There's a real problem that many people who rely on public transit know — people almost never give up their seats. In most cases, it's first come first served, but as the slightly robotic voices on the intercom often remind us (at least in NYC), you should give up your seat for pregnant women, the elderly, and people with disabilities.
Any decent human also knows that that courtesy extends to children or anyone carrying a baby. Unfortunately, the knowledge that we should give up our seats doesn't always translate into actually giving them up — as a Facebook post from an angry mom shows.
Bryony Esther posted a photo of herself breastfeeding her baby on the train in Essex while standing up because no one on the train offered her their seat. While her baby may seem old enough to not have had to breastfeed at right that moment, her point still stands. Whether she was breastfeeding or not, someone should have given their seat to the woman who was holding a baby.
"Having to stand on a train whilst breastfeeding my baby thanks to the lovely bunch of charmers giving more priority to their suitcases and rolling joints!! It stinks," she wrote on Facebook. "Plus the cyclist with a fancy bike that keeps rolling into me, sat in the disabled seat. Please share because I'd love it if their mothers, girlfriends, and wives get to see how they behave."
Plenty of people have shared. The post has more than 32,000 shares at the time of writing, and while Esther has gotten some flack for calling out people who didn't offer up their seat (mostly men), many people (mostly women) can relate.
As terrible as Esther's experience is, it's not exactly rare. In fact, a pregnant woman in New York actually gave a man a trophy for giving up his seat in March. She was 8 months pregnant and had gone through an earlier pregnancy while riding the NYC subway, and he was the first man to ever give her a seat.
That's appalling. No matter how often the intercom voices remind us to give up our seats or what other (kind of strange) tactics public transportation workers try, it seems that things won't get better until people start being a little more compassionate.
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