There Are No Feminists In A Fire

Hector Guthrie
3 min readJun 9, 2023

“There are no feminists in a fire.” That was a comical observation made by Bill Burr on stage. He spoke about how in a crisis, when “women and children first” is essentially law, all feminists disappear and choose not to face the challenge “just as good as a man”.

From my own experience, I saw this play out in real life.

I lived in a major European city and was walking around in the evening waiting for my movie to begin. I entered a square and found myself in a large feminist rally called “take back the night”. There were a few hundred feminist women there talking about how they shouldn’t have to walk around at night in fear. I agreed with this part and stood in the back to listen.

It was pretty typical of a feminist rally, lots of women, they want something, they are all fired up and talked a big game. Pretty much how I thought it would go.

I soon left and walked a few blocks away near my theater. There, on the other side of the street a man and a women were in an intense argument. Judging by their posture, I thought it was only a matter of time before the hitting started.

I moved closer just in case. All of a sudden, the woman hauled off and smacked the man with a round house palm. He retaliated by spitting in her face. They kept arguing, and the exact exchange of blows repeated. She smacked him, he spat.

I walked over and shouted, in an authoritative voice “Hey! That’s enough!” They both looked at me. I was ready to fight. He didn’t move off the wall he was leaning against. She walked over frazzled and began cry-screaming about how much of an A-hole the guy was.

She and I walked down the block to help her cool off. I asked her multiple times if she was okay, to which she replied she was. She said she was going to call her friend, I looked back and the guy had left.

She assured me she was okay and pulled out a cigarette. I decided my work was done and entered my movie theater.

But I was still pumped with adrenaline because I was ready to go to blows with this guy to protect this girl. I couldn’t sit still. I decided to walk around the block to get some energy out before the movie began.

Outside I decided to walk back to where the incident occurred just to see if anything had changed. I looked up and saw the guy walking right toward me. I tensed up, ready to defend myself in case he was heated and wanted to fight. He walked right by me. I suddenly realized that right on his heels was the woman. She was hysterically begging him to talk to her and stop walking, makeup ran down her face.

I watched them turn the corner and disappear. I couldn’t do anything more to protect her. She put herself back in a situation to argue with that man and it could end up with physical abuse once they were in private.

At this point I thought “where are all those angry feminists ready to take back the night? Their sister is here in need and they are nowhere to be found to help her. They talked this big game about how they don’t need a man’s help and they could do it if they just realized their own power. Well here was a great chance, and they were not the ones helping.” I helped her, the one they label the problem.

I recounted this story to a mouthy feminist once and asked what I should have done differently to protect her because she just went back into a potentially dangerous situation. The feminist replied (surprisingly sensibly) that “you just can’t help everyone, some people put themselves in bad situations.”

Now this is true, but had I been the one to say this, or say it at the rally, — “something you women could do to be more safe is not go to dangerous situations with men.” I would have been shouted down, burned at the stake, and called a victim blamer.

Where were all the feminists that night? There were several other people around, it was a busy street, so why was it that the one feminists labeled “the problem” became the one who stepped up to help? And why do they not get called victim blamers?

I have yet to see a feminist in a fire.

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Hector Guthrie

I am a thinker and a writer. As a religious minority, a gender minority, a racial minority, and a political minority, I think I have something to say.