4/16/2006

Reflection on Chivalry

94 years ago yesterday, the "ship that couldn't sink" did. One of the most famous disasters in history, the sinking of the Titanic stands as a monument to arrogance and pride. And yet...

If you judge by the numbers, the Titanic is also an outstanding example of chivalry. Twenty per cent of the men on board survived, while nearly seventy-five per cent of the women survived. Once upon a time, "women and children first" was more than a slogan or a trite phrase. It represented a cultural expectation that men would sacrifice their own safety to protect the "weaker vessels." (Yeah, I know it's horribly un-PC of me to say it that way using Biblical language. Deal with it.) And even under intense and unexpected pressure, when the chips were down, most of the men did the right thing.

If chivalry is truly dead (which seems to be the goal of some), we are all--men and women--poorer for it.

1 Comments:

At 10:00 AM, Blogger Jeff said...

Hmm, I'd forgotten that was in April. It is such a compelling story. A mix of hubris, luxury, lower classes, and tragedy.

 

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