Olivia Wilde complains of subway riders who won’t give their seat ‘to a giant preggo’


Here are some photos of Olivia Wilde at TIFF almost a week ago. I was surprised when I saw these photos because I didn’t realize she was this far along in her second pregnancy. Olivia announced her pregnancy back in April, just as her son Otis Sudeikis was turning 2 years old. By my calculations, that means that’s probably… eight or nine months pregnant. Well into her third trimester, in any case, and really obviously and visibly, heavily pregnant. You would think that this would be the phase of pregnancy when the whole world would make way for a big ol’ preggo lady. You would think that she would constantly get offers to sit down and take a load off, wherever she goes. You would be wrong. Apparently, when Olivia rides the subway, no one offers up their seat to the giant pregnant lady:

This is just a humanity fail. I’ve seen people on Twitter like “you bitches wanted equality so here it is.” Um, there will never be equality in human reproduction. Never. As long as women are the ones who have to carry the babies for nine months, men never get to use “equality!” as an excuse for being douchebags. I’ve also heard first-hand accounts of non-pregnant women being nicer to pregnant women as opposed to men being nicer to pregnant women. As in, a non-pregnant woman sees a pregnant woman and thinks, “Damn, her feet must be killing her, I’ll offer her my seat.” Because empathy. And if you check the comments/tweets on Olivia’s tweet, you’ll see that a lot of people look at a pregnant woman and think, “It’s her fault for getting knocked up, I’m not giving up my seat.”

I’m assuming that Olivia was on the New York subway system when this happened. That sucks. Living here in the South, I’ve gotten used to men going out of their way to be courteous to me, a non-pregnant woman, on a regular basis. I can’t go anywhere without men (sometimes young boys) holding the door for me, offering me a seat, etc. Olivia might have a better time of it outside of New York?


Photos courtesy of WENN, Fame/Flynet.

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257 Responses to “Olivia Wilde complains of subway riders who won’t give their seat ‘to a giant preggo’”

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  1. Elle says:

    She’s so gorgeous! Goth glowing preggo ❤

    • Kitten says:

      She is a really beautiful woman, no doubt. Her skin is to die for.

      • MCraw says:

        It’s like her pores don’t exist. So jealous.

        She’s right about the men on the NYC train tho. They’re so rude to pregnant women and the elderly, it’s really despicable. Women offer up their seats to them and children more often than men. Don’t think it’s just regular riders who are douchebags either: years ago a cop gave a heavily pregnant woman a ticket, for what? For sitting in the corner of a large staircase while waiting for her train at a station that had no benches. It made the front of the newspapers.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        I agree, gorgeous.

      • LeAnn Stinks says:


        You took the words right out of my mouth.

        I am a native New Yorker and I cannot begin to tell you how many times, I have had to offer my seat to a pregnant woman, or a woman with a carriage/young child, when there were young, strapping, able bodied men sitting on either side of me! It makes me wonder how they were raised, as I am sure they all had mothers and grandmothers.

        However, nothing should shock me. I am only 5’1 and I have had men cut in front of me in bus lines, sit in front of me in theaters when there were plenty of empty seats, and stand right in front of me at concerts.

        In other words, Olivia, I feel your pain. Maybe, not physically, but literally. Disgusting.

    • Little Darling says:

      So gorgeous. She also seems to revel in pregnancy! I really like her, I love that she is an advocate for breastfeeding and I love how outspoken she is about a lot of things.

      • escondista says:

        That’s really well and good but who isn’t an advocate for breastfeeding? I’d like to see more people advocate for women who can’t or struggle to breastfeed and feel tremendous guilt and shame about it.

      • Little Darling says:

        Agreed!!!! I had a great nursing experience, but I was 24 and didn’t know any other nursing moms, so I think I assumed it was like that for everyone . However, I remember thinking, WOW this is a LOT harder than I expected. I thought you put the baby on and it just happened.

        it wasn’t until I became a lactation educator /doula that I TRULY realized how lucky my experience was. My heart simply breaks for the mamas I work with who desperately want to breastfeed, but they encounter problem after problem, or get the dreaded mastitis! The pressure, the defeat, the shame is all too real, and you’re right, I wish more women would talk about it too. I also wish that more women who really wanted to breastfeed could afford to have lactation consultants like myself work with them and help them achieve their breast-feeding goals should that be what they really want. That health insurance would help pay for more of that continual care and that women knew what was available to them in terms of getting the assistance that they need to breast-feed their children successfully.

        I haven’t worked with very many moms who weren’t able to be successful but the ones who were not a huge part of what I did for them was to help them to let go of some of that guilt that they couldn’t breast-feed her that it wasn’t working for them or that it was a lot more challenging than they could manage. A mother’s well-being and emotional stability is far more important during those tender postpartum month than forcing a challenging breast-feeding situation and unfortunately society has put so much pressure on these mothers that quitting seems just like that quitting instead of making a smart decision for your family and yourself during an already highly emotional pivotal and profound moment in your life.

      • escondista says:

        your work is very appreciated then! My first baby is due in November and I really hope it goes smoothly after the initial adjustment and learning period!

      • Little Darling says:

        AWWW congrats!! <3 much love!!

      • Ziki Fly says:

        I have a 9 month old and I must say, I do not like breastfeeding AT ALL. It’s time consuming and after the first couple of months I felt like there were much better ways to bond with my child. I’m sticking with it, but I don’t love it, and I wish the breastfeeding police would just shut up. I’ve had strangers come up to me and ask if my daughter drinks breast milk and when I say yes, they are like “Good, it’s the best!”. The day I gave birth at the hospital a “lactation consultant” came to my room and said I had gone too long between feeding, and when I showed her how I was trying to get the baby to latch kept suggesting things that I could only have done with 4 hands. I pointed out I couldn’t physically do them while also holding the baby to nurse and she said “You’ll learn to do many things with your hands at the same time”. I thought it was an incredibly rude way to treat an exhausted patient and almost kicked her out of my room. Anyone who feels like breastfeeding is not for them, whatever the reason, don’t feel bad. The important thing is to be a loving and attentive parent, however you go about it.

      • kay says:

        escondista: Women who don’t want to breastfeed shouldn’t be made to feel guilt and shame either. No not all women are advocates for breastfeeding nor should they be required to be or explain themselves to other women.

      • Escondista says:

        Tree was my post, Kay. That’s exactly what I said.

    • Jillybean says:

      I love that she rides the subway! Trooper!

  2. Anastasiia says:

    Thanks to God, during my pregnancy all the people around me were very kind and I always had a seat place in bus. But I feel for her, boys can be so stupid about equality.

