Because Christianity is bigger than Biblical manhood or Biblical womanhood (Blog of Retha Faurie)

The story of the Titanic (I mean the real ship, not the movie with Leonardo DiCaprio) has all the elements to be truly gripping: Dreams and drama, sacrifice and selfishness, foolish decisions and panic versus true heroism. I see some people with an agenda simplify it this way:

On the Titanic, 1357 men selflessly stood aside so that 380 of the 546 women and children could be saved first. This happened in a patriarchal society. Since feminism entered the world, men are not willing to sacrifice any more. If we returned to the Christian values of that society and those gender roles, men will be sacrificial again.

I read it that way in South Africa’s JOY magazine/ JUIG a month or three ago. It seems the article writer is taking a page from Doug Phillips’ handbook. Doug started the Christian Boys’ & Men’s Titanic Society, which stand “to the enduring legacy of those men who died that women and children might live.” And John Piper tweeted recently:

When the Titanic sank 20% of the men and 74% of the women survived. That profound virtue was not nurtured by egalitarianism.

The profound tragedy that the Titanic sank in the first place was not nurtured by egalitarianism either. Nor was the shortage of lifeboats.

The Titanic sank because of risk-taking. Wiser crew members would have been very careful in iceberg territory. As a rule, men are bigger risk takers (on average) than women. Companies with more/ an equal amount of ladies running it than gentlemen, tend to perform better over the long run. If there were woman staffers with an equal say over whether the Titanic should take the risk, would they perhaps have stopped the folly of driving full speed in iceberg waters? It is highly likely that they would have.

Similarly, not having enough life boats was an enormous risk. With what I know of female thinking, in my experience they are mostly thinking ahead not only of what they themselves need now, but also of what their children may need later today or next year. Every woman I know would choose, if it was up to them, to have enough life boats on a ship, just for in case. If the Titanic decision makers included women equally, that huge ship would have had enough life boats. I cannot prove this, but I am sure of it.

A planned lifeboat drill would have occurred some hours before the Titanic sank, but Captain Smith (male) cancelled it. More lives would probably have been saved if it happened. The same things I previously said about women and risk taking apply here.

Okay, male employees of the company that built the Titanic caused this crisis. How will the staff respond? How will the passengers respond? What did not happen, is that 1357 men (the amount of males who died on the Titanic) all stepped aside to let 380 women and children (the amount that was saved) step on to lifeboats first. Rather than that, a few crew members made decisions for everyone. These crew members were heroes, but not because they let women and children go first. They were heroes because they organized the process of getting to a lifeboat, while not getting on themselves.

Most first class men had no trouble boarding lifeboats. Passengers was not sure yet that the ship will sink, and that – instead of heroism – was the probable reason why some of them chose to stay behind.

When they realized the urgency, men wanted to get on the boats, but they were prevented on port side by the crew. According to the statistics compiled by John R. Henderson from earlier sources, men on starboard side were most likely not prevented from getting onto lifeboats, and many got in before women and children. According to 2nd class passenger Lawrence Beesly who was rescued from the sea, many men stampeded to port side, because they heard a (false) rumor that men were allowed into lifeboats on that side equally. (That was the opposite of the truth.)

Henderson cannot find supporting evidence that men from second class gave up their seats to women from steerage either, but claim “if it was true, they were more gallant by far than the men from First Class.”

Several women gave their lives willingly – Women who stayed with their husbands; a mother and father who, with their toddler, could not bear to go without knowing their baby is safe (the baby and sitter got on a lifeboat, without their knowing it); Edith Evans who gave her seat to another woman because the other one has children at home; etc. Some wives chose to stay with their husbands, but were forcefully torn from their arms and thrown into lifeboats.

Something is wrong with a ” Christian Boys’ & Men’s Titanic Society ” that honors “men who died that women and children might live” – if they do not honor the women who did the same. Is a man who stampedes to port side for a seat but dies anyway as worthy as, for example, Rosalie Ida Straus, who chose to stay with her husband, or Edith Evans, who gave up her seat for another woman? I do not think so.

