Titanic-style chivalry: My body, my choice

April 15, 2012, is the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. It is also around this time that the movie Titanic was re-released in 3D. So now that Titanic fever is sweeping through the zeitgeist once again, I feel compelled to lend my voice on the subject, particularly on how differently men and women were treated when the ship sank, and society’s reaction to that treatment.

As the ship was going down, the crew called for women and children to board the lifeboats first.  Since there were not enough lifeboats for everyone, many of the men went down with the ship into the icy water  and died. When the disaster was over 72% of women had survived, followed by 50% of children, and a mere 19% of men. Commentators often argue the reason for giving women preference on lifeboats was either to allow the weaker a chance at survival (whereas stronger passengers had a higher chance of toughing it out in the water), or that the species would be able to reproduce and survive more effectively than if women and men had been saved at equal rates. Yet there is another aspect of the event society often dismisses or ignores.

If the crew instead called for whites and white children to board the lifeboats first, and if people of color not only complied, but also saw their exclusion and death as sacrifices that whites were naturally entitled to, how would we reflect on the event? Would we regard it as a noble sacrifice? Would we refrain from questioning why so many felt obligated to commit suicide based solely upon their existence in a particular birth group? I do not believe so. I believe we would have been asking some very different questions we currently are not asking of men, namely:

  • Why is it offensive for society to say a woman’s place is in the home, but not offensive to say that a man’s place is in the grave?
  • What cultural pressures have so conditioned men to believe that their mere existence as men decreases their value relative to that of women, to the point that women are entitled to their very lives?
  • Why did women have a higher survival rate than children?
  • If the primary reason for excluding men was to save the weaker and leave the more able-bodied to swim, why were the elderly not saved before the young? Why were children not saved before women, or even pregnant women before non-pregnant women?
  • If excluding men served mainly to preserve the species, why were pregnant women not given priority over non-pregnant or elderly women, the latter of whom could not have children? And were the populations of the passenger’s respective nations of origin so disproportionately concentrated within the Titanic that those countries would have died from under-population if men and women were saved at equal rates?

When a particular principle is selectively applied, we may be certain that it is not the primary motivator, and must look for alternatives. I do not believe women were saved primarily because they were weaker, or to repopulate the species, as these arguments are highly problematic. I believe these are either secondary reasons or smokescreens that serve to occlude the very real and politically inconvenient possibility that women were saved first and foremost because they were women.

Matriarchy is the accordance to women of primacy over children and the means of reproduction, and the institution of laws and customs which grant special rights and protections to women as a political class in recognition of that primacy, while excluding men from the same. It is the other half of our history which our culture denies when it swallows whole the Feminist lie that gender equality is a one-way street. The phrase “women and children” (as opposed to “women, men and children,” a much more inclusive and egalitarian grouping) is a slogan of both Matriarchy and Feminism. I encourage society to broadly observe, just as we see when we compare the survival rates of women to children on the Titanic, that whenever a law, policy or custom is promoted for the interests of women and children, it is usually women who are the primary beneficiaries. The examples are manifold.

In family courts, the phrase “best interest of the child” often actually means best interest of the mother, which is why children are often reflexively given to mothers in high-conflict divorces. When child support and welfare are given to single mothers with no oversight into whether the money is spent for the benefit of children, it is clear that the effect is not to bail out children from impoverished conditions, but to bail out single mothers.

The Domestic Violence Industry, founded upon the Feminist lie that men are nothing but perpetrators and women are nothing but victims, chants endlessly that its raison d’etre is to protect women and children, and turns a blind eye to abuses inflicted upon children by female perpetrators, leaving a man whose partner is abusive toward his children with no shelter to turn to.

Some dispute the role of sex in determining who was saved, and instead argue that class served a more prominent role. Indeed, first class members were selectively saved before those in second or third class. But the analysis for this line of argument stops there. When we further break down the victimization stats by sex within each class, we get a different picture. Among third class passengers, for example, 49% of women and 13% of men were saved. In addition to women being saved at roughly four times the rate of men, the disparities in survival by sex is also a critical factor and a common denominator across class lines, making it evident that class was more a coefficient of gender than the other way around.