    • INeedANap says:

      Men are very comfortable screeching in our faces about feminism and equality when it suits them. Just goes to show that they *do* listen, they *are* paying attention, they just don’t care.

    • LadyMTL says:

      Oh, it’s not only boys and men, I’ve seen it happen here with pretty much anyone. One time I was on the bus home – sitting all the way in the back – and a pregnant woman got on and I was the only one to offer up my seat! She literally had to go to the back of the bus and she was visibly pregnant; I could see the belly even though she was wearing a heavy winter coat and I’m normally not the most observant person.

      I mean honestly, don’t give me that old “I didn’t see her” excuse. I could understand it from 3 or 4 people but an entire bus full? Riiiight. Some people are just rude and lazy, regardless of gender.

    • CTgirl says:

      As children my brothers and I were raised by my parents to up our seats to adults, pregnant women or people with physical difficulties. Period. I have traveled the U.S. and Europe and can say that the manners of children/teens/men in the U.S are appalling. As an adult woman I frequently give up my seat to someone older than myself or pregnant or with a physical difficulty while parents send their children running ahead to secure seats. Shame on the parents and shame on the kids.

      • Tiny Martian says:

        Exactly, CT girl. This is what I was taught, and it’s what I’ve taught my kids as well. When i was pregnant, not once did a young white male give up his seat for me. What was interesting was that older Asian women always did! Which really made the young men look like such babies themselves. 🙂

      • Annetommy says:

        I think courtesy is something that must be instilled in kids by parents. A friend of mind fainted while pregnant on a crowded train. Still no one offered her a seat. Awful. I actually think that a heavily pregnant woman, or infirm person, should if necessary, politely ask a healthy young person if they would mind letting them have their seat. Hard to do, but I’ve seen it done.

    • Stef Leppard says:

      In mild defense of the subway riders, you don’t always notice the people around you. If you’re reading or it’s really crowded, unless you are looking around for someone to give your seat to, sometimes you just don’t notice.

      • CTgirl says:

        If you are on a NY subway and are so oblivious to your surroundings that you don’t notice an obviously pregnant woman then you may become an unintentional example of Darwinism. Being aware of your surroundings is only smart.

      • V4Real says:

        Let me tell you for the most part subway riders in NY are aware. We pretend not to be aware but we are. For instance the man that seems as if he is so involved in the reading of his newspaper will briefly glance up when the train stops just to see who is getting on. He is aware but making it seems as if he’s not paying attention to anything going on around him. I’ve seen strap hangers or subway riders look directly at a pregnant, elderly or disabled person then turn away as if they didn’t see them to avoid giving up their seat.

        On a different note If the train is crowded I prefer to stand holding on to the poles in the center of the train if it’s available. I don’t like people standing over me with their crotch in my face. Subway etiquette 101. If you are standing over a person who is sitting please turn your body so your side is facing them not your groin area.

      • Becky says:

        It’s the same on the Underground in London, even with British reserve people are encouraged to give up their seats for pregnant women, elderly and infirm (what equality is there with the last 2?).

        My former manager said that it was women that gave up their seat for her when she was pregnant. She said the men usually sat there “looking at their shoes”.

      • Carrie says:

        @Becky: That was my exact experience while I was pregnant riding the T in Boston. I was hugely pregnant, and completely lost my center of gravity. I would be hanging, trying not to stumble. In the few occasions that I was given a seat, it was always by a woman.

    • India Rose says:

      I held the door for a dude who was running to catch the train after a baseball game. He ran past me, took the last empty seat, and I had to stand next to him while holding a squirming toddler and a ceiling strap to keep from falling over. Dear God, I wish I’d said something.

    • Youhatekids says:

      Yep- we lived in Jersey City and would commute into NYC and guys rarely ever gave their seat to pregnant women. I would. My husband would. That was a huge pet peeve of his. He would tell guys to move if he was standing and saw a man sitting and not giving.

      I feel the same about the elderly.

    • OGBklynGirl says:

      As an old school New Yorker, I can only say blame gentrification. This was def not the norm back in the day. Apparently hipsters and manners don’t mix.

  3. Caitriona says:

    People often complain about that here in Dublin too. I’m 9 months pregnant but don’t take public transport at the moment so can’t comment. My husband always says he never offers his seat in case he gets it wrong. The comedian Jimmy Carr has a joke that goes; “I’d rather see a pregnant woman standing than a fat woman sitting and crying”, which a lot of guys I know agree with unfortunately.

    • Maria T. says:

      Ha! Good point. I think we’ve ALL made that mistake.

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      Really? I’ve been to Dublin and found people there to be SO polite. Dublin, and then Stockholm is a close 2nd. People hold doors (not just for women), apologize when they bump into you etc. I loved the city so much.

      • Josefina says:

        I learned just the other day in some parts of the world holding doors is a gender thing. I always hold the door when someone is approaching, because I think releasing it on their faces is just rude. It’s not a chivalrous thing guys do for women. It’s something people just do. I do it for guys, guys do it for me.

        It’s so weird how sexist Latin America is, but then I read about how sexism works in the first world and I’m like “really? I know very few men like that”.

      • Sasha says:

        “. I always hold the door when someone is approaching, because I think releasing it on their faces is just rude.”

        The same for me. I never considered it to be a gender thing.

    • V4Real says:

      But he can’t get it wrong if he was just a man offering a seat to a woman who was standing. I’m a New Yorker and I’ve seen men who offer their seats to women just because.

      I’ve also seen the side of men who will not offer their seats to the elderly or pregnant.

      • jinni says:

        But wouldn’t that fall under benevolent sexism? According to feminism, isn’t that behavior seen as away of saying that women are inherently weaker than men and so men should accommodate this weakness?

      • SilverUnicorn says:

        Benevolent sexism? What kind of feminism is that?
        The one I ‘practice’ includes equal rights where there’s none, surely me offering a seat to a pregnant woman isn’t considered any kind of sexism, right?
        Your argument makes no sense.

      • jinni says:

        @SilverUnicorn: It is a real thing just google it. Seriously, I am not making this up. I don’t entirely get it myself which is why I asked my question since to me it just seems like complaining about polite manners, but it is a thing.

      • V4Real says:

        “But wouldn’t that fall under benevolent sexism?”

        No, it would fall under chivalry. Believe it or not some men still have that. What’s wrong with a man offering his seat to a woman or opening or holding a door for a woman. That doesn’t imply that women are weaker but it implies that a man has respect and he’s just being courteous to the opposite sex.

