It's become a manner, but in the society we live in, women are still different to a man, in the way they want. A man with someone who loves him compared to a hooker, are both worth the same, even though on class, they might be different.
If I were in a crisis where the people I love most (ie. My hypothetical wife and child), of course I would choose their lives over mine. It's not a matter of whether they're independent or strong enough to take care of themselves, it's simply the fact that I wouldn't be able to live with myself knowing I chose my life over theirs.
Even if it were someone else's wife and child, I would feel better knowing that I put their lives before mine in a disaster.
Your hypothetical wife and child would have you missing from their lives all because you though it was appropriate to die for someone else's wife and child (also, why not someone's husband?)
I guess my logic may seem weird, but I believe in life after death. I would definitely feel better knowing I used my life to save someone else. I'm not denying that my wife and children would feel sad, but I would forever be known as a hero both to them, as well as the family of the person I've saved.
In a life-or-death situation, anyone comparing this rule to basic niceness/chivalry is being a massive dumbass. I GUARANTEE people will not go 'oh, these unknown females/children get to go before me, and it's okay, since it's just like offering a coat to a lady who's shivering'. In the latter, you will be inconvenienced slightly by cold. In the former, you DIE. Survival instincts and all that. With this, I do not mean that willingly sacrificing yourself in itself is dumb, but that kind of comparison makes me cringe.
Personally, unless there's anyone on board whom I personally know, I'd try to get on a lifeboat ASAP without trying to figure what groups of people have or haven't been saved. I am fully aware that some see this as highly egotistical, or in layman's terms, "the asshole way". Yes, it is exactly that; I value my life more than anyone else's. I do not care whether people agree with me about this (which they will not), I want to live.
Before someone tries to state the obvious; These examples are made up with the presumption that there are not enough lifeboats/enough time to fill them.
Never agreed with this. You can call bias on me if you want, but I really disagree with this policy.
This also brings back to the point that women say equal but there's usually higher rather than equal.
Unless you're saying she'd stay behind to help others, which I could understand. But I would make sure that she would be the second last to leave, if she's so insisting.
I think parents and children first would be much better.