Recently, when the Costa Concordia wrecked off the coast of Italy, society was given a chance to display how far it had progressed in 100 years. The results, while still disappointing, were yet encouraging. As reported by A.N. Wilson in the Daily Mail, a UK publication, “One of the features of the disaster that has provoked a great deal of comment is the stream of reports from angry survivors of how, in the chaos, men refused to put women and children first.”

Horror of horrors. Lining men up to knock them down just isn’t as easy as it used to be. Am I supposed to feel ashamed? On the contrary, I feel glad that men were willing to stand up for themselves, rather than be marked as second-class citizens simply due to their sex. Wilson continues:

When the Titanic went down in April 1912, the Captain’s orders were: ‘Women and children first!’ Although this legendary edict was never part of maritime law, it was adhered to so strictly on the Titanic that men were actually stopped from boarding lifeboats, many of which went to sea only three-quarters full. There were only a few exceptions to the unvarying tales of heroism: three men in steerage who disobeyed the rule – Italians, coincidentally – were shot.

Wilson forgets that a critical element of heroism is the possession and exercise of the choice to place oneself in the line of fire for the benefit of others. When people are coerced or forced into sacrifice and death, they are not heroes, but victims. Wilson goes on: “Flora Annie Steel – a forgotten name now, but a famous author in 1912 – wrote a poem in the paper saying that the men who perished in the Titanic disaster achieved a mercifully quick death and instant glory whereas their wives were left to grieve and fend for themselves.”

The words of Flora Steel are similar to those of Feminist and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, who said “Women have always been the primary victims of war. Women lose their husbands, their fathers, their sons in combat.” One wonders why men should bother making these traditional sacrifices at all when they are often twisted into forms of abuse against those they sacrifice for. But moving beyond the incidence of shipwrecks, we may use this occasion to question why men should feel it is their role as men to reflexively place themselves in danger, or sacrifice their lives for women, in any situation.

If I see a woman being attacked in the street by a man, for example, I will at least fulfill my responsibility as a citizen by calling the police. But as far as playing the traditional male hero and intervening with my life, I cannot say I feel compelled to do so. Now I may very well choose to do so, if I am reasonably certain the attacker is unarmed and that she did not strike first. But if after calling the police I instead shrug my shoulders and walk away, why not? If I were attacked in the street, would a woman see it as her role to risk her life to save mine? And if I were to make that risk or sacrifice, is there any evidence the woman I saved would be any more grateful to me than our culture in general is grateful toward men as a group for the historic sacrifices they have made on behalf of women? My body, my choice.

If I happen to live with a woman and a criminal breaks in, and she hides under the bed and tells me to check it out rather than help me defend my home (or better yet, leave the premises together), I would not feel obligated to perform my “manly duty” to confront the intruder on her behalf. On the contrary, I would feel more than entitled to open the window, climb out, leave the house and everything in it behind me, and then call the police from a safe distance. And I would not feel the least bit of shame in doing this. If instead it were I who hid under the bed, would my partner see it as her role to personally ensure the security of the house?  And why should I risk my life for mere bricks and mortar, or for a woman who has a 50% chance of divorcing me anyway? My body, my choice.

I apply the same reasoning to all disasters – including burning buildings, earthquakes, and the like – where an attempt to rescue a woman would mean risking a man’s life: that men should not feel pressured to risk their lives for women by social compulsion, but rather are free to do so – or not – by individual choice. The blood sacrifice of men, which has historically been poured out for the safety and security of women, children and society, is a gift. It is not an entitlement, and no one has the moral authority to take that away from them. My body, my choice.

Now if a child was in danger, I would most likely act to save that child. In addition, I will refrain from speaking ill of men who choose to sacrifice their lives for women. If they wish to do so, in full knowledge that their sacrifices as men will neither be remembered nor appreciated by our misandric culture, that is their choice – so long as they do not attempt to force that responsibility on other men, nor prevent me from empowering my brothers by preaching the good news that they don’t have to. My body, my choice.

Ah yes – my body, my choice! I do like that phrase, don’t you? It feels rather empowering to say it. The social contract is broken, and this is cause not for our consternation, but celebration. Men as a collective are no longer obligated to die for women, and it is our great honor to proclaim this good news to the world. The time has come for men to assert their vulnerabilities as men, and to challenge the role of male protector. I am proud to stand by my brothers in such rare and invaluable male-friendly spaces, and to look back on the suffering men faced on the Titanic and say “never again.”


