A recent study has conclusively shown that blatant sexual discrimination led to the avoidable death of many men by drowning when the ocean liner Titanic sank. ‘With lifeboats cluttered up with women and children, many men had to stand by helplessly and just spend their time re-arranging the deckchairs while waiting to drown,’ says the report.
The ‘women and children first’ policy failed to take into account self-perceptions of gender and age. Explained one wrinkled survivor: ‘What do trivial things like impending death compare to the important issues, such as sexual equality and political correctness? Besides, a woman driver wouldn’t have hit the iceberg in the first place’.
The following transcript was recovered from the wreckage…
‘Good evening, Ladies and Gentlemen.
On behalf of the Foundering Cruise Line Group of Companies, it is with great regret that I am obliged to inform you that, due to the less-than-completely-satisfactory outcome of recent negotiations with a slightly un-cooperative iceberg, this ship is developing a non-buoyant condition and it will therefore be necessary for its occupants to seek alternative premises for the continuance of their journey.’
‘I would say “women and children first” but in order to avoid confusion, misunderstanding or the risk of any unnecessary delay I feel that a certain degree of clarification may be appropriate. When I say children, I am referring to persons under the age of sixteen years, and under the present circumstances formal documentary proof of age will not unilaterally be insisted on, although parents or guardians may feel it prudent to have appropriate paperwork available in case there should be any lack of certainty in this regard.’
‘For children below the age of sixteen, every endeavour will be made to ensure that babies under the age of 12 calendar months or weighing less than 10 kilograms receive priority over children older than that. It is hoped that children between the ages of two years and sixteen years will be willing to accommodate a preference for the younger of such children to be given, wherever reasonable and practicable, favourable priority relative to older children, although in the prevailing situation it is appreciated that such prioritisation may not always be possible with the certainty, thoroughness and consistency which might reasonably be expected in a more routine situation.’
‘And when I say women, I am referring to female adults. This is an equal-opportunities emergency so such priority will apply equally to heterosexual women as well as lesbian or bisexual women, or to asexual women, as well as to single, married, widowed, divorced, separated, cohabiting, polygamous, adulterous, post-menopausal, pre-menstrual, temporarily non-menstruating whether due to medical or medication-related reasons, randy, frigid, celibate, promiscuous or faithfully monogamous women, whether or not they have borne children, either legitimate or illegitimate, or whether they may or not be able to conceive or carry children to term, with or without artificial aids to fertility.’
‘When it comes to trans-gender or bi-sexual passengers, the Foundering Cruise Line Group of Companies is anxious to maintain and to be clearly seen to be maintaining its progressive policy of non-discrimination. In the case of trans-gender persons, either male-to-female or female-to male, and regardless of the state of progress of any such sexual transition, there is the potential for disagreement whether such passengers should have priority over, or should yield precedence to, bi-sexual or asexual persons, or indeed as to the priority of bi-sexual as distinct from asexual persons, or whether in fact there should be any differential, in either direction, in the precedence between either of these categories.’
‘There will therefore be an emergency discussion workshop to discuss and to resolve this issue, where the outcome will be decided by a simple majority following a non-transferable secret written vote, to be supervised and implemented by a similarly democratically elected sub-committee comprising no less than three persons. This workshop will be held in the ante-room of the Imperial Ballroom on deck three in approximately – hello? Hello? Where is everybody? Hello? Blubble glub bloop …’