Two Vets Die In Accident After Pushing Wives To Safety

In yesterday’s horrific train accident in Midland, Texas, Army Sergeant Joshua Michael and Sergeant Major Lawrence Boivin faced a choice. Instead of escaping, as they could have, they pushed their wives to safety… and perished.

Michael, a Purple Heart recipient, “pushed his wife off the float—my daughter,” Mary Hefley tells the Amarillo Globe-News. “He was that kind of guy. He always had a smile on his face. He would do for others before he would do for himself.”

Witness Jaime Garza said he got to the scene just after impact, and Boivin died in his arms. “He actually pushed (his wife) off the float, and then he got hit.”

It is very easy to criticize traditional masculinity, and I have criticized it a lot; many elements of traditional masculinity are indeed toxic. But there are parts of it that are good, and valuable– not just for men, but for people. Dying in order to save those you love is one of them. Courage, strength, protecting those weaker than you… those are good things, things that matter. Their sacrifice is noble and honorable and I salute them.

Photo– AP photo/James Durbin. Parade participants look on as a trailer carrying wounded veterans was struck by a train. 

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About ozyfrantz

Ozy Frantz is a student at a well-respected Hippie College in the United States. Zie bases most of zir life decisions on Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, and identifies more closely with Pinkie Pie than is probably necessary. Ozy can be contacted at [email protected] or on Twitter as @ozyfrantz. Writing is presently Ozy's primary means of support, so to tip the blogger, click here.

Comments

  1. Did the wives try push the husbands off?
    I admire the courage n heroism but dying for a woman should NEVER be celebrated as manly. People who save themselves still are respectable, they saved one life so the outcome is similar, 1 lives, 1 dies. I’d probably try the same thing but if I didn’t, would people think me less of a man??

    • Of course they would think less of you. Stuck in the backwoods of canada I the one with the extreme cardiac condition hiked out to the highway after early GPS failure…road had changed 30 years earlier and was now a off-road trail best…..thanks garmin. while Wife and kid stayed snug in stuck, but safe car. If she’d have hiked out it would probably have set off events that would have ended marriage…… Male Role enforcement goes all the way to death….and you had better “die well”. Fantastic male privilege, right?

      • Yeah it’s pretty terrible.

      • How would you have felt if your wife got lost in the woods and died while you were sitting snug in the car? How would you feel about yourself if you jumped off the float to save yourself and left your wife there to be killed?

        I mean, I’m not saying it is right or wrong but I think a lot of men would not be able to live with themselves if they acted that way. Soldiers sacrifice themselves to save their buddies all the time. Is it different if a man sacrifiepces himself to save another man? What about saving his children? What if a woman gives her life to save her children? I’ve read of women dying when they rushed into burning buildings to try to save their child, I recall a woman who died protecting her babies from gun shots, etc.

        • I’m curious, are you suggesting a woman isn’t burdened by that same survivors guilt? Or that men are more susceptible to it?

          “What if a woman gives her life to save her children?”

          Why specify to save children? Are you suggesting that women are to men as children are to women? Are women not their own person, adult, capable of being responsible for their own safety? What if a woman died saving a man? Would that man not be shamed by the community? Would the woman be described as a “Real woman”? Or as something above and beyond, something special? Do realize, this article isn’t identifying these men’s actions as anything special, he is defining it as the norm, the expectation. This is what a real man does.

          • I’m just asking how you would feel about yourself later. I know if I left a loved one behind while I saved myself, I’d feel terrible for the rest of my life. I’m also asking if you are offended by a parent (of either gender) sacrificing themselves for children, or a woman sacrificing herself for a man for that matter. or is it just the idea that men should not sacrifice themselves for women that you have a problem with.

            I just find your attitude very cold, I guess. But of course no me can force you to act in any particular way. By all means, grab the life boat and wave at your wife and children while the boat sinks.

            • Do you appreciate femininity being defined by your ability to have a baby. A real woman pops out children?

            • So I take it your answer is yes, let my beloved wife and children drown! They should have learned to swim better, and anyway it’s their fault for not being able to grab a life boat like I did. Let the strong survive!

              Well, I hope you have a long and happy life.

            • That didn’t answer my question. I specifically asked the question because you appeal unwilling to actually recognize the objection. Your imputation of malice against me, the assertion that I am uncaring and would allow them to drown, based on nothing but my asking you a question, suggests to me this refusal to recognize the objection is intentional. You have been told mulitple times, the objection is not with the actions of the men, it is with the assertion that it is expected of men specifically, as an aspect of masculinity. That masculinity is toxic in all forms EXCEPT in the aspect that enforces men die for others. THAT expectation is what is offensive.

            • “So I take it your answer is yes, let my beloved wife and children drown! They should have learned to swim better, and anyway it’s their fault for not being able to grab a life boat like I did. Let the strong survive!

              Well, I hope you have a long and happy life.”
              Nice shaming there.

              Do you even realize what us guys are annoyed at? I don’t think I’ve ever seen women post on a topic that they understood so little of, so far the women that have posted have gotten it wrong or reinforced the sexism. Is it that hard to see the reason we’re annoyed?

              “I just find your attitude very cold, I guess. But of course no me can force you to act in any particular way. By all means, grab the life boat and wave at your wife and children while the boat sinks.”
              Why not save the children n let her defend herself? Why isn’t the wife saving him? Do you get it yet?

              YOU are helping to reinforce the men as protector role and shaming men for daring to speak out against it. It’s insulting and quite frankly I’m surprised you’re even debating this on a site for men.

              You’re shaming this man with a female privilege, yes, a female privilege as women are far more protected by men than women protect men. It’s kinda sad sitting here reading the women trying to reinforce it too.

              There’s nothing cold about being annoyed that men are expected to die for others yet women are not. Women get protected, men do not. That is what pisses me off, where the fuck is my protection? Why do I have to die for women? Why can’t my wife be fighting side by side with me? What does it say about the women commenting here about their respect for men when they are reinforcing the disposable male stereotype? Quite frankly I think the women commenting here so far are extreeeemmmely cold towards men in this regard, and are refusing to acknowledge the sexism of it. I expected much better.

              I dunno how many times men need to say that they’re annoyed that it’s gendered, it’s sexist, for you ladies to actually understand? If you think us men are angry because a man died for a woman, YOU’RE WRONG. We’re angry because it’s EXPECTED of us, reinforced by women especially when women don’t have the same expectation. Women enjoy the privilege of being protected, some will shame us if we don’t protect them by calling us cold, they will gladly talk about situations of “wife and kids” which quite frankly treats women like children.

              So which is it? Are women adults or are they children? I think parents should protect their children where possible, I think people should protect the weak where possible, but I don’t think women should sit on their ass expecting men to save them. I think women and men should pull equal weight in saving each other and it sickens me that we’ve had 50 years of feminism yet still no major change in the expectations of men dying for women. Heroism is not a masculine trait, it’s a human trait possible to all.

              Seriously, why is it so hard to acknowledge how sexist it is?

            • Look, Archy, my point is that you don’t have to save anyone. If you are ever unfortunate enough to be in that kind of situation, what you does up to you. Will you be able to live with your decisions? That’s all I’m asking. Only you can answer that question in your own heart. I don’t expect you to save me or anyone. It’s a personal choice for each person if God forbid they are faced with it. It’s not about saving women vs. men vs. children. I suppose it’s about saving anyone at all. Why do anything to save anyone? You don’t have to, okay? You don’t have to do anything, you can act selflessly if you want, or not. There is no expectation in my mind.

            • Joanna Schroeder says:

              If my husband ever does ANYTHING even remotely dangerous (ie getting out of the car to look at a flat while we’re on the road) I am plagued with thoughts of “what would I do if something happened to him?” and if something DID happen to him I think I would die of grief and guilt. If anyone, of any sex, felt otherwise, I’d be deeply concerned.

              That being said, if he and I and the kids were all about to be hit by a train, we’d probably both reflexively move to push the kids out of the way. This is human/animal nature, we save the future generation and we love them more than we love ourselves. As far as if it were just us two, I’d guess whomever saw the train first would push the other to safety and then jump, if necessary. I can’t imagine NOT pushing him out of the way if I needed ot.

              Fact is, I”m not shocked these men did this. They’ve been through most of their adult lives being trained to act reflexively to protect others and think of the greater good. This isn’t so much about gender as it is training, I think. In many situations where bystanders save others, often it’s someone with armed defense training (even Coast Guard members at times)—men and women. Because they’re trained to asses and react in split seconds, the way civilians are not.

              My assessment here is that there are two different conversations happening and it’s important to do a “both, and” approach.

              These men are both heroes AND there is an issue in our society wherein men are disposable compared to women. Both of these statements are true, one does not cancel the other out.

        • I wrote a comment about that earlier today. Look a bit lower.

          I have no idea how a survivor feels after an accident like this. But I doubt that, in the eyes of society and according to gender roles, a male survivor would be viewed differently from a female one. And possibly(?) also have different feelings about it.

        • A soldier is just as likely to save a fellow soldier though, are women just as likely to save their husband? That is the key difference. Soldiers are raised, trained, expected, AND ORDERED to save their buddy. Men are the only ones raised n expected to save women, women are not raised n expected to sacrifice their life for adult males but only kids which both genders tend to get the expectation to protect anyway.

          Ladies, is this really so hard to understand? Only men are expected to save other men but far more they’re expected to save women whilst women do not have that same expectation. THAT is the problem! The sacrifice in childbirth is admirable but has more to do with access to healthcare, it’s not the same as socially raising men to be disposable shields for women. Did you grow up being told you had to protect your bf/husband with your life? Did you grow up with stories of women dying to save men? By the time I was 10 I probably heard n saw a hundred stories of men dying for women and none of the reverse. It’s pretty recent in history that I’ve noticed any increase in women dying/risking their lives for men stories in the media n movies for instance.

          • I don’t know if there are any stories of women actually dieing to save a man in media and movies. I heard of one case in real life, a cop, told second hand by another former cop. I somehow doubt any movie would accept a woman actually dieing to save a man.

    • Pretty much. Seems the only thing men are good for is dying for a woman’s benefit. Male disposability is the only aspect of masculinity that remains acceptable. And we’re told feminism is about dispensing with the harmful gender expectations. Ha!

      • I seriously do not understand why this is so hard to understand? Do us guys need to make an article on why it’s bad?

  2. Why should it be good to sacrifice your life for somebody else? (honest question, I would love to see a discussion about this.)
    Let us assume I knew and liked those men and didn’t or didn’t care for their wives. Wouldn’t I rather want that the men would have survived and the wives had died? Wouldn’t I prefer living cowrds to ded heros?

    • Correction:
      didn’t know or didn’t care for their wives

    • I think in this situation both outcomes are acceptable, if they pushed their wives away then good on em, if they said fuckit n jumped then good on em. Their wives had a responsibility to ensure their OWN safety, just as those guys had as well, self-preservation is the most selfish but NECESSARY systems we have. Sure it’s great to have people risk their lives to save others through heroic actions such as fireman, but it’s also great that people save themselves where possible and that should be celebrated. You jumped from the float to save yourself? Hi 5 for saving A LIFE.

