Getting out of one’s seat to offer it to a pregnant woman on any public transportation is a prevalent practice that both men and women do to show respect and empathy. Everyone does it, even older adults and kids, but there are always those exceptions who don’t believe in this practice. While we don’t understand their reasoning, as it seems pretty cruel to allow a pregnant woman to stand while a perfectly healthy person sits, there are usually no laws against the behavior.
And when this happens, it’s not unusual to see some argument, whether between the pregnant woman and the person refusing to give up their seat or a completely strange shaming of that person. In this Reddit “Am I the A**hole story, the original poster spoke of how she once sat on a man’s hand after he refused to move it from an empty seat next to him.
While this seems pretty ridiculous, after all, the man didn’t have to move from his seat. It does go to show just how selfish some people can be. The lady asked him to move his hand so she could sit, but he wouldn’t do it.
“So, I, F30, am 8 months pregnant. I take public transport to work daily. I’m always exhausted cause I have to work extra time to be able to afford basic necessities. I take the bus to work everyday and oftentimes it’s packed, but I get lucky enough when decent folks volunteer their seats for me.
Now I should mention that I don’t use my pregnancy as an excuse to get what I want but people just offer me their places by themselves which is kind and sweet.
On Wednesday, I get on the bus like usual but this time there’s one empty seat. I go to sit but I find a guy in his business attire sitting there with his hand on the empty seat. I say excuse me and ask him to remove his hand so I could sit, but he tells me the seat was ‘taken’.”
At this point in the story, she would be within her right to yell at the man. After all, one can understand how she has difficulty even moving. It’s pretty cold-hearted to force her to stand.
He Wouldn’t Move His Hand, and She needed to Sit…
“[…] I tell him I’m tired and needed to sit and he replies saying my pregnancy isn’t his problem.
I had enough at this point, my legs were burning and my back was hurting, so I go ahead and sit on his hand. He freaks out and tries to remove it quickly while shouting at me.
He then starts arguing about how disrespectful I was to do this inappropriate thing and in public no less. I argue back but then he gets off after saying I was being inappropriate and disrespectful. Everyone stares at me and I just sit there feeling a bit of shame about what happened.”
The pregnant woman wasn’t in the wrong. She was heavily pregnant and desperately needed to support the weight of her baby. This is one situation where the other traveler should have done the honorable thing.
Redditors Show No Mercy
So what did Redditors think of this case?
u/gamerdarling mentioned, “Seats are for butts, not hands. If you don’t want a butt on your hand keep it on your own seat.”
u/Shuai_Ran added to it by mentioning, “This. Did he buy two tickets? Otherwise, he has no right to occupy two seats. Same with people who put their bags on the seat. If there are plenty of free seats, it is ok, but once seats are running out, it is common courtesy to free up seats. And it is also common courtesy to give up your seat for elderly people, pregnant women, and handicapped people, because public transport, buses, and trains alike, can be quite dangerous if they have to hit the emergency brakes. It actually happens quite often, that people get hurt because they fall when a bus brakes unexpectedly.”
Several other users responded accordingly.
u/MechanicMel84 commented, “I’ve been 8 months pregnant on public transportation and I 100% would have done exactly as you did. Seriously, what did he expect?”
To this, u/planet_rose mentioned, “I’ve been 8 months pregnant twice and I would have clapped when he left in a huff. I can’t believe no one spoke up for her. Old ladies are not as fierce as they used to be. I still remember an elderly lady reading teenage me the riot act for not getting up to offer my seat to a pregnant lady fast enough.”
u/illustrated_womxn commented, “I’ve never been pregnant, but I’ve still totally done this before on a crowded train in NYC. I’ve also sat on some man-spreaders legs before. If you want people to respect your personal space, don’t be a selfish prick.”
u/SummitJunkie97 had a reasonable opinion about the entire saga involving the pregnant lady. “This isn’t about whether someone should give up their seat for a pregnant woman. Your pregnancy is irrelevant here. You don’t get two seats. Not for your bag, not to sprawl out or lay down, and not for your hand. He shouldn’t have tried to take up an extra seat, and he absolutely should’ve moved the first time you asked. I don’t know whether that completely justifies sitting on his hand, but it’s kinda unbelievable he still didn’t move his hand as it was clear you were sitting. He was playing some kinda weird power-trip chicken and he lost.”
u/Sableandstable responded, “Believe me if you were a well-built tall man that guy would have moved his precious hand. He was messing with you because you didn’t pose a threat to him.”
Thanks for reading. Please be so kind as to pass this story along to your friends and family?
- “AITA for sitting on a man’s hand after he refused to remove it from the empty seat?” Reddit.