Dubai Musings: A Titanic problem

Dubai Musings: A Titanic problem

Are you one among the rare breed of men who display your chivalry in the metro?

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Published: Sat 22 Mar 2014, 1:14 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 5:12 PM

David Light wonders what would happen if the doomed ocean liner sank today

Some can claim ignorance, but for most it is probably a mixture of selfishness and absence of chivalry. Admittedly the metro’s women & children only carriage, the one in service at certain times of the day, is not the most conspicuously marked, yet given that it has been around for a while, should be obvious.

For a few hours in the morning and from 5pm until 8pm the section is off-limits to male travellers. That in itself may be an issue for equal rights campaigners; however, these are the rules that have been determined for the time being.

But not since Justin Bieber looked over his parole conditions has such scant disregard for the terms been witnessed. Every day on the way home, seats are occupied by a host of men. Not just that, as soon as one becomes available, the manic rush to get to it is frankly embarrassing.

“Women and children only!” went the call on the evening of April 15, 1912 as RMS Titanic lowered its lifeboats into the icy Atlantic. And the passengers dutifully complied. Across the first, second and third classes 97 per cent, 86 per cent and 46 percent of female voyagers respectively survived, compared with 33 per cent, eight per cent and 16 per cent of men. Hopefully it never will, but imagine if a similar scenario occurred today. Could we count on the same numbers being upheld?

Comparing the snaffling of chairs with the sinking of the Titanic may seem a bit drastic, but the gallant sentiment regarding privileges remains. To witness the scramble is so unseemly it warrants a big statement. On the Titanic, male passengers were handcuffed or worse if they attempted to board the crafts. It would be over zealous to advocate anything of the like, but a nod from the attendant just doesn’t appear to be cutting it.

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