April 10, 2012

How to survive the Titanic

Nicholas Wade, the NYT's sterling genetics reporter, reflects on how his grandfather's genetic line survived the sinking of the Titanic 100 years ago:
Had you been a woman traveling in second class on the Titanic a century ago, your chances of survival were quite favorable — 86 percent were saved. For the men in second class, one of whom was my grandfather Lawrence Beesley, the odds were the reverse — only 14 percent survived, and the rest were drowned in the freezing waters of the Atlantic. 
Notions of male chivalry toward the weaker sex have since been cast aside, and it is no longer de rigueur for a man to yield his seat on a bus, or a lifeboat, to someone of the opposite sex. But in the Edwardian era it was a moral code with a force stronger than law. When the order was given on the Titanic for families to be separated and for women to board lifeboats first, no man rushed ahead. 
I have often wondered how my grandfather managed to beat the heavy odds against his survival. 

He was a man ahead of his time, apparently.

65 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ouch! Perhaps Lawrence Beesly donned some petticoats and affected a falsetto voice.

Anonymous said...

But in the Edwardian era it was a moral code with a force stronger than law
thanks liberals, for destroying this.

Anonymous said...

keep in mind too second class was by no means poor - ...

Anonymous said...

Ha ha.

Interesting family line.

Anonymous said...

He showed good sense in not rushing with the crowd of men and instead waiting for a fair chance at an opening in an un-full lifeboat -- to be commended for it. He did not take a woman's "place" in the boats and did not jumb the queue but waited for a chance. Good sense and a wise man.

Anonymous said...

Recall this story from a couple of years ago:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/australasia/more-britons-than-americans-died-on-titanic-because-they-queued-1452299.html

One theory is that Americans elbowed the Brits aside to get to the boats.

Buck Swamp said...

Back in 1912, society attached some honor to manhood. Sure, men's lives and labors were much harder and more dangerous than womens, yet back then a man could believe that he was special simply because he was a man. That is about all it has ever taken to get men to sacrifice themselves for women.

Nowadays, men are reviled and shamed, while women are honored in all things. Old habits die hard, but men are slowly waking up to reality.

In the long run, I believe that radical feminism will have done a great deal for ordinary men, by causing them to re-examine their societal role as disposable providers for women. Men will benefit. Women? Not so much.

Everyone for Themselves said...

One guess:

a) High IQ in foreseeing what was happening and,

b) low agreeableness in ignoring social strictures.

Everyone for Themselves said...

The fact that Wade would even publicly discuss his grandfathers unlikely escape at the expense of others shows the public shaming no longer works in enforcing societal rules.

I suspect, in his own time, grandfather didn't talk too much of the odds of his survival or how such an unlikely event came about.

Even if it was all above board and a random outcome, the doubt it could raise would be unwelcome. The very opposite of today.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I had no idea Wade was Beesley's grandson. That science teacher got quite a sympathetic portrayal by David Warner in one of the lesser-known (but actually quite good) Titanic films, 1979's S.O.S. TITANIC. That film made it clear that Beesley was perfectly willing to go down with the ship rather than take a woman or child's place, and only got a seat on a lifeboat by lucky circumstance.

Anonymous said...

Chivalry isn't dead, how do you explain the protective attitude men have towards women.

Ashley Judd has responded to notices of her 'puffy face' with accusations of misogyny. Of course, what she's really saying is, "you have to be extra nice to me because I'm a woman. I'm special."

DougRisk said...

This is not terribly relevant, but...

I used to take the Subway, NYC, every workday and would often offer my seat to older women. However, the worst scenario was always a woman who had children.

She would look exhausted, I would offer her my seat, she would graciously accept, and then, being a good mother, offer the seat to one of her children.

Well, the kids, invariably, had so much energy that they would not sit down for more than 2 seconds at a time.

IOW, in this situation, no one got to rest.

Dutch Boy said...