Patriarchy is, of course, a form of classism. Classism is among the reasons* 62% of first class passengers survived, and only 25% of steerage passengers. The first 6 lifeboats to be launched (out of 18 launched) contained only first class passengers, and 2 more primarily first. Some steerage passengers testified to passageways being blocked by armed guards when they tried to get to the lifeboats, others of not being waked (it was as easy as sounding an alarm, but the crew did not sound the alarm to wake them), or even of being told by stewards to go back as there was no danger. “First class first” is not evidence of the great Christian value system that some Titanic fans would like us to believe.

All in all, Titanic does not tell us what happen if each man can make decisions for his wife and children (the contention behind modern-day “Christian” patriarchy as Doug Phillips advocates). It tells what happens if a few men makes life-and death mistakes like not staying out of iceberg territory and carrying only half the amount of lifeboats they should, then their ilk makes classist decisions (blocking men and helping women; helping first class first and allegedly blocking passageways for steerage passengers) on behalf of others, they panic and let down boats half-empty, while heroes (male and female) give up seats for others, and ordinary people (male and female, rich and poor) scramble for seats (or stay asleep because nobody told them of the crisis) within the unequal system of allocation.

 In a an egalitarian society, who knows what may have happened? I think the Titanic may have avoided the icebergs, and I am sure they would have carried enough lifeboats. I know egalitarians won’t have blocked off the way for those in steerage.

 

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Note:

*It was among the reasons, but the distance that steerage was from the decks with lifeboats was also among the reasons. Doug Phillips, in an article on the Men and Boys Titanic Society website, claim “there is no credible evidence that first class passengers were given priority seating rights. To the contrary, there are numerous accounts of first class passengers giving up their seats and assisting third class passengers into lifeboats.”

One problem with his statement is that the part after “on the contrary …” does nothing to disprove priority seating rights. It merely shows some first class (in more ways than one) heroes gave up “their seats” the classist crew gave them as a priority. Another problem is the simple and verifiable fact that the 1st 6 lifeboats loaded out of 18 contained only first class passengers, which is credible evidence of priority seating rights.

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Comments on: "Did patriarchy sink the Titanic?" (34)

  1. The culpability of males is even worse that you stated. The Titanic sank in 1912 and was under secret orders from the UK Admiralty to try to make the fastest time possible in order to see just how long it would take in wartime, which came in 2 years with World War I. Everyone knew it made no sense to move at full speed at night, due to the risk of icebergs, but the hubris of the male leaders made them think that the ship could not be sunk. That was why all the other sinks nearby were stopped, because they knew they COULD be sunk if they hit an iceberg.

    There is a large amount of myth about the Titanic specifically and ships sinking and survival in general.

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2012/04/sea-disasters

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2012/01/sinking-feeling

    It is a study area. Here are some facts.

    The first six boats to launch included only first-class passengers and crew; many launched more than half empty. In the first boat to launch “over half the occupants were men—several of whom were not even traveling with their wives or families.” It was not until the fifth boat launched, 25 minutes into the evacuation, that the “women and children first” rule began to be strictly observed, and not until 45 minutes had elapsed in the evacuation, with the seventh or eighth lifeboat, that second- and third-class passengers began to find their way on board the lifeboats. The overall survival rate for first-class passengers was 63%. In third class, it was 25%.

    ===========

    The main reason for that the Titanic sank is that it was under secret military orders to travel as fast as possible, in order to see how fast it could be used as a troop ship to redeploy forces in a war, recall that WWI was just 2 years away in 1912 and there were many incidents that caused war tension leading up to it.

    Because of these orders, it was moving at night when all rationally-led ships were sitting safe and still, due to the known potential problem of icebergs. So the Titanic became a symbol of human hubris, thought to be unsinkable but proven not to actually be the case.

    http://www.ithaca.edu/staff/jhenderson/titanic.html#life

    gives the details of each Titanic lifeboat.

    “Since the total of women (both passengers and crew) and children aboard added up to about half of the total lifeboat capacity, if any planning had been made and guidance given to the crew who were loading passengers, as many men as women and children should have been allowed to board those lifeboats, and without a doubt more men and women would have been saved.” is a relevant quote from the above site.

    In other words, due to human arrogance there were not enough life boats, but even with the ones they had, ALL the women and children could have been saved as well as an equal number of men, except for incompetence of the leaders, who were men. Instead class distinctions made a huge difference is who was saved. It is true that “women and children first” was enforced on one side of the boat after the first 5 lifeboats has left.

