Women and Children First


By: Paul Murano – February, 2012

The capsizing of the Costa Concordia in Santa Marinella, Italy where the captain apparently abandoned ship with passengers still on board recalls the old saying, Women and Children First. It was a saying that captured a cultural assumption that seems to be lost today. Not too long ago it was considered not only good manners for men to care for the good of women, but a moral responsibility. And women were not insulted.

Before their natural role of leader, protector and provider was rendered politically incorrect by our increasingly post-Christian era, men in general would cherish women while women respected men. That masculine/feminine dynamic which corresponds to human nature has been severely clouded by today’s secular-humanist ethic, which holds that all adults are autonomous individuals free to do whatever they want while it’s nobody else’s business. As this ethic began to usurp traditional ones the very notion of protecting women from evil and harm was rendered as condescending. Nowhere is this point more evident than in the pornography explosion we are in the midst of today.

This pink elephant that no one talks about – the fact that pornography is a multi-billion dollar industry that everyone has full access to at the click of a keyboard – is the latest assault on American life that has become accepted. As time goes by less people remember the pre-1980’s world when there was no internet, cable TV, DVR or cell phone. Pornography was attainable only through “adult” magazines and remote areas of the inner city that permitted strip clubs and seedy movie theaters. Before mass media permeated American life it was found only at burlesque shows or striptease acts, relatively tame compared to what is now present to all including children. Now that the culture is drowning in pornography we again wonder what has happened to the mentality of Women and Children First.

There are still laws against child pornography, thankfully, despite the emergence of organizations and academicians that have sought to normalize pedophilia as “intergenerational intimacy”. And although it is impossible to fully protect children in a society where pornography is so widespread, at least our laws and standards attempt to do this. But why not protect women? Do we not care about women anymore? Is it too politically incorrect to want to protect them? The sad truth is that many men don’t care about women when it’s in their selfish interest not to. Adam could have prevented Eve from her destructive decision but chose not to. Today they hide behind a foolish interpretation of the first amendment, fueling a false liberty and androgyny that matches that of radical feminism; while deep inside women yearn to be loved and protected.

There are countless women turning to pornography for money and acceptance today, and we turn our backs. It is apparently acceptable that they are exploited and abused, because they choose to be. Men tolerate this for one of three reasons: They’re making money from it, they’re addicted to it, or they’ve bought into the false ideology that it’s not our business to protect women from destructive choices. Money, pleasure and apathy – a sign of greed, obsession, and cowardice.

Real men can see through the lies deeply imbedded in the culture that disable one from seeing objectively, and they are willing to take the abuse of the ignorant that have been so conditioned by them. Real men will demand laws to protect not only children, but women, from this and all kinds of exploitation and abuse.

This is because real men, despite how out of fashion it is, still put women and children first.

Paul Murano teaches philosophy at North Shore Community College and theology at the College of Saint Mary Magdalen. He is host of Beneath the Surface television show at Burlington Cable Access TV and is co-host of the Paying Attention Radio program. Paul is also chairman of Heartbeat Pregnancy Help center in Burlington and is a singer/songwriter/musician.