Chaos on the Costa Concordia

Byline: | Category: Culture, Economy, Foreign Policy | Posted at: Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Via Glenn I learned that there is a great deal of debate over the failure of the “women and children first” rule to apply to the crash of the Costa Concordia.  It would appear that the consensus opinion is that either: (a) this is evidence of the coarsening of society in the hundred years since the wreck of the Titanic, or (b) this is evidence of the “victory” of the women’s right movement to overcome not just the barriers of sexism, but also its protections.

I would like to suggest a third reason, but one that is no less troubling in its implications:  the chaos came about because it was an Italian ship.

Last night I had dinner with some Canadian friends who also live here in Germany.  They had just returned from a ski weekend and we shared the same observation.   It is on crowded Alpine slopes where one learns first-hand of the vast differences in how various nationalities approach the concept of order.

Formed by the collision of the European and Mediterranean tectonic plates, this mountain range is a metaphoric division of two very different cultures.  It is on this boundary where the residents of those two cultures meet on holiday weekends.

The British queue even if it’s a queue of one.  Should an interloper attempt to cut the lift line, the English response is to politely inform the intruder that there is a queue.  Germans also queue, but they aren’t polite to the interloper.  They crossly inform intruders, in German, that they are in the wrong.  The occasional American skiing the Alps tends to start off polite like the Brit, however, should the line-cutter not oblige, is apt to forcefully enforce the queue.  All three nationalities, along with Scandinavians, Dutch, Austrians, Swiss, and the rare Canuck, share the same basic recognition that those already in the queue have higher priority, and will therefore “wait their turn.”

Italians, especially southern Italians, do not respect this concept on the slopes.  Those already ahead of them when they arrive at the lift are an obstacle to be overcome, not to be waited out.  Pushing, elbows, and skiing across the top of your own skis are all permitted according to Italian rules.

You see this on the roads too.  On the autobahns of Germany, the right lane is where you drive unless you are passing, after which you return immediately to the right.  It is this adherance to order that makes it possible for trucks travelling 100 kilometers per hour to co-exist with cars moving twice as fast.  On Italy’s autostrada, two lanes is just a suggestion.  Three cars abreast is not uncommon, as a faster car coming upon two slower travellers, passes his way forward, often on the right.

Spaniards are like this too.  French are far more Italian than they are German.  And Greeks?  Well, I can’t say, because I don’t think I’ve ever seen any Greeks skiing–probably because they can’t afford to.

Gross generalizations?  Sure.  There are rule-breaking Germans and orderly Italians.  (The latter perhaps because they hail from the northen part of Italy that until 1919 was Austria.)  But the stereotypes are true enough to give you a sense of a country’s culture. 

In German restaurants after the waitress has brought you your meal, she will return to ask, “Alles in ordnung?”  Instead of asking if she can get you anything else, she wonders, “Is everything in order?”  Order is everything.  Certainly, Germans take it to an extreme, as I complained last week.  But German order is preferable to Italian anarchy–at least in small doses.

To those who view this weekend’s catastrophe as evidence of the end of civility, I say, cheer up.  Had it been a German or British ship that went down in the North Sea, I submit that the scene would have been far more reminiscent of the Titanic’s “women and children first” rule, than the chaos of the Costa Concordia. 

On the other hand, the Concorida gives witness to the unbridgeable divide in Europe.  The Continent is two cultures separated by a common currency.  Economic chaos is the inevitable result.  And women and children may end up being the first thrown overboard.

UPDATE:  Thanks to Glenn and Rand for the links.  While you’re here, take a look around.

MORE: 

Theodore Dalrymple:  “Greeks aren’t Germans.”  True dat.  And neither are they Irish or Italian.  The EU, both in population and in physical size, approximates that of the United States.  Don’t let that fool you.  Cultural differences (akin to that scary “stereotype” thing some label as bigoted) are real.  And they are far greater than the East Coast-West Coast, North-South, urban-rural, black-white divides that you find in the United States.  Don’t let the common currency fool you; Europe is a concept not a country.  This is the European Disunion.  The “E.D.”  Make all the erectile dysfunction jokes you like.

Read the whole thing.

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50 Responses to “Chaos on the Costa Concordia”

  1. Denver Says:

    Your second point? Classic case of baby being thrown out with the bath water.

    We have sown the wind now we shall reap the whirlwind.

