Captain Coward

Costa Concordia disaster and Francesco Schettino, Captain Coward.

I guess I’m the last one to know about the Italian cruise ship captain who ran his ship aground and exited the sinking ship ahead of the passengers onboard.


But just in case you’re not totally up on the story either, here’s a link to the news and a little background.


Captain Francesco Schettino ran his ship too close to rocks in order to do the naval equivalent of a fly by for his buddy on shore. When the ship ran aground he bailed, leaving the decks even after learning the listing of the ship made it almost impossible for life boats to be lowered for the passengers. The Italian Coast Guard Commander repeatedly ordered Schettino to get back on the cruise liner, at times swearing at the captain. Schettino initially told the official that only 40 people remained on the ship at a time when hundreds were still trying to evacuate. Thirty-two people died.


Captain Scettino has become familiarly known as “Captain Coward” and is under Italian arrest for manslaughter, causing a shipwreck, and abandoning his ship before all passengers were evacuated.


Now that I’ve read close to a dozen stories about the event I am bothered I didn’t pick up on it earlier. I am bothered by a captain who chose to flee rather than do what was honorable. I grieve for the passengers of the ship.


Why would I bother to bring it up here? Well, mostly because of the Love and Respect conference I just attended.


While there were a ton of generalities about men and women (and some disturbingly simply illustrations about pink and blue sunglasses and earphones), one observation about men stuck out to me:


Men are willing to die.


The speaker, Emerson Eggerichs, asked the listeners, “If it’s a husband, wife, and two kids and a robber breaks into the house — of course no one wants to die, but, — if it comes down to it, who dies?” Without hesitation I heard both men and women across a room filled with thousands: “The husband.”


What a sexist comment! I was stunned. So I looked at Lizard and asked, “Are you ok with that? That it’s just you who automatically dies?!” And he looked at me like I was crazy and said, “Yes. That’s my job.”


And he meant it.


The speaker went on to note women will get together with other women and detail the flaws and perfections of other wives. Nothing is really off-limits for gals who want to gab.


But men? He asserted men really don’t talk about other about husbands in their social groups — unless it’s to discuss how they’re not fulfilling their responsibility as a husband.


Again my head swiveled over to Lizard. “Is that true?!” “Yeah. A guy’s got to man up if he’s going to be a husband.”


Well, okay then.


This concept of a man being willing to die for the lady in their life is kind of new to me. I mean, I’ve studied King Arthur and chivalry and the Titanic and women and children first, but I’ve never really applied the concept to my modern-day concept of manhood.


I think it’s true. Men are kind of wired to be willing to die for a cause, a dream, a loyalty, a love.


[Insert thought: women are also willing to make the ultimate sacrifice. I’m not being exclusive of women, I just think men are possibly more inclined.]


If this thought is true, it flies in the face of a lot of the male-bashing jokes I hear that portray men as idiots. Or selfish. Or only wanting a woman around for sex.


It explains a lot about why a man with poor judgment has won international recognition as “Captain Coward.” He didn’t go down with his ship… and where’s the honor in that?


All this to say, it’s a little easier to forgive the guy who leaves cabinet doors open and socks rolled into little balls in the laundry when I realize he’d take a bullet for me at any moment, without hesitation.

Facebook Comments

One thought on “Captain Coward

  • February 13, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    I totally agree with your husband and that Egg, er…whatever his name was. 🙂 It brings to mind two somewhat related thoughts:

    1. No matter what society (or our mother) tells us about our rights and equality and blah, blah, blah…when you see an old married couple who are genuinely affectionate and laughing with one another, you will almost always find them manifesting the Biblical definitions of a husband (protector, provider, leader) and wife (husband’s helper, manager of the home, nurturer). It has nothing to do with abilities or “rights”. It just works most successfully that way. Which leads me to my second thought…

    2. My husband (a soldier for 10 years) has said that while he feels women are often as capable as men in military occupations, he doesn’t believe they should be in combat (fighting) units. His experience is that placing a woman in a combat unit with a group of guys undermines whatever mission they have–those men will be completely preoccupied with keeping her safe. Should something happen to her, they would abandon everything else (even ignoring orders) to protect her.

    God wired us. He intended men to protect and lead. He intended women to nurture and support. When we are functioning successfully within that design, our needs are met: a man feels respected, a woman feels loved. The result is a mutually satisfying relationship.


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: