“Women and Children First”: An age-old anti-feminist myth

I’ve written a lot about Vision Forum, and about their fetishization of the Titanic, and this week I came upon something of a bombshell. You see, that whole “women and children first” thing is a myth – a fabrication – originally created in order to combat the fight for women’s suffrage. When Vision Forum touts the “chivalry” of the men on the Titanic, it not only perpetuates a lie but also uses this lie to do the same thing the lie was created in 1912 to do – fight against women’s rights. Let’s start with Vision Forum’s use of the Titanic icon, then move on to the myth and the reality, and finish with the way the myth was created and used both then – and now – to oppose women’s rights.

Vision Forum, the Titanic, and Chivalry 

I heard over and over again growing up what a good deal Christian Patriarchy is for women – they get to be honored and protected and provided for. For example, Doug Phillips of Vision Forum had this to say of his Titanic centennial celebration this last April:

Every element of the Titanic 100 is designed to leave your family with stories they will retain for the rest of their lives, inspiring them to remember the heroism of the past and to embrace a fundamental principle of Christian civilization—that women and children are to be honored and protected.

In fact, sometimes this protection and honor is emphasized to the extent that it almost sounds like men are getting the worse end of the deal – I mean, they have to be the ones doing the protecting and providing, being willing to sacrifice their lives for their wives and children if need be. Websites like Ladies against Feminism emphasize this sort of thinking. Sure, under Christian Patriarchy women give up their right to make their own independent decisions, but that’s okay, because men look after women! They put women first! They protect women! They are chivalrous! With such protectors, why would women need the ability to make their own decisions?

And the Titanic is used by groups like Vision Forum as proof of this. And trust me, it comes up a lot.

The Myth and the Reality

Well, I just came across several interesting recent studies. In one, a group of scholars looked at survival rates in over a hundred ship wrecks over the course of three centuries. The conclusion? “Women and children first” is a myth. The idea that the captain goes down with his ship is also a myth. They’re simply not true. The survival rates are highest for men and for the crew, and lowest for women and children.

But what about the Titanic? Didn’t more women than men survive on the Titanic? In a word, yes. But the Titanic was not some sort of norm. It was an aberration, and another study explains why it was an aberration:

We show that the survival patterns from several maritime disasters, including Titanic, can be explained by the behavior of the captain. Women have a survival advantage only when the captain orders that women should be given priority and threatens disobedience with violence. Otherwise women will have lower survival chances.

In other words, more women than men survived the wreck of the Titanic not because the men of the Titanic were all “chivalrous” and men back then naturally put women first, but because the captain of the Titanic ordered that women and children would be put on boats first, and had his crew enforce that at gunpoint if necessary.

Creating the Myth to Oppose Women’s Rights

If the Titanic was an aberration and “women and children first” was a myth, then why did the idea become so pervasive? If it’s not true, then why is it seen as a truism that back in the day, before the rise of feminism, women and children were given the first chance at the life boats? When asked this question, one of the scholars researching this issue gave this reply:

The Titanic has been so extensively studied, and it confirmed the myth. There was little empirical evidence against it. Lucy Delap of Cambridge University argues that this myth was spread by the British elite to prevent women from obtaining suffrage. They said, “Look at the Titanic. There is no reason to give women the vote because men, even when facing death, will put the interests of women first.”

You see that? Men will put the interests of women first, so why do women need to vote, or, you know, have equal say in family decision-making? Women don’t need rights because men will naturally take care of women, and put women’s interests and needs first!

In other words, the “women and children first” myth was created in order to argue that men naturally protect women and women therefore don’t need political, economic, or social equality. 

But even back then, not all women bought into the myth.

The Edwardians were confronting a new idea – that women might not want to be put first in shipwrecks; they might prefer equality, not only in rescues, but also in politics and labour markets.  In the early 20th century, feminist and suffragist women were well aware that the myth of male chivalry during shipwrecks was used to exclude them from positions of power in politics and society. They responded to the Titanic disaster with the memorable slogan, ‘Votes for Women, Boats for Men’, stressing that women voters would put human lives above corporate profit in regulating the ocean liner companies.  They emphasised the irony of putting women first in shipwrecks, only to exploit or exclude them systematically in other realms.  And some suggested that the vulnerable – the weak, the elderly, the very young – should precede the strong, whatever their sex.