  2. Mendicant Optimist Says:

    I have inlaws from Austria who say that you can tell when you’ve crossed the border into Italy because the telephone poles go from being precisely vertical to leaning slightly to either side.

  3. kcom Says:

    That was my initial thought, too. If it had been a British ship, or at least a British captain, things would have gone very differently.

  4. Helveticus Says:

    Bob, About 2 years ago I was on a Mediterranean cruise on a ship belonging to a competing Italian cruise line (MSC). Italians made up about 75% of the passengers, I would guess. Nobody likes crass generalizations, but OK here comes one, anyway: Day in, day out, I was galled by how inconsiderate the Italians were. When it came to any situation in which I believe a Yank would naturally defer with a smile, for example allow a lady to go first in the breakfast buffet line, or hold the door open for someone, the Italians never ever behaved in a similarly polite manner. In fact it was as if I were invisible – they simply barged ahead of me, or let the door swing shut while my family and I were 2 steps behind them. I got to saying “grazie mille” with a sarcastic smile each time this happened – no avail. Never once did I get an “Oh I’m so sorry…” So when I read about the Costa Concordia, I hate to say it but the first thought that ran through my mind was how chaotic, take-no-prsioners I was sure the evacuation must have been. “Women and children be damned. I want mine.” Sad.

  5. Brian Says:

    Good post, BK.

    In the captain’s defense, unlike the Titanic, it did not appear that this ship had a mild list while sinking so that order could be momentarily maintained. Conversely, I don’t think being found hiding under a blanket on a tender is going to get him the benefit of the doubt.

    At least Mussolini made the ships sink on time.
    Hrm, maybe not.

    Just for argument’s sake, why are people insisting on women and children first? It’s all “equality, equality, equality” until the ship starts sinking. Then it’s Me First and won’t anyone uphold the Chivalry.

  6. m.leonard Says:

    Could not agree more!.I have long said the ability to stand in line is one of the two incredibly significant contributions of the Brits to an ungrateful world.It is one of the cardinal virtues in establishing civility.
    The other ?
    the game of cricket!
    At one time .the essence of cricket was FAIR PLAY.You did not wait for he umpire to declare a catch ,you knew it and left.hence terms like “it’s not cricket” or for a dilemma -’a sticky wicket” entered the lingua franca.
    But,in a society where ‘pointe d’ honor ” (Spain., Italy, Latin America ) prevails,there is no place for civility nor fairness.
    A jungle is preferred.

  7. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater Says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zisjRgcuL9k

    Women, children, red indians, spacemen, and sort of idealized versions of complete renaissance men first!

  8. Thomas Hazlewood Says:

    There’s likely a lot of truth in your observation.

    Back in the ’80′s, when I served in Korea, going to a Korean movie house was to see a herd pushing it’s way to the ticket box. No order, no queue, just everyone fighting to get the desired item.

    My wife of 33 years, Korean, was with me when were returning from an appointment, once. Two roads met in a ‘T’ and both were backed up. When we got to where they met she was surprised to see that, in each line of cars, one would wait and allow ONE car from the other line to advance and join on the raod leading out. Each, in turn, would allow one car in the other ahead, an orderly, unenforced, procedure in which everyone benefitted. No cops directing traffic, just a communal acceptance that we all could get ahead together, that we didn’t have to play cutthroat to get ahead.

    Would you see that in Italy? Spain? Korea? Greece?

    And, what do those type of countries have in common in their history? Predatory governments and monarchies, frequent domination by foreign powers and cultures. Their breakdown in cohesiveness and culture, and hence, civility, is directly attributable to such.

  9. babygiraffes Says:

    Yes, and black people are terrible tippers (the ones who aren’t on welfare and food stamps) and Jews are money grubbing, and Mexicans are lazy, the list goes on of bigot stereotypes. Your column is a load of crap. I’m 2nd gen Italian, my father was born there, my grandparents only spoke Italian at home and I visited Italy over 20 times- your description of “queues” is bullshit, frankly. I think the more likely explanation is that you, and anyone who takes a ski vacation, is usually an asshole.

    Ed: So your retort criticizing my generalization is . . . a generalization? And over on your website, your most recent post includes this gem: “Colin Firth and Guy Pearce do a great job of realistically depicting the entitled, snobbish, pampered, unintelligent, effete, lazy, ignorant, xenophobic and repugnant British royalty.”