Henderson, John R. “Demographics of the Titanic Passengers: Deaths, Survivals, and Lifeboat Occupancy.” Ithaca College

Wilson, A.N. “Whatever Happened to Women and Children First?” Daily Mail.

About Jonathan Taylor

Jonathan Taylor, sometimes known as "TCM" ("The Common Man") is a long time reader of A Voice for Men who has decided to make contributions here for the men's movement. He is now the proprietor of "A Voice for Male Students."

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  • TCM

    Thank you, Paul Elam and editors at A Voice for Men! I am honored that you have accepted my submission on this topic.

  • Bombay

    Very good article. Thank you.

    I like this thought, “If instead it were I who hid under the bed, would my partner see it as her role to personally ensure the security of the house? ” If a man were to find himself involved with a woman – try this and see how fast she walks away. LOL

    • Patrick Henry

      Most women expect you to die for them. Just like the chump, I mean hero, in the Titanic movie. Never mind that they will dump you in a New York second if something better comes along and not think twice about it.

    • Perseus

      They are equal. They can do everything a man can do, and do it better, and do it in heels (isn’t that right Obama? ya sicko). A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle. She is so physically man’s equal that, although she requires all kinds of special leagues and crutches in athletics, she can be a fireman, policeman, soldier, fighter pilot and an astronaut. Bitch, it’s your fucking turn, we handled it for 100,000 years while you, although apparently equally capable, just sat on your fat fucking ass and pushed us out to do the dirty work. It is your goddamn turn for the next 100,000. Equal pay for equal work. Get the fuck out there and check it out. I will be under the bed.

      • Never Blue Again

        Agreed..!! Sounds Exactly Equal … !! Go Grlll GO … !!

        BTW, Go in heels …. You’ll do it better….!!
        Your President Said This …. remember ? :mrgreen:
        Good luck !!

        And god knows … if you don’t come back … I’ll CRY like HELL …. !! 😥

  • Patrick Henry

    Great article TCM! I’m much more inclined to watch my back around women then save them.

    • Otter

      “I’m much more inclined to watch my back around women then save them.”

      My sentiments exactly. A woman is more dangerous to me than a mugger. She’s more likely to cause me harm and at least I can defend myself against the mugger. I have to walk on eggshells around women but the mugger just wants money or blood, not my self-respect, freedom, long-term finances and indeed total and complete control over me.

      I trust a thief more than I trust a woman.

  • MRA-GH

    Ah the sweet smell of sovereignty.

  • Rad

    I think this article is especially good for newcomers.

    It doesn’t require knowing about recent events “in gender” or established lingo that MRA’s are familiar with, but to which most people are not. It would be a bit challenging in the early-going, but everyone knows this story (twitter list of Gen Z`saying “OMGz, Titanic rly happenz?” notwithinstanding), so it is easier for those unfamiliar with the MRM to re-frame perspective.

  • Perseus

    Never again.

  • Bev

    Taking another part of exellent article.

    Feminist and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, who said “Women have always been the primary victims of war. Women lose their husbands, their fathers, their sons in combat.”

    Hilary Clinton made this remark about the Bosnian War.

    It is interesting to note that those being brought before the world court are there because of the slaughter of men and boys not because of the suffering/grieving of women. Feminists however have railed at this and want women who were raped to be included or for the prosecution to be for this crime alone. The world court has wisely not taken up this line as it (in their words) would detract and obscure the trial for the much larger crime commited against men and boys.

  • Bev

    Off topic but A win for one man.

    A FLIGHT attendant’s fight for a $2000-a-week handout from her former boyfriend crash-landed when 24 witnesses swore they hadn’t been a couple at all. Her former boyfriend called family, friends, a neighbour, a gardener – and even an ex-girlfriend – to back his account that they’d simply dated in a year’s on-off relationship.

    Justice William Johnston described the woman as an
    untruthful and unimpressive witness. There had been
    no commitment to a shared life, the judge ruled.

    • scatmaster

      log in required.

    • Otter

      So now women can sue ex boyfriends for alimony? You don’t even have to be married?