Women of the time knew that the Titanic disaster was being exploited to keep them from gaining suffrage, and they turned it around. “Votes for Women, Boats for Men.” This wasn’t a statement that women should simply be left to drown when a ship goes down, but rather that if women could vote, women could help pass laws to ensure that ships like the Titanic have enough boats for everyone.

In other words, my Edwardian feminist forbearers argued that women didn’t need men to protect them, and indeed couldn’t rely on men to protect them. They argued, in contrast, that women could protect themselves, and better, if only they were given the political – or economic or social – equality needed to do so. I couldn’t agree more.

Just as feminists a century ago saw supporters of patriarchy use of the “women and children first” myth and fetishize the Titanic in their opposition to women’s equality, we see the same thing occur today in the Christian Patriarchy movement, and especially in the literature and press releases of Vision Forum. And it’s all just as much a lie cooked up to prevent equality now as it was then.

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About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/permissiontolive Melissa@Permission to Live

    This. is. awesome. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard that arguement on how women used to matter more and feminism ruined it for everyone. Thank you for sharing!

  • http://exconvert.blogspot.com Kacy

    Some men, like the captain of the Titanic, may be willing to protect women and children, but most men would likely shove you out of the boat to save their own skin. This is why we shouldn’t have policies that assume men will act nobly and chivalrously. I love the Sufferagettes’ response to the Titanic propaganda. Put women in charge as well, and together we can come up with ideas to help everyone. This reminds me of the current struggles for Human Rights in the LGBQT community and the opposition faced to immigrants. Human Rights (regardless of sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, religion, and/or immigration status) expansion makes sure that everyone has a boat.

  • Rebecca Newman

    I’d rather have not been “put first” on the Titanic and had had the right then as a woman to own property…

  • Steve

    That cliche actually comes from the sinking of the troop transport HMS Birkenhead in 1845:

    • Steve

      Small correction: it sank in 1852

  • Flobblem

    I read this study a while ago and was surprised to find out that it did not have any basis in truth.

    What do you think about the theory of disposable men throughout time, and the still standing draft which only includes men, as well as the vast majority of workplace deaths being male?

    • smrnda

      I’ll answer that, since I have an opinion that I consider well-formed. I don’t necessarily look at patriarchy as “all men over all women” but more as “some men over everyone else.” These men have privileges, and leave all the dangerous, dirty work to less privileged men. The men who are dying in workplace accidents are getting killed so that some shareholder can see bigger dividends. The upper-class male holds his life (which often comes with a wife who does not work) out as the ideal in order to make lower class men feel inferior and to create marital tension because working-class marriages don’t fit the ideal. Working-class men are often indoctrinated with the notion that if they speak out about unfairness they are ‘less manly,’ and they also get fed propaganda that women’s liberation will come at their expense. Men in positions of privilege are the ones who call the shots on war, but they also are the ones who won’t do the fighting. Also, upper class men’s quality of family life comes at the expense of the working classes, who are squeezed so that privileged people can make more money.

      Hardly enough, but I hope that’s a start.

      • http://ripeningreason.com/ Bix

        Yes, exactly!

      • Beguine

        Agreed: the theory of disposable POOR men bears more merit. If you view women as property instead of people and are looking at older cultures that had a greater tendency to polygamy, this also provided a larger supply of women for the wealthy and powerful men. You can see this dynamic playing out among the fundamentalist mormon population. The women are treated as property with basically no rights, but unless they sleep with someone outside of marriage efforts are made to rope them back in if they try to leave the community via emotional blackmail, promises, etc. On the other hand the young men are frequently kicked out at 18 for very flimsy reasons. This provides more female property for the older powerful men.

    • http://thewordsonwhat.wordpress.com/ Rob F

      It’s an example of how patriarchy is bad for men, too.

    • Besomyka

      Men, though time, have been the least disposable and women the most.

      The draft is archaic, isn’t used, and if it ever WAS activated, I suspect feminists would argue that women be included. I know we already have some pretty bad-ass female marines, even without the draft.

      As for workplace deaths, I would suspect it would have to do with the exclusion of women from those work-spaces less than the insistence that men do more dangerous jobs.

