Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Reaping what has been sown...

This passage about the Italian cruise ship accident has generated some commentary. (For example, here and here.) Rightfully so...
Fights broke out to get into the lifeboats, men refused to prioritise women, expectant mothers and children as they pushed themselves forward to escape. Crew ignored their passengers – leaving ‘chefs and waiters’ to help out.

In heart-rending footage, recorded on mobile phones, British children could be heard shouting ‘Daddy’ and ‘Mummy’ in the melee.

As she waited for a flight home from Rome, grandmother Sandra Rogers, 62, told the Daily Mail: ‘There was no “women and children first” policy. There were big men, crew members, pushing their way past us to get into the lifeboats. It was disgusting.’
It's not, obviously, a laughing matter. On the other hand, in a world in which men have been belittled and ridiculed for any and all characteristics that are stereotypically (that is to say, fundamentally, "male"), where we are constantly harangued and hectored to believe that any differences between men and women are just "societally imposed gender constructs," a world in which fathers are considered irrelevant and marriage is simply about tax breaks for sexual partners, what reason is there for a man to step aside and let the women and children have the lifeboats? The "women and children first" mentality is part of a moral code that has been relentlessly attacked in by the post-modern intelligentsia of the last half century. It's connected to traditional gender roles and traditional marriage, and the post-modern world in which we live has decided that we have no need of those things; that those things are archaic constructs with no utility in our new societies.

Unintended. Consequences.

Again, I go back to C.S. Lewis' The Abolition of Man. The first lecture, Men Without Chests, ends with this passage:
And all the time—such is the tragi-comedy of our situation—we continue to clamour for those very qualities we are rendering impossible. You can hardly open a periodical without coming across the statement that what our civilization needs is more 'drive', or dynamism, or self-sacrifice, or 'creativity'. In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.

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