Women and children first? Experts say that in most crises, it's more like everyone for themselves


December 15, 2023

LONDON (AP) — So much for women and children first.

The phrase and its grave implications about who to save first in a catastrophe are rooted in the shipwrecks of centuries past and popularized by Hollywood's treatment of the Titanic disaster. It is getting another airing at a time when, in many societies, women are expected to do most everything men do. Experts say the unwritten law of the sea is a Hollywood-fed myth and a relic of Victorian-era chivalry.

At the center of this round of questions is the prisoners-for-hostages deal between Israel and Hamas in November that prioritized releasing...

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