      • Maybe the men were not in a position on the float where they could easily jump off. Maybe their wives were in the way and they were pushing them off then intended to jump themselves but there was no time. It is impossible to know what went through their minds at that moment,

    • I think respecting the selflessness of the act is a good thing, but as Archy aludes to, the problem is when that selflessness becomes a gendered expectation.

      • Mark Neil:
        “I think respecting the selflessness of the act is a good thing,…
        Yes, but in our progressive society we don’t always respect selflessness, for example a woman who lives for her family and community, is often looked down on by progressives, who emphasise happiness and self-fulfillment as the obvious life goals.
        “… but as Archy aludes to, the problem is when that selflessness becomes a gendered expectation.”
        The problem is even if the author of a post like this, doesn’t mean it to be a gendered expectation, we still live in a society in which such expectations are largely gendered. So if such a praise encourages people to risk their lives, more men then women will feel encouraged.

        • “Yes, but in our progressive society we don’t always respect selflessness, for example a woman who lives for her family and …”

          Exactly. The expectation of selflessness is gendered. When a woman acts selflessly, she is doing something she isn’t expected to do. This often receives ether scorn or or unnatural praise (how many woman have been praised as hero’s for doing little more than shooting their mouth off to someone who could have hurt them).

          “The problem is even if the author of a post like this, doesn’t mean it to be a gendered expectation, we still live in a society in which such expectations are largely gendered.”

          I believe that is what I said. Nothing about my statement limited it to this author. It would be nice if this kind of selflessness was praised as something special. Not something expected. A selfless PERSON (not man, but anyone) should be respected. A person who seeks to survive, or simply reacts in self preservation, should not be shamed for doing so, especially based on their sex.

  3. I’m trying to imagine the constant feelings of guilt and shame I would constantly live under, probably for the rest of my life, if I knew that I was only alive because someone else literally gave their own life for it.

    Then again, I would probably feel the same if I was alive because I had failed to save someone else in a situation similar to this.

    Is this a man vs. woman thing? Because we as men are brought up to see women as inherently more valuable than us, and nothing less are expected by us?
    If so, how can anyone who claims to oppose traditional gender roles see this as a good thing?

    • I can’t believe people still think both genders can have flexible gender roles.
      Woman can be as flexible as they want but men can only be flexible when it works for woman.

  4. So men are toxic in general? They only get out from under the Toxic Dump when they die the right way saving women? Odd how some writers just can’t leave their Dogma Bone alone as they gnaw away at the keyboard.

    What if they had been a Gay Couple – Lesbian Saves Wife – would it get the same headlines? NO!

    Queer Man saves Husband In Idaho Train Wreck – but for local reasons and media policy we have to report it as Sodomite gets just desserts and delays delivery of goods by train!

    Why is the media massacre being celebrated? Are some so desperate to buy into the Warhole 15 minutes of fame that they eulogise as a social meme to get their own 15 minutes should it disastrously arrive?

    Four People Died – two get canonised. What’s wrong with the other two dead men? Are they only to be judges as having value relative to the number of women saved?

    Hetro Death Headlines! Systemic Oppression and it’s killing people.

    I also have to wonder at why there is a shocking imbalance in the number of events where men in the USA are dying to save the lives of others – especially when you compare matters to other countries – and even countries that have trains and level crossings. Worse still people are dying and not getting Media Hyperbole, so it indicates that only when men are sacrificing themselves on mass will the slaughter end.

    Maybe someone could stop glorifying the death process around gender lines and have a look at how to cut the incidence of death? I know I may rain on the parade of some who glory in male death and body counts and even use the issue to show just how sexist men are as they play upon that Gross sexist trope of Women and Children First … but you never know – looking at the death issue free of gender and super hero stereotypes may promote more living – lower insurance and even delivery of goods on time with less rail related delay.

    I’m just glad that the main media missed the secondary headline of how at least two men were too lazy to save themselves. …. but I do have to wonder was that due to location and veteran status, or were they a gay couple and being disrespected due to sexuality?

  5. What better way for a man to prove his usefulness than by accepting his own disposability and dying for a woman?
    Please for the love of God don’t gender this. You can say that self sacrifice is a noble thing, but holding it up as a uniquely masculine “virtue” is absolutely vile. Just another way of perpetuating the sexist idea that a man’s worth is primarily based on his utility to others.

    • “just another way of perpetuating the sexist idea that a man’s worth is primarily based on his utility to others.”

      This sexist idea is pumped into the heads of men and woman from the time they’re born.

  6. I think when men or women give their lives for another person, it’s an amazing thing to do beyond what normal words can conceptualize. When people risk their lives to save another human beings, it is amazingly special. What these men did for their wives shouldn’t be sullied by gender politics. They made the choice to save their wives. No one forced them to do it. In a split second of thinking, you don’t start calculating and itemizing things in your head. You just react on pure base instinct. Anyone that’s been in a life or death situation knows that. The thought process and choice making happens at split seconds. These men reacted with nothing short of heroism. And they should be honored for that. Not become our personal fodder for gender issues. When those men made the choice they did, they didn’t do it because they thought they were “less” then their partners. They just did it out of pure love and a desire to protect. I don’t think that should be shamed.

    • Sure it’s special, but so is jumping to save your own life. Looking after your own life is incredibly important and you are often the best suited to doing so. There is a deeper culture problem with expecting men to sacrifice themselves for women, how many stories have you heard of of women covering their husbands like the men covering their partners at the batman shooting? I don’t think I’ve ever seen the average woman step in to protect men, nor can I recall hearing about it. I’ve seen n heard the average man protecting a woman though, but only heard of military or police women protecting others. It may happen but I easily think men are farr more likely to do it.

      What they did was heroic of course but that should not be the manly thing to do, but the human thing if anything. Women should be putting themselves in danger for their men if men are doing the same, protect each other, fight side by side. Ozy is saluting n acknowledging self-sacrifice as being a good part of masculinity. It’s based out of the man’s life being worth less than a woman’s, he is disposable, and it’s sickening to see it reinforced by referring to it as a good part of masculinity instead of a good trait of humanity. These aren’t traits that should be masculine or feminine!

      They’re also trained by the military which correct me if I am wrong trains you to ignore part of your instinct since cowering for protection from gunfire would be bad if you are meant to be sending suppression fire back. Training helps immensely in life or death situations.

      • Have you ever seen the documentary “Grizzly Man”? The grizzly researcher and his girlfriend were attacked by a bear. There is apparently an audio recording of the attack because they had a camera on (though there is no video). Instead of running away while the bear was mauling her boyfriend, the girlfriend apparently tried to attack the bear with a weapon of some kind (a pan, I think) and the bear killed her too.

        I also think in situations like this, maybe women are more likely to talk about male heroism than visa versa. Would a man want to tell people that his dead girlfriend or wife gave her life to save him? On the other hand, I think there is a tendency for women possibly to even exaggerate what their partners did. The media also loves stories of male heroism and may ignore stories of female heroism. I totally agree the media coverage is skewed.

      • There was also a widely reported incident in the city of Alameda, CA, a few years ago where a guy swam out in the Bay to commit suicide. Firefighters were called, but would not attempt to save him because (they later said) they had not been trained to do water rescues (Alameda is an island, by the way). A female bystander swam out and pulled him ashore while the firefighters stood around. Unfortunately it was too late and he died of hypothermia.

        • Thank-you! I’m glad to hear stories like that exist to challenge the experiences I’ve seen. It’s nice to know that humans have your back, male or female after a life filled with the very gendered version of heroism. The only defender role I’ve seen largely with women is the mumma bear role, where you don’t fuck with mumma’s kids or she’ll tear you a new one.

          • I think there are plentyof stories of female heroism around if you look for them. I acknowledged in other comments that I think the media coverage of these incidents is biased, as well as people’s memories. People jump to the conclusion that “he took a bullet, he’s a hero”, while a woman who was shot, just got shot.

            Years ago I remember there was a female teacher who thwarted a school shooting by knocking the gun out of the hand of the assailant (another woman). I remember reading about a woman who drowned in San Francisco Bay while trying to save a child (not her own child) who fell out of a boat. There was a woman a few months ago in the Bay Area who pulled someone (a man, I believe) from a burning car. Maybe I should start clipping these stories when I see them….

            • The ones that need to be shown more especially are women saving men, not just children but adult males and if we tell men to save women then we should be telling women to save men.

            • Here are 3 examples I found in a couple minutes of searching

              Seville woman honored for rescuing man from burning car
              http://www.newsnet5.com/dpp/news/local_news/oh_medina/seville-woman-honored-for-rescuing-man-from-burning-car

              Woman pulls man from burning truck
              http://www.gaffneyledger.com/news/2012-07-20/Local_News/Woman_pulls_man_from_burning_truck.html

              California Woman, Saves Driver From Burning Truck
              http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/25/keenan-williams-californi_n_1026832.html

            • Any of women saving their boyfriends/husbands?

            • Here’s one where an 85 year old woman saved her husband from a moose

              http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/01/25/85-year-old-woman-takes-on-moose-saves-husband/

            • Joanna Schroeder says:

              There are SO MANY stories it’s crazy. I watched actual footage of a woman and a man both approaching an accident (separately) and jumping out to save a couple before the car set on fire.

            • I’ve jumped out of my car to help in accidents, and have been on the scene at several eldercare homes where I’ve had to act. Lots and lots of average people do good things. The most splashy wind up on News at 5 pm. Like if a person of any gender saves a child in an extreme circumstance, it gets reported, but if a person just helps with smaller event..nada.

              And in the case of the bigger events, the byline will be designed for maximum view (and in ways that subtly reinforce gender dynamics).

            • That’s pretty awesome! Thanks for showing me. I am glad it happens, although I do think it’s not an expectation still which is the original problem but it’s nice to know that human instinct will often bring out protective actions.

            • I think Archy’s gotten distracted from the original point. There is no denial that women do heroic, self sacrificing things (though I note all the women reported survived), but women aren’t expected to do them. When they do, they are celebrated as going above and beyond, where men are doing their duty. For example, in the first story, they gave Stitt a hero’s honor. Four men died in the batman shooting, only three really got reported on. The forth, a serviceman, put himself in the line of fire to protect a fellow female serviceman. The three that did get reported on were praised for being real men and stepping up. A woman pulls a boy from a burning car and she’s celebrated as a hero, a man dies acting as a human shield and he’s doing his duty as a man. Don’t you think those men who died as human shields should have gotten at least as much of a hero’s honor as the person who pulled someone out of a car and survived?

            • I need to make a correction, four men died as a result of protecting others (more than that died, of both sex’s. I don’t want to diminish that)

            • I am really surprised that you think that men who die saving someone’s life aren’t honored as heroes. I honestly don’t know how you can believe that. The news stories always heap praise on the such individuals and their heroism is honored with posthumous medals, memorial services, even movies about their lives. Or even operas. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/art/blog/2011/09/san-francisco-opera-sets-911-to-music.html

              Honestly, I don’t know anyone who just shrugs and goes, “yeah that’s what a guy is expected to do, who cares?” I mean, I have just NEVER encountered that kind of attitude. If you have encountered that kind of attitude, that is terrible and I am truly sorry.

            • “I am really surprised that you think that men who die saving someone’s life aren’t honored as heroes.”