      • http://ripeningreason.com/ Bix

        I think men and women were just considered disposable for different purposes–war v childbirth, e.g. ‘Let them die in childbirth–that is why they are there’. Thanks, Martin Luther! And it seems like some conservative Christians still agree…

      • smrnda

        Plus, it wasn’t like pregnant women weren’t giving birth in coal mines on the job during the wonderful Victorian era that these conservative Christians paint as a time of goodness and morality.

    • machintelligence

      What do you think about the theory of disposable men throughout time, and the still standing draft which only includes men, as well as the vast majority of workplace deaths being male?

      There are also the biological/evolutionary reasons to consider.Most humans behave in altruistic ways, even atheists, and this is counterintuitive, especially to fundamentalists. The most likely mechanisms for the development of altruistic behavior are kin selection (promotion of one’s genes by improving the survival of close relatives) and reciprocal altruism (scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.) Once the mental definition of relative and neighbor is expanded sufficiently, altruism results. See Richard Dawkins’ “the Selfish Gene” or Chapter 6 (Roots of Morality: Why Are We Good?) of “The God Delusion” for longer and shorter summaries, respectively.
      The reason why males are “disposable ” has everything to do with the huge differential in parental investment in mammals and humans in particular. In ancestral human populations, a female would be hard pressed to raise more than one child to weaning in less than 3 – 4 years including gestation time. The male’s investment is a few minutes time and a sperm cell, one of millions produced every day. For a breeding population, females are valuable. Males, on the other hand are dime a dozen. This means that the males will attempt to control harems or establish territories while females will tend to be less aggressive (except in defense of their young). Other factors may modify this basic pattern of behavior, especially where the young require a great deal of parental care before becoming independent.Animals with altricial young (born or hatched in an undeveloped state, requiring parental care) such as primates and some birds will form pair bonds or colonies to share some of the parental investment.This is a very abbreviated explanation, but you probably can get the gist of it.

      • smrnda

        There’s an interesting essay by Orwell where he actually takes to task the belief that this reasoning is still valid (writing during WWII.) His take was that since humans tend to be monogamous, it isn’t like you can kill off most of the males in a population (like in a war) and then just trot around the few remaining males like stud horses to fertilize the remaining female population.

        I think the ‘disposable male’ is more a status and power thing – males in charge can treat the rest of the male population as disposable and then appropriate the women left over as property. The males willing to die are just programmed to think of themselves as disposable for the benefit of some patriarch who never puts himself at risk for danger if he can avoid it.

      • machintelligence

        This response is based on very limited data, but what about war brides? These women apparently evaluated the potential for finding a mate at home, and chose to marry a foreign soldier. I have seen numbers that suggest in excess 0f 300,000 for WW II. Informal arrangements are also possible, such as prosperous men having a mistress (or two). Also, if a woman wants to get pregnant, it is difficult to stop her, monogamy be damned.

      • smrnda

        True – I’d have to look at some hard stats to find out much, and it probably depends a lot on what happens in what country. Just wanted to mention Orwell’s response since it was the only time I’d ever heard a different perspective. I think though that overall, a population with a slightly higher number of women than men is less likely to have population difficulties than the other way around.

        I guess the other issue is that these days, civilian casualties in war are high enough that I’m not even sure men are most of the fatalities anymore. Shit, I’m not even sure that kids aren’t the biggest losers in wars these days.

      • machintelligence

        @ smrnda

        I think though that overall, a population with a slightly higher number of women than men is less likely to have population difficulties than the other way around.

        Cultural problems like violence are also more prevalent when males outnumber females. I don’t have a ready reference for this, but China, with males outnumbering females almost 2 to 1 in the present generation, is looking problematic.

      • Christine

        I believe that the book which recently came out about the “missing” girls in China talks about this. (It also references Australia and the American west during settlement eras, both places where men vastly outnumbered women).

  • http://foodrant.wordpress.com Hannah

    Fascinating! Thanks for this!

  • http://ripeningreason.com/ Bix

    I don’t think there were actual evacuation procedures in place either–I think that before Titanic people were just not expected to survive shipwrecks, and if they did, they were considered lucky or blessed. How many hundreds of ships were lost at sea with no survivors? Sea voyages were dangerous. Also, in wrecks with survivors, women had lesser survival rates in part because they wore ridiculously heavy clothing. Try swimming in a corset and layers of petticoats and skirts.