Odds for the first and second class women may have been good but they were abysmal for the third class female passengers (class trumped chivalry).

Anonymous said...

"Notions of male chivalry toward the weaker sex have since been cast aside, and it is no longer de rigueur for a man to yield his seat on a bus, or a lifeboat, to someone of the opposite sex."

Not really. I think in a similar situation today, we would expect men to do what the men on the Titanic did. If it's matter of life and death, chivalry lives on.
But giving up a seat on a bus--unless the woman is really old or ill--is just show-offy pompous-assery.

Another thing... chivalry lives on today in stuff like affirmative action. A racial form of chivalry where whites are supposed to sacrifice themselves for the 'weaker races'. In fact, it's not even voluntary but institutional.
So, a mindset which may have been good for whites in the past has mutated into a form that is really bad for them.

Anonymous said...

Apparently the women were a bit squeamish about getting into the lifeboats, so the earlier ones were half-filled by men demonstrating that getting into one wasn't a big deal.

Here's the tale of a man really ahead of his time

Anonymous said...

Wes Studi says some interesting things about Milius and Mann.

Harry Baldwin said...

Lawrence Beesley's decision was like that of those workers in the WTC on 9/11 who disregarded announcements that everything was under control and that they should stay in their offices, and instead left the building.

Similarly, in the movie "The Grey," the survivors of the plane wreck would have been far better off staying with the wreck, fortifying the fuselage, and eating the bodies of the deceased than they were following alpha male Liam Neeson to their deaths, just because he exerted his dominance by beating up a naysayer.

I thought there could have been a good iSteve analysis of that irksome film.

Svigor said...

If you start watching for how things play out differently depending on sex, when they actually have nothing to do with it, you'll notice how wrong Wade is.

E.g., the throwaway death. When Yeoman Johnson takes a wayward phaser blast and buys the farm, notice how often he's a he. This is in an era when 50% of the butt-kickers are babes, mind you.

E.g., almost all stutterers are male. Nobody gives a shit about stuttering or stutterers.

Examples are ubiquitous.

SFG said...

They don't serve in the army, but they can sue us for sexual harassment. They live longer, but women's health is a priority--you never hear about men's health. They make as much money as us--and complain they can't find men who make more. They can divorce us at any time they please, and take half of our wealth and future wealth as alimony.

Equal rights means equal responsibilities, and I see no point in chivalry in the modern age.

beowulf said...

"The drastic separation of families, so that women could be given precedence, gave him grounds to suspect that there were too few lifeboats. And if so, what more hazardous place to be than in a crowd of doomed men?"

Exactly. I guess Andy Kaufman thought differently from the crowd too.
Kaufman began wrestling women during his act and was the self-proclaimed "Inter-Gender Wrestling Champion of the World"... He offered a $1,000 prize to any woman who could pin him.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andy_Kaufman#Professional_wrestling

Anonymous said...

The boats needed men to row them, which is how many of those men survived. First class men thought they were above such dirty work.

Ed said...

Statistically, your worst chances of survival on the Titanic was if you were a man with a second class ticket. They had a higher mortality rate even then men in third class. Apparently people in steerage didn't follow the code as much.

I think all but two women in first class got off the boat safely, of the two exceptions one chose to stay and die with her husband and the other had really bad luck. Nearly all women in second class got off. I seem to remember that statistically you were better off as a man in first class than a woman in steerage, but not by much. Then came men in steerage, with second class men at the bottom. Mortality of course was high among the crew, but even then being a man in steerage still sucked more.

Ed said...

Incidentally, because they didn't have enough lifeboats, the real cause of the tragedy, there had to be some sort of algorithm to decide which third of the passengers got into a lifeboat. Whatever algorithm was used would look pretty arbitrary.

Davis said...

That was hilarious, Steve.

eh said...

or a lifeboat

I don't know about that...A bus, OK, perhaps. But a lifeboat? I think "women and children first" is still "de rigueur" in that case. It may not happen that way, but this doesn't mean it's not "de rigueur".