              I don’t think they are honored as “heroes”, I think they are honored as “real men”.

              “Honestly, I don’t know anyone who just shrugs and goes, “yeah that’s what a guy is expected to do, who cares?” I mean, I have just NEVER encountered that kind of attitude. ”

              The “who cares” bit I don’t agree with, but I think the rest is demonstrated in this very article. I’ve asked you a few times now to quote where in this very article the two men who died saving their wives have been acknowledged as heroes. As anything more than properly masculine. If you can not provide an answer, or an acknowledgement that he fails to acknowledge them as heroes and, in doing so, proves my point, I’m afraid I will have to end our conversation as incapable of progressing.

              “If you have encountered that kind of attitude, that is terrible and I am truly sorry.”

              This very article IS that kind of attitude. These men aren’t heralded as heroes, they are heralded as properly masculine.

            • “their sacrifice is noble and honorable”? Should Ozy have also said “heroic”? I don’t know. I think the comments have gone way past the words used in the article but if you are only quibbling now about Ozy ‘s choice of words then I guess we have come full circle.

              I think it is possible to honor men , or women, who act in the most selfless way possible without turning it into a gender war. I am sorry that you see the praise for such sacrifice as such a negative. I will repeat my earlier comments that you are not required to do anything to save a loved one, or anyone, if you want to save yourself that is your call. Most likely no one will know what choice you made, unless you talk about it.

              But I agree this comment thread has probably passed its sell-by date and the negativity here is dragging me down so on this day before Thanksgiving, I will give thanks for the good people in the world (men and women) and leave it at that. Peace.

            • ” I am sorry that you see the praise for such sacrifice as such a negative”

              You have misrepresented me yet again. I take this as a clear intention you do not wish to have a reasonable discussion on the topic and I will remove myself. It is sad that some people are so unwilling to even acknowledge others points, instead attempting to shame them by accusing them of attitudes they have openly stated otherwise.

              I will leave you with this. If you think the selfless act shouldn’t be turned into a gender war, why is it you don’t have a problem with Oz make an absolute connection to masculinity? Just something to ponder, because I will not reply to you or Erin further.

            • Why are the sacrifices women make to save children less important then a sacrifice a woman makes to save a man??? Isn’t a human life a human life?

            • Did I say it was less important? Congrats on yet another strawman.
              The reason I wanted to know of men being saved by women because it’s an expectation that mothers die defending their kids, the mumma-bear, but rarely if ever is it expected that a woman will defend n risk their lives for adult males and quite rare for women to risk their lives to save men unless in the military, police, jobs that require such sacrifice.

              Both genders protect kids, but only one gender is expected to protect both genders, men are expected to protect women whilst women do not have that expectation upon them to protect men. Luckily there are many who will do their best to save others, but I’m yet to see articles of women stepping in defending their husbands in fights, from burglars, “taking a bullet” for their husbands/partners. Are they going to number anywhere near as high as males protecting females?

            • “People jump to the conclusion that “he took a bullet, he’s a hero”, while a woman who was shot, just got shot.”

              But our point is, that isn’t what’s happening. Please, quote for me from Oz’s article where these men are actually defined as hero’s? Because what I see is an assertion that these guys were exhibiting the masculine trait of self sacrifice, and that’s a good and “Valuable” trait for others.

    • Erin,
      these two man did somrthing heroic and they should be honoured, I definitely agree. But the problem is that by honouring deeds like that, we encourage people to risk their lives for others. Now in our Western societies men are significantly more encouraged (or even expected) to risk their lives for others then women are, this doen’t align well with gender equality.
      Further, would you want your son to be a hero?

      • First, I don’t agree that by honouring deeds like this, we encourage people to risk their lives for others. On one hand, you say what they did should be honoroed and then on the other, you think the honoring encourages people to risk their lives. So what is the balance key to you?

        I think by turning this into a gender war, we are disrespecting the choice these men made for their wives. We are blaming the wives or society and we are telling ourselves that these men only did so because of social conditioning? That disrespectful of them to me. As if their choice was only because of pressure from somewhere else and it couldn’t have been their idea alone? So when men save people it’s not because men make that ultimate sacrifice all on their own but only because they are told to do this? That’s really disrespectful to the men that choose to save someone else.

        Secondly, I think when you are in those split second situations, something else takes over that has nothing to do with social conditioning. You are operating on a different level. I suspect the reason men risk their lives is not because they were conditioned by society to do so but because men tend to be bigger physical risk takers then women. Due to certain hormones, obviously, not society. On one hand, men will often use testosterone to justify sexual desires or needs. Which is fine because testoserone DOES play it’s part regarding men’s sexuality. But lets not forget that testosterone also triggers other behavior. Such as more risk-taking behavior. The reason young men are so fueled by sometimes dangerous physical challeneges is the same reason they are so pent up with sexual desire: testosterone. So I suspect that what fuels heroism in men is the natural hormone men hold which drives them to those risky challenges.

        Lastly, to answer your question, I’d want my kids, boy or girl, to live their lives committed to the kind of person they want to be. If they made the split choice to sacrifice their lives for another, I know that they gave a most prescious gift. The gift of their life for another. Obviously I would be devasted and heartbroken, I can only imagine. I might not even fully understand. But I have a strong faith in God and I know that whatever happens to those I love, God knows best. When my father passed, this was the way I thought of it. Even though I didn’t understand why he had to take my Dad, I was grateful for the time I was able to have with him my whole life. I was grateful for what I was given. Sometimes the time we are given with others is shorter then we have hoped. But there is always someone else out there that had even less time with someone they loved or never had that person to love to begin with. I would not be bitter about it or defile their choice by saying they only made that choice because society told them to. (Which I don’t even believe that society tells men to die for others anyway.)

        Ultimately, my personal life belief is that we are here for other people, not ourselves. We are all suppose to help one another. I would hope that if I was so tested, I would be able to do right by someone else. People risk their lives everyday for others. Police officers, firemen, those in the miliatary….. I don’t think these men (and women) only do these jobs because of social pressure. I think they do them because of something inside themselves. Something they are probably very proud of to be.

        I also am reminded of all the women throughout all of history that gave their own lives to continue to have babies. In Roman times, the morality rate was 50%! It wasn’t until medicine really gained great leaps did that change. And they knew that the morality rate wasn’t good ! And they kept taking the risk to have babies anyway! Why don’t you care about those women Alberich? Would you talk about gender politics then? All the thousands ,if not millions of women that died through childbirth so that their husbands could have off spring? What about those acts of heroism? How does that play into gender politics?

        When people are tested to extremes, such as in these examples, it shouldn’t be tarnished with our gender wars. A man saving a woman isn’t a gender war. It’s a choice he made. On his own. Lets give him that amount of respect. Seperate from our anger at one another for how we think we are slighted by the other gender. Making their choice to give their live for another about our gender wars cheapens the heroism.

        • Erin, with all due respect, I suggest you read the artical as it seems clear you haven’t. The anger is against the author not the act… The author is the one making it about “Brave man saves weak wife” and “traditional masculinity”.

          • John Smith, I did read the article. I am sorry you don’t believe I’ve understood it. I can assure you I have. I don’t see anger at the author. I see a lot of male anger toward the idea of men saving women and giving their lives to the women they love. But you know what’s funny? I haven’t heard one man here complain about one man giving his life for another man. Whenever this discussion comes up it’s ALWAYS a debate about men giving their lives up for women and the anger men feel when other men make the choice to give their lives up for someone with a vagina. Never do men get as irate or feel anger about men giving their lives up for other men. Never does this discussion come up regarding men giving up their lives for other men. Never have I heard men express such anger about men risking their lives to save other men. Movies like Saving Private Ryan and Black Heart Down are very masculine themed movies that I KNOW speak to men. Stories of heroism men express between each other to risk their lives to help another. But when it comes to women, all the sudden a man risking his life for a woman is seen as something awful. There seems to be a deep rooted undercurrent of anger for women specifically.

            • Did you read the part about how masculinity is toxic except when it is sacrificing itself for women? That first insults traditional masculinity. But worst, it then says the quality of masculinity (thus, removing the expectation from women) that is still desirable is self sacrifice. Do you believe self sacrifice is a male only attribute? An aspect of masculinity? Do you appreciate having gender roles inforced onto you through attacks on your femininity? Do you appreciate being told your not a real woman if you don’t stay home and raise a brood of children?

            • Mark, OzFrantz didn’t say, “masculinity is toxic except when it is sacrificing itself for women”…what the author said was that there were aspects …”aspects” of traditional masculinity that are toxic and aspects of it that aren’t to “people” in general. He used the world “people” even, “people” isn’t specific to women! He also said that just because certain concepts of traditional masculinity can be toxic (And guess what? They can be. You don’t agree?) That we shouldn’t obliterate everything. Those aspects can sometimes be most toxic to men themselves and not even involve women! We are just as much talking about elements of traditional male concepts that can be harmful to men too!

              I think the same could be said about women as well. I think women can be toxic when they gossip about others. And women do gossip! That is a toxic element that women are more prone too. But there are positive things women do too that could be considered tradtional and wonderful. Is there anything wrong is acknowledging that both genders have toxic elements or positive traditional ones? Or is what bothered you was that the author didn’t immediately counter it with something toxic about women so you can’t bare to hear that thare infact elements of masculinity that can be toxic in return?

              I am sorry but the author never said that men are toxic except when they are dying for women. Infact, the author specifically used the word “people” in his discussion.

              If I believed that self sacrifice was only for men, I wouldn’t have brought up the other examples of ways women sacrificed themselves. If I believed that self sacrifice was only for men, I wouldn’t have incorporated women into the conversation at all about those who could sacrifice their lives for others. Do you really believe women never sacrifice their lives for others? Do you know how disparaging that is to female cops, female firefighters and women in the service who make the same exact sacrifices as their male counterparts everyday?

              I don’t appreciate alot of media messages. I don’t like how often men are protrayed as idiots in a lot of sitcoms or sex crazed women-chasers. I wish there were more positive forms of masculine roles in media. I think Touch, the show, is a good example of a positive male on TV. I don’t like the fact that a lot of men enjoy a very sexual industry that is all about telling women what they need to be to be worthy of male attention or calls women names regularly. But most men are fully okay with supporting that kind of media. There are a lot of things wrong with what media tells us. But I don’t remember ever hearing that men must “die” for women.

              You are completely ignoring the physical elements that tend to make men bigger risk takers which probably factors into men risking their lives for others, women OR MEN. It’s not women’s fault that men tend to be bigger risk takers and women tend not to be!

              I think self sacrifice happens EVERYDAY from both men and women. I think men and women are sometimes very different and that they are not 100% equally comparable in terms of gender identity for all of us all the time. Some of us are more traditional and some of us aren’t. I think sacrificing for others makes us a better, stronger world. Because the only way we will surivive is if we are in it as a group and not as individuals out for our own self interests. Does that mean someone that doesn’t sacrifice their life to save another is wrong? No. But why do we feel the need to villify the people that make the choice to sacrifice their life for others? Who risk their lives for others? Should there be no police officers then? No army people? No one who takes risks for fear that we see it as an attack of respect in masculinity?