        My boyfriend still pulls the chair out for me when we go out to dinner. He would not sit before I did.

      • Tiny Martian says:

        No, it wouldn’t fall anywhere under the umbrella of sexism, it would fall under the category of “being a basically decent person”. Because it isn’t just men who are expected to give up their seats, it is anyone, male or female, who is in good enough health that they can stand comfortably. Women aren’t the “weaker sex” at all, but a fully pregnant woman is definitely physically compromised for the time being!

      • jinni says:

        @V4Real and Tiny Martian:

        But from what I found from searching google, chivalrous behavior is benevolent sexism. Here’s the first definition that popped up:

        Benevolent sexism is a chivalrous attitude toward women that feels favorable but is actually sexist because it casts women as weak creatures in need of men’s protection. One good place to learn more about benevolent sexism is the Facebook page Understanding Benevolent Sexism maintained by Professor Peter Glick. 2.

        I’m not trying to fight you on this because I appreciate manners too, just that from my understanding a man doing something just because a woman is a woman is this form of sexism.

      • Lyka says:

        I think ya’ll missed jinni’s point — it seems they were referring specifically to men offering a seat to a woman (not a pregnant one, mind you) “just because.” That’s totally benevolent sexism, which is indeed synonymous with the outmoded concept of chivalry. I prefer non-gendered politeness, and don’t really understand the social benefit of an able-bodied man giving up his subway seat to an able-bodied woman because it’s gentlemanly or something. A pregnant woman is another matter entirely.

      • V4Real says:


        I’m willing to bet a man came up with that term just to have an excuse for men who don’t give a rat’s ass about having manners or being courteous. Oh, I can’t give up my seat or open a door for a woman because it’s sexism. She wanted to be seen as equal, now she is.

        I know this is a bit different but a disabled person wants to be seen as equal as well but that doesn’t mean that I’m going to park my car in a spot reserved for the handicap and say well they want to be treated equal so let them park in a regular spot. Or it doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t give up my seat for them.

        It’s called having manners but I get what you are trying to say. They tried to play that angle of sex sexism in the movie Jurassic World. It was the scene where Pratt’s character extended his hand to assist Howard’s character but she just ran passed him. I didn’t find that scene sexiest at all. If he thought she was weak he wouldn’t have even let her come with him in the first place.

        @Lyka No I didn’t miss the point at all. She asked wouldn’t that be benevolent sexism for a man to offer his seat to a woman and I gave my opinion no that it is chivalry. I never said pregnant woman in my first response. I was talking about women in general.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        It really depends on whether you subscribe to the notion that this concept is even a thing. I don’t. If a man holds open a door, I’ll take it. Chances are, he would do it for another man as well. I don’t even know men who are polite to women only because they’re women. I really don’t. The polite ones I know don’t differentiate.

        The ones who think women are weak are usually, in my experience, also the ones who will make your argument. Because they don’t like women and they won’t hold open doors. So now they have an excuse. “Sorry, can’t be nice, might be sexist. Suck it!” Whoever came up with “We need men to be less polite to women because SEXISM!” is an idiot. And yeah, it might have been a woman. Still an idiot.

      • Lyka says:

        @V4Real. Right, I understood that you were saying it’s chivalry. I was actually taking issue with that being a social good by pointing out that the concept is akin to benevolent sexism, not just in my estimation, but in the opinion of countless academics and social theorists. Chivalry isn’t dead, it’s just ugly and sexist.

      • kanyekardashian says:

        Men, especially American men, are trained from birth that they are entitled to EVERYTHING – money, success, access to womens’ bodies, even public transit seats – so it never shocks me when men are sitting while pregnant women, elderly people or people with disabilities are standing. That’s patriarchy in motion. And chivalry? They do that crap to feel superior to women AND to get laid.

      • Naya says:

        @KanyeKardashian. Preach!

    • Sarah says:

      It’s such a dumb excuse – just endure a few minutes of embarrassment and be a good person. You don’t have to say anything other than “would you like my seat? I’ve been sitting all day!” Who would be embarrassed by that? They can say no and look away if they don’t want a seat.

      • jinni says:

        But in NY, it could have ended up with the person who was trying to be polite getting cussed out and read for filth and in this day and age getting this whole scene recorded and then posted on the internet to become a viral video. Living and working in the city is stressful enough without creating more stress to deal with so it is best to avoid any potential bad situations.

      • Josefina says:

        I think you need to be a particular kind of… I don’t even know what the word is. How can you be offended by someone offering you a seat? What’s next? Getting offended over getting a discount?

      • V4Real says:


        Ok, now you’re trying to make us New Yorkers seem ruder than we are. I hardly doubt you would find many women cuss men out just because the man offered them a seat. I’ve never seen it and I’ve been riding the subway for many, many moons. And I’ve been on every subway line in NY. I’ve seen men not say a word but just get up and motion to a woman or elderly person. And I’ve often seen men do it just the way that @Sarah said by saying “would you like to sit or would you like my seat.

      • jinni says:

        @V4Real My scenario about a woman cussing a guy out has to do with the original poster talking about a man not wanting to just assume a woman is pregnant and finding out that she wasn’t pregnant at all causing embarrassment all around to which @Sarah said that a little embarrassment was nothing. So I pointed out that it can get really ugly real quick if some guy assumed a woman was pregnant and she wasn’t here on NY MTA. Even if his intention were from a good place.

        I wasn’t trying to imply that a woman in NY would just attack a guy for simply offering her a seat.

      • V4Real says:

        @Jinni I thought you were replying to her entire comment. My apologies.

      • detritus says:

        Exactly, you don’t have to say – Hey you look pregnant, here’s my seat you miracle incubator!, you just stand up and ask if they would like a seat.
        I do this for elderly, people struggling with bags, possibly disabled, whoever looks in distress. You don’t need to meet a standard of disability to get my empathy. It isn’t about being beholden to a standard, it’s about caring for the people in your community.

      • sunny says:

        I agree with jinni. It is much easier to limit interaction with others simply because so many people are perpetually offended and who wants to be part of that? I don’t know Olivia Wilde but she has the face that a lot of those types have. Despite having had my own kids I wouldn’t have offered her my seat. My default “in public” mode is to appear like I see nothing and no one. That’s how it is nowadays, how it has to be to survive in this lovely brave new world. Call it mean or paranoid or ill mannered, but my 34 years on this earth have unequivocally shown me that the old adage “no good deed goes unpunished” is true. Can’t change it, just have to adapt to it.

