Mark Steyn uses the Costa Concordia and "women and children first" as a metaphor for the decline of civilization, which is fine as far as it goes. However, in the case of a literal evacuation, I'm sure it's far more efficient to load everyone based on their proximity to the lifeboats rather than their age or gender. Just imagine the chaos if the crew (or someone?) were to attempt to separate families in the midst of an urgent disaster.

In any event, more than 99% of the passengers and crew escaped with their lives. That is pretty spectacular. I don't think that a "women and children first" policy -- even if perfectly implemented -- would have done any better.

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