a grossly sexist and derogatory insult to the women in my life. I don’t tolerate adult weaklings in my life, and a lot of that is due to the formative influence of very strong women in my childhood. I have nothing but contempt for any female over 18 who expects the same protection or consideration I would give a child. I think such a person is utterly despicable.

  89. hopeless_case Says:

    John:

    Ultimately it comes down to what an individual regards as morally or ethically “right” and I still stand by my position in this regard. Women and children first.

    Suppose your wife and children are safe on shore and your 10yo daughter needs a lobe of your liver as a transplant to survive and it is unlikely that another match to her (besides you) will be found in time.

    Suppose further that the woman about to take the last spot in the lifeboat is an acquaintence of yours and you know that she doesn’t have a husband or any children (or any other family members that are depending on her like your daughter is on you).

    Are you still going to give up the last spot for your acquaintence?

    It’s no longer a choice between a man or a woman surviving, but between one woman or a female child and her father.

    Do your moral code still require you to step aside?

  90. Jay Hammers Says:

    Easy, hopeless_case. Choose the one with the vagina.

  91. Gender and TV/Movie Violence « ethecofem Says:

    [...] recently I’ve been milling over two posts by Pelle Billing about male disposability. Well one thing that I’ve noticed about male [...]

  92. ubernerd Says:

    John said:

    hopeless_case:
    I understand what you are saying. I think you might be missing my point, however. Again, it all boils down to what ethical school you adhere to. I’m sure you are aware of this. I get the impression that you are of more of a utilitarianism bent – I am not. I consider myself more of a deontologist. We can go round and round forever and it won’t change anyone’s mind.

    I’m not aware that the discussion has come down to an opposition of utilitarianism vs deontologism. What is it that make you think the principle of ethics is in dispute? Your impression that hopeless_case being more of a utilitarianism bent seems ungrounded to me. Nowhere did he say ethics can be reduced to consequences. Actually he gives me the opposite impression, if indeed in whatever sense we can say deontologism is opposite to utilitarianism. His exposition of his own moral reasoning sounds very similar to Kant’s maxim: “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.”.

    hopeless_case said:

    Moral values exist for very practical reasons. Treating other people decently makes sense. Consider the golden rule, for example. The people who treat others like they themselves want to be treated (with kindness and respect, mostly) add up to a society in which people cooperate and help each other out and everyone lives a better life. Those few who don’t treat other people with respect are generally isolated and resisted by the vast majority who do.

    Any real virtue can be defended with a similar analysis of the practical consequences of its widespread adoption or rejection.

    False virtues, however, can not be defended with such analysis.

    It is not clear that hopeless_case thought any law derived from this principle should be held as universally applicable, which is implied of deontologism. But nonetheless what he said does not reflect any motivation of reducing ethical judgement to evaluation of consequences and only evaluation of consequences. Indeed, the last sentence explicitly expressed a concern for virtues, which is by virtue not consequentialism. I see little reason to associate him with utilitarianism, and even less to summarize the disputes of this discussion is of the kind of deontologism vs utilitarianism.

  93. Ken Says:

    74% of the women on board were saved and 52% of the children, but only 20% of the men. It would seem women came before children but we need to remember that about have of those children may have been boys so maybe most of the 48% that died were boys.

    Some said women may come first because they can bear children. IF there were a shortage of women this would make sense but there is NO shortage of women of child bearing age in the world today. Also, many of the women who were saved were well passed child bearing age and were saved simply because they were female while many men that were in the prime of life died simply because they were male. Feminist try to claim that wealthy men were saved while steerage class women died. This is not true. More a far higher % of steerage class women were saved than wealth men.

    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.

    As to the plane in the Hudson, I wonder how many of those women were feminist. I wonder how many demanded they be treated equal to the men who were ordered to stay until all the women were safe. Odd is it not that they demand to be equal unless it is to their advantage to be treated special?

  94. Pelle Billing Says:

    Ken,

    Thanks for you comment.

    I just want to say that I believe that boys and girls were likely treated the same way, as long as they were prepubertal children.