      • Annetommy says:

        “Call it mean or paranoid or ill mannered”? Yeah, it kind of is, sunny. I’ve been on the earth a lot longer than 34 years, and it is not my experience that good deeds are usually punished.

      • leuce7 says:

        Like detritus said, you don’t have to mention pregnancy. I got offered a seat once, and declined it (not pregnant, wearing flats, perfectly able to stand), and the guy sitting there got up anyway and insisted, so I sat. After a while, I realized he must have thought I was pregnant (empire-waisted shirt + a bit fat at the time), because he hadn’t offered the seat to other women who’d been standing nearby.

        I did feel a little embarrassed about being so fat at the time I could easily be taken as pregnant, but I didn’t get mad. Why would I? The guy was just being nice.

    • CTgirl says:

      If your husband were a gentleman he would offer his seat to any women without a place to sit. It doesn’t matter if the woman is pregnant or not.

      • Amanduh says:

        Really??! As a (fortunately) able-bodied person and woman, I find that weird. Don’t worry about me!! But please : Offer your seat to those in need!!! Elderly, pregnant women, people who may have physical difficulties.
        I live in the greatest city (Ottawa) and the transportation system (shout out to OC Transpo!!) has “priority seating” for those who need it. If people are too busy/rude to bother to offer a seat, the driver may well demand someone move to accommodate. Manners are manners regardless of sex.

      • CTgirl says:

        @Amunduh, yes he should offer his seat to any woman. Just like a young woman would offer her seat to an elderly person. If everyone had manners this wouldn’t be a point of discussion.

      • Amanduh says:

        CTGirl: your husband sounds very sweet and has very good manners! I just found it odd that because I have a vagina, I am offered a seat…but manners are manners. I once offered an older gentleman my seat (not elderly, but older than 60…) and he was so offended!! Guess you can’t please everyone…

      • Caitriona says:

        Just to be clear – I’ve seen my husband give up his seat to elderly people, disabled people, people with young kids etc. He’s just gun-shy on pregnancy because we’ve both seen mistakes happen and women get very upset a few times. It happened a woman I used to work for and another I used to work with. It is not typical here for men to give up their seats to able-bodied young women at rush hour just because they’re women. Crowded public transport would be like a game of musical chairs if that were the case. Outside of rush hour we don’t use public transport.

      • Linn says:

        But people offer their seat to elderly because it’s far more likely that they have problems with standing during the subway ride.

        Able-bodied men and women should both be equally capable of standing unless there are specific circumstances involved. I would never expect a man to offer me his place just because I’m female.

      • Tulip says:

        There is no way in HELL that you should be getting a seat just because you’re a woman. The reason that men do that is because they’ve been taught that all women are feebler than men are and so women “need” a seat. And both men and women get screwed by this idea.
        If you’re healthy, not pregnant, and not loaded down with kids or groceries, stop preying on men to “have some manners” by giving up their seat because you think you deserve it more than they do. You don’t! Or, if you want, randomly offer up your seat to some man by just leaving your seat so he too can have a bit of kindness in his day during the rush hour period.

      • CTgirl says:

        @Tulip, no one is preying on anyone. You’re just kind of funny with all that righteous indignation. It’s not about deserving anything more than anyone else. It’s about making the gesture. If a woman politely declines then what is the harm in offering a seat? If a woman takes a man, or younger woman, up on the offer of a seat what do you care? It isn’t about equality. It’s about being polite.

      • Tulip says:

        Interesting points. I guess what upsets me (and what makes me talk about it as an equality issue) is that I personally have never seen a woman give up her seat to a man unless the man was using crutches or was really old. I haven’t travelled too much, but when I have, I still haven’t seen women just offering up their seat on the bus or subway to men unless, of course, the man was ill or old.

        Question-are women just ruder than men when it comes to this sort of thing?

      • detritus says:

        CTGirl, I understand the reasoning, but respectfully, I don’t really agree.

        If she’s wearing heels yeah, go for it, or looks tired, worndown, yes for sure! Especially if the same holds true of offering to men who look like they need a hand.

        But don’t just offer it to me because I have boobs. I can stand OK with them, I’ve been practicing awhile, and I find the assumption that I need special treatment because I’m a lady to be the benevolent sexism talked about upthread. It’s special treatment because of my gender, not my situation, even if it is really nice.

        I am sure your husband does not mean it in that way at all, you both sound very thoughtful, but that’s how I would see it. It is so low down on the list of things that get me riled, that I wouldn’t be upset if I ever encountered it in the wild. Erring on the side of niceness and courtesy doesn’t really harm anyone.

      • Trixie says:


        You’re comparing an able bodied woman to an elderly person in saying that a man should give up his seat to any woman the way a young woman should give up her seat to any elderly person.

        Women are not disabled just because they are women, and men giving up their seats to any woman is sexism because it assumes women are weaker than men.

      • Sasha says:

        There is no reason to offer a seat to an able bodied woman. Just like men no longer stand up when a woman enters. Women and men should be treated the same.
        It is just men don’t get pregnant. But a seat should be offered to a man or a woman if it is obvious that it is hard for them to stand due to some sort of an illness or disability.

    • Insomniac says:

      Heh. I’m pretty sure I’ve had men give me their subway seats because they thought I was pregnant when I’m, uh, not. I don’t care! I’ll still take the seat. No shame in my subway seat-getting game.

      • sa says:

        I’ve been offered seats on the subway and it always leaves me wondering if I look pregnant. Seriously, I have a dress that I no longer wear because someone gave me their seat while I was wearing it.

      • Amanduh says:

        Or maybe they were trying to start small talk bc you’re both beautiful?!

    • Cee says:

      I just stand up and give my seat for someone older, with a disability, an injury, pregnancy and even to men with toddlers and young children.

      If I offended a fat woman then I’m sorry but at least she travels more comfortably?

      • MoochieMom says:

        I am a big girl and I give up my seat for everyone you mentioned and sometimes just to be nice. You wouldn’t offend me but I might suggest you offer it to XYZ and we ride the good karma train. 🙂

  4. Runcmc says:

    To be fair, there’s a trillion people on NYC subways. I barely ever look up from my book/phone at ALL and have probably inadvertently not given up my seat because I didn’t even see someone. The other day on a SUPER crowded train- I’m talking rush hour, shoulder to shoulder packed car- I heard a woman loudly complaining that nobody was giving up a seat for a pregnant lady for a few minutes until somebody finally got up. (I was on the other side of the car, and standing).

    Maybe people arent noticing her. We uh, don’t always look at each other here.

    • Escondista says:

      This. Also I am generally of the mindset that if you want something, you might just have to ask for it.