On public transit that is, or per experience will soon be, crowded, I don't bother sitting down anymore. Saves the fuss of offering my seat to a woman later on. Before I stopped sitting down about half of them refused.

Anonymous said...

Cuban Americans can be touchy like Jews, blacks, and gays. Ridiculous. I hate Castro, but this is nuts.

Anonymous said...

If some people are accused of not paying their fair share of taxes, should others be accused of not producing their fair share of wealth?

I mean Obama could have been a businessman in the South side of Chicago and produced goods, services, and jobs. But he didn't do any of that and just played politician. Why didn't he produce his fair share of wealth?

Anonymous said...

Haha!

dearieme said...

"I have often wondered how my grandfather managed to beat the heavy odds against his survival." 14% beat the odds, you ass!

peterike said...

If some people are accused of not paying their fair share of taxes, should others be accused of not producing their fair share of wealth?

I don't know what that has to do with the original post, but it's brilliant and I'm going to steal it many times.

Anonymous said...

American Companies Going Strong

Anonymous said...

"But as Gingrich found out all it now takes is the support of one billionaire to keep your campaign alive indefinitely. For Gingrich, that billionaire is the casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam. Adelson donated $5 million to the floundering Gingrich campaign after Iowa."

Anonymous said...

"Odds for the first and second class women may have been good but they were abysmal for the third class female passengers (class trumped chivalry)."

Ah yes, the ever-popular "class" critique, hallmark of sophomore cleverness.

In fact, forty-six percent of third class women survived. Lower than first class (97%) or second class (86%), but far from "abysmal". That might describe the odds for second class men (8%), which was actually lower than for third class men (16%).

Class was an influence (likely mediated through the proximity of different class's cabins to the lifeboats), but didn't trump chivalry towards women and children.

Cennbeorc

Anonymous said...

"I seem to remember that statistically you were better off as a man in first class than a woman in steerage, but not by much."

No. Wikipedia has a table:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RMS_Titanic#Survivors_and_victims

Thirty-three percent of first-class men survived; 46% of third-class women did.

Cennbeorc

Anonymous said...

SFG - they can serve in the Army (and Navy and Air Force and Marines), they just do it poorly and yet are not held accountable for their failures. USN ships routinely leave port light on crew because some sizable percentage of the women got themselves pregnant. It is common knowledge that many do this on purpose to avoid a dreary deployment.

Women relentlessly push to be allowed into the combat arms (promotion is much faster in the USAF for example if you're a fighter pilot than if you're some shoe clerk in charge of weather reports) despite the fact they're wholly unsuited for it and where they've served so far, have been abysmal failures. They will eventually allowed to be in ground combat units.

None of this will greatly matter as long as the US military can beat the crap out of their opponents with technology. After all, even a bad female attack pilot can successfully fire a laser guided missile. It will matter greatly if we have to fight somebody of similar capabilities - but when has leftist stupidity had consequences for the leftists?

Anonymous said...

Not only sex, but also class and color accounted for the survival odds on the titanic.

A white woman traveling first class had the best odds for survival.

Anonymous said...

Christina Hoff Sommers, reviewing Harvey Mansfield's book "Manliness".

"One of the least visited memorials in Washington is a waterfront statue commemorating the men who died on the Titanic. Seventy-four percent of the women passengers survived the April 15, 1912, calamity, while 80 percent of the men perished. Why? Because the men followed the principle "women and children first."

The monument, an 18-foot granite male figure with arms outstretched to the side, was erected by "the women of America" in 1931 to show their gratitude. The inscription reads: "To the brave men who perished in the wreck of the Titanic. . . . They gave their lives that women and children might be saved."