    Men have always been expendable, but preferably for a reason. Ie men are valuable to the extent that you want to expend men in the way wich provides the most value for a culture. So boys are just as worthy of protection as girls, since you don’t want to expend a boy until he becomes a man and can be used in a way which is beneficial for the culture.

    However, cultural rules are usually simplistic, so the rationale for their existence may not always guide how the rule is applied. The same goes for limiting women’s freedom in the past.

  95. Kris Says:

    Pelle, I really enjoy your writing, even when I disagree or question some things that you write. I think that what you say is incredibly important. This particular blog is interesting, and there are some comments that I might make at another time, but this time around i want to address the comments made on here by EIVIND.
    Att’n EIVIND:
    Eivind, goodness me, although your saturated self-righteousness would never allow you to see this, your approach is dripping with patronising, smug, self importance, and you use words very cleverly to create exactly the ‘I am right and you are wrong’ energy that you so patronisingly caution others against. I mean, seriously mate, eeeeewwwww! Immature, I know, compared to your skilled mastery of new age vernacular, but that is what I get when I read your passive aggressive drivel….eeewwwwww! It makes my skin crawl. The way you deal with people on here is so disempowering and deliberately (though disguised) humiliating and so horribly righteous, but you have the language skills and self belief (pathalogical!) to frame it in a way that makes you sound so new Age and sensitive and right. Mate, you are guessing like the rest of us, just trying to get through like the rest of us; if you were even nearly as evolved as your self-obsession tells you you are you would learn some humility. True humility, not the false ego version that your ego is right now telling you to respond that you have.
    That said, Eivind…… men are here on this plane to serve women?? That is our entire reason for manifesting here?? Man, that is a theory, not a fact. Which I think is what Erik was trying to get at, but you passive-aggressively attacked him (oh yes you did, even though right now your little mind is going ‘no, brother, I don’t attack, I’m too evolved’), and used the fact that you are better with words than him to put him down, and he gave up. I am sure that you are used to that, and see yourself as having made some kind of point to him, but man, in your own new age terms, you are darkening your own soul with your smug continued conviction that you are in the right. (Erik, hang in there, and be true to yourself, don’t feel disempowered by knobs like Eivind). Anyway, ‘men are here on this plane to serve women’….just a theory, and very, VERY similar (in reverse) to the Scriptural interpretations, ALSO THEORIES, that were used to keep women in servitude for so many centuries. Is ‘serving women is your reason for existence, brother, if you were really spiritual you would understand’, any different to the crap that women were fed about God placing men above them? Eivind, if you weren’t so damaging, i would just laugh and say eeewwww, what a silly, self-righteous, smug wanker. But you are damaging, and the nature of your righteousness is that you will go through life convinced that you are evolved. Sad.

  96. Eivind F S Says:

    Wooooee, Kris – what a message to wake up to. Though it may be hard for you to believe, I really enjoyed reading it. I actually smiled and laughed a good belly laughter. I don’t expect you to believe that, but then I don’t expect you to believe anything I say given your image of me.

    I’m not gonna read through this thread now – it’s so old, but if I remember right, there’s probably a little bit of truth to what you’re saying. I’ve been eating a lot of humble pie the last year and recognized that I *have* been using languaging to protect myself from past wounds. I’m in an important process with that now and I’m enjoying the level of intimacy and authenticity it gives in relationships with women and my Brothers.

    Now I am curious – did it feel good to name me a self-proclaimed Jesus and then crucify me?

    E

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  98. Eivind F S Says:

    In the interest of full disclosure, I have taken the lesson from this thread and started “The Humble Pie project” over on my own site.

    http://www.masculinity-movies.com/blog/the-humble-pie-project-slice-1

    Thanks, Kris, for inspiring this idea.

  99. Moe Says:

    1. Men do other things in this world besides impregnate women. If majority of men died, you’d have major labour shortages – and these are kinds of jobs that women are unwilling to do. You’ll have major shortages in fields such as research, engineering, math, software development, etc. In fact there will be only a few fields that won’t be seriously effected. Even in the past, you had things that were very important to survival that only men did (either fully or for the most part). Being able to reproduce isn’t the end-all. All you have done is delayed the inevitable, not stopped it. In fact, some manginas and femmies say that if the majority of the men died, the world wouldn’t be seriously effected. Clearly they have little idea what they’re talking about.

