The Titanic Riddle

Should a good feminist accept priority seating on a lifeboat?

You're on the Titanic II. It has just hit an iceberg and is sinking. And, as last time, there are not enough lifeboats. The captain shouts, "Women and children first!" But this time, another voice is heard: "Why women?"

Why, indeed? Part of the charm of the cosmically successful movie Titanic is the period costume, period extravagance, period class prejudice. An audience can enjoy these at a distance. Oddly, however, of all the period mores in the film, the old maritime tradition of "women and children first" enjoys total acceptance by modern audiences. Listen to the booing and hissing at the...

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