Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Take on the Subway Etiquette when it comes to pregnant women

I've been having a lively discussion with a few friends about subway etiquette when it comes to a pregnant chick..   I contend that men and women are basically equally rude when it comes to giving up a seat, having witnesses both genders quickly stare down when a pregnant woman walks onto the train, but the other party seems to think this happens more with men than women.   I've looked online and there seem to be a bunch of informal polls which, when taken together, tell you that a black guy in his early 30's is probably the most likely to give up a seat and a middle aged Asian woman least likely.   White dudes in suits, Millennials of both sexes and Hasidic didn't rank really well either (chart put together by some pregnant woman)
I tend to think that the reason my friend, who by the way is expecting a baby, believes women get up more are three fold
  • I think that women who do get up, probably do it more quietly, doing it for the benefit of the women as opposed to getting some kind of credit from fellow passengers.   So the only person who does notice would be the person who gets the seat given to her.  Dudes on the other hand want to make sure that their chivalry is acknowledged, so from an outside observer it seems that they are giving up their seats in larger chunks
  • There are studies which show that guys are much less likely to take a seat on a crowded train, so maybe the ones who would have gotten up, are already standing.    I, for one, tend to not take a seat, unless there is nobody else on the train who looks like they will need one.  So although i would like to give up my seat, I usually don't have one to give up..   As anybody who takes a rush-hour train knows, getting a seat is nearly impossible, and will usually mean that you have to cut somebody else off in order to get one.  Firstly, we all know that the most ruthless when it comes to this are, in fact, women.  I have seen many non-pregnant women give a guy a very nasty look if they take a seat they had intended to use..    But in general, I'd guess that the people who are wiling to give up a chance at a seat for a non-pregnant woman would also be likely to give it up for one who is, but they can't since they don't have one to give.
  • When an able bodied guy doesn't give up a seat, I think it's very likely people will be more angry about it than if a woman doesn't, as you can't always assume the seated woman isn't possibly pregnant herself. ..
but then again, these all seem like excuses for a bunch of selfish people who we live with because I have to say that having taken the train many days with my pregnant wife, about 90% of all people will duck their head into a book, newspaper, smartphone, set of boobs or anything else rather than give up their seat.  Basically everybody on the subway is scum who would step over their own mother to get a seat..
so I propose a new TOR test, we will ask all readers to report to us the gender of the person doing the giving whenever they see a seat given up.