Women and Children First

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by .Andy, Dec 18, 2008.

  1. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #1
    Today one of our Australian government representatives was defending the sending of undocumented immigrants arriving by boat in Australian waters to small pacific islands for processing. Australia has had these island camps operating for a number of years, and how ethical or legal they are is continually a point of contention. But the nature of immigration is not what I intend this thread to be about. Our government representative was defending the decision to send people there by saying that women and children won't be sent. That this somehow made the situation more palatable to the public.....

    So PRSI what I was interested in is why women and children first is somehow a motto society holds dear. Is it purely chivalry? Is it macho bravery? Are women and children more vulnerable (is this patronising to women)? Is it that children have a long life ahead of them and therefore have more intrinsic value? Is it that women can give birth and therefore have more intrinsic value? Does the nature of the situation that the group of individuals is in change whether women and children should be chosen first? Is there a difference between the sexes in how they view this?
     
  2. thomahawk macrumors 6502a

    thomahawk

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    #2
    the saying "women and children" for protection purposes is important to the worlds society.

    without women and children how can the next generation live on with them killed? which is why most protect and let the women and children go to safety first before men because you need to keep the next generation and move on.
     
  3. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    #3
    If that was true then wouldn't it make sense to let on an equal number of men to women, with children being the ones at the back because they can be replaced quicker? If it's on a large global scale of course.

    TBH I always did think it was just some kind of outdated chivalry.
     
  4. redwarrior macrumors 603

    redwarrior

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    #4
    Yes, part of the reason in segregating women and children is to keep them safe. But it is also to keep them separate from a dangerous situation so that the men are free to do what is necessary instead of having to be distracted by them and having to protect them.
     
  5. sikkinixx macrumors 68020

    sikkinixx

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  6. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #6
    In the US, it seems, one rarely hears this phrase anymore... in most of the contexts where it was used, something more gender neutral, such as "those traveling with small children" is usually used. But also most of these situations have to do traditionally with responding to imminent danger -- fires, floods, other kinds of evacuations -- or with special needs of children (e.g. more time needed to get them seated on an airplane, and that they cannot reasonably be expected to sit without someone they know over an extended flight).

    The actual case hear seems remarkable -- I don't see why it's particularly any service to society to quarantine men on some island and not quarantine women. They should abolish the whole practice and find something else (since they clearly feel guilty about it), but in the absence of that, at least stating that a single caregiver would be allowed to remain with the children (who might probably but not certainly be female) sounds much more reasonable to me....
     
  7. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #7
    "Women and children first" is species survival. Heinlein equated it with patriotism. That is, no matter how large or how small your country, you must protect future generations in order that you survive.

    One man, one woman is a societal thing, not a biological thing.
     
  8. Sdashiki macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

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  9. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #9
    How many countries do you know that are in danger of not surviving due to a complete loss of their population?
     
  10. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #10
    So ones importance is due to their ability to have children?

    Sorry but it is out dated chivilary . I'd have no issue sacrificing myself for my family but that same logic doesn't apply to women I don't know.
     
  11. atszyman macrumors 68020

    atszyman

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    #11
    Species wise a few men can manage to keep a lot of women pregnant and keep the species alive. Women can only have a baby roughly every 10 months or so, a Man could conceivably father a child every day or even more often in that time span. Men are more expendable.

    With genetic advances and the ability to combine the genetic material from two eggs to make a viable embryo, men won't even be needed for species survival soon enough. Of course we'll still be needed to open jars and reach the top shelves, but robotics will fix that soon too...:D
     
  12. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #12
    Well, Japan has had a declining birth rate for at least a few years now.
    Why are men still necessary?



    Because vibrators can't mow the lawn.
     
  13. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #13
    If you want to hate on men, that's your choice. :p My point is merely that (even in the case of Japan, where there is a gradual population loss but not an acute one), there is little evidence for risk of survival as a species or even a nationality -- too little to justify making life or death decisions based purely on an individual's sex.
     
  14. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #14
    Fundamentally it's to give the working men sent to war something to defend that is more compelling than a callous and moneyed ruling class.
     
  15. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #15
    From dukebound85: "So ones importance is due to their ability to have children?"

    From a biological standpoint, yes, indeed. A woman who can't or won't have children is surplus to the needs of species survival.

    The psychological/sociological/societal stuff exists on account of we can think--which, in theory, separates us from cats and dogs and lyins and tiggers.

    To amend skunk's comment a bit: Patriotism is USED as something to defend a country, that is more compelling than preserving a callous and moneyed ruling class.
     
  16. pknz macrumors 68020

    pknz

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    #16
    Bwah :confused:
     
  17. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

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    #17
    For the first generation, perhaps. But after that inbreeding would be an issue.
     
  18. és: macrumors 6502a

    és:

    #18
    Why would you want to do that?
     
  19. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #19
    Oh, let him amend it. It's better than trashing it, and he hasn't actually changed my meaning, just made it a little less subtle... ;)
     
  20. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #20
    Tiredness might be an issue too.
     
  21. rasmasyean macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    It’s ingrained into the human species to have this type of compassion. Men are more “expendable” because as others have mentioned, they can impregnate multiple women. Of course children have more years so they are more important…not to mention “weaker” and “unwise” and cannot contribute that much to “combat” and “facing danger” anyway. You have to remember that your lifetime is but a dot in a multi-volume encyclopedia of life on the planet.

    This also manifests itself in other aspects of behavior.

    Why is it accepted that women can cower in fear and hide while men go and kill other men?

    It is just a given that women are generally “chickens” that are nevertheless above that derogatory animal analogy…so we will not call them that. To understand this you have to look at evolution. Testosterone gives men “bravery” and “aggression” such that it will enable them to sacrifice their lives at sometimes overwhelming odds of survival (whether getting food or fighting other men) just to protect the women and children (a.k.a. next generation). Women on the other hand must be “afraid” of things (even spiders :rolleyes:) so that with this emotion implanted in their heads, they can hide in the caves and go on reproducing while their man can be easily substituted by another sperm factory…even if that sperm factory happens to be the enemy. I believe the spiders have a root anyway. This is so that they can avoid potentially deadly insects while the man takes on the risk of infection when going near them to squash them.

    Well, one day when we have human incubation capsules, maybe this notion will be less of use. But I’m sure the psychology will still stay for a long time! ;)
     
  22. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #22
    es, in my opinion, patriotism is a normal feeling/belief. But, like many beliefs, it can be misused to lead folks into foolishness.
     
  23. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #23
    I was just passing along a joke. I'm quite happy with my penis and would like to keep it. :eek:
     
  24. JBazz macrumors 6502

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    #24
    Statisticly, men are more likely to cause a threat to the public. Very few women are violent or criminally inclined by comparison to men. Here in the US we are having real problems with immigrant gangs and crime (mostly linked to the drug trade). It has changed from when I was a child.
     
  25. abijnk macrumors 68040

    abijnk

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    #25
    As someone said earlier, this isn't really said in US culture anymore. I don't really get why it would matter in the OP's example.

    However, I can't help but think the phrase's existence has something to do with the mind set that men used to have towards women. That we were property and not capable of doing things for ourselves and must be protected.

    Another angle is that women were traditionally the ones who raised children. Thus to keep the journey going the women must remain with the children.

    I think this is a bit antiquated, though, and mostly irrelevant.
     

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