    It is a very sad tale of pride and incompetence and all those in charge were males. So the net is the “Titanic” club pushed by patriarches is based on ideas that are based on omissions of facts that are so great as to be fraudulent.

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    • You are right, Don. Staff and crew added, there was 434 women, 112 children, and 1680 men on the ship. Lifeboat capacity was 1178 in still waters, and it was a night with perfectly still waters. That would mean that 632 men could have been saved with all the women and children, supposing it was all about heroic men standing aside for women and children while managing a crisis wisely. However, only 323 men were saved, and many men, women and children died.

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    • The first class passengers survived in greater numbers says nothing about the topic at hand. Its common self effacing sleight of hand to throw something like that out. Its true, and its irrelevant, because in the BIG PICTURE…remember that one, the one that doesnt support your assertions which is why you prefer the minutia, the big picture show what happened over all. Simple question….why did you fail to mention the over all survival stats? Simple answer, it doesn’t support your pandering. Shame on you.
      The suggestion that anyone had time to sit and think about much in the time the ship sank is silly. That once they did stop and think and began sitting women and children in boats the numbers worked as such is the take away.

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      • That first class passengers survived in greater numbers is an indication of what better happened. Did you read the articles I referred to?

        They actually had a lot of time to think in the case of the Titanic sinking, if you saw the movie (for all of its spin) you would know that. Since most thought the ship was unsinkable, it was not clear that the safest choice was to get on a life boat. The life boats only existes for first and second class areas of the boats.

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      • Not only did I read them, Ive read all that before, and I knew every fact you posted.

        The big picture fact is the gender split of the survivors. That there is much “hair on” the dynamics and how it happened is a bit understandable. But the only sort of hierarchical issue was the one of class. To try and spin this as proof text that it was a misogynist event overall is mendacity

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      • That first class passengers survived in greater numbers does tell us something of the topic at hand. It is as much the big picture as more women surviving.

        The topic of my blog post is how the Titanic, if you take the different aspects involved, paints a picture not of life being better where women have no say, but of classism and bad decisions. I still believe that if women had equal say, there would have been enough lifeboats at the very least.

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      • There you go again

        I didnt say that the 1st class issue didnt” tell us something of the topic at hand”

        Please re-read my words and have the courtesy to only rebut what I state. I cannot manage yet another discussion filled with non sequiturs and straw men.

        Notice that until now I have not addressed you or your words in your post AT ALL, My Titanic comments are limited solely to Dons comment.

        See that?

        So, if you care to rebuke my response to Dons comment, please do, otherwise Ive zero idea what you are saying

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      • Except that the ship should never have sunk in the first place, and it was from the male decision makers that it sunk. I know if I were making decisions, security for all would have been my primary motivator, and as such, there would have been enough life boats, and we would not have been going so fast that we couldn’t stop when we saw an iceberg up ahead.

        That would have saved everyone.

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  2. I agree for the most part and your central point is good. However, the statement “With what I know of female thinking” is, in my opinion, part of the larger problem. Having experienced many, many online conversations where the participants did not know each others’ gender, there was no way to tell a male brain from a female brain. When the people’s genders became known, there were many surprises. Not all gentle posts were from women, and not all aggressive or logical posts were from men. The real issue is personality and intellect and experience, matters of character and principle. which apply to human beings of either gender. Ironically, some of the men who are most vocal about “roles” are tiny and couldn’t row a lifeboat with anyone else in it. Not all men are physically big and strong, and there are many big, strong women. Stereotypes and generalities simply break down in real life.

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    • I couldn’t agree more. Well said — and needs to be said much more often, and emphatically! There is no “female thinking” as opposed to “male thinking,” no “feminine” vs “masculine.” There is only human. Male and female characteristics of physical bodies simply do not determine the character, personality, intelligence, talent, or even, as pointed out, physical strength of any individual. There is no such thing as “female thinking.” Period.

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  3. Just goes to show that those who proclaim male priority will say anything to keep that ‘first class’ designation.

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  4. That profound virtue was not nurtured by egalitarianism. – John Piper

    So unless you are involved in the belief system that John Piper follows you don’t value your family. You would never allow your family to live at the expense of your life.

    16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

    Does he not read the 10 commandments when he states these things? Shame on him!