            • Wow. I must admit I am truely astonished at how much someone can misunderstand others replies so badly. When you have multiple people telling you that you’re wrong about your interpretration of their words, maybe you should…I dunno, LISTEN TO THEM? You’re debating something WE’RE NOT SAYING.

              Ozyfrantz is also a female who identifies as neither gender as far as I know who is celebrating self-sacrifice as a masculine trait, which is even more degrading to men than if a man does it due to the fact women are not expected to do the same and it implies a man’s life is worth less than a woman’s. Jeez, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand why the men here are annoyed and this is only proving that not many women seem to understand men at all.

              “No. But why do we feel the need to villify the people that make the choice to sacrifice their life for others?”
              NO ONE IS VILIFYING THE MEN. OH MY GOD, do you even READ our comments?!?!?! Reread them 5x please. Pay more attention to when we say the expectation is gendered and that people celebrating the gendered expectation is bad. Of course what they did was admirable, but portraying it as a masculine trait is wrong. It shouldn’t be a manly thing to do, but a humanly thing.

            • “”aspects” of traditional masculinity that are toxic and aspects of it that aren’t to “people” in general. He used the world “people” even, “people” isn’t specific to women!”

              Actually, he didn’t say “to” people, he said “for” people. Their are aspects that are valuable “for” people. There is a difference. He further goes on to say “Dying in order to save those you love is one of them.”. In a general sense (yes, I know I’m being heteronormative here, but I’m generalizing) that is a woman and children. It is the “those you love” part that implies woman.

              “He also said that just because certain concepts of traditional masculinity can be toxic (And guess what? They can be. You don’t agree?) ”

              Clearly I do. The idea that one should sacrifice their life is an aspect of MASCULINITY that should be removed from masculinity and placed into the realm of extraordinary. I would think a feminist would want the idea of being able to self sacrifice, if it was such a good and noble thing, to NOT be associated with masculinity, and thus, outside their realm. But I can understand the reluctance. Setting it up this way results in an expectation on men, so when men do it, it isn’t anything beyond what they should have been doing, but when women do it, it’s something truly special and to be celebrated.

              That said, I do disagree with many of the attributes Oz does attach to masculinity as toxic. Many of those attributes are not attributes of masculinity, and are just attached to it in order to denigrate it.

              “Those aspects can sometimes be most toxic to men themselves and not even involve women! We are just as much talking about elements of traditional male concepts that can be harmful to men too!”

              I’m curious how you don’t see a man date to die for others as being harmful to themselves? If any aspect of masculinity is harmful to men, it is the assertion that they should die, as a matter of course, due solely to their gender, for the benefit of others.

              ” I think women can be toxic when they gossip about others. And women do gossip! ”

              Are you suggesting that gossiping is a feminine trait? That femininity is inherently gossipy? Do make sure to use like terms.

              “Is there anything wrong is acknowledging that both genders have toxic elements or positive traditional ones?”

              There is When they are identifying traits that are legitimately harmful (death is harmful) as positive and valuable, and not actually identifying what’s negative (but due to past experience, I know what attributes are attributed as toxic and don’t agree they are attributes of masculinity)

              “If I believed that self sacrifice was only for men, I wouldn’t have brought up the other examples of ways women sacrificed themselves.”

              And again you are ignoring the expectation part of it. When men do it, it’s what’s expected of them, when women do it, it’s something special. If this isn’t the way it’s supposed to go, then why the connection to masculinity?

              “Do you really believe women never sacrifice their lives for others? Do you know how disparaging that is to female cops, female firefighters and women in the service who make the same exact sacrifices as their male counterparts everyday?”

              I do, it’s one of the reason I see linking self sacrifice to masculinity as a problem. I’ve said as much already. YOU on the other hand, don’t seem to have a problem with that link. Are you suggesting women who do self sacrifice are masculine or exhibiting masculine traits? You try pinning this on me when I’m the one arguing against making a direct link between self sacrifice and masculinity and Oz (and through his defense, you) are trying to make it a manly trait.

              “But I don’t remember ever hearing that men must “die” for women.”

              I have. I see it in this very article. Others see it too. And as men, we are aware and receptive of the messages directed at us, that are harmful to us. The message benefits you, as a woman. Why wouldn’t you choose to not see it? You’ve been told repeatedly what that message is and you still twist the arguments into something never said.

              “You are completely ignoring the physical elements that tend to make men bigger risk takers which probably factors into men risking their lives for others,”

              This is an attempt at justifying the message you claimed has never been said. Odd, when it is suggested men are bigger risk takers and so are rewarded by it with things like higher pay and more promotions, we’re called sexist and told that’s not true.

              ” I think men and women are sometimes very different and that they are not 100% equally comparable in terms of gender identity for all of us all the time”

              Yes, a lot of feminists have started to take this route now that men are pushing back. Now it has become acceptable to recognize differences when doing so is of benefit to women, but unacceptable when doing so would not be.

              “Does that mean someone that doesn’t sacrifice their life to save another is wrong? No”

              It just makes them unmanly, unmasculine. A title that is of no consequences to women, but a little more harmful to men.

              “But why do we feel the need to villify the people that make the choice to sacrifice their life for others?”

              I believe it is against posting policy to willfully misrepresent others arguments. If I see this argument again levied against someone who has not used it, I will be making a formal complaint to the moderators. You have been corrected on this numerous times and there is no reason for you to continue using this strawman.

            • You know what Mark? You got to do what you got to do. So if you need to report me to moderators, you go ahead and do that. But above you made an interesting comment to Sarah about what you thought was her intention to not want to have a reasonable discussion. It was interesting to me because that is exactly how saw the conversation with you, especially after you tied up your response to me by threatening to report me.

              The moderorators are certainly here to handle those things but we are two adults. I am not a 5 year old child that needs to be “corrected” by you or told that I better shape up or face “reporting” on. You are more then welcome to disagree with me but you are not welcome to “correct” me.

              You also talked about the use of shame in a conversation. And I got to tell you, I feel like that’s been thrown around from your side as well.

              I ask with all sincerity for you to take a serious look at how you’ve interacted with myself and Sarah and ask yourself if you’ve been entirely fair in this conversation. If your way of communicating has been perfectly on key, respectful, gracious and non-combative. I know mine hasn’t. I am not perfect. And I’m sorry if you were offended but I really am doing the best I can. I don’t just say things to say them. I say them, because I believe in them.

              I think at the end of the day we are all doing the best we can to communicate and I don’t think either one of us has been perfect. So instead of assuming the worst of one another and attaching labels and put downs to one another, how about we try to give each other the benefit of the doubt.

            • I’ve sat back and watched this thread unfold – Oh Boy It’s been so fascinating. I do love watching the behaviours round here – so many are so text book and so few readers actually recognise them when done in plain view.

              I know that Thanks Giving is a time for Turkey – but for some It’s Christmas cos a Goose has been Cooked, and it’s so often like watching rerun cartoons and cartoon characters beloved by Baby Boomers and their babies and repeated to generations ever since. ROFPML.

              @ Erin – you really should be made the poster child of Debating Club 101 for the the whole of the USA. Nice try to fly under the wire there – but as they say you can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time – but not all of the people all of the time.

              It was possible to put your inability to grasp, address and even debate the other side of the argument down to bad communication until you read so much, ignored so much and pulled such a bad debating tactic out of the bag.

              So many points made in the post by Mark – and you take the last one (I’m Surprised you actually read that far) and you avoid all the points made prior by claiming you are being threatened. Oh how nice – Damsel falsely activates distress trope to deflect attention and call in the 7th cavalry … I aint seen it so comically done since I last saw Penelope Pitstop on TV.

              Way to go there Erin – don’t debate the issues attack the person – or as it’s better known “Ad Hominem” – and oddly that is a phrase that is explicitly mentioned in the Posting Guidelines which you keep Bringing up and keep inviting to be used so ironically against others!

              Ad hominem attacks**

              **[“Ad hominem abuse involves insulting or belittling one’s opponent in order to invalidate his argument, but can also involve pointing out factual but ostensible character flaws or actions which are irrelevant to the opponent’s argument. This tactic is logically fallacious because insults and even true negative facts about the opponent’s personal character have nothing to do with the logical merits of the opponent’s arguments or assertions.”]

              Oh – of course you are already making it all about Mark being Guilty and that is where everyone should be looking – and we all know that false accusation means that everyone is seen as Innocent until proven Guilty… and Dirt being artfully applied to people via the net and net technologies does not end up looking Like a lot of dirt – like Mountains of it?

              And of course when a Damsel screams ‘It’s the Wolf’, It’s the Wolf’ alla lamsby everyone responds the right way. Cartoon Social Conditioning is like that.

              There has been such great debate over the years concerning Violence and Cartoons and how they affect developing minds. I find it so amusing that other potential influences have never been discussed – but it is so hilarious to see them made reality. Thank you – I have not laughed so much in years.

              Of course Tom And Jerry were both male – so it was male on male interaction that so many were concerned about. Odd how they missed the other Tropes that so many now make manifest and even get tripped up by. Maybe next time Penelope Pitstop arrives – you never know, the Anthill Mob may turn up to join in the cartoon comedy.

              .. and oh how I long for the days of the Hair Bear Bunch, Shazzan and the Banana Splits (Tra La la Tra la la la – and some wonder why so many modern adults are so colourful and uncoordinated )

              PS – I’m just waiting for the irony of being told that my ironic observations are ad homium in illuminating the ad hominum – and that just gets so Disney with Alice and Wonderland as the absurdity grows. P^)

            • Amen. Attack the person’s real position, not a made-up one!

            • @ Mark Neil – as I’ve said concerning others cartoon ways, I have sat back and been watching!

              It has been most interesting to see the dogged attempts by you and others such as Archey to get others to address the issues and points made. It has been unsurprising, though unwittingly comical and informative, to see how some have done everything possible to get away, around and ultimately to disparage the issues and points.

              Some of the conduct is so “Mechanical” as to be mass produced. It is a pity though that design obsolescence does not feature highly or come automatically built into the mind sets that are all so last season. It is odd in a supposed consumer culture for some to be displaying antique ideas and tropes … which indicates that quality does not diminish with age, and should be considered carefully. The market for antique toys is massive.

              I have heard the arguments around dead men and heroes before so many times – and I was racking my brains for one reference I just could not pin down. … then hey presto it Surfaces – I blame age and the passing decades since it was first published. P^)

              I wouldn’t bother debating any further with Erin or Sarah until they have read the observations of some recognised experts in the field of gender politics – you know the sort of people who:

              1) have served on the boards of National Organization for Women (NOW),

              2) have been teaching such disciplines as psychology, women’s studies, sociology, political science, gender and parenting

              3) teaching and researching at such venues as the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego, the California School of Professional Psychology, Department of Women’s Studies at San Diego State, Georgetown University; American University, and Rutgers….

              Eduction, especially teaching, and being a board member of a nationally(US) recognised organisation such as NOW are seen as signs of quality and expertise. Cream is seen to float to the top and gender studies and politics is no different in that.

              Some love other supposed academics and writers of minor notoriety and even youth, but I have found over the years that such low hanging fruit are best left to fall, as they so frequently do – and better fruit is found higher up in the more mature tree – Sunlight does improve flavour as well as the flesh.