      These fucking cunts are relentless thieves with no honor. Can’t even date a girl today I guess.

      • Patrick Henry

        Yes Otter there is palimony and common law marriage. You don’t even have to be married.

        • Otter

          It seriously looks to me that taking all of this stuff into account, that the powers that be just don’t want men and women to even date let alone marry. I don’t understand why but I do understand the threat. I’ll never let a woman live with me.

    • Alan Vaughn

      I bet as per usual the court won’t do a fucking zac against the lying cow that tried to effectively pervert the course of justice though… Blatant fraud!
      If it were possible that the genders were swapped (I know that could never happen) but just suppose: The bloke would probably be sent to prison for at least 2 years!

  • Otter

    I took a long hard look inside myself and found something very young. I will be protecting him for the rest of my life. Let the women fend for themselves.

  • Rper1959

    My body my choice and my life my choice, and I may choose to sacrifice for my family or friends or even a stranger if I wish, but I should never be expected to sacrifice solely based on my male sex.

    Any expectation based purely on my being male is sexist and wrong, the MRM is an equal rights movement, and an equal responsibilities movement, our opponents of course don’t want gender equity, they want continued gender privilege.

    Somewhat off topic but one Australian company thinks it should apply to our sex discrimination commissioner for an exemption to allow them to discriminate against men and positively in favour of women by paying it women employees more superannuation, effectively a higher wage for the same work based purely on sex, unbelievable! and of course the is no doubt Ms. Broderick will concur with their wishes,its not really discrimination when it favours women is ti? The likely consequence will be the same will be expected by women of all companies and industries.

    • Steve_85

      Hands up everyone who is surprised that we’re now seeing women being paid extra just for being women. Come on don’t be shy. There’s gotta be at least one person. Anyone? No?

      It’s only racist if you’re white.
      It’s only sexist if you’re male.

      • Alan Vaughn

        It doesn’t surprise me at all (I know you don’t want to know that), but I’ve seen something even better and it was quite a long time ago too.
        Read my recent comment here..

        • Rper1959

          No doubt Alan, “affirmative action” via quotas, incentives, etc has been around a long time, but this super idea is not to attract women to areas they are “under represented in the work force”, it’s to compensate them for their choice to have children and hence reduced lifetime earnings ( and accumulated super), that is simply for being women ( regardless of if they ever choose to have time off full time employment to have children or not)

          • Alan Vaughn

            Speaking of them having time off from their full-time employment, here’s the latest little bonus for them from downunder – only came out today!
            Why don’t we all just go on strike for a few months, so there won’t be enough taxes to support the full-time single mothers bludgers as well?

            Will their greed for more man funded hand-outs ever be fulfilled..?

          • Alan Vaughn

            And if the link above doesn’t work (asks you to login), Try here, it’s a much better article anyway and be sure you read the comments at the bottom…
            You might also find this one interesting where they are proposing to give the REAL parasites yet MORE money for no good reason!
            Australia is femisim’s paradise!
            I’m sure Baranby Joyce’s comment:

            “I have, to be honest, serious concerns with the baby bonus as it is especially when it ends up not being spent so much on the baby, but on problems in certain communities – especially such as alcohol.”

            will be met with demands for an apology or some fucking mangina type of response.

            I know a few of these single mothers who all deliberately got themselves up the duff, just so theyu could be paid the $5000.00.
            Joyce is right too: the ones I know didn’t spend arazzo on the unfortunate little baby.
            This policy only results in bringing more unwanted and unloved kids into the world.
            This is what a feminsit / mangina government does for its children, it’s fucking SCANDALOUS!

    • TPH

      Time to go after the company with whatever means we have at our disposal. Sexual discrimination is sexual discrimination, in hiring or pay scales. Time to let those SOB’s know that men are tired of being being rode hard and put away wet at the hands of discriminatory policies and laws that elevate women while tearing down and marginalizing men.

      • Otter

        Do we write letters to the company? Write to the Australian labor department? Just let us know what you guys think would be most effective and I’m on board.

    • Raven01

      That reasoning should also make it acceptable to pay men a significantly higher annual rate. Based on gender alone since being men they face a much greater chance of having to pay alimony and child support.
      The really funny thing is that the femmies will howl, even though that would make women a more attractive employee choice.
      ……… Unless we had male hiring quotas to go along with the higher pay.