Today, almost no one remembers those men. Women no longer bring flowers to the statue on April 15 to honor their chivalry. The idea of male gallantry makes many women nervous, suggesting (as it does) that women require special protection. It implies the sexes are objectively different. It tells us that some things are best left to men. Gallantry is a virtue that dare not speak its name."

DanJ said...

The ideal of women and children first is no longer applied, simply because family members will not accept to be parted for evacuation.

The remarkable thing about passenger ship and aircraft evacuations is how rare panic or rioting still is. As a rule, passengers behave well.

Steve Sailer said...

" As a rule, passengers behave well."

Better than the ship captains in some notorious cruise liner disasters, such as the South African one where the magician took command after the officer fled.

Anonymous said...

Evolutionary fitness at work. As far as I can tell, he didn't rob any woman or child of a place on the boat; he simply used his intelligence while other men went running to the other side of the ship while boats below remained not filled.

Then, he reproduced, and voila, a grandson with a scientific mind was one result.

All that said, I can't stand to see how men today won't even open a door for or give a seat on a bus or subway to a pregnant woman or a senior citizen. Very unmanly.

not a hacker said...

public shaming no longer works in enforcing societal rules.

http://weknowmemes.com/2012/04/tyler-we-sucked-your-dick-in-high-school/

beowulf said...

"Similarly, in the movie "The Grey," the survivors of the plane wreck would have been far better off staying with the wreck."

Never saw it but the Movie Spoiler page allows me to confirm your verdict, it sucks.
http://www.themoviespoiler.com/Spoilers/thegrey.html

candid_observer said...

Yeah, it does seem to me that Nicholas Wade himself seems to be standing away from the crowd at the NY Times, and finding opportunities the others will never see.

Dutch Boy said...

I'm sorry, the "abysmal" term should have been reserved for the lower class members of the crew (between 0-22% as opposed to 57% for the officers)
http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/titanic-nonpassenger-survival-rates.html

Anonymous said...

"Chivalry is the worst form of cruelty: it is the enslavement of the strong, by the weak."

- Arthur Shoppenhauer

Anonymous said...

@Buck Swamp

"Back in 1912, society attached some honor to manhood. Sure, men's lives and labors were much harder and more dangerous than womens, yet back then a man could believe that he was special simply because he was a man. That is about all it has ever taken to get men to sacrifice themselves for women."

Yes, men were so "special" that their very LIVES were regarded as less valuable than a woman's. If that makes you "special" in your view, I cannot even imagine the status you envision for those who are ordinary in your views...

Karen said...

For a bunch of people who pride themselves on their immunity to foolish emotion, you all are thoroughly irrational on this bit. The problem with the Titanic was that the White Star Line only paid for about 1/3 of the lifeboats they needed. Instead of rules about who dies, maybe we should work to make transit so safe this never becomes necessary? Avoid the problem entirely?

Maya said...

Slightly of topic...

I spent my childhood in a large, overpopulated city where everyone got around by public train, tram or bus. I hear things had changed radically in less then two decades, but back then, certain social norms and codes were commonplace. Men gave up their seats for women, and children gave up their seats to adults. In the instances when my brother and I were able to secure seats, we would jump up and say, "Sit sown, please", the minute an adult would come near.

Also, kids were expected to hold doors for adults (regular, not dangerous public transit doors) and to stand up if an adult stood up, unless it was some very familiar adult who didn't want you to get up. When the teacher entered a classroom all the students stood up until given permission to sit down. If some other teacher entered the classroom mid lesson, all the students would stand up again until THAT teacher gave the green light to park it. If a teacher (or coach or parent's friend) was helping a kid with something that required them both to look down at a book, either both were seated, or (more often in school) the teacher sat and the student stood. During my first year in Chicago, while in my small ESL group that permitted long personal attention, I kept frustrating the teacher by getting up each time she stood over me.

So, children in my place of birth were taught to act in ways very similar to western chivalry towards women, only towards adults. Were any of you older folk brought up in similar fashion? They say that the Second World lags three decades behind the First World in cultural norms. Was this ever a normal way to act for children in America?