              Odd but so many examples of the Mythical Male Hero and why Dying Quietly with a Mythology as reward was highlighted and discussed by that Educator – Now what was that name and where were they writing all about it!

              Oh yes – “The Myth of Male Power – Why Men are the Disposable Sex” – Warren Farrell – 1st Ed 1993 (Multiple Reprints and Multiple Languages) – yet……. 20 YEARS ON AND WHEN THE POINT IS RAISED YOU CAN GUARANTEE WHO WILL BE ARGUING WHY ITS FALSE – WRONG – AND HOW WOMAN HAVE IT WORSE – MEN ARE WRONG AND EVEN BEING A DANGER TO WOMEN WHEN THEY PUSH ON REGARDLESS! …. it’s almost biological in the knee jerk reactions that come from some bodies … clinical.

              Oddly “The Myth of Male Power” is one of the few books on the subject of gender which some University Gender Studies Departments saw fit to ban upon publication, and state to all students that they may not under any circumstances quote it in any academic work.

              That is Extraordinary and sort of Unprecedented – hell some of the reading lists it was banned from recommended such delights as the manifestos and publications of groups which advocated paedophilia, pederasty and child porn.

              When asked to explain the bans on “The Myth of Male Power” No explanation was forthcoming, and under pressure concerning Freedom of Speech – Freedom of Expression and something called Academic Integrity and credibility…. well it was decided that Students could read it and even quote it.

              Odd how some educated folks behave – and just how prejudice seeps into some people – memetic infection by False Trope and deliberate ignorance of the facts – and protected from any form of cure or inoculation because the Meme instils a self protecting fear disguised as certainty and self fulfilling arrogance …. you don’t need to read it to know it’s bad and wrong… you just know it! If it was taking place in a circus side show it would be called Psychic Fraud.

              So Mark – I would not bother debating with people who have minds that you will never change because those minds are prejudiced against anything you have to say. I would just challenge those minds (Or rather the meat puppet that carries them) to read some of the materials that the prejudices are falsely built upon and supporting of that meme in the meat … and once they have been read, one will have to wonder how the pre judgement from ignorance will be able to sustain itself after simple and un-complex reality is in front of them.

              It’s easier to simply ask as many time as necessary to get a straight forward answer “Have You Read The Book?”. If they can’t answer it with yes or no .. or even a relevant analogue such as ” I have failed to acquaint myself with the verbage you refer to ” … well three strikes and it’s out!

              Once is an accident – twice suspect – three times = evasion caused my meme infection of clinical significance and the meat, or meat products derived from it, are simply not suitable for any form of consumption by humans. When dealing with the equivalent of a prion and resulting systemic invasion – the only rational management is culling, and where that is not an option, isolation and minimal contact and opportunity for spread by good hygiene and barrier nursing.

              As they say – KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid, because some are stupid and they need to be asked simple questions to help them understand simple issues which they treat as needlessly complex and to be covered up with any form of silliness and misdirection that comes to hand. Some displays of aversion are so sever as to be bordering on the clinical and to be treated with great sympathy… and where necessary contained for the safety of others.

              I would also just say – If a man was to make comments and arguments such as I have seen here on issues about Women, the terms sexists and women hater would have abounded. All I see is the truth that gallantry is still alive, cos the reserve and courteous ways that the gentlemen have treated the ladies have been clear evidence of who is the fairer sex ..and then some.

              So some may wish to drag you into a public mass debate so they can mess about with their mechanical devices and the knee jerks that evidently give them so much pleasure. I would just ask them to read the book and then debate properly from an informed and rational position – less pleasurable for them, but reduced knee jerk has been found to improve learning and even found to aide promotion in many fields including employment.

              Some gain pleasure from mechanical reiteration of the little they know and have learned from others ignorance and prejudice – whilst others enjoy a full and detailed exploration of the body of the subject, with expert guidance and insights to unknown issues and areas which lead to such levels of fulfilment and even deep pleasure that once experienced can never be forgotten ….. it’s that fulfilling it takes over your whole existence.

              Intellectual Curiosity and having an open mind is like that. Once you have been there, mechanical is just not worth bothering with. P^)

            • Erin

              Men sacrfice their lives to protect women and other men as well.

              We are only saying that women would never sacrifice their life to protect her man. Maybe her children but not her man. Women dont have that instinct towards men.

              Its just a difference that we are pointing without assessing whether its right or wrong. Why are you so reluctant to acknowledge it?

            • I disagree on so many levels here. We’ve (myself, Archy, etc) argued nothing about what women would or wouldn’t do, nor do we argue about natural instinct or whatnot. Your argument is far closer to that of the original poster, except, contrary to your claim:

              “without assessing whether its right or wrong. ”

              The original author very much defined it as “good and valuable”. And it is that assertion that this is gendered (an part of masculinity), and seen as an expected gendered trait (as opposed to a positive human trait) that is wrong. People should be respected for their self sacrifice, regardless of sex. men should not be expected to do it simply because they are men, and so have this “instinct women don’t have”. That devalues the act into nothing more than fulfilling ones job duties.

            • Exactly. I dunno why this is so hard to understand?
              I don’t care about people celebrating someone saving another life, I care about portraying it as a gendered trait. Would women like it if I started spouting on about being a full time carer as a feminine trait? Though even then it doesn’t compare to the severe risk to your life in situations like the OP.

            • It isn’t hard to understand, it’s just hard to continue enforcing once exposed without being extremely hypocritical to the feminist claim of breaking down gender roles.

            • LOL. Because the men in Saving Private Ryan are likely to SAVE EACH OTHER and not a 1 way expectation of men saving women without women saving men. Really Erin, pay more attention to what we’re all saying. It’s clear you haven’t understood much of what we’re actually saying when you think it’s merely bitterness at saving women. It has nothing to do with them being female or male but everything to do with the expectation for one gender to save the other whilst the other isn’t put to the same standard. Men in war are expected to save each other, “No man left behind”, so of course it’s different.

              Why are you soooo reluctant to acknowledge this? You strawman us with your completely wrong assessment of what we’re saying but can’t seem to grasp our point. Are we not making it clear or something? I admire the fact he’s faced danger n saved others, male or female, I’m not annoyed that he saved a woman, I’m glad he did. I’m annoyed that our society expects men to save women, men to save men, but women aren’t meant to save men or women. I’d rather it be a celebration of humans saving humans whilst also respecting those who save themselves. It has nothing to do with anger or bitterness towards women being saved!

        • Erin,
          “First, I don’t agree that by honouring deeds like this, we encourage people to risk their lives for others.”
          This is the crucial point. If you are right, then there is no problem with honouring such sacrifices. But if you are wrong, then we should talk about the effects.
          “We are blaming the wives or society and we are telling ourselves that these men only did so because of social conditioning?”
          Who is blaming the wives? Of course the men didn’t act only out of social conditioning, but this does not mean that social conditioning didn’t play a role.
          As if their choice was only because of pressure from somewhere else and it couldn’t have been their idea alone?
          Frankly no, it can’t be their idea alone, everybody is influenced by the people around them, without this influence (beginning in childhood) they wouldn’t be able to function as a social being.
          ” I suspect the reason men risk their lives is not because they were conditioned by society to do so but because men tend to be bigger physical risk takers then women.”
          It sounds very plausible, that biology is an important factor.
          “Ultimately, my personal life belief is that we are here for other people, not ourselves.”
          Your attitude makes a lot of sense here. But look that for many progressive people, the main goal in life is to be happy and self-fulfillment. For those people self sacrifice shouldn’t make much sense.
          “Seperate from our anger at one another for how we think we are slighted by the other gender.”
          It is not about this deed, but societies expectations on genders.

          • Alberich – I don’t really understand a good chunk of your response. Especially your very first comment.

            I will say for those that strictly care about their own personal self-fulfillment and happiness, I doubt those types would even consider sacrificing their lives for someone else to begin with. Man or woman. Usually people that are primarily concerned with themselves first (I am not making a statement either way if that’s right or wrong), aren’t going to think about other people all the sudden when it comes to life and death.

            It sounds like to me that men are very bitter about men giving their lives for other women. But this discussion never crops up when it’s about men giving their lives for other men. When men sacrifice their lives for other men, I have never heard a man come back and say that man did it because he was socially constructed to do so. I know of many movies men LOVE that show men sacrificing their lives for other men. Or that TV show Band of Brothers..I know lots of men that loved that show and it showed men making sacrifices not only for their country but for their male friendships. It’s funny how that doesn’t draw the same amount of angst. But if it’s done for women, all the sudden it’s a big gender war.

            I also think it’s funny that so many men ignore my historical point of refernece about how many women sacrificed themselves to bare the off-spring of their husbands. These where sacrifices normal women made everyday but none of you seem to have much to say about how those women gave their lives for the child she and her husband created. You don’t seem very angry or hurt about the sacrifices these women made. Sure, they weren’t pulling men out of burning buildings but she was giving her own life so that her and her husband’s child would have one. Where is the gender outrage about that?

    • I agree that these men shouldn’t be shamed for their sacrifice.
      However, we live in a culture which encourages men to sacrifice themselves for others if faced with such an extreme situation and shames them if they value their own lives more. Remember the guy who ran from the theater in Aurora during the shooting?
      The same is not asked of or expected of women. I doubt you will find anyone shaming these two women for not pushing their husbands out of the way.

      Exemplifying this as something a “good man” does (and by extension implying that a man who values his own life is a bad man) and not something a good *person* does is not gender equality.

      • While it makes me sad that a lot of guys here are bitter about the choices other men made to save their partners, the man you are talking about didn’t just run out on his partner, he ran out on his own kids as well. No one saying he is a “bad” man all around. But he didn’t even stick around to help with his own kids. His partner did. She didn’t run out leaving her children behind. She was trying to manage to protect her two kids all on her own. And he just left all of them. If you don’t think men should give their lives for women, okay. But he couldn’t even be bothered to help with his own kids. He split and his partner stayed with the kids when she could have run off too. And another man, seeing this, reacted by his own choice and motiviation and stepped in to help. A man who didn’t have to. He made that choice on his own. He didn’t simply make that choice because society forced him to.

        • What do you think would have happened had that woman, with the kids, also ran out and left her own kids behind? Do you think people would have been fine with that? No. She would have been on the chopping block, and rightly so for leaving her own kids behidn to save herself!

          • Erin, what do you think would have happened if the reverse were true – the woman escaped and her partner stayed behind with the kid? Would people be praising the man for risking his life to protect others or shaming the woman for being a coward, like they did for the man in real life?

            Please try to understand that no one here is trying to shame these men for their sacrifice or say that self sacrifice is a bad thing.
            People are just pointing out the unfairness of an expectation being placed only on men that in a dire situation they should sacrifice their lives for women.

            • Thank you. It’s good to know someone understands our argument.

            • I will sincerely answer your question once you answer mine first Melenas. I don’t feel it’s very respectful to ignore my question in favor of asking your own. I am more then happy to answer the question you asked! I just want you to give my question the same respect.

              I understand that a lot of men posting here are feeling marginilized when stories come up regarding how men risked their lives to save women. But it hasn’t gone unnoticed by me how this conversation never comes up when it’s about men risking their lives for other men. I guess men risking their lives for other men is okay but when it’s a man that risks his life for a woman he only did it because society told him to.