    After the Costa Concordia sinking, which coincided closely with the Titanic anniversary, I read articles lamenting a lack of ‘women and children first’ and the decline of chivalry. The reality is that people panic and it’s not very pretty. The crews of the Birkenhead and Titanic used violence and the threat of violence to prevent men from reaching lifeboats, which obviously wouldn’t fly today, nor should it. I think part of the reason that we romanticize these incidents so much is that we’re secretly scared we’d be the person throwing children out of our way to get in a boat.

    And chivalry as an historical ideology is intertwined with so much gender, race, and class privilege I’m happy to see it lapse. Just be courteous to people, regardless of gender, and don’t trample them in an evacuation.

    • Steve

      There was no violence involved on the Birkenhead. Everyone was unusually calm. Which is one reason why the conduct of the crew was so praised.

      Threats were used on the Titanic, but that was because the crew misinterpreted the orders. Women were meant to board first and then the remaining seats filled with men. But the men weren’t supposed to be prevented from entering the life boats entirely.

      • Jaynie

        IIRC the men were only prevented from getting on the lifeboats on one side of the ship, which again kind of shows that the whole thing involved panicked humans making bad decisions, rather than any sort of chivalrous code. The evacuation procedure was pretty poorly rehearsed anyway (which was normal for those days and not really because of hubris), so when you add to that crew who are almost certainly going to die, confronted with a sinking ship, no help in sight and too many passengers for the lifeboats, it’s not surprising that some of them misinterpreted the captain’s orders.

      • machintelligence

        It was also “upper class women and children first” those travelling steerage class were largely abandoned to fend tor themselves.

      • http://ripeningreason.com/ Bix

        I’m sure accounts vary, but I have read that violence was threatened (not necessarily used) on the Birkenhead as well. Of course, the difference with the Birkenhead was that the men were soldiers trained to follow orders and not panic, so it doesn’t surprise me that it was orderly.

        I know orders on the Titanic were misinterpreted, but even if all the lifeboats were filled to capacity, there still would have been panic and probably violence, since the lack of lifeboats meant they were still hundreds of spaces short. Survivors reported that crew members shot several third class men trying to get in lifeboats, and those crew members were highly praised in the press for doing so.

  • http://thewordsonwhat.wordpress.com/ Rob F

    Two other points not mentioned here about women and children first:

    In the Edwardian era, women (especially the poor) worked. One side effect of women and children first was that it often meant that breadwinners would die. The side effect of this is that it often resulted in women being destitute. See Charlotte Collyer, for example. She, her husband Harvey, and daughter Marjorie were moving to Idaho to start a fruit farm. They had sold everything they owned. When the ship started sinking, Harvey urged Charlotte and Marjorie to leave. They were rescued. Harvey went down with the ship, taking their life savings with him. His body was never found, and Charlotte and Marjorie arrived in New York with nothing but what they had with them.

    In addition, the women and children first forcibly separated families. Several women (including Ida Straus, Cordelia Lobb, Stella Sage and at least one other) died because they did not want to leave their husbands/families. In other words, women and children first caused unnecessary deaths. The real lesson from this is to keep families together in an evacuation, which IIRC is followed today. And keeping families together is far more pro-family than women and children first.

  • Emma

    A parallel: why do people with disabilities need laws like the ADA to ensure they get access to things like jobs, transport, and education, when they can have welfare programs and charity institutions take care of them for their entire lives?

    (I have a disability, and have recently gotten into disability rights theory, which has some excellent arguments for why this is stupid)

    • smrnda

      As another person with a disability, I’m really happy to be able to work thanks to ADA. The problem with private charities is that nobody is going to just cut you a check and say “well, get back to us if you need us.” A private charity wants to control you as much as possible, for your own good of course.

  • Judy L.

    Poor and working-class women and children (especially girl children) all over the world are put last and least. In so many places, women and girls eat after the men and boys. Girls are taken out of school, or never sent, in order to do unpaid labour full time at home or work outside the home to earn income for their families, while the boy children are sent to school and granted play time instead of heavy chores.

    I’ve always wanted to know exactly what Christian Patriarchy thinks women need protection from?

    • Juliana

      From Vikings, of course! Perhaps you’ve heard of them–terrible, terrible men who go rampaging up and down the coasts of Europe, and I heard they even raid monasteries–no telling what else they might do–wait, what do you mean, I have the wrong century?