    • blueface

      The justification for this shit was unbelievable. Women live longer, so they need more super. What about making them work longer?

      • Alan Vaughn

        There is NO justification for any of the 3 proposals. As I said, it’s nothing but a scandal and it so infuriates me that despite having all of these privileges, they STILL complain and still insist they are ‘victims’ of a ‘male dominated’ society and whilst the piss-ant manginas in government, not to mention in the unions and the general work force, continue to subscribe to that myth, the femi-bludgers will be afforded more and more privilege; whilst at the same time inventing and mandating more draconian and psychotic laws to push us further down.
        Another one of their little ‘tricks’ is the way they USE innocent children (what these proposals are all about) to increase their privileges…

        …Fuck em all!

    • Otter

      I felt the rage when I read this injustice but then I remembered that adversity has only ever made me stronger. My eyes will stay open and my knees will not buckle.

  • Fidelbogen

    Excellent debut, TCM.

  • Dr. F

    Thank you for the grand read TCM.

  • TPH

    What I find amusing is that women get so bent out of shape when men don’t throw themselves on the hand grenade to save other women at the cost of the mans life, yet they scream bloody murder if a man tells them to save themselves.

    Women want men to protect them and save them and are incredibly misandric and vilifying when the men do so calling them misogynistic and part of the patriarchy.

    My dears, you wanted equality in all spheres of life and society. You now have equality and it really bites when men tell you to do it for yourselves.

    Can’t have it both ways. Either you are equal to men or you are not.

    My body, My mind, My existence, My choice.

  • andybob

    How about this article?

    “But not all women were grateful to the men who went down with the ship….The men got to die a quick death while women were left alone and impoverished.”

    The female journalist, whose sour visage scowls accusingly at us from the bottom of the page, is keen to portray the women survivors as the ‘real victims’ of the Titanic disaster.

    It seems that giving up their seats to the entitled Vaginas was an act of insensitive bastardry by men eager to fulfil their patriarchal destinies (as what, frozen corpse?)

    My favourite part of the article is the fluffy ‘relationship expert’ who breathlessly explains how women can have equality AND enjoy chivalrous pandering. “It doesn’t have to be either/or.” Really, princess – tell us more.

    Even the title reminds us of the assumption that men’s choices should only be referenced in terms of how they impact women. Never endanger your life for a woman – your condesncion may offend her. Nowhere in the article is it even suggested that men’s lives are as inherently important as women’s.

    Focusing so heavily on what women want and how they feel shows how out of touch journalists like her are with the prevailing mood of men. Many of the men who commented on the article make it clear that, like me, they don’t give a damn what women want or how they feel.

    I’ve had many opportunities in the past week to point out the notion of male disposibility. The 100th anniversary, along with the recent Concordia disaster as a comparison, has exposed a lot of hypocrisy and entitlement.

  • Not buying it

    Thanks TCM, great article.

  • Perseus
    • TCM

      The hypocritical behavior concerning affirmative action (among other things) in education really angers me. Here’s another article from 3 months earlier stating that the Civil Rights Commission was already conducting an investigation into the colleges practicing affirmative action for men:

      And as of yet, no civil rights commission is investigating the systemic destruction of the due process rights of male students in sexual assault cases, however.

      • Steve_85

        Surprise! Comments closed.

  • Howard

    Awesome article. I used to give up my seat on the subway for women at times or help them with their luggage up the steps. But after the Catherine Kieu Becker case and The Talk episode, I no longer do so. I now think that if I were to ,God forbid, have my genitals mutilated tomorrow, would the woman I just gave up my seat for celebrate and laugh at my mutilation and dismemberment? Judging by the reaction from that case, there’s a good chance she would. So I’ll stop pandering to them.

  • Zorro

    Wasn’t there supposed t be a big MRM thingy in Washington DC on the Titanic Day, sponsored by AVfM?

    I seem to recall such a thing.

  • rorschach

    Read this at the weekend –

    I expect to see more of this as the Titanic story gets dragged out – according to Tara Brady “Not only that, it has now been suggested that the only reason women and children escaped the Titanic tragedy was because the captain threatened to shoot any man who put himself first.”

