First-Class Tribute to
Men of Titanic
Eighteen years ago, two TV producers
and two directors at NBC were having a drink when Jim Silman
mentioned his latest discovery in Washington. It was a memorial to
the men on the RMS Titanic who had surrendered their places in the
liner's too few lifeboats so that women and children could be saved
when the great ship went down on April 15, 1912.
The memorial, at a seldom-visited site
on the Washington Channel near Fort McNair, had been erected in 1931
by "the women of America" in the spirit of "lest we forget," with a
program of annual wreath-layings on the anniversary of the Titanic's
sinking. But the women had forgotten, Silman said. Now nobody
remembered those brave men. Hell, you could barely even find the
The anniversary of the Titanic's
sinking was just days away. Maybe we should go down there, the men
decided, and drink a toast to the stuff those guys were made
Sunday night the Men's Titanic
Society, its numbers now swollen to 15, gathered once again on the
anniversary of the ship's sinking to once again honor "those brave
Dressed in black tie (Titanic
passenger Benjamin Guggenheim, realizing death was inevitable, had
donned evening dress in order "to die like a gentleman"), they ate a
ceremonial dinner mimicking the last consumed in the Titanic's
first-class dining room. Then, in the early morning hours when the
great ship foundered, they adjourned to the Washington waterfront
with champagne to wistfully toast the sort of manhood Alan Alda
"Chivalry, gallantry, bravery and
grace -- in these times those ideals seem to have all but
disappeared," said writer David Blomquist, raising his glass in the
darkness to the floodlighted statue with its outstretched arms. "But
by our remembrance they are born again. And in our lives they can
If those words aren't the sort you
hear much on radio or television these days, maybe that's part of
the point. Most members of the MTS are TV producers or directors
from more ambitious days in the broadcast news industry, and there's
a faint wagon-circling quality to an organization that meets just
once a year, is more social than historical and views its annual
observance as more a private commemoration than a public
"I think that first year it was a kind
of tongue-in-cheek thing for the four of us," said Don Elder, now a
TV producer with the Federal Trade Commission. "The anniversary fell
on an Easter Sunday, and we picked up some daffodils across from WRC
and went down there in the afternoon with a glass of
But like so many others, they found
that the closer they got to the Titanic story, the more it started
to mean to them. The next few years their toast to "those brave men"
occasioned a preliminary lunch at Hogate's or the Flagship. Soon
they had added a few members and were contemplating a more
authentic, time-appropriate wreath-laying at night. In dress that
Benjamin Guggenheim might approve of.
"It has to do with so many of us being
directors," mused Chris Cavas, an independent formerly with NBC.
"It's become theater without an audience. We don't take it too
seriously. Or rather, we take the sacrifice of the men on the
Titanic seriously, but we don't take ourselves very seriously.
Except at the memorial. Oh, who knows why we do this. Maybe you'll
figure it out and tell us."
"All I know is I always leave feeling
much better," said Bob Vitarelli, formerly of CBS. "And not just
because of the wine."
Among the dozens of organizations
around the world fixated on the metaphoric resonance of the Titanic
as the last symbol of human extravagance and hubris before the
global reckoning of World War I, the Men's Titanic Society may be
remarkable for its relative lack of interest in Titanic trivia and
No one at the meeting could be found
who cared much one way or the other about the recent marketing of
Titanic coal lumps dredged up from the ocean floor, or of purported
plans to launch luxury cruise ships to witness the salvage of a
portion of the great liner's hull.
"I happen to be a ship buff," said
Cavas, "but that's not really what this organization is about. It's
about courage and sacrifice and grace under pressure. And about who
remembers and who forgets."
There were only 16 lifeboats. Three
hundred sixteen women were saved, with 57 children. More than 1,300
men -- passengers and crew -- went down with the ship after a
relatively orderly evacuation of "women and children
"Let us remember what they faced and
what they gave in those last hours," Asman concluded.
After some brief picture-taking, they
lined up in front of the memorial with their glasses and their
wreath of red carnations and raised their individual
"To their dignity, grace and style,
but most of all tonight we toast their courage. . . . To those brave
"To the stewards, the men who stoked
the boilers, the crew who shared that bravery as much as any man in
a tuxedo. . . . To those brave men."
"To the young and old, the rich and
the poor, the ignorant and the learned, all who gave their lives
nobly to save women and children. To those brave
"In these days of air disasters, death
is sudden. . . . They had time to think and choose. . . . To those
Finally, Max Schindler of NBC raised
his glass. "We'd like to apologize for the women who have
forgotten," he said.
% of men saved 20%
% of women
% of children saved 55%
Yep; a greater percentage of women was
saved than even children.
Now, you might think that this was
just a coincidence - a happenstance - but you would be
For example, just take a look at the
table below to see how much concern there is throughout the internet
for the welfare of men, women and children. You will surely notice
that 'women' hog the agenda when it comes to the issue of human
rights to an almost unbelievable degree - and this, despite the fact
that men are more often than women the victims of just about
anything that you can think of.
(You can check the
One only has to look at the selfless
way that men sacrificed their lives on the Titanic, where 'women and
children first' was the order for escape and safety, to appreciate
just how valuable the female gender was regarded by men in the
recent past. This was the reality then, no matter what feminists
will tell you about the 'oppression' and the 'low status' of women
in those days.
Indeed, if women had been truly oppressed and
seen to be of low status, then they would have been oppressed
right back into their cabins while the men escaped into the
It is absolutely
inconceivable that women would have been given
priority for the lifeboats if their welfare was considered to be
less important than the welfare of men.
The feminist-inspired myth that women
were treated as second-class citizens in recent history is a
downright lie - like so many other myths that feminists
And these myths - and there are
hundreds of them - are designed with one aim in mind - to stir up
hatred towards men.
This is what you will discover, if you
look closely at what feminists say and do.
The inscription reads
Brave Men Who Perished In The Wreck of The Titanic, April 15,
They Gave Their Lives That Women and Children Might
Erected By The Women Of America,