      • Locke Lamora says:

        Yeah. I always give my seat up to pregnant ladies and older people on trams, but sometimes when it’s crowded and I have my headphones in I don’t see them. Old ladies will tell you to get up. There is no bigger force in the universe than an old lady who wants to sit on the tram.
        But I think you have to give up your seat to older people, pregnant women, people on crutches etc. It’s just manners. Everyone does it here, and if you don’t do it you will get looks.

    • jinni says:


    • lilacflowers says:

      On the subway, as soon as people sit down, they are reading or looking at their phones or tablets and almost completely unaware of what is going on among the standees if the train is really crowded.

    • Neelyo says:

      Yeah, I don’t look up unless there’s some disturbance like the one you described.

    • Kitten says:

      THIS. I guess it never occurred to her that maybe people JUST DIDN’T SEE HER.
      Also, if she’s so concerned with getting a seat because she’s so pregnant then maybe take a cab? Or car service? Or Uber? It’s not like she can’t afford it.

      I get that I probably sound like a b*tch and I have all the empathy in the world for pregnant women because I truly think being pregnant would be so incredibly uncomfortable. That being said, as someone who relied on public trans as my primary way of getting around the city for 20 years, I know how savage it can be. There were times when I had a huge bag(s) or was carrying something and knew it would be a nightmare trying to take it on the train so I just took a cab.

      • Contigo says:

        I see this all the time and as much as I lose myself in whatever mindless activity I’ve chosen on my phone or tablet, you can’t miss a pregnant belly in your face on a crowded train. I’ve seen grown (young!) men essentially race a pregnant woman to the last seat. Maybe you didn’t see she was pregnant until you sat down but damn give it to her once you realize your mistake!

      • Kitten says:

        Oh I don’t doubt for a SECOND that people do this as I too have witnessed it with my very own eyes. But I’m simply pointing out that she’s assuming people saw her—and maybe they did, but maybe they didn’t.
        And when you put this kind of thing out there on social media, people are going to look at the situation objectively. Anyway, I don’t think it ever hurts to give people the benefit of the doubt.

      • Michelina says:

        Kitten, I totally agree. Olivia exchanged words with someone on Twitter who replied to her that if she wanted a seat she could’ve easily afforded an Uber or a car service and she told him to eat a bag of dicks…LOL. I know it sounds harsh and insensitive, but it’s true. If she was looking for a comfortable way to get around, she very easily could’ve at least gotten a cab or an Uber.

      • Kitten says:

        @Michelina-Holy crap she actually said that? LOL..dang.

      • senna says:

        I, too, take a lot of public transit. Yes, everyone these days is zoning out with their phone/book/music/ipad, but only an idiot on transit is so completely unaware of their surroundings that they don’t notice someone who needs a seat. It takes two seconds to glance up at the next round of passengers to see if anyone needs it more than you, and it’s called “not being an asshole in public places,” IMHO. It’s also a good public safety practice. Is an incoming passenger inebriated? Are they talking to voices in their head or insulting everyone around them very loudly? Are they asking everyone for change? Are they leering at and approaching women? If you notice these things sooner rather than later, you can prepare yourself for what might happen next so you’re not surprised, and possibly help to protect others.

      • senna says:

        @Michelina – She may have sounded rude, but I think the point here is that if people can be unaccommodating of a famous pregnant person on the subway, it’s certainly happening to a lot of other people, and maybe this’ll get people talking about subway manners. I don’t think it’s a bad thing to shame or encourage people to think of others when using public services. I mean, where does the line of thinking “if you don’t like it, find other transport” end? If, for example, you’re assaulted on transit, it’s your fault for taking transit and expecting to be treated with human decency? If you’re on transit, no one cares how you’re treated because you’re probably not rich? That’s not Olivia’s case, but it is the circumstance for a lot of people. Extreme individualism is a terrible thing when it erodes a sense of common decency and respect.

      • Tina says:

        I can afford a cab or an uber but I take the tube most of the time. The traffic here in London is so bad during the working day that the tube is the only efficient way of getting around. I’m sure it’s similar in New York.

    • Josefina says:

      This. Public transportation etiquette is that you offer the seat as soon as the people who need it get on. If the don’t do it, they can ask politely. I have never seen someone refuse to give their seat when asked to.

    • MC2 says:

      I bet she made herself noticed IF they didn’t notice her. I took a bus while I was about 8 months pregnant with my first in my liberal, polite city but nobody stood up for me and the bus lurches something awful & my feet were killing me after an 8-hour shift on my feet. I thought “maybe they didn’t see my huge self” so I bumped, groaned and moved. Then I just glared because there are signs right above their heads in the first section to give it up to others if you are able bodied. Finally one person gave me his seat and the rest shifted and sighed- they saw me and they saw me glaring at them too. That was a moment that made me so disappointed because I always give up my seat (sign or not).

      • Amanduh says:

        Same…or if I don’t have a seat and I see someone who needs one, I’ll loudly say, “Aww, I’m so sorry-if I had a seat I’d gladly offer it to you!” and some take the hint, others pretend they don’t hear. Rude!

      • Sasha says:

        I usually just say it point blank – please, give a seat to this woman with a child etc. They glare , but I have an accent, so they figure out I must have different notions of what is normal and don’t argue and just comply. )) And if they pretend not to hear I just repeat it until they do.

    • mee says:

      it’s the phone -everyone is looking at it and not looking up. but it does suck generally – have seen lots of men not offer their seats before

  5. Birdix says:

    New York is extreme–can feel like it’s rolling out the welcome mat just for you or completely beating you down, sometimes in the space of a day. I spent last summer there with two kids and subway riders were constantly getting up so they could sit down. And they’re not even that little any more.

    • Kitten says:

      All cities are like this, though–NYC is not alone. When you have a densely populated area where people largely use public transportation to get around, you will be exposed to all types of personalities. It’s just the inevitable repercussion of living in a condensed urban environment.

      In Boston it can be incredibly hostile with people flipping you off over nothing, pushing you around or telling you to get the f*ck out of their way. Then the next moment, you have some stranger who chases after you because you dropped your hat, opens the door and holds the elevator, or helps you find an address when you’re lost. It’s the nature of the beast.

      • Birdix says:

        True. Even at the beach yesterday in San Francisco, someone yelled at me over something completely inane, glaring stomping his feet, the whole nine yards. Ten minutes later a lifeguard was gleefully wrestling with my dog.
        But I will say that there’s something that’s more intense about northeast (and maybe Midwest) cities–maybe in part it’s the weather. But my highs have been higher and lows lower in NYC than anywhere else. Limited experience, to be sure.

