On the Titanic, the male passengers gave their lives for the women and would never have considered doing otherwise. On the Costa Concordia, in the words of a female passenger, “There were big men, crew members, pushing their way past us to get into the lifeboat.” After similar scenes on the MV Estonia a few years ago, Roger Kohen of the International Maritime Organization told Time magazine: “There is no law that says women and children first.”
via The Sinking of the West | National Review Online. (In the article, Steyn refers to a book of his which has more information on this subject. That book is After America: Get Ready for Armageddon.)
What a difference a hundred years can make!
I call attention to this contrast in behavior because it counters the notion we so often hear from the secularists: that “day by day, in every way, we are getting better and better.” More often, they put their thinking as an imperative for us: “Get on the right side of history!” By that, they mean, for example, embrace gay rights because it’s the latest evolutionary step from civil rights, which before that was women’s rights, and so on. In their minds, the generations before us were moral Neaderthals who embraced slavery, male domination, discrimination, and other evils we ourselves are too morally superior to ever think about adopting or perpetuating.
The truth is that this is a false narrative of history. There are ways in which our behavior as a civilization has deteriorated, not progressed. And the contrast of the behavior on these two sinking ships – one century apart – makes that unpleasant truth abundantly clear.