I love my elder brothers in the faith, but is this really what they spend their time debating?
The Mishnah in Horiyos (13a) states: A man comes before a woman in matters of life (le-hachayos) and to return a lost item, and a woman comes before a man for clothing and redemption from captivity.
The implication of the first item is that if a man and woman are drowning, one should save the man first and then the woman. This has practical implications in triage situations. When, for example, EMTs are called for two emergencies at the same time and have to decide which one to pursue, should they always take the call for man over the woman? Or when an ER doctor has to decide which patient to treat first, should he always take that man before the woman?
Two great recent posekim address this issue in different ways: R. Moshe Feinstein answers by limiting the rule in the Mishnah while R. Eliezer Waldenberg rejects it entirely...
I found at least two blogs debating it seriously, and the minutiae they used to justify "men first" or "women first" were rather funny. Obviously, if it matters and will affect triage or a drowning situation (one blog debated whether to save a woman or man first from drowning and why) then it needs to be hashed out well in advance so they know what to do under pressure. But really ... ?