      • Kitten says:

        That’s also probably true. I notice the difference between LA and Boston so much in that Boston is a far more fast-paced city, probably because there are so many pedestrians and people taking the MBTA and fewer people driving to work. But that has no doubt created a very impatient culture here. People don’t have time for slow walkers, bicyclists who don’t observe the traffic laws, or people who don’t know where they’re going. I think cities that are more spread-out and rely more on cars for transport tend to be a bit more laidback.

        The other day I had someone throw my bag of trash over the fence of my enclosed patio because I put it out on the street at LITERALLY (I mean literally-I checked my watch) 4:50 (the rule is you put it out anytime after 5PM on the night before trash day) and then the next day a good samaritan was picking up lose trash on the sidewalks in front of my place.

        There are days where I feel like I can’t tolerate the hostility and meanness anymore and I just want to move to the country. But then the city redeems itself and I fall in love all over again. It’s a tumultuous, dysfunctional relationship for sure 😉

  6. Jess says:

    She’s gorgeous.

    And I get so mad when people look the other way when a pregnant woman, or someone with a baby, or an old person is in the subway or the bus. This happens in Buenos Aires all the time, and several times I’ve gotten into arguments with those that stay sitting and ignore the others that need the seat

  7. Escondista says:

    I am currently 7 months pregnant and EVERYONE has been much nicer to me here in Austin.
    However, I don’t expect preferential treatment – or I try to limit my expectations of people.
    Olivia doesn’t know the “able bodied” people’s story that day, month, or year and maybe every decision they make just isn’t about her.

    • Anon says:

      Exactly! I’m sure most of these people she is hating on have much harder lives than her. Maybe they just worked a 12 hour shift and are finally able to rest their feet. I would never be such a princess and assume people should just give up their seat to me. If they did, great. But if they didn’t I wouldn’t think they were horrible human beings. Pregnant women are not disabled. They can stand up.

      • Sasha says:

        All of them , on a whole train had a harder time standing than a heavily pregnant woman? You know it is not true.

  8. Patricia says:

    Dang Kaiser you’re really slamming our NorthEast men here!
    When I lived in Philly it was similar to what you describe in the south. Sure you encounter men who aren’t raised right but in general men hold doors, pull out chairs, men would even stop and help me across the icy street just because they wanted to be courteous, and I wasn’t even pregnant! Black men over the age of 25 were especially courteous, and especially polite. They were raised well. It’s young guys, in my experience, who are lacking.

    But I’ve also heard from friends about being pregnant on the bus and nobody gives up a seat. I think there are polite men and badly raised men everywhere.

  9. Ainsley says:

    Omigoodness I remember how sweet people were when I was pregnant. Woman let me skip huge bathroom line ups, seats were given up on the subway, heck an older man working at a Blue Jays game upgraded my seat because he said it was too hot for me to be in the sun.

  10. Goats on the Roof says:

    I would feel terrible if I kept seated while a pregnant lady stood. Subways can be shaky and come to sudden stops–seems like a recipe for falls. In defense of the other people on the subway, the general motto on the subway seems to be to keep your eyes down and mind your own business. At least where I live. You also never really know when someone is pregnant or has another issue going on. People don’t want to offend/hurt someone’s feelings unnecessarily.

  11. everlyB says:

    If she would have asked for a seat I doubt people would have said no.
    Attention grab methinks.

    • jinni says:

      Exactly. It doesn’t even sound like she asked anyone.

    • greenmonster says:

      And if an elderly woman or man enters the subway, they have to ask as well? Why do people have to ask for politeness?

      • Josefina says:

        Generally when I’m on public transportation, I’m playing something on my phone. Or reading. Or watching out the window. Whatever the case, I’m not paying attention to who gets on, and I think most people are like that. I’ve never seen anyone refuse to give their seat when asked.

    • Snowflake says:

      I wouldn’t ask. What if they said no? What would you do then? Plus, if someone was inclined to give you their seat, they would have offered.

      • Size Does Matter says:

        I wouldn’t ask, either.

      • Trixie says:

        If you’re not willing to even ask for something then don’t be mad when people won’t give it to you.

      • Sasha says:

        “If you’re not willing to even ask for something then don’t be mad when people won’t give it to you. ”

        So now people have to ask others to be considerate? Otherwise people can be completely selfish? After all, nobody asked them not to?

      • Trixie says:

        Waiting for people to do something you want them to do because you think they should be able to read your mind is being very passive. Be active. If you want something: ask. Don’t be mad when people cannot read your mind. And sorry to break it to you but expecting someone to be what you think is considerate is asking people to read your mind and do stuff without you asking them to.

        This is going to sound very sexist, but I’ve never met a man who got mad at me for not reading his mind, but *so many* women get mad at me for not reading their minds. They just expect me to know what they want me to do without them having to tell me. And yeah, it’s sexist, but it’s such a woman thing to do. I’ve done it too, but I’m trying very, very hard to make break that habit and be more active, and ask for what I want.

      • Sasha says:

        “Waiting for people to do something you want them to do because you think they should be able to read your mind is being very passive”

        It is not about being passive/ reading your mind. It is about being considerate as a society.
        I am very confused how it is not obvious to so many here. I grew up in Russia, the place of constant struggle and turmoil. I understand that if a fellow citizen is not even willing to show you a little kindness of giving up their seat for you when you are in need, they will most definitely will not sacrifice anything bigger at a time of war of catastrophe to ensure your survival. Such a selfish society cannot survive long term. The US seems to be so far removed from major disasters that people have forgotten why they should care for each other – every small thing you do for your fellow citizen is a small thing you do for the betterment of your country,

        As Kennedy said “ask what you can do for your country”.

  12. littlemissnaughty says:

    This has nothing to do with pregnancy or women, people on public transportation are just d*cks. They don’t get up for the elderly, for disabled people, for children, OR for pregnant women. This is about basic manners. I don’t know what it is about subways or buses etc. but it’s like human beings give in and become the worst version of themselves. This goes for the groups I mentioned as well, btw. I get that it’s frustrating to be pregnant/old/a parent with small kids and have to move around a big city but come on, it’s not my fault either. I can’t count the number of times a mother rolled over my foot with the stroller and instead of apologizing, blamed me for being in the way.

    • Goats on the Roof says:

      I was on the train last year with a woman who decided a semi-packed subway car was the perfect place for a photo sesh. She whipped out her phone complete with selfie stick, whacked me in the head, and then told me off for “f*cking up the shot.” Sometimes people on the train are huge assholes, but a lot of the time I think people don’t want to irritate/upset/offend anyone by not minding their own business.