    Wow. Pot meet kettle.

  10. RN Says:

    It won’t matter much when the Italian demographic shifts in a couple generations to being majority Muslim. Then there will be no issues with “women and children” first, right?

  11. MassJim Says:

    My worst experience during my travels by far was when I encountered a group of Italian teenage tourists in the Eiffel Tower. They were yelling, pushing and shoving so much that I was afraid someone would get hurt or worse. It was by far the scariest thing I have ever seen in a crowded place. So the behavior of the Italian crew and passengers does not surprise me at all. Too bad, it is a shame, because I have had some wonderful experiences while traveling in Italy, but I now watch myself in crowds while there.

  12. Six Meat Buffet » Blog Archive » EqualityPlus Fails The Crash Test Says:

    [...] More:  Herr Krumm [...]

  13. Davis Says:

    National characteristics were once so commonly understood that they could be reliably used in comic reference, but lately we have been told that this is stereotyping, the near kin of racism.

    Some national characteristics seem to be in decline, though unfortunately they seem usually to be the virtuous ones.

    The Eurozone crisis and this disaster gives us hope that those differences are still there, that virtue and folly are still distinguished and that the modern world is not hopeless.

    Some crockery must likely be broken to get back where we should be and the process may not be gentle, but we may hope that some lessons might be learnt from it.

  14. comatus Says:

    How ironic that one of history’s greatest seafaring nations should be known only by their failures, ever since one Roman army failed to show up at Carthage.

    The Comati do not “cruise.” Crossing saltwater is imprinted in the family consciousness along with escaping tyrants, returning to fight tyrants, and a fatal attempt to reclaim confiscated fortune. We are landsmen now, and we have airplanes.

    My sister has a boat on a lake. So far, I have bought it a flare pistol, an emergency backup starter, and new life vests. Her birthday is coming up, and I think she’s getting a little dinghy.

    As Heyerdahl or Bligh could tell you, boating doesn’t always bring out the best in people. Wonder how this would have gone down on an American-flagged vessel? Heh. Keep wondering.

  15. Fox2! Says:

    “To stand and be still, In the Birkenhead Drill…”

    eh, not so much.

  16. Tantor Says:

    I was on an Alitalia flight to Milan some years ago and was surprised to find all the Italians jump up and start unloading their baggage from the overhead bins after our jumbo jet turned off the runway and was taxiing to the terminal, right after the flight attendant announced that everyone should keep their seats until we reached the gate. Nor were the Italians much fazed by the flight attendants confronting the mob, ordering them to sit down. They would not take their seat until directly confronted, face to face, by the flight attendant. One guy never took his seat, standing in the aisle, feet apart, fists at his side, as if he was saying “Me strong like bull.” We Americans watched in amazement from our seats.

    Once I was on a tour of Paris. Our busload of American tourists unloaded early in the morning at the Louvre where we formed a line at the door, waiting for it to open. We were early and first in line. About half an hour later, a large group of older Italian women, carrying some sort of religious banner, marched to the front of line singing a song and barged in ahead of us. It was the most brazen line cutting I’ve ever seen.

    When I was stationed in the Philippines, it was obvious the Philippinoes never learned to form a line. If a snow cone stand opened, they formed a mob, each pushing their way to the front. If Americans formed a line, a Philippino would just walk to the front of the line, ignoring everyone.

    The idea of forming a line rests on the assumption that everyone will get their fair turn. While that holds true in America, it is a false assumption in Italy and the Philippines, among other nations. That sense of fair play is alien to the lesser cultures, which is why they fall behind.

  17. Transterrestrial Musings - The Italian Sinking Ship Says:

    [...] …was a metaphor for Europe. [...]

  18. Okes Says:

    Probably not true. The critical factor is most likely the degree of organization of the evacuation.

    For instance, younger men aboard the Estonia (about 900 dead in 1994, mostly Swedes) had MUCH better survival odds during the hasty evacuation. In a caothic situation, people go into every-man-for-himself mode. And indeed, it is men who tend to get out alive under such circumstances, be they Swedish or Italian…

  19. babygiraffes Says:

    Boy, irony is lost on you. My asshole generalization was a retort. Also, grouping people by behaviour is a lot less egregious than smearing an ethnic group or nationality, which is bigotry, fyi.