      …All kidding aside, I think they have the vague idea embedded in their heads that things are Dangerous Out There as a (possible) holdover from, say, the early Middle Ages/the early colonial period/et cetera. It’s ridiculous in modern times, of course, but if you’re trying to keep time from moving forward anyway…

  • http://profacero.wordpress.com/ Mictlantecuhtli

    What a fascinating post!!!

  • MM McGee

    1.5 million American men were killed in WWII, the Vietnam War, and the Korean War. To motivate men, propaganda campaigns focused on the threat that enemies supposedly posed to women. This was the most common theme in war propaganda and is a clear example of how chivalry has been used to motivate men to kill and be killed. The question is: who benefits? Is there a secret society of men (a “patriarchy”) that gathers together and plans to die in order to keep women in their place? That’s a pretty incredible conspiracy theory, especially since men, I’ve heard, don’t communicate or cooperate. Or is it that over history vast numbers of men have been called upon to die in order to line the pockets of a few very rich families: families that include women and children who gleefully live their rich lives on top of the corpses of dead men? If rich women and rich children and rich men all benefit from the deaths of the rest of us men, how in the world is that a patriarchy? Answer: it’s not. It’s an oligarchy. Let me put it another way: Nancy Reagan, Barbara and Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton, and Michelle Obama all benefit from the death of men. Please . . . patriarchy hurts men? Last I read, in families with money, women spend the vast majority of it. That’s money for a very few women and their husbands, printed with the blood, maiming, and suffering of all men.

    Hey, ladies: I had to register for the draft. Did you? No? Why? Because you can have babies. That, ladies, is the definition of chivalry.

    When women fight the wars ordered only by men and when only men benefit from these wars, you can cry patriarchy all you want. Until then, let’s call it what it is: a culture of chivalry that benefits a few women, a few men, and a few children. This is why, once upon a time, serfs in revolt would try to kill the whole royal family. Let’s not kill them, but let’s at least let our critique attack them all.

    Patriarchy is a dead word. Deader, I hope, than the 45 million men (at a 75/25 male to female ratio, out of 60 million) who died worldwide in the Second World War. That’s a worldwide gender holocaust. The male to female ratio in Russia is still affected by that gender-specific slaughter.

    Poor ladies. You have it so hard.

    • Dash Stewart-Wild

      Good to hear someone raising the issue of Oligarchy. This whole patriarchy thing is a bit of a smokescreen, for all throughout history, the women and children who’ve benefited from their familial domination (usually via the family’s Alpha Male – King, Baron, Knight) of everyone else have not complained in the slightest. Behind many of the world’s male power brokers, if you dig deep enough, you will see the tactical mind of a woman steering the conquering might of the man. Today, we see the same dynamic in action all around us; there are entire swathes of women falling over themselves to get a slice of the Alpha Male pie, and use this to their benefit.

      Let’s take Sex & The City, a TV series almost universally loved by my female friends. In it, one of the characters has a large part of her identity defined by ‘owning’ some Mr Big guy who is a Wall St warlord of some kind. This is supposed to be something she is proud of? That she can make Mr Big, who rapes countries and their peoples via Wall St economic brutality, jump at her every whim? That though him she is able to enjoy all the wealth and power of this Mr Big’s rapine? I discovered one day when in the midst of a group of them, that pointing this ‘reality check’ out to them was a good way to get screamed at. I didn’t know they were so emotionally involved in the fantasy?

      Luckily, all the loves of my life have been strong women with their own minds, who’ve had the basic self worth and dignity to make their own way in life. I’ve had a very good run of high quality girls. However, I’ve a lot of friends who’re plagued by females who just want an Alpha Male to provide. These girls will find no end of slights and injustices to complain about, yet they’ve done so little and are so dependent on their alpha male victims. I just don’t understand how they can be so hypocritical and not be deeply ashamed of themselves? I guess self awareness is a gift only a few of us possess…

  • I’d like to leave my gender out

    I think its more important that the idea exists than the correlation. In a burning building, I assume nearly everybody would choose to save the child over the adult. Obviously, we consider them more valuable. But what if the choice is between a woman and a man? Unless there is something that lowers the “value” of the woman (overweight, mentally retarded, elderly), I’m sure most would save the woman, even if the man was “valuable” (scientist, celebrity, etc.).