    • vanessa says:

      This is true – the only people who I’ve seen most commuters get up for are those in wheelchairs and that is usually because the bus driver has to move seats around to accommodate the chairs. Nobody moves for pregnant women, the elderly, or those using canes or walkers. Sometimes people will give up their seats for small children. I am pregnant and since I know it is difficult for me to stand, I make sure I get to the stop early, or walk to a stop near the beginning of the route where I know there will be plenty of seats available. I know this isn’t possible for everyone, but sometimes you just have to put in a little extra work to be comfortable.

  13. toni says:

    The asshole who refused to give up on his seat to her responded to her on twitter and attacked her, so f%ck him.

  14. lucy2 says:

    I’ve seen lots of people on the NYC subway and buses give up their seat, but that’s an instance here and there. I imagine she’s experiencing this problem a lot, as she’s dealing with it 24/7.

  15. Jess says:

    Yeah that wouldn’t happen here in Alabama, it’s just common human courtesy in my opinion. Someone is growing a human, you get your ass up and insist they take your seat. I’m used to people going out of their way to be nice but even I was shocked by how much further they go for pregnant women down here, it was amazing and I was actually sad when it was over, lol.

    • Kitten says:

      Ok but you can’t compare Alabama public transit (where exactly in Alabama are we talking about BTW?) to NYC subways. Have you been to New York? EVERYONE takes public transit there. Tons and tons of people vying for seats. Not only is it likely that they didn’t see her (YES it is entirely possible to not notice a pregnant belly when the cars are filled wall-to-wall with people) but when you’re traveling with hundreds of people, you’re bound to encounter a few aholes.

      • Jess says:

        Good point kitten!! We don’t really use public transportation, I wish we did to cut down on pollution. I’m in North Alabama in a pretty liberal city, there are a lot of transplants here due to the military and space center, I always hear how polite we are! They say it takes getting used to, lol.

      • Kitten says:

        I don’t doubt it, judging by my client base in Alabama. Always the nicest people but man you guys are sloooow lol. I don’t mean slow as in “dumb” just that you guys never seem to be a hurry. Nothing is that big of a deal or a huge rush if you live in Alabama, it seems. 😉

    • Carebare says:

      “Wouldn’t happen here in alabama” lmfao bless your heart.

  16. jinni says:

    She probably was only taking the train to feel like a native New Yorker, well welcome to New York you just got a lesson in the school of the hard knocks courtesy of the MTA.
    It doesn’t even seem like she bothered to ask anyone to get up, but just assumed they would notice her because of her condition. I’m sure if she asked someone would have gotten up and given her a seat. People on NY public transportation avoid making eye contact at all cost, so many around her may not even have been aware she was there. Being pregnant isn’t a disability and pregnant woman are always saying that just because they are pregnant doesn’t mean they are invalids, so if she felt she was able-bodied enough to take the train then she needs to deal with the chance she won’t get a seat and stand like everyone else.

    Unlike her this is many of those people on the trains only mode of transportation. So if she can’t deal with subway culture, maybe she should take a taxi or have her driver take her where she needs to go or have her assistant go for her since I am sure she can afford those things which many of the people on the subway can’t .

    • HK9 says:

      I also never assume that just because someone looks ‘able bodied’ it means that they are. There are lots of serious conditions that people have that aren’t as visible as pregnancy. Sometimes those who aren’t rich, take their only mode of transportation while ill. I know she might not have thought of that but it happens all the time.

      That said, it’s good manners to give up your seat for those who are pregnant/elderly/disabled or just someone who has a lot to carry. A little human kindness never hurt anyone.

      • jinni says:

        I agree with you, it is good manners to be polite and offer people that look like they need a seat your seat. All I am saying is she should have made her presence and request known instead of assuming these people who don’t typically look at other people on the train are just going to see her.

    • Kitten says:

      You’ll probably get sh*t for it but I agree with you. I’m starting to think that a lot of the commenters here don’t take public transit daily.

    • senna says:

      I was actually pretty impressed with common courtesy on the NYC subway. My husband was deathly ill and starting to faint while standing on the Q; I was holding him up, and a really kind stranger offered her seat to him and then gave us both a (very religious) pep talk to – I don’t know – find the strength to get back to our hotel? It totally worked, and she was so kind!

    • leuce7 says:

      She lives in NYC (at least part of the time); my husband used to see her every so often on his way to work back when we lived there. He says she’s actually prettier in person. So, she’s not “touristing” on the subway.

      And “subway culture” doesn’t mean basic human decency and kindness are optional. Yes, although she could have asked for the seat (and should, if she needs it at the time), I’m going to have to side with Olivia Wilde on this one. It’s just complaining about the lack of politeness. She obviously could stand, since she did, but I’m sure she would have preferred to sit. And since there *are* people who do (kindly) offer their seats to the elderly/infirm/pregnant/etc., I think it is okay to be upset when other people don’t notice when that they can easily help a person with a greater need than their own.

      I don’t think we’d be having this argument if she had a broken leg and made the same statement, and having spent 6 weeks with a broken bone in my foot, walking with a cane, and taking the subway, I can agree that I also didn’t always get offered seats on crowded trains. Some days I could stand and it didn’t matter, and some days it hurt so much I’d ask for a seat. But I did feel entitled to complain about the lack of common courtesy of the modern subway rider. It’s just polite for riders to have empathy for people for whom standing in a moving, swaying train is physically more challenging. I don’t see how it’s a bad thing to expect kindness in other people.

      Also, sometimes the train *is* faster and easier than a car/cab/uber; and while Olivia Wilde may be able to afford it, a lot of other pregnant women can’t, and they don’t always get offered the seats either.

  17. Mousse says:

    A colleague of mine pointed out that if she sees a pregnant lady wearing high heels, they won’t offer their seat. If she chooses to be uncomfortable, then let her enjoy her sore feet in those high heels. They only give up their seat if the pregnant lady is wearing decent shoes.

    I actually never looked at their feet but now I do.

    • Sarah says:

      That is literally idiotic. Who are you to determine what someone else feels comfortable in? I bet you’d also get judgey about obese people because, like, they brought it on themselves!?!?

      Be a shitty garbage person all you want but don’t try tell yourself you’re winning some moral victory. You’re not, you’re just a dickwad

    • Snowflake says:

      Wow, that is rude! So if she tried to be pretty, f@ck her? So because you guys think that if she’s pregnant, she should wear flat shoes? If she doesn’t screw her? that is the most ignorant thing I have ever heard. You and your friend are wrong for that.