    It seems the new way of dealing with the fact that so many men died is to say it was all due to the threat of the captain saying he would shoot them. Because that’s what all the accounts say, don’t they? What do you mean they don’t? That there is a wealth of first hand accounts that make no mention of this and praise the “gentlemanly” conduct of men offering up their lifejackets and providing help … seems to not count at all.

    But a quick search shows that this is the new message being spread by papers all over the world in the last few days thanks to a piece of shitty research about survival in maritime disasters from a couple of Swedes – Mikael Elinder and Oscar Erixon. Here’s the link to the paper – … the feminist BS in the writing is clear from the opening paragraphs.

    One point raised by others which I think is valid though – in terms of the survivors the Titanic passengers are referred to by sex and age – men, women and children. I think it misses a crucial point in terms of the survival rate – “class”. If the figures are viewed by class then you see that the worst affected were not just men, but “Third Class” men – as for the children – first and second class kids got off with only one casualty, but third class kids had 55 deaths out of 80.

  • Ben

    Thanks for this article! I am half done reading it but I noticed one thing. You mention an idea at the beginning.

    “. . . species would be able to reproduce and survive more effectively than if women and men had been saved at equal rates. “

    Shouldn’t this read, “. . . species would be able to reproduce and survive more effectively than if women had been saved at a higher rate than men.”?

    One male can fertilze hundreds of females. For optimal species survival, wouldn’t there just need to be a few males per hundred or so females, from an anthropological standpoint? Just asking.

    • Ben

      Nevermind. I think you are alluding to the same exact argument that I am alluding to, now that I re-read it. Thx

  • 4thtroika

    I open doors for pretty much everyone. To me, it’s just common courtesy. But I don’t obsess over it. I’ve had women actually open doors for me, so maybe it’s becoming more reciprocial. That would be nice.

  • Ben

    “If the crew instead called for whites and white children to board the lifeboats first…”

    If blacks would have been on the ship in 1912, whites would have been saved first. However, we would characterize the sinking ship as a display of racism, lumping it into the same historical category as slavery. And, undeniably, we would not as a society frame that in the way that male titanic death is framed, by regarding the whites as the real victims who were left to plow their fields on their own. To frame it that way would be laughable.

  • xtrnl

    Excellent article, TCM! I’m surprised this is your first. It’s very-well written. I love when the “my body, my choice” argument is used from our point of view. It really puts feminazi-minded women in their place.

  • Steve_85
  • MRA.

    One thing you TCM and we in the MRM should considered and analyse is:

    When a male in considered MAN and NOT BOY?

    If my memory works well, boys at 12 were considered men compared to girls who were considered women at 14. So when we talk about men we could be talking about boys as young as 12 or 13 here.

    The same thing happens is domestic violence shelters where boys at 12 can’t stay with their mothers.

  • http://none universe

    What’s one more comment regarding the work of writing good points acknowledging the relative low worth of men compared to women?
    Well, one more person announcing to the world that this article makes sense to them. And that more people are going to confront the hypocracy that rudely and shamefully passes today as “gender” equality.
    Thanks, TCM, for the seemingly effortless work in piecing it together for the readers here. What you wrote resonates with many and especially those who commented.

  • Luek

    Damned good essay TCM! Correction: DAMNED EXCELLENT essay TCM! BTW: TCM you need to fess up and reveal your true identity. There is no mistaking the imprint and the recognition of the claw of logic in this article. YOU ARE JOSEPH BIDEN! Right Mr. Vice President? Your little nome de guerre has been exposed.

  • ThoughtCriminal

    I have nothing to add to this except that it is fucking awesome,and should be part of any MRA curriculum that crops up in the future.

  • Never Blue Again

    As the way things are going ….. only one solution comes in my mind. God….hh…. I HATE IT !!

    But that’s the only viable solution of this patriarchy bullshit, sacrifice, reproductive rights, chivalry , chauvinism and other shits….

    And that is
    Artificial Womb …. !! [ 20 … 30 … 50 yrs maybe]

    One killer bullet kill the things above once and for all.

    Then giving birth is not the problem or limiting factor anymore….. But raising them properly is the key issue. And that’s a fair ground.