Anonymous said...

I'm just reading the Flashman series at the moment, on the recommendation of someone here. Can't remember who, but thanks anyhow.

Old Flashy, (though a Victorian in his prime, rather than an Edwardian), would definitely have found a way to elbow or cheat his way past some wenches to get a seat on a boat.

Gilbert Pinfold.

Anonymous said...

on a similar subject, Larry David did an episode on a Kamikaze pilot that survived with quite a different outcome for his descendant

A few days earlier, Ryan Gosling found little thanks for saving a feminist from becoming a roadkill. The screed written by the lady in regards to the incident, had her furious for being shown up as an actress in a supporting role in the news stories.
I am guessing that what she wanted was articles that would ponder on the state of mind of a young feminist, and reflect on the nastiness of the patriarchy that befuddles these poor young things into their untimely demise.
Or worse, shows them up as little ladies who have to be saved by macho chivalrous studs.

Anonymous said...

Instead of rules about who dies, maybe we should work to make transit so safe this never becomes necessary? Avoid the problem entirely?

Which is exactly what happened. As a direct result of the Titanic disaster, ships are required to have the correct number of boats and that has remained in force ever since.

Anonymous said...

I read an interesting post here which reflected on Titanic-style male chivalry as a modern invention, juxtaposed with the Costa Concordia folly. Since we'll never run out of time I suppose most are either ahead of or behind theirs.

Anonymous said...

That Gawker article by the Gosling woman (Laurie Penny) is truly pathetic. As a fig leaf for her extremely watered-down story of brush w/ fame she pastes up the dreck verbiage about geopolitics and social concern in the same insufferable attempted-ironic style of your nearest suburban college newspaper.

Harry Baldwin said...

Larry David did an episode on a Kamikaze pilot that survived

There were those. One of the most interesting books I've read about WW II from the Japanese perspective is "I Was a Kamikaze" by Ryuji Nagatsuka.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4/10/12 5:07, that's a double-edged sword; see Mussolini

Anonymous said...

""Chivalry is the worst form of cruelty: it is the enslavement of the strong, by the weak."

- Arthur Shoppenhauer"

The gift transformed into a debt.

Anonymous said...

"All that said, I can't stand to see how men today won't even open a door for or give a seat on a bus or subway to a pregnant woman or a senior citizen. Very unmanly."

20 years ago at the airport I offered my seat in the crowded waiting area to an elderly nun and she refused brusquely. She made me feel a little guilty for offering.No more offers are forthcoming unless someone looks very sick.

In the 1910's few men had a woman boss and even woman coworkers. If women are your boss, you view them differently.

Charlotte said...

"Yes, men were so "special" that their very LIVES were regarded as less valuable than a woman's. If that makes you "special" in your view, I cannot even imagine the status you envision for those who are ordinary in your views..."

Ofol. Jewish (or Italian/Irish/Chinese etc) mothers and feminists fulminating over 300 yr old witch trials got nothing on you for guilt tripping a bunch of people for something that happened 100 yrs ago and certainly won't repeat in that way. How about a "I am Lawrence Beesly" T-shirt to counter those "I am Dua Khalil." Except that Beesly survived (and good for him; you go boy.)

The late Victorian moraes were being assailed by feminists who, after the Titanic sank, said that in the future there should be "votes for women and boats for men." Some also opined that persons with disabilities, kids, elderly, etc., should, regardless of gender, have precedence over able persons of either gender.
So gents. Rest assured. Nobody's going to ask guys on a cruise to give up anything more than a deck chair for the ladies anymore--and that only if she's really old. The Titanic happened to be an extremely famous and dramatic instance where they did. There were disasters where this did not occur and women & children first was by no means a given. Did men help the ladies during catastrophes? Of course, many did. But when it comes to the wildness of a catastrophe, such as the 1906 Chicago theatre fire that killed hundreds in half an hour, nobody can count on people behaving well. It's every man (or woman) for himself. In the past, ship captains feared female hysteria and that was a major reason for clearing them off fast, or keeping them in their cabins. Men were hard enough to control without worrying about women who were often worrying about their kids and pets. There has not been a "women&children first" rule in most of society as regards saving their skins in cases of natural or man-made disaster; nor warfare, after a harrowing read about the French Revolution (atheists slaughtering Catholics, btw) in the Vendee region made extraordinarly clear.

