Today there is no social norm, so it's every man for himself – operative word "man," although not many of the chaps on the Titanic would recognize those on the Costa Concordia as "men." From a grandmother on the latter: "I was standing by the lifeboats and men, big men, were banging into me and knocking the girls."No too many, it seems. And anyway, it seems the chicks would prefer not be saved, thanks very much, because that would imply they weren't mens' equals in every single way: "Equity uber alles," as they might say at the Ontario Human Rights Commission and the Toronto District School Board. Besides, one gets the sense that "human rightsy" chicks are far more irate about, say, the gender divide in Lego than they are about the dearth of male solicitude in cases of maritime disaster.
Whenever I write about these subjects, I receive a lot of mail from men along the lines of this correspondent:
"The feminists wanted a gender-neutral society. Now they've got it. So what are you complaining about?"
And so the manly virtues (if you'll forgive a quaint phrase) shrivel away to the so-called "man caves," those sad little redoubts of beer and premium cable sports networks.
We are beyond social norms these days. A woman can be a soldier. A man can be a woman. A 7-year-old cross-dressing boy can join the Girl Scouts in Colorado because he "identifies" as a girl. It all adds to life's rich tapestry, no doubt. But I can't help wondering, when the ship hits the fan, how many of us will still be willing to identify as a man.
Saturday, January 21, 2012
What a Difference a Hundred Years Makes
Mark Steyn contrasts the "woman and children first" philosophy of the Titanic era with the "me first" evacuation non-procedures of Captain "I'm Outta Here" Schettino's Costa Concordia: