Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Please always get up for a very pregnant woman!

This morning's ride was more crowded than usual. Needless to say, the seats were long gone and even standing room was in short supply. At Rockridge, a very pregnant woman walks in. All the handicapped seats were taken in the area: 3 were occupied by seniors, 1 by a blind person, and the other two, a young man dressed up as if he's going to an interview trying to not make eye-contact with the pregnant woman and a 30-something woman pretending she didn't see this pregnant woman. I was way back in the end of the cart, uncomfortably standing between 2 men, but hoping one of the two younger seated passengers would stand up for this woman who was loosing her balance.

Out of all the other seated passengers in the train, no one bothered to give up their seat! It was so rude and inconsiderate. How can anyone not know she's pregnant and could really use a seat? What if she falls? I don't want to have any double standards but how could the able-bodied men sitting around her not have the courtesy to get up?? The women should have too!

Anyhow, finally, the train emptied out a bit at 12th Street Oakland and an older woman held an open seat for this pregnant lady.

It was disturbing to me although it doesn't surprise me. I know we live in a society where women demand the same rights and opportunities as men but I consider certain things common courtesy and will raise my future son, if I have one, to honor them. For example, always give up their seat to females, hold the door for females, give up a taxi to a female hailing a cab too....etc.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

why didn't you say something to the people?

Anonymous said...

All I can say is ERA, Women wanted it, now they have it, if she wants a seat leave early. I hate to be mean about it, but women do not get to have it both ways, give me equal rights, equal pay, equal treatment...unless I need a seat, someone to pick up the dinner check,sorry, sometimes you just have to stand, open your own door, and pay your own way.

I think it is good you will teach your son's to give up their seat, cab and open the door, but please respect those who will not for stated reasons

bartmusings said...

Why didn't i say something to everyone? I was more than 15 feet away from the immediate area, in a train where even standing room was extremely limited. But also, I've learned to pick my battles- I mind my own business unless someone seriously wrongs me. I'm not about to yell across 15 feet in a crowded train- I was just writing on an observation today. Like the other commenter wrote, I apparently cannot make people give up their seats for someone else unless they really want to. So, MYOB is my motto 98% of the time.

bartmusings said...

Commenter wrote: All I can say is ERA, Women wanted it, now they have it, if she wants a seat leave early.

What about those men seated in handicapped seats? Why didn't they yield? It was apparent that those seats should be occupied first and foremost by those who are "handicapped" and that in my definition could mean women who are pregnant.

This is a little different than just men giving up seats for women. This is a women about 8+ months pregnant who could barely walk without arching her back backwards. I don't know why she's still taking public transport, but that's beside the point.

Fine that you don't want to give up your seat for any woman- but not even a pregnant woman? That's not a matter of gender equality- that is just without basic manners. I've given up my seats many times to pregnant women and have seen other men and women do so. It is courtesy.

bartmusings said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

BartMusting said, "What about those men seated in handicapped seats? Why didn't they yield? It was apparent that those seats should be occupied first and foremost by those who are "handicapped" and that in my definition could mean women who are pregnant."

I yeild to you this point, those seats belong to those they are intended for, if the women, can't or won't speak up for herself, "That is her problem."

No, I would not give up my seat even for a pregnant woman. I stand on my feet 10 hours a day, when I work, I get 3 15 minute breaks and a half hour for lunch, sorry, if I am one of the lucky ones to get a seat, the Pregnant woman gets to stand. (unless, I am seating in the handicap seats).

Bartmusing said, That's not a matter of gender equality- that is just without basic manners.

I had to take BART for almost 3 months with a cast on my leg and crutches, guess how many women offered me their seat? How come it is basic manners to give a women a seat, but not offer one to a man one who is in need?

Sorry, we will just have to agree to disagree on this one.

bartmusings said...

i agree with you about the riding bart with a cast- someone, male or female should really have given you the seat. that happened to me too- it just made me realize even more how much this society focuses on self.

Anonymous said...

the disabled seats should certainly be made available to whoever has a disability and may need a seat. this is common sense and courtesy. for those who lack these, sometimes people do need to speak up for themselves.

again i think a major contributing factor may be that, for unknown reason(s), bart continues to run short 8 and 9 car trains at rush hours. bart doesn't seem to understand that these are the busiest times of the day! another car or two will likely help a bit to ease the pressure to find and keep a seat ... there are many people who, for various legitimate reasons, find it difficult to stand on a moving train for almost an hour.

the point is that frequently bart's decisions seem to be a major contributing factor to various areas in which there is dissatisfaction. different decisions will probably not completely solve a problem since there are still human elements operable, but they could help make things better.

rafael said...

I sat in the handicapped seats yesterday on the way home - all the way home from Montgomery to San Bruno.
I felt a little guilty for sitting there. I looked around and saw that everyone around me "looked" able bodied the whole time. The guy sitting next to me "pretended" to be asleep. He sat there all the way to Colma. Funny how he magically woke up when the operator called Colma on the overhead. I think you should be aware of the people who enter the train and assess if they need the seats more than you.

dndgirl said...

I agree with Rafael. I take the handicap seat only if there is no other seat available and look up at every stop to make sure that someone else doesn't need it more than me. And no matter where I am sitting, if someone elderly, pregnant or on crutches is standing, they get my seat. Do unto others ...

ConcordCommuter said...

There is just a general lack of consideration in society in general. People even try to justify it: "I'm on my feet all day, sorry"..."Equal rights"... etc. Character is all about doing the right thing, without being asked to, even if you don't have to.

Stop focusing on yourself so much people. If you sit there while a pregnant lady stands, you are a jackass. If you sit there while a guy with a cast hobbles by, you too are a jackass.

Anonymous said...

maybe one solution is that no one should sit in the handicapped and elderly seats unless they actually are a member of that group. there are various possible ramifications, but in the face of riders who lack common sense and courtesy and bart's enforcement phobia it will depend on how much people really think this is a problem and want a solution so that it will be pursued. do we think that those who really need to hear this are reading these posts?

Anonymous said...

It's sad to see how rude and selfish we have become in this culture. When I was young, my grandmother always made me give up my seat to older people. Even though I'm 57 with broken down knees, I give up my seat to someone who looks like they need it more than I do. And I always appreciate it (and say so) when someone gives up their seat to me.

Anonymous said...

There has been a general disregard to give up seats to anyone with special needs. Very sad, especially for the usually compassionate Bay Area.

Anonymous said...

I vacate seats, hold doors, etc. for everyone, provided there is a legitimate need (or for that matter, a reasonable opportunity to be nice). Not for women just because they are women. Pregnant woman, obviously; someone with a cane, cast, or looking particularly tired or in distress, sure; generic fit, capable female, not necessarily. Unless she's really cute. (kidding) ;-)

Sometimes I have a legitimate need for a seat myself. Sometimes I'm trying to get in a little studying for work. It's harder to read standing up. I don't think my kids would appreciate me throwing away that hour (and making it up out of home time) for someone simply because she's female. Even if she is really cute. ;)

Anonymous said...

On the other hand, I will not hesitate to sit on the floor if necessary and there is room. Dignity be damned (I'm not fooling anybody, anyway).