Chivalry, Wanted Dead or Alive?

The reconstruction of the RMS Titanic
Image via Wikipedia

Were the men on the Titanic murdered?

I just spent a bit of time over on Dalrock’s blog in a discussion on chivalry. It’s been my position for a while that chivalry should be put to an unceremonious death. I have thought it to be irrelevant and even detrimental to men as it appears to place women on a pedestal and indicate that their lives are inherently worth more than the lives of men. Dalrock’s argument may be changing my mind (My mind needs to be changed every so often as it tends to get rusty). Dalrock basically states that chivalry may only come from a position of power, that it may never be an obligation, but must be performed freely. I would add my qualification that it must entail sacrifice or risk to the chivalrous party and that while it may not be an obligation, it may be an expectation.

In other words, the men on the Titanic were in a position of power and did not need to give up their seats on the lifeboats in order to give them to women and children. This entailed risking or even sacrificing themselves. There was also an expectation that they would perform this act. While many of them did this freely, some were forced at gunpoint. Therefore it became an obligation. Since they were obliged to give up their seats, their act was not chivalrous. They did not sacrifice themselves, but were sacrificed. In other words, they were murder victims and the women and children who took their seats were accomplices to murderer and the men who forced them into the water at gunpoint were murderers as were any women who shamed the men into dying for them.

Just a thought.


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