    2. This argument will hurt the manginas and entitled princesses more. What about women who are infertile? Ones who have been through menopause? In fact, these women are at the very bottom of the barrel when it comes to being able to reproduce – they can’t reproduce themselves and can’t get anyone else pregnant. At least men can impregnate a woman. These women have zero worth, if we’re to be consistent with the whole logic being presented to us. In case of a disaster, these women should get the absolute last preference when it comes to saving them, right?

  100. Shattered Men Says:

    There are many areas where we have women first. Health care is one of them. Hostage situations and war are two others. By this I mean that society saves the women even if it is at the cost of the lives of more men.

    I posted this on the National Organization of Women Website. (in one of their forums)In reality, we have always heard about the health care gap in favor of men. There never was a gap in favor of men. When the NIH retracted that statement (February 21, 2001) we did not hear a word about it. Breast cancer gets many times the funding that prostate cancer gets and much more is spent on women’s health even though men die from all but 2 of the top 15 deadly diseases more often and at an earlier age. I heard more about breast cancer during prostate cancer awareness week than I did about prostate cancer and although heart disease still kills a much larger number of men at an earlier age, we only hear about RED for women’s heart disease now. Men can go to the back of the bus once again, or better yet, let’s throw men UNDER the bus!

    As to the draft, I do not hear NOW or any other feminist organization screaming to draft women too and to give equally risky assignments in the military. Yes, women make up about a third of those in our two wars BUT they account for less then 1% of those coming home in body bags.

    Speaking of which, what is NOW’s position on “women first” when it comes time to rescue people from dangerous places. The Oxygen Network had a billboard in Chicago bragging about women getting into the life boats first yet I have heard many feminist tell us that wealthy men were saved more often than women in other classes. In reality, the number one reason someone died on that day is that they were MALE. Those in charge worked hard at keeping men out of the life boats and often keep boys over 12 out of them too. They were expected to die just like the men. The sad fact is that many of the life boats were only half full but many refused to pick up men who were freezing to death in the waters. Had they not been too busy keeping men out and had everyone had a chance ALL the females could have been saved along with about two hundred more of the men who died needlessly

    Yet today in our age of demanding equality, the feminist screams of equality are unheard when it still is women first from a jet that landed in the Hudson to a hostage crisis where the police as a first request is to let the women go, knowing that when all the females are safe, it is much more likely that an armed assault will be done and hostages will be killed but that is OK…they will be MALE.

    Another area the silence of feminist equality is deafening is in “choice”. Feminist demand women’s choice but there is no such demand for choice except if a woman wants a child, he can pay up (and often never get to see the child he is paying for) or he can go to jail. I know of at least two 12 year old boys who were ordered to pay child support to adult women who had sex with them. No charges…just pay your child support!

    When I hear NOW come out that men should have a choice to walk away from all of their responsibility much as any woman can today with no questions asked as she can terminate the pregnancy or she can give it up for adoption or turn the baby over to a safe haven location and walk away from ALL her responsibility no questions ask…Men do not have that option and often may be forced to pay child support for a child that the mother knows is not even his even when he can prove it. Paternity fraud is one of the few crimes the criminal not only gets away with, but is rewarded for the next 18 years. Sort of like having someone steal your brand new car and then find out the judge says the thief can keep the car but you have to keep making the payments and pay for the insurance and gas.

    When NOW starts demanding equality in these areas….then and only then will I believe they want equality. Until then, I will only believe you want Power and Control!

    Many places now, when there is a disaster and food is being given, men need not get in line, the food and other aide is for women only.

    Remember, the feminist want women first in anything that is good. Men can go first if it is a risk of life.

  101. carol Says:

    In several shipwrecks in the 1800s where the “women and children first” was ignored or not implemented, men were using their size and strength to SHOVE women and children aside so they could get in the boats first. More men survived than women and children. Sometimes, no women or children survived at all. “Women and children first” gave women and children A CHANCE. Just a part of history people don’t know about or conveniently forget.

