To the nineteen-year old boy/man riding the 172 yesterday morning 8:15ish: when a woman with a small child gets on the bus, you should offer her your seat. I know, it's 2011, and women should be willing to stand on the bus if we want to earn equal pay and be President and whatnot. But here's the thing: we genuinely expect you to offer us your seat. I didn't mind having to get up so the woman with the 4-year old could sit down (I'm lying: I minded), but you should know that you, the sole man sitting toward the front of the bus, seemed like kind of an a-hole for not offering her your seat.
Also, I've got to tell you this: the girl you know from class whom you thought was flirting with you yesterday morning? She, too, was expecting you to offer her your seat. She was making small talk to give you an easy opportunity to offer to let her sit. Her widened eyes? Not interest in you; surprise that you hadn't gotten up. She's probably from Kansas or Louisiana, or someplace where women are raised expecting to be treated like ladies. (I was, too, which, I suppose, is why I'm calling you out on this behavior.)
There's no reason for this to become an argument about feminism or equal rights or anything else beyond what it is. This is simple manners: Gentlemen, when a woman gets on the bus, you should offer her your seat. If that woman is carrying large bags, a pregnant belly, small children, or wrinkles that suggest she's over 60, you should insist that she take it. Simple manners.
Filed under: Uncategorized