Monday, May 6, 2013

Being Pregnant on the Subway...


One of the perks of pregnancy is getting a seat on the subway...right? Standing up for a pregnant woman is a nice gesture and I'm always touched when someone offers me their seat. I feel akward in accepting it right away, so sometimes I do a little dance of "are you sure?" or "that's okay" before I happily accept the seat.

Lately, I have started to notice that the people standing up for me are usually women. It makes me angry to see a subway car filled with men who are too oblivious, selfish or busy to notice that the person standing next to them is very pregnant. I am about 6 months along and very visibly pregnant. None of my coats can button up across my huge belly so it's usually protruding for everyone to see. I don't think its one of those cases where someone can be unsure if I just had a big lunch, or if I'm carrying a child. It's pretty clear!! The whole situation really makes me feel like chivalry is definitely dead...at least on the subway in NYC.

So why are men not standing up? I did a little experiment in the last month, and I calculated that 85% of the time, it's women who offer their seats.  Is this because these women are more aware, observant and in tune with other women's needs? Are these men nervous to say something in case I was not pregnant? Or are they not paying attention? I don't get it. Today, I was in a crowded car that was almost all men except for one woman - who stood up soon after she saw me. Most of these men were not reading or listening to music, they did not seem to be busy -- they seemed to be staring striaght ahead. Did they miss my big belly? Were they too tired to stand up? Or do they believe a pregnant woman can stand just like anyone else can?

I try to remind myself that New Yorkers are generally polite and willing to help, especially in times of need. On the other hand, is it wrong of me to expect a seat on a crowded train during rush hour just because I'm pregnant? I generally believe it's a respectful, kind gesture to extend that kind of courtesy... and I think the same goes for elderly or disabled people.

I was curious so did a little research on the subject...seems like there are strong opinions out there! Take a look if you're curious, or as apalled as I am:

6 Reasons People Do Not Give Up Their Seats for Pregnant Women

Faking a Pregnancy to Get a Seat

Pregnancy & Subway Etiquette

What do you guys think? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

1 comment:

  1. I have rarely heard a man say "ladies first" in New York but down south, all i ever hear in the South is just that. It makes me feel special that I can walk in and out of elevators first or that someone will hold the door open for me. Doesn't really happen up North, culture disparity? Maybe in New York men treat women like themselves because that's what we've programmed them to think!?

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