    And British “nobles” are, by definition, leeches. None of this excuses your offensive slander of Italians. Right up there with jokes about Italian cowardice and glass-bottomed boats. Your casual bigotry is disgusting.

  20. babygiraffes Says:

    Now I see the entire comments thread has devolved into an orgy of bigotry and ignorance smearing Italians. Good job. Now why don’t you do a column about lazy, crack-smoking blacks so your disgusting readers can regale us with stories of the degenerate black people they’ve known.

  21. pst314 Says:

    comatus “As Heyerdahl or Bligh could tell you, boating doesn’t always bring out the best in people.”

    Heyerdahl had trouble?

  22. ronbo Says:

    French are far more Italian than they are German.

    Not sure about that one, except far to the South. I’ve met plenty of French men who would be deeply insulted if you called them Italian. (A store clerk once mistook me for Italian – I guess I have a weird French accent – and when I told him I was American he actually apologized for his bétise.) And French women stereotypically look down on Italian women as sluts.

    I think what you are describing is the culture clash between South and North. Southerners = lazy, devious, rude; Northerners = hard-working, honest, refined. Overgeneralization? Sure! OTOH, more Northerners have vacation homes in the South than vice versa.

    Last comment, about the cruise ship disaster. According to news reports, the Italian captain fled the ship, but the Italian purser helped passengers to safety – despite a broken leg. So go figure.

  23. Shorter Bigot Bob Krumm: Italians will knock down your gramma to steal a meatball « babygiraffes Says:

    [...] Disgusting bigot Bob Krumm has the entire Italian liner disaster figured out: see, he’s been skiing with Italians, and they aren’t like the rest of us, nor the more civilized Germans (the damn Italians couldn’t have even kept the trains to the gas chambers running on time without the German sense of order to guide them!). They knock people down, they drive on the wrong side of the road, they are uncivilized, crude, ignorant, rude, stupid and just below the level of humanity Bob Krumm expects to find on the slopes. [...]

  24. steve Says:

    “the chaos came about because it was an Italian ship”

    Except that it was not an Italian ship. It’s owner, Costa Cruises, is a subsidiary of British-American Carnival Corporation & Plc. It’s a British-American ship. It was crewed by a motley collection of people from all over Europe, plus other parts of the world. The fact that the crew were not all native speakers of the same language probably contributed to the confusion.

  25. DensityDuck Says:

    This wouldn’t have gone down like this on a British or German ship, because a British or German captain would have known which way was “North” on the map and wouldn’t have hit the damn rock in the first place.

    ****

    I’m reminded of P.J. O’Rourke: “In the parts of the world where people are free to organize as they wish, spend their money as they choose, and speak their minds, a line forms with military discipline and aristocratic order of preference. In the parts of the world where people are mostly free to get shot or starved by the government, any line for anything turns into an Irish wake.”

  26. steve Says:

    “Boy, irony is lost on you.”

    So when you engage in disgusting bigotry, it’s ironic?

  27. Surellin Says:

    If I recall correctly, there was also trouble with the crew ignoring the women-and-children rule in the sinking of the Andrea Doria.

  28. Willy Says:

    I’ve traveled extensively in Europe and observed the same thing. Northern Europeans understand lines, Southern Europeans don’t. Northern Europeans pay taxes, Southern Europeans cheat. There are fine people in both groups, but some cultures don’t share our sense of order.

    Angry trolls can whine all they want, but truth is still true, even when it’s hard to face. It’s somewhat ironic that our troll brought up “crack-smoking blacks”–why did he think this was an easy generalization we might make? It’s funny that in berating us for generalizations, he accidentally made one of his own. But I guess we don’t understand “irony” the way he does.

  29. Micha Elyi Says:

    The idea of forming a line rests on the assumption that everyone will get their fair turn.

    Odd that. Your Italians and Philippine islanders believe that the idea of forming a scrum rests on the assumption that everyone will get their fair turn.

  30. rrr Says:

    I was I was as self-righteous as baby giraffe. I mean, if I was, I’d also be able to claim my irony was misunderstood while I demonstrate the utter cluelessness and naivety that comes with total self-absorption.

    And I could call people names and think I’m a grown-up!

  31. LS Says:

    Regarding the chivalry vs. equality argument, perhaps “women WITH children first” would be a sensible replacement for “women and children first.”

  32. Pete in Saugus Says:

    Funny Joke: European Heaven and Hell . . .

