“You could never make her believe that the Titanic hit an iceberg. Whoever heard of such a thing! It was simply a flimsy prevarication devised to cover up the real cause. The real cause she could not, or would not, make plain, but somewhere in its black core was a monstrous secret of treachery and corrupt goings-on - men were like that. She came later on to doubt the courage of the brave gentlemen on the sinking ship who at the last waved goodbye smilingly and smoked cigarettes. It was her growing conviction that most of them had to be shot by the ship’s officers in order to prevent them from crowding into the lifeboats ahead of the older and less attractive women passengers. Eminence and wealth in men Aunt Ida persistently attributed to deceit, trickery and impiety. I think the only famous person she ever trusted in her time was President McKinley.”
From James Thurber’s ‘A portrait of Aunt Ida’. I thought the Titanic reference was quite fun considering that I come from Belfast. Thurber obviously admired his Aunt who lived to the age of 91 and maintained and hatred and bitterness for rich famous men, doctors, and was fascinated by birth, death and mysteries. It is interesting to note that I was reading a report in the New Economist about the lack of women CEO’s. One of the reasons given was that women were less likely to ‘join the club’ or become part of the old boys network. It would imply that women were less likely to be involved in the deceit, trickery and impiety that is required to be a male CEO. This would seem to support the cynicism and paranoia of Aunt Ida.