A recent column by a pregnant Tribune reporter rekindled the heated discussion: Why don't men (especially young men) give up their seats to pregnant women?
From her account of her Red Line commute:
I try to find the safest spot to stand, grab on tight and meekly search the faces of those around me, hoping someone will meet my gaze and offer a seat.
On this commute, two men, who appeared to be their 30s, sat right in front of me, one reading a book, the other his smartphone. Behind me sat two other nonpregnant men, one staring off into space with headphones on, another looking at his smartphone.
Minutes passed. As we approached a stop, I tightened my grip on the pole, and made room for another influx of passengers. At this point the four men around me still weren't pregnant.
That's when a woman noticed me. She jumped up and offered her seat. I thanked her as she told a boy with her, who was clutching an oversized suitcase, to make more room for me on the bench.
And here the nonscientific study begins: I asked the woman why she gave up her seat for me. She looked puzzled. I told her that I'm a reporter, and doing some research. She said she didn't notice me at first. But then she did. And, she said simply, "You are pregnant."
Here at CTA Tattler, we've discussed this topic a number of times, and of course we still haven't figured it out. I think it's simply because woman get it. Even if they've never been pregnant themselves, women understand the toll pregnancy takes on the female body.
The swollen feet. The distended belly, causing a marked body imbalance. The aching back.
Guys don't get it. Especially young guys, who may not yet have had a pregnant wife.
Like the reporter above, most pregnant women don't want to call out men (or women) to give up their seat from them.
So we should.
Assuming we're standing, we should ask the guys around us to give up their seat. I have done it, and it works. At least one man will sheepishly stand up and offer his seat.
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