    Heaven:

    French cook the Food
    Germans build the Cars
    Brits are the Cops
    Swiss are the Bankers
    Italians are the Lovers

    Hell:

    French Build the Cars
    Germans are the Cops
    Brits cook the Food
    Swiss are the Lovers
    Italians are the Bankers

  33. Glen H Says:

    So I don’t get the ski slope thing. Doesn’t this simply lead to conflict between Italian and German? Doesn’t this turn out the way conflict between Italian and German always turns out?

  34. icc Says:

    Men are usually stronger and bigger so they have an advantage pushing people out of their way.

    To level the playing field, how about the weakest first? For sure the men who are weaker than children should go before children.

    The women should fight with the men to get ahead, like in real life.

  35. Basil Duke Says:

    When I was in college in the early ’80s, a Columbian suitemate returned from his first Sunday mass and enthused to me: “I am amazed at how orderly and polite you Americans are when it came time to receive communion. The line was very quiet and well-formed. In Columbia, communion is like a circus – with everyone rushing to get first in line!”

  36. Pete Says:

    Italian peasants learned a long time ago that waiting in line produces only bad results. You come home to find the wife pregnant, daughter pregnant, or the tax man has come around and taken everything not nailed down.

  37. MGCC Says:

    No, sorry. Women and children first in every healthy society. And…wasn’t the shore right there? Why would anybody that could swim, panic? Hell, they were probably already in bathing suits!

  38. ChurchSox Says:

    “Just for argument’s sake, why are people insisting on women and children first?”

    The rule is only tangentially about protecting the helpless. It’s mainly about behaving like a man. The core of manhood is decoupling how you feel from how you act, and showing kindness when terrified is a fine example.

    Having men around is a good thing, regardless of their relative political and economic stature. You never know when you’re going to run aground.

  39. Victor Erimita Says:

    Anyone who has traveled in Japan and China has observed a similar contrast in Queuing (or non-queuing) behavior. Japan is possibly the most structured country oin the world with repsect to the rules of public behavior. A visitor is is frequently admonished for violating rules of etiquette only imagined by, and comprehensible to, the Japanese. Buy a pastry in a bakery in a train station and you can’t eat it standing up in the shop. You must be sitting, and yuou can only sit if you also order a drink. Step outside the shop and much on the pastry while it’s still in the sack it came in? Heaven forbid! Terribly rude! But it’s OK to eat it on the train. One is constantly tripping over rules such as these in Japan.

    In China, my experience is that there is no such thing as a queue. Old ladies standing 4’9″ in height will simply bowl, push and yank right through anyone in their way to get on a bus, for example.

  40. The Strategic MC Says:

    “Except that it was not an Italian ship.”
    Wrong. Built in Italy. Registered in Italy. Licensed Deck Officers-Italians.
    You don’t get more “Italian Ship” than this.

    In other words, a true Italian Job.

  41. Daily Summary for January 17 2012 : Coast Guard Digest Says:

    [...] Chaos on the Costa Concordia – "The British queue even if it’s a queue of one. Should an interloper attempt to cut the lift line, the English response is to politely inform the intruder that there is a queue. Germans also queue, but they aren’t polite to the interloper. They crossly inform intruders, in German, that they are in the wrong. The occasional American skiing the Alps tends to start off polite like the Brit, however, should the line-cutter not oblige, is apt to forcefully enforce the queue. All three nationalities, along with Scandinavians, Dutch, Austrians, Swiss, and the rare Canuck, share the same basic recognition that those already in the queue have higher priority, and will therefore “wait their turn.”" [...]

  42. Old Expat Says:

    You want to see disorder try an Italian medical facility. No one waits for their turn you just barge your way to the front screaming & demanding. I know . I have experiencd it first hand.
    The only reason tens of thousand didn’t die on 911 is the resposibility of firefighters and their braveryin doing their duty and the orderly way in which those in thetowers followed directions.
    Having lived in Italy & traveling extensively in that country for many years fully underwtanhd how the flighty self-centeredness of Italians turned the evacuation into mayhem. Incidentally the men are the flightiest of the lot.