              I think in *this* situation, if these two men hadn’t saved their wives and their wives instead where the ones to parrish, I fully believe that the story that would have been reported would have just been about how two women died in this accident. Not accusations about how their husband’s didn’t save them. There are stories everday about women that die in situations and their male family members or friends make it out. And no one blames those men for making it out alive.

            • “But it hasn’t gone unnoticed by me how this conversation never comes up when it’s about men risking their lives for other men. I guess men risking their lives for other men is okay but when it’s a man that risks his life for a woman he only did it because society told him to.”
              This has been addressed more than once in this comment thread, did you actually READ the comments? It doesn’t come up when risking their lives for other men because other men have the same expectation to risk their life! Women do not have that same expectation. It boils down to men risk their lives for people who won’t risk theirs, society doesn’t expect women to lift a finger towards saving men but men are expected to protect women to the death. How is this a hard concept to understand?

              “And no one blames those men for making it out alive.”
              I’ve seen it plenty. There’s a reason why men feel like such a failure if their partner is harmed, endless stories of men saving women in childhood, movies, disney, etc all reinforcing the role of males as protector. Women handed men white feathers to shame them into joining ww1 even, those women having the privilege of men dying for their protection is the pinnacle of entitlement to hand out such shame.

              I find this comment thread so depressing, it truly seems you are out of touch with men even when given MULTIPLE excellent explanations of the problem you seem clueless as to why we’re even angry. I haven’t seen you actually understand or address why we’re angry yet. The fact you still talk about how “men only talk about this when it’s about saving women n bitterness, but they’re fine with saving men” only proves you haven’t got any idea of why we’re annoyed. I am completely lost as to how to explain it to you so you can understand. What is it about our explanations that are failing so hard? Man = expected to protect women, Woman = NOT expected to protect man, Self-sacrifice is portrayed as a masculine trait instead of a human trait and males lives are worth less than women’s in the way society portrays it, the disposable male. Does that explain it? The problem is it’s only one gender getting the negativity here, hence the anger n “bitterness”. It can’t be triggered by men saving men because the men they’re saving have the SAME expectations put upon them.

        • “While it makes me sad that a lot of guys here are bitter about the choices other men made to save their partners,”
          Wow, seriously, how do you misread these comments like that? No one here is bitter at the men for saving the women and to say that is VERY INSULTING. We’re bitter at it being told as a good MASCULINE TRAIT to sacrifice your life for another (especially a woman who isn’t given the same expectation of sacrifice). It’s a very simple concept to understand, the degradation is the continuance of portraying heroism n self sacrifice as manly vs just a human trait.

        • “He didn’t simply make that choice because society forced him to.”
          Funny, you’re so willing to say society pressures women into acting a certain way in regards to their sexuality yet fail to acknowledge society pressuring men to throw their life away to save a woman and kids.

          Did you see the broohah over the men who were saving themselves instead of letting women get off first on the cruise-liner sinking? I sure did and there was a metric fucktonne of shame directed to men for it.

          Imagine a couple walking the street, someone tries hurt them but the guy struggles free n runs away. Do you think he wouldn’t get shamed over that? Told he failed to protect his partner? If the situations were reverse would she be shamed?

          Maybe you don’t notice it but there is a lot of people in society who will shame men for not protecting their women, why do you think it’s so common for men to fantasize about SAVING damsels in distress? By the time I was 5 I probably saw oodles of tv shows, movies etc reinforcing the male as protector role to the point I feel an urge to protect women friends more than male friends. Quite frankly it’s toxic masculinity, that your life is worth less than that of the woman when we teach men to stand in and take the hits instead of teaching both genders to do their best to protect each other.

        • “While it makes me sad that a lot of guys here are bitter about the choices other men made to save their partners,”

          This is called a strawman. Nobody is bitter at the choices of the men, they are concerned about the way that sacrifice is being portrayed as an expectation on what a “good man” is. There is a distinct difference.

          “She didn’t run out leaving her children behind. She was trying to manage to protect her two kids all on her own.”

          And yet, she isn’t being held up as these two men were. No, instead, the guys actions are what are being focused on. Why? If sacrificing yourself for loved ones is what is important here, why does it matter what sex is involved? If it was the sacrifice that was deemed good, her risks would have been heralded, but they weren’t. The reason is because sacrifice for loved ones is gendered. It is for men to do, not women. And the fact a man did not do it, and left it for a woman to do, that is what is important, after all. The woman doing it is meaningless compared to the man’s failure to. THAT IS A PROBLEM

          • It’s not strawman Mark because that’s what I really see is happening. Could you see how it’s possible for me to have thoughts and opinions that aren’t just there to be “strawman”? Everything I’ve said is pretty sincere! Please see that.

            I see a lot of anger and bitterness for situations where men save women. I don’t see that same level of anger, bitterness and discussion for when men save other men. This discussion doesn’t come up when it’s about men saving other men. It only comes up when stories of men saving women arrise. Further, there are some extraordinary stories out there of men that have saved other people that haven’t died. What about them? Is it different because they survived risking their lives?

            No one is demanding that you risk your life for another woman. If you don’t want to risk your life for a woman, you have the choice not to. No one would have faulted the young man that was a stranger to the woman and kids that risked his life to save her if he had just ran out instead. If the men in the accident survived and their wives didn’t, no one would have faulted them either. There are lots of accidents everyday that happen where the man survives and the woman doesn’t. But we don’t know the details of those stories because they are less interesting to people. There are lots of stories of women that sacrifice their lives too. These men risked and lost their lives for the woman they loved. I don’t want to disrespect what they did because of the rest of us can’t figure out how to get along with the other gender and maintain feeling respected and loved. And I think that’s really both our ultimate goals. However, we aren’t doing such a good job of it here.

            Ultimately, I think men have a leg up for survival phyiscally. If there were 50 men and 50 women and 50 children on a ship. And everyone knew that they should help themselves and no one else, my guess is that the men would largely dominate and come out with higher success then the women or the children in most cases. Men are after all, usually, physically bigger and stronger. Which is where I think the nature of men being the protectors really originates from. Especially since men largely where the protectors of their families from threat. I think that women make sacrifices in other ways but often these ways are less important to society because of their subtlness. Such as all the women that knew how risky it was to bare children, knew they had a high chance of loosing their own life but risked it anyway back in the day. No one seems to really care about the sacrifices women made there.

            • It is a strawman because what you are arguing against, with me specifically, is not something I have ever argued, yet you refuse to acknowledge the actual argument I am making. You have demonstrated, with your interactions with me specifically, that you are unwilling to recognize the arguments made. A strawman is when you recreate the argument and then fight against that new creation. Nobody is arguing that “people” sacrificing themselves is a bad thing. This is what you keep pretending people are arguing. What is ACTUALLY being argued is that an EXPECTATION that MEN specifically MUST sacrifice themselves, as is implicitly implied in such comments as “Dying in order to save those you love is a good and valuable part of MASCULINITY”

              “I see a lot of anger and bitterness for situations where men save women.”

              And like here, I suspect you refuse to acknowledge the gender role enforcement that is specifically stated that inspires that anger. Self sacrifice is not an attribute to be denigrated. The enforcement of that self sacrifice as a MASCULINE trait, as an expectation on MEN specifically, that enforcement IS something to be denigrated. Just as the enforcement of women being homemakers in order to be seen as a real women should be denigrated. That doesn’t mean women who choose to be homemakers should be, only those wo insist that is what a woman MUST do in order to be a real woman.

              “This discussion doesn’t come up when it’s about men saving other men”

              Of course not, because when it is a man being saved, there is no expectation that the one sacrificing should have done so in order to be a real man.

              “No one is demanding that you risk your life for another woman.”

              That is a matter of perspective actually. Demand isn’t the right word, but shaming most certainly applies. The above article makes it clear that my masculinity is dependent upon my sacrificing for others I love.

              “you have the choice not to.”

              Is that choice free of social consequences based on my gender? Or will my doing so result in me being shamed, not because I failed to do it, but because I am a MAN who failed to do it.

              “I don’t want to disrespect what they did because of the rest of us can’t figure out how to get along with the other gender and maintain feeling respected and loved.”

              Then don’t claim what they did was what a real man would do, and in doing so, trivializing their act as just what was expected of them as a man, as the article author does. Claim what they did was an extraordinary act. An act of bravery and self sacrifice, above what any ordinary PERSON would do, regardless of sex.

              Your last paragraph defines the origins of gender roles. Problem is, feminism (you are a feminist, right?) says gender roles should be done away with. Those sacrifices women made in other ways, those have largely been done away with. Equality demands the EXPECTATION on men to protect and sacrifice for women (and stop lumping children in, women are not children, their adults), simply because they are men, should also be done away with.

              “Such as all the women that knew how risky it was to bare children, knew they had a high chance of loosing their own life but risked it anyway back in the day.”

              Because women got nothing out of that, right?

              “No one seems to really care about the sacrifices women made there.”

              And what exactly did men get in exchange for their sacrifice, that hasn’t since been labeled as the oppression of women?

            • “It is a strawman because what you are arguing against, with me specifically, is not something I have ever argued, yet you refuse to acknowledge the actual argument I am making.”

              It is something you argued. Above you said: “Did you read the part about how masculinity is toxic except when it is sacrificing itself for women?”

              You seemed especially concerned with the sacrifice men make for other women. Not sacrifices men may make for other men, women and children alike. You also ignored the part where the author said “people” to make his point, not “women”. You seemed to take special care of sacrifices that were made by men for women specifically. In that vein, it looks like my point is just fine.

              For the most part, I have found that people over-use the “strawman” argument specifically on the internet when they simply don’t like the discussion and don’t have anything else to really add to it. So they throw out some arbitrary accusation instead of actually discussing the issue respectfully whether they disagree or not. I get not agreeing with me. Please do so respectfully without making arbitrary accusations that have nothing to do with the discussion.

              “You have demonstrated, with your interactions with me specifically, that you are unwilling to recognize the arguments made.

              And you just demonstrated that you believe that because I don’t agree with your perceptions of the article or the situations that I am somehow the one that is “unwilling” to do something. Did you ever consider what aspects you are unwilling to recognize? What is with your need to blame shift?

              I point you back to the statement you made above to me earlier. You had specific concerns with men and women. I didn’t make anything up. I took from it what I read. Your concerns focused on the sacrifice men made for women, not sacrifices men made for other men or children.

              “This is what you keep pretending people are arguing.
              What is ACTUALLY being argued is that an EXPECTATION that MEN specifically MUST sacrifice themselves, as is implicitly implied in such comments as “Dying in order to save those you love is a good and valuable part of MASCULINITY””

              I consider it very condescending and shaming behavior on your part to tell me I am “pretending” anything. I think it’s time to pay more attention to yourself then making other people the problem.

              Those men made a split second choice. A choice that had them operating on a different level then simple social ideals. They reacted on instinct, not social conformity.

              No one is demanding you die for those you love. You don’t have to do that. That is your choice. Just like it was these men’s choice to do what they did. And I think saying they did so because society told them to is disrespectful to the choices they made as individual men that are fully able to make their own choices separate from anything else.

