Tuesday, October 04, 2005

When should one give up a seat?

The morning ride was great today. Got a seat in a corner, sat next to a young professional female who looked clean, sharply dressed, and normal. Train did get pretty crowded but didn't affect me since I had a corner inside seat. Train even got in 1 minute early!

The only noteworthy observation was an older woman (looked to be in her 50s) who appeared pretty healthy and fit who got on the train and asked a man (looked to be in his 40s) to give up his seat for her. He reluctantly did so.

I don't ever really expect a man to give up his seat for me on BART, especially since everyone is so miserable already in the morning. But what makes her feel hat she's entitled? Is it her age? She's not technically a senior citizen and she looked pretty physically fit to me! Is it gender roles? I don't think men should always give up their seats to women on the train, unless someone actually looks like they are very weak and must be seated. (Although I do believe a man should always open the door for a woman or allow her to exit/enter first.)

I already have an answer in mind if a healthy-looking but older (under 65) man or woman asks me to give up my seat-- I will say, I don't feel very well at all today and need to sit down, sorry.

I've given up my seat for children, expectant mothers, families (so they can sit together), senior citizens, and people who look like they are feeling ill at the moment. But, I don't think I should feel like I MUST give up a seat to someone just because they appear to be an "older" person? Does younger necessarily mean healthier and more physically able? I don't think so.

No one undeserving has asked me to give up my seat yet. But when one does, I won't be afraid to tell them no.

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