>On Friday, we stopped for a few hours at Great Stirrup Cay, the private island owned by Norwegian Cruise Lines. (Yeah, I love how one-fifth of our port calls were to places that are completely culturally devoid and of no interest to me whatsoever.) To get to the island, the ship anchors away from the shore and you take a smaller boat. The waters were choppy as hell as we headed out in the morning (I watched some little girl spew all over her mom, which splashed the stranger sitting next to her, before we even left), and even worse as we came back from the beach. After we hit several waves, people were jittery. When we finally connected with the ship, everyone made a mad dash to get off the little boat. Mother-in-Law half-jokingly said, “Whatever happened to women and children first?”

If there is any one sentiment I loathe, it is “women and children first.” It is a chivalry that has to die, and one that never really made any sense any way. In Victorian times, you save the women and children. Of course, once the husbands died, the women and children feel into abject poverty for the most part since women had severely limited employment options. Even today, women and children are among the poorest groups in our society. The men should stay with the kids so that they at least can live a decent life.

The other thing I hate about “women and children” is that women are considered as helpless and innocent as children. For example, in war, people seem to get bent out of shape when “women and children” are killed, but not men. Why the fuck is it OK to kill men, but not women? I am as much as an adult as a man, I have as much ability to defend myself, and unlike children, who should be defended as innocents who have not yet had a fair chance to live, I have grown up. Being lumped in with the kids is insulting and infantilizing. It justifies all the “protective” laws passed that enable companies to discriminate against women because of our ability to bear children and our connection to children. Fuck that.

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