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    • Scroll these comments. You will find the very author of the blog misrepresenting my statements to the point of bearing false witness. It is a standard tactic of evangelical feminism, redefine a mans words to something he didnt say, then attack his newly defined statement.
      Does SHE not read the 10 commandments before doing that?

      Women seem to take these misrepresentations of mens words lightly, its almost reflex. Well, men they disagree with. It makes the man easier to vilify and get other women to pile on.

      Its dishonest, it lacks integrity. Which is maybe better than the alternative which would be she is unable to understand whats written

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  5. I hate John Piper.

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    • Altho Piper has caused harm to the body of Christ with his gender teachings and should repent, he is deceived and thinks he is correct. We should pray for the Holy Spirit to convict him of error. We can hate some of what he has taught but not hate the man.

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    • Julie Amos said:

      Meh… give the man enough rope and he’ll hang himself. He reminds me a lot of Richard Dawkins. Don’t hate him darling, pray for him.

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  6. Piper tweeted: “When the Titanic sank 20% of the men and 74% of the women survived. That profound virtue was not nurtured by egalitarianism.”

    What the truth is is that 100% of the women and children could have been saved, along with 37% of the men except for the decisions made by the men in charge. And all should have been able to have been saved except for the decision to not have enough life boats, which again was a decision made by men.

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    • Ah….how about both of your statements are true. Your statement does not refute the other one. So what is your point (other than to get positive female feedback). Seriously, did Piper lie? Are those not the numbers?
      When you begin your rebuttal with “what the truth is is”…that implies he/she lied. Did they? yes or no?

      It is true what piper said. period. Unless you have an agenda, at least admit that.

      You are badly in the camp “end of the world approaches, women expected to be hit hardest” as preferred headline

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      • I did not say Piper lied, but his claim is deceptive because of what it leaves out. Many more from both genders could have been saved, except for the decisions of men (and not women) in deciding to (1) try to get to the US as fast as possible, (2) in not have enough lifeboats and (3) the captain not deciding to use the lifeboats in the best way.

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      • You inferred it. He didnt leave anything out Don. If I state that my gas tank is half full, Ive left nothing out. That “I could have filled it yesterday” is irrelevant.

        Its not a necessary add on, he states the gender split of the big picture. That IS the big picture. Its you who are pulling the trick you accused him of. Your post goies into a drawn out explanation about first class, you then talk about the point at which women and children were put on the boats…..YOU were painting a picture and YOU left it incomplete by not adding what HE said, not the other way around.
        You are so steeped in gynocetrism that you see any facts posited that lack a gynocenric aspect as incomplete.

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  7. Sorry, the claims about female businesses outperforming male ones are not sound. Why? Its impossible to compare things without holding other variables constant. You cannot compare a retailer to an oil company and say SEE the women one did better.
    There are 2 explanations, neither flattering.
    1. women do not grasp the nature of the data and its gathering, instead just pulling numbers off reports and not pondering any back story
    2. feminists know well that what Im saying is true and shamelessly cherry pick.

    But its not really cherry picking anyway, because you have to pick two companies that are extremely similar, they make the same things, they are the same size, they are geographically similar, they are similarly forward or backward integrated…on and on.

    Compare Dell (Michael) and HP under Carly Fiorini…..MAYBE that one is at least remotely in the same region on some things, though HP had lots of other products compared to Dell.

    If you dig into the origin of that claim you will find a funny thing, a thing that would be repulsive to feminists…..well, just go check for yourselves, do the research, and see the nature of the companies run by women, then come tell us if you like what you saw. You may find some gender stereotypes being reinforced GASP!

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    • Okay, bring us the actual studies and show what exactly they compared. If you do that, you could assert that they are different.

      By the way, are you saying that women in business are smart and performance-oriented enough to get involved only in the higher performing types of businesses?

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      • Oh goodness, I made no assertion about women’s intelligence of ability, why that straw man?

        Women DO for one reason or another choose certain businesses in general…not all…but enough. That’s CHOICE not intelligence or ability, which if you have any integrity you will drop as part of the discussion since you dragged it in to be manipulative.

        I needn’t bring you to the studies, I didnt make the assertion. YOU DID. Show me a study of businesses that are similar that yields your results. Saying they are both Fortune 500 is not sufficient.