    But I think replacing “more valuable” with “less expendable” is more controversial, though it is logically the same. The man is more expendable than the woman, for whom societal values dictate should be protected. I assume this idea stems from tribal society, losing a woman means losing a lot more reproductive potential than losing a man. Ergo facto tribes that protected women at the expense of men were more successful.

    I’m sure that this “women first” (lets forget children for now) ideal was used to support the disenfranchisement of women, but I think the Idea is true and legitimate. I think that the results of the shipwreck study has more to do with the following Ideas: Men as doers/action takers; Self preservation instinct; Men being physically stronger; Crowd dynamics.

    Lets start with the cases where the Women First idea held up, Birkenhead and Titanic, the order was kept through force and from a strong authority figure, and so society’s decision (women and children first) was upheld. But when order falls apart, individuals make their own decisions and take action for themselves. That’s when self preservation kicks in, lets look at the burning building scenario again with a twist, you are now one of the three victims (you, man, woman), and only one of you can be saved. Most people, including men, are going to save themselves, even if they saved the woman before. Indeed, most people would probably save themselves over an unrelated child (I know I would (I would try in a more realistic scenario that didn’t guarantee my death)). And if everybody is trying to elbow there way to a lifeboat, the strong, men, will do better.

    I think the way to solve sexism/gender discrimination/objectification is to treat people equally while realizing their differences (which are minor). The average woman can do most jobs/tasks/careers just as well as the average man, some better, some not as well. Mostly due to physical body differences. It makes sense to require that employers give women maternity leave for the last stages of pregnancy, but there is no reason why fathers should get any more or less following birth. Most women are just not suited empirically for some jobs that require physical strength or stamina, soldier (not as good of shots, not as able to carry heavy packs/fallen comrades), fighter jet pilots (women pass out at lower g-forces), some industrial jobs (unable to carry/push/etc things as well). But, that doesn’t mean that women aren’t certainly at least as able as men for jobs like CEO, surgeon, non-fighting military positions. I believe that eventually society will readjust to equality, already girls are outperforming boys in school and doing better in college. The best thing we can do is defend equal rights, and encourage women to find success. This is not a contest between men and women’s ability, and when feminists or masculinists think it is it only sets us back. I think if we follow this path current differences will slowly erode away til people forget everything than the sexual and reproductive differences.

    • Anat

      There is more to do than ‘defend equal rights the best we can’. Teach children to value themselves and their talents, encourage them to try diverse activities in many areas, avoid expecting their successes, failures and preferences to follow social gender norms. Avoid gendered interactions at the work place (eg many men tend to interrupt women more than they interrupt men, often there is an expectation that a woman would be the one taking notes, women tend to be promoted less than men even when equally qualified, etc etc). Be watchful for sexual harassment and take care of it swiftly and seriously if it happens. And much more.

      As for who is expendable – it is a meaningless question. Other than a few rare individuals each one of us is to society at large, but not to individuals close to us. Sex or gender have nothing to do with it. In a life-saving situation you give help where your effort is more likely to make a difference. If you can only help one person you don’t pick the one who needs more help than you can give, nor the one who almost certainly could save themselves with just a bit of effort.

  • Ken

    Oh beautiful argument. Very extremely logic. If I may point one slight, most very obviously insignificant detail, it would be that, wonder of wonders, the captain of the Titanic, was *gasp* and *gasper*, a man.

    And in my very puny, male, limited, unfeministic mind, that logically transcribes to at least 1 representative of the male species honouring that oh very dastardly myth.

    Now I wonder, how many women offered their place to a man?

    Males, not that chivalrous perhaps. But as it stands, thanks to Mr. Captain, it’s 1-0. Which means more chivalrous than women, at the very least. Sure, you are going to retort that hey, it’s just a cover-up. And I get that part of the argument. Admittedly, it is also very powerful and intriguing. But then that’s your version of things, no matter how well-documented (which, from the article, it most definitely is not, as all sources are biased), and begs the question: why should men agree to equality under the belief that it is indeed equality that women seek? That is to say, how is a man to know that that is not also merely a myth? The myth you “debunk” had at least a manifestation in the real world, despite intentions and motivations. I am yet to see “equality” being manifested when it does not favour women.