  102. chicory Says:

    Age has been largely overlooked in this discussion. My own feeling is that the infirm and elderly should receive first positioning along with the children, but I don’t see this as being utilitarian. Perhaps it falls under the “Do unto others” maxim, as the young and healthy of any age or sex may want to help the parents and children of others as they would hope their own less-able loved ones would be helped. Really, it comes down to the individual and whether they see themselves as the one who saves or the one who needs saving.

  103. Ken Says:

    Chicory, I do disagree with part of your statement, that the infirm and elderly should get first postioning along with children. How many more could be safed if a lot of extra time was not taken to get those groups in life boats? And no, I am not saying this because it would not directly effect me, I am 65 and will be having a double knee replacement later this month so it does effect me but If I were on a ship that was sinking. I would gladly give my postion up to a young father so his children would still have a father. I do not think anyone should be expected to die simply because they are MALE while women count on living simply because they are female. In our society, women are getting all the rights while men have to pay the price for them to have those rights while men are left in the cold. It is like expecting starving men to pay for a pie and that pie is giving to well fed women while he is still left starving. Yet we do not hear the feminst screaming about these inequalites while they are all yelling we want EQUAL rights.

    Besides. I KNOW where I am going when I die. I already have my reservation and it is assured by blood….the blood of Jesus Christ.

  104. chicory Says:

    @Ken– “I would gladly give my postion up to a young father so his children would still have a father. ”

    That is what I mean; you see yourself as someone who saves rather than someone who needs saving. Another elderly or infirm person might not be willing to give up their position.

    I remember that guy whose plane crashed in the Potomac years ago– he kept giving the lifeline sent to him to others, both male and female, young and old. He ended up drowning because he chose to save others.

  105. Valerie Says:

    This is what happens when you assume yourselves to be physically superior to the opposite sex. You think we’re weak and unable to take care of ourselves, so you end up dying to give us protection you claim we need. This will be the case until you admit we are capable of fending for ourselves, but you won’t do that because you have the pathetic need to feel superior to someone. Did you earn that right to claim superiority by actually besting the women you say are inferior? No, so you need to rely on your genitals and say, “I have a penis, therefore people with penises have to be superior to those without!” Either admit equality or keep dying for us. You don’t get it both ways.

  106. Vladimir Says:

    Valerie,

    Do you feel like marching 20km per day while carrying 20-30 Kilos of equipment on 30+ degrees Celsius and risk getting shot, injured, killed, captured, tortured/raped in a battlefield while being responsible for the safety of others around you?
    (to be honest, I have not done military service my self either)

    How do you feel about being a firefighter, doing 12 hour shifts, going out to put out a fire at 3am on -10 degrees Celsius, spending 2-3 hours outside getting wet, and exposing your self to scorching heat, only to freeze your ass off when you’re done cause you’re soaked wet, and the jacket you’re wearing starts solidifying from water turning to ice? (actually done this)

    What was that? You’re going to the closest firehouse to volunteer for a few shifts? Great! :D

    And how do you feel about every men being considered a potential rapist until proven otherwise?

  107. Tony Says:

    These days everyone should be treated equal. Outside of the mating ritual (guys and girls trying to butter each other up). Population is…. not really a problem anymore so the chances at needing to rebuild civilization with babies is not really a factor. As for chivalry… that seemed to be around when the whole gender thing was more divided. I can say ya its good for the guy to help? To me that seems to degrade women saying that they arnt capable of helping? Its situational when it comes to who gets saved first but i think gender should be the last thing that is taken into account. Definally kids should go first in my opinion.

    I dont believe women ask for it and i dont blame guys for questioning it society habits seem hard to break but the whole “feminism girls are fragile flowers that need to be protected” and “chivalry guys need to protect anything with a pulse” are hard concepts to break. No offense to any guys or girls.

  108. lebro Says:

    This is always something that has bothered me. Of course children in general cant take care of themselves as much as an able bodied man. But women can, theres no innate reason that women should come before men in a life/death type thing. Maybe parents and children first but then that devalues the childless people. And where do teenagers fall, adults or kids? I say everyone help to get the young people / disabled (but not necessarily elderly) off and then first come first served as to who gets off. “First come fisrt serve” may sound cruel but we basically have that now except stratified


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