It should be manifestly plain to anyone with any knowledge of other cultures, or even the earlier history of our own, that there is little concept of woman as more valuable than man. More often, quite the contrary. Most non-Western people could not imagine saving children over adults or women over men and when massacres happen, the ones that get killed are the ones that can't run as fast. The death stats veer towards little kids and their mothers, believe it or not. But saving an adult, self or other, was more important, obviously. Especially an adult male, because he could DO things. Makes sense. The luxury of regarding the weaker as more valuable is an outgrowth of Christianity in my opinion. An outgrowth very long away from its source.
I personally have often paid tribute to those heros of the Titanic (we happen to know about it because its so publicized), as I have acknowledged heros that may have acted in many disasters where heroes could be sighted.

And that is where we stand now. I know because I went through a pretty gripping evacuation and it was taken for granted that kids and frail or disabled people would be helped first, which came naturally to me anyway--I automatically become protective when a small child is near me.
So don't worry guys. I don't think you'll ever be asked to do such a thing. Very, very few of you ever were, you know.

Anonymous said...

"by feminists who, after the Titanic sank, said that in the future there should be "votes for women and boats for men.""

And then WWI happened and the poor dears instead of going to war, were reduced to handing out white feathers. Obviously, for this unfairness they got the vote after the war.

"The death stats veer towards little kids and their mothers, believe it or not. "

Not? Maybe women + children make up the majority somehow, but anyone can see the error in that.



We believe that state-directed gender-selective mass killings have overwhelmingly targeted men through history, and that this phenomenon is pervasive in the modern world as well. Despite this prevalence of gendercide against males -- especially younger, "battle-age" men -- the subject has received almost no attention across a wide range of policy areas, humanitarian initiatives, and academic disciplines.


"So don't worry guys. I don't think you'll ever be asked to do such a thing. Very, very few of you ever were, you know. "

The worrying is over the fact how it was treated back then, and continues to be treated today despite your protestations to the contrary.

Anonymous said...

"So, children in my place of birth were taught to act in ways very similar to western chivalry towards women, only towards adults. Were any of you older folk brought up in similar fashion? They say that the Second World lags three decades behind the First World in cultural norms. Was this ever a normal way to act for children in America?"

Yes Maya, this was pretty much how it was in the 1950s in some parts of the US, at least. And Boy Scouts helping old ladies cross the streets wasn't just a put-down joke...

Anonymous said...

"20 years ago at the airport I offered my seat in the crowded waiting area to an elderly nun and she refused brusquely. She made me feel a little guilty for offering.No more offers are forthcoming unless someone looks very sick."

I'm sorry that happened to you, but I hope you'll continue to offer, at least to those who look weary.

There is nothing wrong with a woman declining the offer, but she should do so with grace and thankfulness for your chivalrous gesture.

Stupid ass nun...ruining it for the rest of us.

Matthew said...

"E.g., the throwaway death. When Yeoman Johnson takes a wayward phaser blast and buys the farm, notice how often he's a he. This is in an era when 50% of the butt-kickers are babes, mind you."

My favorite part: that in action movies the men are ripped - because you need muscle to do the job of a solider, if you're a man - while the aion-hero women look like they came out of a Victoria's Secret catalog.

"Equal rights means equal responsibilities, and I see no point in chivalry in the modern age."

