Researchers from Sweden’s Uppsala University have recently released some rather interesting findings about the rate of shipwreck survival, which gives insight to our long-held beliefs about the state of chivalry in our modern society.
Analyzing the data from 18 maritime disasters involving 15,000 people from more than 30 nationalities, spanning three centuries, researchers sought to determine if the widespread social norm of ‘women and children first’ actually gave women a better chance at survival in maritime disasters. However, what they discovered was that despite the long-held belief, women had a distinct survival disadvantage compared to men. More specifically, the study shows that women survived only 17.8 percent compared to men, who survived 34.5 percent. Ironically, while it is also a commonplace belief that the captain goes down with his ship, this study has revealed that the captain and the crew were 18.7 percent more likely to survive than passengers. And this all just solidifies why I have no intention of getting on a cruise anytime soon.
However, according to Hank Campbell, writer for Science 2.0 magazine, this study of maritime wrecks reveals just how un-sexist men really are. Campbell writes, “Modern sailors are not knocking women out of the way and getting on lifeboats during today’s shipwrecks because they are less chivalrous, they do it because they are less sexist.”
So the dude who almost knocked me down while trying to enter a door that I was exiting from, only did so because he felt we were equals? Ironically enough, I rarely see this sort of equality happen between two dudes. Hell, if one dude steps on another dude’s sneaker – intentional or accidental – he might catch a beat down. Because you know, that’s a sign of disrespect.
However, nothing about this study or the Science 2.0 column surprises me. It wasn’t that long ago that the cowardly captain of an Italian cruise ship not only abandoned the ship as it sank off of Italy’s coast, but also refused to go back to help save passengers stuck on the sinking ship even after being ordered to. And how could we forget the father of the year, who “heroically” jumped over a balcony, darted out the theater and into his truck, while his baby mom and their two children fended for themselves against a deranged gunman, begging the question: What would Batman really do?
Yes, I have long suspected that chivalry is a dying tradition. Historically speaking, chivalry was the traditional code of conduct used by those in the knighthood. Over time, its meaning had been expanded to include courteous social gestures given by gentlemen, usually directed at women, such as opening doors and pulling a chair out for a lady. However, these traditions seem to have been abandoned. Collectively it seems that many men folk have taken the “every man for himself” approach to traditional “act-rightness.” Besides pushing past you through a door, I have seen dudes, mostly young men, walk past a woman struggling up some stairs with a stroller without even offering assistance. I have seen men seated comfortably on a bus, not even yield a seat to an elderly woman. I have even been the recipient of parking spot theft at a mall from some smudge dude, who reckless eyeballed me like I was the one who was taking him to child support court. There is a lot of pent up hostility with the younger guys and it is getting worse from generation to generation.