              “I see a lot of anger and bitterness for situations where men save women.”
              And like here, I suspect you refuse to acknowledge …”

              Again, you’ve made the argument about me and what I haven’t done or did do. What about yourself Mark? Do you really believe you’ve been a perfectly respectful discussion partner? Or have you used shaming and put-downs to imply things of me? Such as when you insist I just “pretend”? Do you even see how degrading that is?

              You obviously have a low opinion of me. I don’t think there is anything I can say that you would truly respect.

              “This discussion doesn’t come up when it’s about men saving other men”
              Of course not, because when it is a man being saved, there is no expectation that the one sacrificing should have done so in order to be a real man.

              No. It’s because men are not bothered by men risking their lives for one another. Infact, a lot of men naturally gravitate to stories of men helping other men. I brought up several movie and TV examples. Such as Band of Brothers that I know had a strong male following. Men are okay with men making sacrifices for other men. It’s when a man makes a sacrifice for a woman that all the sudden it’s not right.

              “That is a matter of perspective actually. Demand isn’t the right word, but shaming most certainly applies. The above article makes it clear that my masculinity is dependent upon my sacrificing for others I love.”

              I think sacrifice is a part of love actually. It doesn’t have to be to the extent of giving your life but it could be. But I think people make sacrifices everyday for those they love and that ultimately makes people better people. Such as when parents sacrifice their personal time to have kids, knowing full well that those kids will take up a great majority of their time and attention and that they won’t have the freedom they once had. That’s a sacrifice for love.

              “Is that choice free of social consequences based on my gender? Or will my doing so result in me being shamed, not because I failed to do it, but because I am a MAN who failed to do it.”

              I think it depends on the situation. I think if these two men that saved their partners where the ones to survive and their wives died, I think people would have thought it was just a horrible accident. You forget that everyday men and women die all the time in accidents and that men are not persecuted every-time a woman dies in an accident! In this case, I don’t think anyone would have expected these men to engage in that heroism because it was an “accident’. In the case of the man that shoot up the movie theater and the one man ran out on not just his partner, but his own kids, obviously that is up for a different sort of criticism. A couple years ago there was a story about a man whose two daughters and wife where killed when two men entered their home and raped one of the daughters and the wife. He survived. No one blamed him for that! Each situation is different!

              “I don’t want to disrespect what they did because of the rest of us can’t figure out how to get along with the other gender and maintain feeling respected and loved.”

              “Then don’t claim what they did was what a real man would do, and in doing so, trivializing their act as just what was expected of them as a man, as the article author does.”

              Umm… I never once said “this is what *real* men do. But I certainly respect these men greatly that gave their lives for those they love.

              You are actually trivializing their actions by claiming they only did it because partly of social conditioning .

              “Your last paragraph defines the origins of gender roles. Problem is, feminism (you are a feminist, right?) says gender roles should be done away with.”

              What does it matter if I am a feminist or not? I never said I was. Funny how you make assumptions about me freely though. And I really don’t think it’s that important to the conversation. I’m a human being with my own opinion first and most.

              “Those sacrifices women made in other ways, those have largely been done away with.“

              Huh?

              “Because women got nothing out of that, right?”

              Many women died in labor. There was a very high mortality rate. But maybe those lives don’t matter to you. I don’t really know. They made a big sacrifice and risk for their children. For the children of their husbands. I think that’s heroism if you ask me. But it seems like you are discounting all the women that died in the process. That gave themselves for the future of their children and the children of their husbands that would carry their husband’s names, not her name.

            • “Many women died in labor. There was a very high mortality rate. But maybe those lives don’t matter to you. I don’t really know. They made a big sacrifice and risk for their children. For the children of their husbands. I think that’s heroism if you ask me. But it seems like you are discounting all the women that died in the process. That gave themselves for the future of their children and the children of their husbands that would carry their husband’s names, not her name.”

              That’s something men cannot do. It’s a completely different issue! Women are not dying for men anywhere near the same level as men die for women, that is the issue. The childbirth thing is a moot point, it’s not even comparable. Both genders die to protect children, only one gender really puts their life on the line for adults though in non military/police areas. The women died for their family, which is worth respecting, but it’s not comparable to men thrown into danger to protect another adult human! Women dying in childbirth doesn’t save a man’s life, at best it saves a childs life which both genders actively try to save.

              But hey keep denying the issue n throwing strawmen at it to try derail the conversation some more.

            • “For the most part, I have found that people over-use the “strawman” argument specifically on the internet when they simply don’t like the discussion and don’t have anything else to really add to it. So they throw out some arbitrary accusation instead of actually discussing the issue respectfully whether they disagree or not. I get not agreeing with me. Please do so respectfully without making arbitrary accusations that have nothing to do with the discussion.”

              Oh this is rich. He made a statement saying x. You argued against it saying Y. He says you’re strawmanning, which YOU DID, and then you try to suggest he’s saying it because he doesn’t like what you are saying as if you understood what he wrote. Erin, the argument you made was not about what he wrote! You want him to be respectful, but you’re being extremely disrespectful by misleading his position n arguing over something he wasn’t even talking about.

              Reply to his ACTUAL words instead of misleading them. By the way people also try to say people “over-use something” to try deflect the argument or someone calling out their disrespectful behaviour, take some responsibility in your actions. You haven’t given him or some others any respect when you use a strawman argument. This isn’t at all about differing opinions on the subject, its about purposely being misleading about someone’s statement and arguing in bad faith. Then when called out about it you try to dodge responsibility by suggesting they’re misleading in their description of your behaviour! It’s extremely disrespectful. Do you honestly think you’re copping so much criticism because your opinions on the matter differ?? At least TRY to get his and our position right before you criticize it instead of attacking strawmen arguments that we’ve never said!

      • That guy literally dropped his baby on the floor and ran. Dropped his baby in the floor. If a woman had done that, I think people would have been equally, if not more disgusted.

        That said, I actually felt sorry for the guy, I don’t think anyone knows what they will do in that kind of situation.

        I also don’t think we want to live in a society where we encourage people to push others out of life boats and that sort of thing, where it is all a life-and-death Darwinian struggle to survive and the strong trample the weaker, the slower, and the smaller in a mad rush for the exits.

        Remember the professor at Virgnia Tech who died while holding the classroom door shut so his students could escape out the window? he was a Holocaust survivor. Was he just an example of a “disposable” man who was being stupidly self sacrificing? Maybe he should have shoved the kids out of the way and clambered out the window first.

        • “where we encourage people to push others out of life boats and that sort of thing, ”

          Regarding the Costa Concordia (sp?) sinking, I think it is important to note what exactly was meant by “pushing others out of the way”. When someone feels entitled to a seat, and someone else gets it first and refuses to give it up, that person can be identified, by the one denied the seat they felt entitled to, as “pushed out of the way”. I’ve seen this phenomenon happen. I believe one of the interviews actually described this happening “men were refusing to make way for women and children”. The perception, the definition of masculinity that is being promoted by this author, what makes a “real man”, perpetuates this myth that a man failing to give up his seat is taking it away (even so far as to say forcefully, if he defends himself from physical attacks) from someone else. So while I’ve heard about men pushing others out of the way, and don’t doubt some men (and women) very much were doing the literal, I suspect much of the perceptions were due to the above. JMHO

        • Sarah

          Women would die for their children, but they would never die for their husband.
          Many men WILL die for their women.

          They are absolutely not morally obliged to and their disposition can even be questioned, But it is a gender difference that you should acknowledge.

          • please see my example from Grizzly Man, above. The girlfriend could have run but she tried to get the bear off her boyfriend instead. I posted another example of a woman risking her life to save a man (a stranger) that is caught in moderation for some reason. Hopefully it will show up soon.

        • AFAIK he was on the second floor, hid the baby behind something n climbed down to go get help. In his mind it may have been the most logical thing to do, get the cops there as fast as possible and trying to climb down the balcony with a baby could have put the child in more danger. If you could find a very secluded spot it may have been the best thing to do? Some people hide their kids in closets when their is danger around, I sure as hell would hide my child if there was a gunman if I couldn’t get them to safety with me. Maybe he was hoping the gunman wouldn’t shoot a baby as well? Some monsters must have a heart?

    • I have nothing but respect for the persons who committed these acts.
      However, I despise the society for putting the pressure of not expecting anything less of them, just because the way they were born.
      And I think you contradict yourself a bit, there’s no thought process or choice makings in pure instinct reactions.

    • Can you please clarify, are you then supporting the author, or those condemning the author for gendering it? I can actually see both arguments made in your post, depending on the perspective you begin with.

  7. So traditional masculinity is toxic unless it involves men dying for women.

    Wait, what?

  8. @Erin and Sarah,

    I think stories like this are inspiring and celebrate something good in people. However, can you really argue that men aren’t relatively disposable, and that if men are disposable then stories like this occur in that context? That expectation that you are entitled to a seat on the lifeboat is what takes away from my ability to freely offer it.

    • I don ‘t know, I don’t think that these stories imply that men are “disposable.” I think people see it as a terrible tragedy and stories of heroism make people feel better because it is the only positive to hold on to. I realize many of the commenters here are bothered by these stories of heroism so I will try to see it from your point of view, but I guess only my point is that in such a situation, ultimately you have to live with whatever decision you make and only you can know what you can live with. There is no law that requires you to risk your life to save anyone.

      Anyway there is nothing to indicate the men in Texas could have saved themselves if they hadn’t pushed their wives. There may not have been time to do anything. They pushed their wife but that doesn’t mean it was a “sacrifice” – just quick thinking. I agree the media goes nuts with these stories. Situations like the Aurora shooting are very confused and sometimes I wonder if survivors can accurately described what happened. The women may perceive that her husband “took a bullet” for her when really it was just random. He was shot and she wasn’t. The women who were shot aren’t around to say that their husband took a bullet. There is a word for that kind of cognitive fallacy but I can’t think if it at the moment. I don’t know if you’ve ever been in a life or death situation, like a car accident, but your mind does funny things. That said, there ARE people who do heroic things. But I suspect most heroes don’t consciously expect to be killed by their deeds. The Flight 93 heroes didn’t crash the plane to save Washington, they were fighting for their own lives. The firefighters on 911 didn’t know the buildings would collapse. Oskar Schindler believed he was smart and clever enough to get away with everything he did to save his Jewish workers (he was right but he might have been wrong!)

      I honestly don’t know how to divvy up seats on lifeboats if there aren’t enough lifeboats. I don’t have children so should I give my seat to a men who is a father? Should old people give seats to young people? Is a child more important than me? I suppose the fairest way would be to draw lots, but maybe there isn’t time. I don’t have an answer and I hope I will never be in that situation.

      • ” I don’t think that these stories imply that men are “disposable.””

        Then why the link to masculinity, why the expectation that this is what a man should do? Rather than acknowledging it as a heroic act, regardless of the sex of those doing it?

        “I realize many of the commenters here are bothered by these stories of heroism”

        How many times do you need to be told, it isn’t the heroism, it is the connection to masculinity, the expectation that it is men, and only men, that “need” to do this in order to maintain their manhood. Why do you intentionally choose to misconstrue this argument? Repeatedly!