If you are chivalrous, you're the pussy and not the bad boy they're looking for.

"A white woman traveling first class had the best odds for survival."

For the 8 Chinese travelling (all men) the odds were 75%. Not bad. Better than all all classes of men, and better than 3rd class women & children.

"The remarkable thing about passenger ship and aircraft evacuations is how rare panic or rioting still is. As a rule, passengers behave well."

In the First World, anyhow. Probably because it's been awhile since we've a major disaster along those lines. Everyone assumes they'll be safe. Don't get caught in the stampede on a sinking Third World ferry, however.

I'm sorry, the "abysmal" term should have been reserved for the lower class members of the crew (between 0-22% as opposed to 57% for the officers)

The three highest ranking officers all perished. The fourth ranking officer, Second Officer Charles Lightoller, survived due only to luck. Also, there were 8 officers, so the survival rate was 50%.

equality now said...

A quote from Abdul-Baha, who landed in America April 11, 1912, a few days before the Titanic sank:
"

Turning towards the ladies He said with a smile:
I have said in America and Europe that there is only the question of votes in which women have been held back and claim equality with men. In California they even have this right. In all other respects it is men who must demand equality of rights. How many men in Europe and America work from morning until evening and whatever they save is spent on adornments and jewelry and colorful clothes and the latest fashions for their wives who spend their time in pleasure and enjoyment? In reality, these poor men are servants of their wives.
Once a respectable gentleman came with his wife to see me. A little dust had settled on the wife's shoes. She instantly asked her husband to clean them. As the poor man was cleaning her shoes he glanced at me. I said, `Madam! Do you also clean your husband's shoes?' She replied that she cleaned his clothes. I said, `No, that is not equality. You, too, must clean his shoes.' Now then, it would be better if you occasionally stand up for the rights of men.340
One time an American woman had gone on a long trip to Europe, all in great comfort, while her poor husband was back in America, working hard and sending his earnings to her. This is the case with most of the wealthy and middle classes of the West, whereas there must be equality. A condition must be realized in which the man and woman sacrifice their rights for each other, serve each other with heart and soul and not through force and violence. This condition cannot be realized except through the power of faith. Hearts must be attracted to the divine fragrances so that each one prefers the other to himself and does not consider himself above the other.
A Parsi Bahá'í came to `Akká to ask me to make honorable mention of his deceased wife. He was lamenting piteously saying, `That woman worked hard for forty years in my home but as I had no wealth she never had any comfort.' To put it briefly, spiritual susceptibilities must reach this stage, they must become heavenly. Physical susceptibilities are of an animal nature and it is heavenly enlightenment which is worthy of man."


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew said...

One thing that complicates interpretation of RMS Titanic survival rates is the changing definition of "child." According to the tables, "only" 52 children in steerage died in the sinking. But a child was considered to be anyone under 14. An additional 39 3rd class passengers ages 14-17 went down with the ship.

For this group of "tweeners," the survival rate was 14/53, or 26.4%. Using the modern definition, there were also 6 children in 2nd class who perished, all of them male.

The survival rate for 3rd class children 5 and under was almost exactly 50%.

Dutch Boy said...

"Women and children first was a very patchy, uneven goal in 19th and 20th century shipwrecks. It had strong class, nationality and ethnicity elements, which meant that 'ladies first' was more often practiced," Lucy Delap, fellow and director of studies in history at the University of Cambridge, UK, told Discovery News.

Delap, who was not involved in the research, noticed that the migrants and pilgrims of low socioeconomic status who traveled by ship were very often not given the dignity of being divided into men and women.

"They were simply regarded as mobs, crowds or 'cargo.' You very rarely had women and children of this class and racial background being given precedence in shipwrecks," she said.

Elinder and Erixson also found that the crew and the captain had the best odds of survival on average — a rule confirmed by the recent Costa Concordia disaster.

"Only seven out of 16 captains went down with their ship," said Elinder.