Man Refuses to Let Pregnant Woman Sit in Empty Seat

Gillian Sisley

How far should people go to accommodate pregnant individuals?

It's no secret that being pregnant isn't exactly a walk in the park. It comes with a lot of uncomfortable and inconvenient symptoms, such as nausea, bloating, pain, soreness, and the like. Not to mention all of the more serious medical complications that can arise, including miscarriage or threats to the mother or baby's health.

With that said, while it's generally acknowledged that pregnant people deserve a bit of accommodation, there are some who firmly believe that this shouldn't be the case, and that pregnant women absolutely don’t deserve preferential treatment.

These realities were highlighted in a recent online post in which a man refuses to let a pregnant woman sit in the empty seat next to him.

How far should people go to accommodate pregnant individuals?

A Reddit post published on April 5th, reported on by Jack Beresford from Newsweek, has gone viral with 8,800 upvotes and 2,500 comments.

The author begins her post by explaining that she’s 8 months pregnant, and recently boarded a bus with her husband where she had an unpleasant interaction. After going aboard, she noticed one empty seat and headed over to it. The seat was next to a man in business attire, and he had his hand resting on the empty seat.

The author then asked if he could remove his hand so she could sit, but he told her that the seat was taken. She then asked by who, and he said ‘by his hand’. The woman then pointed out that she wasn't feeling well, and asked the man to move his hand so she could sit, but he still refused. When she continued on by saying she was tired, he told her that ‘her pregnancy isn't his problem’.

After reaching her breaking point, with her legs burning and back hurting so bad she was going to fall over, the woman went ahead and sat on the man's hand. At this point, he became furious and began to shout at her. The man accused her of being ‘disrespectful’ and ‘inappropriate’ before he got off the bus, leaving everyone to stare at her.

Not everyone agrees that a seat on the bus should be given up to pregnant people.

A UK survey asked 2,000 regular bus commuters whether or not they would give up their seat to an expectant mother, and only 60% said that they would. Of those who agreed, 30% felt that it was only necessary to give up their seat if the baby bump was visible.

After the man stormed off of the bus, the author explained the situation to her husband, but he surprisingly sided with the businessman. He told her that she acted inappropriately, and got on her case for making the man ‘uncomfortable’. Despite trying to explain she was worried about falling over from being so tired, her husband didn't agree with her actions.

What do you think? Was the author justified in sitting on the man's hand so that she could take a seat, considering seats are for sitting, not for resting hands on? Or is the husband right, and did the author behave inappropriately and disrespect the businessman by sitting on his hand?

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