        • Sarah:
          “I realize many of the commenters here are bothered by these stories of heroism”
          Mark Neil:
          “How many times do you need to be told, it isn’t the heroism,…”
          Frankly, for me the self sacrifice is bothering, though obviously the gender expectations is main theme of the comments. From my position of safety Ihave to say that I dislike the idea that anybody might sacrifice their life to save mine. For two reasons.
          1.I am not worth it.
          2.Iwouldn’t expect myself to do likewise for them.

          • as I said, I think it would be rare for someone to consciously believing they arr sacrificing themselves. They take a risk to help someone, believing they will both get through it. I suspect that is usually what happens.

            • I’ve been a couple of situations where I expected the price for being involved would cost me my life … both involved protecting women….I went willingly … yet I understand now I was a fool to do so. You have not a clue as to how deeply society programs men for self sacifice…….

            • The men who used their bodies as shields knew that they would be giving up their own lives for their girlfriends/friends if the batman shooter fired their direction.

        • “Why do you intentionally choose to misconstrue this argument? Repeatedly!”
          This x 1000. Moderators, can you step in and stop the sheer level of strawmanning going on? It’s annoying.

      • “I realize many of the commenters here are bothered by these stories of heroism”
        Good god, HOW MANY TIMES. The thing that bothered us was that it was portrayed as masculine, not that it was told. This thread is really annoying and I am quite seriously thinking the women posting here are trolling us guys hard, no one can be serious n misunderstand these comments that much.

        • IDK, Archy, from the tone of the comments it does seem like some of the commenters ARE angry – very very angry – that a man would ever be praised for risking his life to save someone, particularly, to save a woman. Like he’s stupid or a chump. I think in some of your comments you said a man should get equal praise for saving himself and NOT pushing his wife to safety. You’ve said men should let their wives fend for themselves in a dangerous situation, which, okay, I understand that is a legitimate point of view. I don’t dispute your right to feel that way.

          • I think people should be praised on saving themselves, I can understand the self-sacrifice getting more praise though but I think we need to remember that saving yourself is saving a life and worthy of our praise.

            “You’ve said men should let their wives fend for themselves in a dangerous situation, which, okay, I understand that is a legitimate point of view.”
            I said I think people should both fight side by side where possible, but what I disagree with is the expectation of the woman does nothing n the man does the work n puts his life on the line whilst she isn’t putting her’s on the line to save him.

            It’s great that they pushed their wives to safety but it’d be great also if they saved themselves, a life is a life, man’s life, woman’s life, it’s up to those women to also save themselves n where possible save their husbands. In this case the guys may have been in a better position to push the wives to safety, who knows.

            There is a huge difference with being pissed off that men are expected to save women’s lives vs individual cases of men saving a woman. We also need to be careful that when we celebrate heroism we don’t paint it as gendered, that we don’t make it sound like it’s a masculine thing to do n reinforce the extremely harmful stereotype of a man’s life being worth less. The problem with this article is that it paints it as masculine, not that it was reported on. It was painted in a way to suggest it’s manly to save women and in a society that tells men to step in n risk your life to save women and doesn’t tell women to save men then it’s a huge problem. If a man died for a woman from his own choice then that is ok and his choice, heroic, etc.

            Treat it as gender neutral and you’ll get a much better reception.

          • “from the tone of the comments it does seem like some of the commenters ARE angry – very very angry – that a man would ever be praised for risking his life to save someone, particularly, to save a woman”

            1: Can you provide a quoted example. I suspect the anger isn’t with praising someone for risking their life, I suspect the anger comes from attributing the risk to masculinity and being a man. Seriously, I’m amazed you women aren’t taking offense to the idea that self sacrifice is a masculine trait, as if women aren’t inclined to do it. But I suppose the benefit of keeping it that way outweighs the benefits of integrity.

            2: I see no praise being given to these men in Oz’s article. Oz begins by denigrating masculinity in genera, as toxic. He then attributes self sacrifice as a masculine trait, and identifies it as a positive trait of masculinity, as opposed to a toxic one that hurts men (because death doesn’t harm men?). His claiming it is a positive trait on an otherwise toxic concept in no way promotes the idea that self sacrifice is a heroic act, only that it is a positive aspect (in comparison to the toxic ones), being for others benefit, of being a man.

            3: Regardless of what others “may” have said, Archy and myself have made it clear that is not our position, yet it has been attributed to us several times. This is unacceptable

            • I kind of doubt that people are thinking about gender expectIonz when they have a split second to make a life or death decision. I think most people probably just react instictively to perceiving a threat to themselves or their loved ones. I’ve read that under extreme stress, neural signals actually skip the frontal lobes. You just react.

              Personally I agree with you that articles about heroism shouldn’t be gendered. It bugs me when I see people attributing heroic deeds to some kind of masculine superiority. I think there are probably far more examples of women risking their lives to help men than we hear about. For one, women’s efforts will probably be less successful in many situations because women are not as physical strong in general. If a woman tries to step into a fight between her husband and an attack, as Archy mentioned in an earlier comment, she may just get knocked out immediately. I know I would, I’ve never been in a fight and I have no upper body strength. But if my boyfriend was being beat up by a mugger I believe I’d try to do something. We’d probably both end up dead and my heroic act would be unreported. Or the wife tries to pull her husband from a burning car but fails because she’s not strong enough. That story probably won’t get in the newspaper. do men do these kinds of things more often than women? I honestly don’t know but I don’t know if it is possible to judge just from the stories that end up in the media.

              So, while I see your point about the gendered nature of reporting of these incidents, I also don’t think we should stop praising self sacrifice. Few enough people act selflessly that those few who do, deserve our praise and admiration, I think. I disagree with Archy that saving oneself is the same as saving another person. I think it is fundamentally different.

            • It bugs me when I see people attributing heroic deeds to some kind of masculine superiority.”

              Then please, reread this article and tell me where you’re getting the idea that he is praising those husbands as hero’s, and NOT attributing it to masculinity? Because I just don’t see it.

              “We’d probably both end up dead and my heroic act would be unreported.”

              I actually suspect it would be reported as a failure on your husbands part to protect you, but that’s JMHO.

              “I also don’t think we should stop praising self sacrifice.”

              I agree. I’ve said as much. So has Archy. But do, please show me where this article by Oz praises these two husbands for their sacrifice?

              I disagree with Archy that saving oneself is the same as saving another person. I think it is fundamentally different.”

              If that is Archy’s position, then I too disagree. That said, what I believe archy’s opinion is is that someone should not be shamed for saving themselves. Think of it as saving yourself should be the neutral position, the expected behavior. nether good nor bad. Self sacrifice should be seen as an extraordinary act, above and beyond what should be expected of anyone. I believe this is the state for women right now, self sacrifice is special and self preservation is expected. I believe, for me, currently, self sacrifice is expected and self preservation is shameful.

            • “I disagree with Archy that saving oneself is the same as saving another person. I think it is fundamentally different.”
              I dunno if I made it very clear. I don’t think they’re the same, I think the OUTCOME is the same, 1 life is saved, 1 is lost. If someone saves themself, a life is saved, if someone doesn’t act n another dies, a lift is lost, and the one that didn’t save isn’t put in harms way so their life is saved. If 1 self-sacrifices for another, it’s a very honorable thing to do and extraordinary but 1 life is lost, 1 life is saved, it’s trading 1 life for another.

              I admire people who put their life at risk to save others but if they die in the process then they may have helped the weak but at the basic level it’s trading 1 life for another. The person who saves themself, IS SAVING a life and is worthy of our praise as much as the hero (though heroes get more praise for good reason which is ok) who dies trying is what I believe. If you can overcome fear n save yourself, high 5. The praise however may be higher for those that die for others.

    • “That expectation that you are entitled to a seat on the lifeboat is what takes away from my ability to freely offer it.”
      It’s starting to really sound like female entitlement especially when you see women using kids as a metaphorical shield to try get under to gain protection status like a post above trying to shame a man over theoretically not protecting women AND children. You see it all the time it anti-domestic violence campaigns, “and children” is a way to tug the heartstrings n gain the empathy involved to increase protective instinct. Quite frankly it treats women like children and I’m surprised women aren’t more angry about it. NEVER have I see an argument of protecting men and children, it’s always children alone or women and children.

      Female privilege: As a woman I am far more likely to be protected by someone than a man. I am FARRRR more likely to have a man protect me without having to protect a man. Sound right?

      • ““and children” is a way to tug the heartstrings n gain the empathy involved to increase protective instinct.”

        It’s also a way to pad the numbers, as when you add children as victims, you include the children that are victims to women’s abuse. “look at all the abuse done to women and children” with the clear implication that those who aren’t women and children, IE men, are the ones doing the abuse.

        • It’s sickeningly dishonest, which is why it’s important to really study statistics. Another way to inflate the protective instinct is to only really report on female vulnerability n barely ever mention male vulnerability, this PLAGUES the domestic violence industry to the point it makes quite a lot statistics used there in a dishonest fashion trying to portray women as victims n men as the perpetrators. All that does is make women feel more afraid and also feel weaker whilst men fail to be educated about their own risks, giving them a false sense of security.

  9. 1. There’s an expectation for men to sacrifice themselves for woman, but no expectation for woman to sacrifice themselves for men.
    2. Sacrificing yourself is linked to being a man.

    • William you make two valid points – but they are subject to the NIMBY effect – Not In My Back Yard.

      You are talking about a social phenomenon and so many can just dismiss it and attempt to deny it with the age of cry “Well – Not me!”. It’s the classic response you get from the people who are not able to grasp the subtlety of the information – or those who simply don’t care due to prejudice. You see it all the time from people claiming to be about gender equality – but who have biased views about what equality is – especially for men. P^)

      I was re running the recent Toronto Lecture by Farrel and spotted that he addresses these two points very succinctly and powerfully in his lecture.

      You can check it out on You-Tube – the section of interest starts at 1.23.00 – and he addresses a great deal from the etymology of the word hero (Servare – Servant and Protector) through to how it plays out even in the supposed modern sports culture – men being cheered on for being injured, continuing to the point of injury, risking injury.

      It’s useful because for very NIMBYetes that want to claim “Not Me”, they have to show that they are not party to any of the cultural tropes such as cheering on dangerous sports with male teams whilst not propagating the same same sports for female teams…. and cheering them on to injury.

      It gets interesting how the logical traps build and have to be addressed – and of course it’s not just men who get caught if Tropes And Traps, it’s anyone who is blind to their membership of the society they live in.

      Of course – when watching people do need an open mind – and when it comes to gender they are often rarer than sightings of Sasquatch! P^)

  10. After an event like this I think it’s hard for some people to see how harmful it is to have self-sacrifice linked directly to being masculine. In this case I think it’s hard to see because those men did exactly what was expected of them by society. They gave their lives saving someone else. They are good men. However, you can be sure that had any of those men jumped and saved himself, he would’ve been labelled a coward or not a “real man”. That is one reason why gendering self-sacrifice is so toxic. I wish I could say I’m surprised by the attitudes shown in the original piece and by some of the comments, but I’m not. It’s easy for those who would benefit from male self-sacrifice to ignore the negative responsibilities or consequences for not living up to them when they will never have to experience them themselves.

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