  43. richard40 Says:

    This article makes a very good point. There is added evidence that this is an Italian thing, rather than a men vs women thing. In addition to breaking the women and children first rule, the crew and captain also broke the passengers before crew rule, and the captain goes last rule. This rule has nothing to do with feminism, and would be sancrosanct with any decently run British, German, or American ship. That this Italian crew and Captain broke that longstanding passenger ship rule, a rule even stronger than thw women and children first rule (which was partly broken in the Titanic, where many 1st class men went before 2nd and 3rd class women) indicated they dont give a hoot about any rules, whether sex based or not.

  44. richard40 Says:

    To BabyGiraffes:
    I lived in Italy, Naples, for 2 yrs, and can personally verify the Italian contempt for rules. I think part of the reason is their gov has far to many rules, and taxes, most of them stupid. The Italians compesnsate by ignoring them. the problem is that many sensible rules, like Ques, are also ignored.

    If your parents are as ordily as you say, perhaps they lived in Northern Italy, where attitudes are somewhat more German.

    One thing I would say though, while Italy was very disorderly, it was also very fun, and the people were very friendly. In essence, you might have more fun on an Italian cruise than a German one, as long as there is not a disaster, that then requires an orderly respponse.

  45. craig Says:

    Given the back-and-forth here over whether the anecdotes constitute a bigoted stereotype or an accurate assessment of cultural norms, it’s worth noting that Costa Cruise Lines’ marketing in the USA has, for years, used the slogan:

    “Cruising, Italian-Style”

  46. craig Says:

    ChurchSox says: “The [women and children first] rule is only tangentially about protecting the helpless. It’s mainly about behaving like a man. The core of manhood is decoupling how you feel from how you act, and showing kindness when terrified is a fine example.”

    The rule is not a mere courtesy, like opening doors for ladies. Yielding seats on a lifeboat to others is fundamentally about self-sacrifice, because the rule is only invoked when there may not be enough seats for all.

    But altruistic self-sacrifice is not the same as noblesse oblige (duty of the greater toward the lesser). Altruism is never required by justice. Society cannot condemn anyone for failure to be altruistic, but it does condemn those who fail to do their duty.

    Some are condemning the men who failed to yield, but there is no basis for condemnation in the absence of a natural hierarchy.

  47. Dark Henry Says:

    Thanks God we have all these orderly northern euros who created two WWII in an queue, sent people to concentration camps in orderly trains, and bomb Dresden, Hiroshima et al in an efficient way.

  48. Mick Reactionary Says:

    @Bob Krumm

    “Cultural differences (in EU) … are real.
    And they are far greater than the East Coast-West Coast, North-South, urban-rural, black-white divides that you find in the United States. …
    Europe is a concept not a country. ”

    Almost true.
    However black-white is another story.

    Have you been to a ghetto lately? Ever?
    Eye opening experience.

    Mick

    PS
    I survived Gary Indiana schools (see about Gary IN).
    I lived in 5 European countries for at least a few months, I lived in 10 US states on both coasts and in fly-over.
    There is a much bigger divide between Gary and Portland OR than between Athens and Zurich.

  49. Scott Says:

    I hail from Malaysia and have worked in Singapore, and from my experience only strict enforcement of rules keeps chaos at bay. To wit, the same person jaywalking in Malaysia wouldn’t dare do so in Singapore. I also get the same experience online gaming, enforced rules begets good behaviour.

    I blogged my observations here: http://alturl.com/mbh87

    Of course anyone who has taken public transport in Singapore knows that a queue will form only loosely, they won’t cut in front of you but will likely form extra queues to get into the door.

    And may I add, my friend who has worked with China Chinese (from the PRC) in Singapore find them the worst offenders of all – as long as they can get away with no legal repercussions, they will, e.g. eating other peoples’ packed food from the office fridge and justifying themselves when confronted.

  50. Jimbob Says:

    Women and children first?

    Hah.

    Modern women aren’t worth it. Once my family and loved ones are safe, and the children are off the ship its every one for his or herself. I’m not giving up my seat on the lifeboat for some bloated fembot who competes with me for a job, steals my tax money and supports laws that screw men over. Why should I deny my family a father and husband so that some woman I have no connection may live? You are our legal equals now. You are no longer entitled to benefit from my spilt blood and my lost life.

    If you want men to be the the traditional self sacrificing protectors, then you go back to your traditional role as homemaker and mother. You wanted equality, you got it and then some. You open your own damned doors, you pay for your own damned food and when the ship is going down you get in line with the men or you learn how to swim.