        Ive done the research when I was upside down with Jackie at Purse Pundit on this same matter. You can look her up, maybe my comments are still there buried, she left one site and started another, and she is an extremely impressive female fund manager with great credentials. She made the same assertion you did, its been a year or two ago.

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      • Oh goodness, I made no assertion about women’s intelligence of ability, why that straw man?

        Women DO for one reason or another choose certain businesses in general…not all…but enough. That’s CHOICE not intelligence or ability, which if you have any integrity you will drop as part of the discussion since you dragged it in to be manipulative.

        I needn’t bring you to the studies, I didnt make the assertion. YOU DID. Show me a study of businesses that are similar that yields your results. Saying they are both Fortune 500 is not sufficient.

        Ive done the research when I was upside down with Jackie at Purse Pundit on this same matter. You can look her up, maybe my comments are still there buried, she left one site and started another, and she is an extremely impressive female fund manager with great credentials. She made the same assertion you did, its been a year or two ago.

        What is a “higher performing business” by the way? Do you mean better financial numbers are are you referring to the nature of the biz being retail vs manufacturing or something. Your question kinda makes no sense

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    • You sir, are what we would call in the UK, a “sexist wanker”. have a nice life.

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  8. May I ask the reason behind going to the gang and reporting that there is a new disagreeing person here? Is disagreement THAT intolerable?

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    • I sometimes mention things to my friends. I am sure you do too. In fact, I think it is none too unlikely that you will soon mention this blog thread to someone. Unless, of course, if you do not because you want to contradict my prediction.

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  9. empathologicalism said, June 27, 2012 at 7:10 pm:
    “The first class passengers survived in greater numbers says nothing about the topic at hand.”
    Retha said, June 27, 2012 at 8:53 pm:
    “That first class passengers survived in greater numbers does tell us something of the topic at hand.”
    empathologicalism said, June 27, 2012 at 9:02 pm:
    “I didnt say that the 1st class issue didnt” tell us something of the topic at hand”
    And then, that same person. accuses me of false witness!

    Also:
    empathologicalism said, June 27, 2012 at 7:17 pm
    “Sorry, the claims about female businesses outperforming male ones are not sound.” (Remember it is me, not Donald, who spoke of female business involvement in my post.)
    and
    empathologicalism said, June 27, 2012 at 9:02 pm
    “Notice that until now I have not addressed you or your words in your post AT ALL, My Titanic comments are limited solely to Dons comment.”
    He did address my words and my post only two hours before. (The second part of the sentence is about Titanic comments, but the first say “AT ALL.”
    Remember, this guy (or gal, or robot or alien or whoever) say I commit false witness and lack integrity.

    Thirdly, (s)he asserts:
    empathologicalism said, June 27, 2012 at 7:17 pm
    “Sorry, the claims about female businesses outperforming male ones are not sound.”
    When I ask for evidence of it not being sound, (s)he/it asserts the burden of proof lie with me. I gave evidence for my assertion – he did not give proof for the assertion against mine. (S)he now becomes the first person. banned from this blog – for dishonesty.

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  10. empathalogicilism or whatever your name is. Join the 21st century please. It’s sexist attitudes like yours that show why feminism originated in the first place. The original 19th century feminists were Christians, and I’m quite certain they’d be horrified by comments like yours being made in the 21st century!

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    • This was a great blog post! There is no way to seperate the sexism from the classism. They are both part of the same reasoning dynamic. This is why they are grouped together as the same issue in Galatians. Neither Jew nor Greek, nor male nor female. James goes on to say you should show no partiality for economic differences either.

      The fact is, it wasn’t all the women, it was the wealthy women. None of the poor women on the Titanic were saved. It was pride that caused the ship to sail without enough lifeboats in the first place.

      I have always hated the Titanic being used as an example of the romantic yesteryearwhen things were better, Really?

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  11. We are ALL one in Christ Jesus!

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  12. Has not Christ broken down the dividing walls of hostility? Yet hostility is apparent throughout these comments. Let’s love our neighbors as ourselves, as our equals, even as they are better than ourselves. Empathologicalism, please refrain from harsh treatment of our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. I say this not by my own words, but through the Holy Spirit. Let everyone lift up holy hands in prayer without anger or disputing. We are all meant to drink of one Spirit.
    Other than that, good article.

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  13. Lol thanks Retha. After having rewritten that three times I thought I was going to go crazy if it didn’t post Lol!

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