      • Mousse says:

        High heels does not equate to beauty. You can be comfortable, still feel great & beautiful. But if she cared more about her looks & ignore her well being, then she needs to book a seat with a psychiatrist.

    • G says:

      Well, I for one agree with you (and your friend).

      This topic bugs me in general though. I was once asked (by someone else, not pregnant) to give up my seat on my (very long) commute for a pregnant woman. I had the flu at the time so could barely stand myself, and this woman was maybe 6 months pregnant. Of course I got up and never said anything because I didn’t want to argue, but here on the internet I’ll say that I don’t agree with a blanket rule on pregnant women always getting a seat.

      And as others are saying: Wilde has the money to take a cab or hire a driver if she wanted. Don’t take public transport just for fun and then bitch about the public on public transport.

  18. grabbyhands says:

    This drives me insane and I see it on Seattle buses all the time. I usually try to avoid the first seats on the bus unless I know it is a route that is likely to be more lightly traveled, and I have lost count the number of times I’ve had to watch able bodied people stare each other down in order to not have to move for someone in a wheelchair, or someone elderly or pregnant.

    One of the more annoying defenses I’ve seen for this was “Well, no one forced her to be pregnant, I don’t see why I have to give up my seat.

    The death of common courtesy has been swift and painful.

    • Sarah says:

      I took a bus in Vancouver that went to the Uni and countless times I saw 20 year olds averting their eyes when elderly, disabled and pregnant people got on. On one occasion the bus driver had to ask three times for them to vacate an area for a wheelchair. It was appalling.

  19. ReineDidon says:

    Only thing I saw is how gorgeous her face is although she is in her third trimester. No swelling in the face or redness or anything. Just gorgeous !

    Also she doesn’t have to ask for a seat, people should offer right away. Asking makes me feel like I am begging for a favor. She is heavily pregnant she does have priority to be seated. It is not a favor.

  20. Swack says:

    Don’t understand why she was even taking public transportation that far along in her pregnancy. I would be worried that I would go into labor or worse yet, as I did each pregnancy, break water. Sometimes a little more common sense needs to take over. She has the means not to take the subway.

    • Sarah says:

      She doesn’t need to rest on a lilypad her whole pregnancy. You can go in to labour at any time (6 months, 9 months, whenever). Mama’s got stuff to do. Is the subway only for poor people? I missed that memo.

      • Swack says:

        No she doesn’t have to rest on a lily pad and could go into labor at anytime but common sense, to me, would say don’t use a crowded subway for transportation if you don’t have to do so. Didn’t say it was for poor people only. If you have the means why take the risk.

      • Kitten says:

        ITA Swack and I said something similar above.

  21. lilacflowers says:

    I am an almost public transportation rider. I take the T everywhere and when I travel, I tend to use the public transit in the cities I visit. As I said above, once people are seated, they immerse themselves in reading, listening to music, playing games on their phone, I even once caught a middle-aged woman watching porn on her phone, and most become rather oblivious to what is around them. That said, if I notice an elderly, disabled, or pregnant person, or a young child, I usually give up my seat. I also have had many men offer their seat to me. I travel the T frequently with my great-aunt who is almost 90 and uses a walker. People give her a seat all the time and if the situation is as I described above, I will politely ask a person if she can sit. Nobody has ever declined. However, I have been on the train when somebody makes a very big deal about not being offered a seat immediately and by immediately, I mean the second the person steps through the door and becomes confrontational with loud announcements about not having a seat – I have seen this happen even when there were empty seats.

    • Kitten says:

      I once saw a straight-up brawl between a commuter and a larger woman who was taking up two seats. I guess I’m just desensitized after living here for most of my life but I barely notice assholery anymore. It’s all just background noise…

    • Greenieweenie says:

      Well for the record, I live in a city the size of NYC with very crowded subways. When I was visibly pregnant, I never even once had to ask for a seat–people hopped to as soon as they saw me. If you ask me, it’s about cultural values.

      • Kitten says:

        You took public transit every single day, multiple times a day during commuting hours?
        Because that’s what most commuters in Boston do. If you took the train 2-3 times a day and were offered a seat EVERY SINGLE TIME then I must ask what kind of a utopian city you’re living in and how soon can I move there. 😉

        But if not, then have you ever thought that maybe you were just really lucky in that you happened to encounter kind people on a daily basis? It can happen, but it doesn’t happen to everyone all the time, particularly in a city.

        And I just don’t think you can pin something like this on “cultural values” when you’re talking about an urban environment that encompasses a plethora of people from different cultures, ethnicities, races, genders, and ages. Assholes live in every city whether you like it or not and if you live in a city for long enough, you’re going to encounter them. That does NOT mean that every single person living in that city is a jerk. It means that sometimes someone will offer you a seat on the train and other times you’ll have to stand. Is that really so terrible? To me, that’s just the ups and downs of city life. In order to live and/or work here, you’re better off accepting that kind of unpredictability instead of wasting mental energy wishing that people were kinder.


      • Greenieweenie says:

        Yeah! Public transportation has been my only mode of transport for nigh a decade. Every city has their quirks–not sure how I would’ve fared in the last city I lived in as people were
        committed to strategically avoiding eye contact. Still, when grandma stepped into the car, they jumped.

        The city in in now was awesome. Got no complaints–people don’t play around when they see a pregnant woman. But like I said, I think it’s cultural.

      • Greenieweenie says:

        I’m in Hong Kong! Before that Beijing. HK is nothing if not family friendly.

      • Kitten says:

        ETA: I meant “you” in the general, pronoun sense, not you specifically.

      • Kitten says:

        Oh that’s awesome. Ok maybe you’re right in that it is cultural differences as I’ve never been to Beijing (seriously my dream city) and HK (my other dream city lol).
        I was thinking you lived in a US city and was comparing the two.

        OT but is the architecture in Beijing as mind-blowing as it looks in photos?

      • Greenieweenie says:

        No worries. But filial piety is a thing in China. It’s real, even if you’re an a-hole! Actually, I think this society is more respectful of women in many ways. But it’s all so complex and…really just totally different. STILL, they set my expectations for a seat on a subway while pregnant and I would do some damage in NYC if nobody was willing to offer one up! (I’m filial piety free, haha. Erryone is equal game! Just kidding).

      • Greenieweenie says:

        YES! I love, love, love Beijing. I used to live in the heart of it–I could see all the way from Tiananmen Sq to the Olympic Park out my west windows! Sadly the air is too toxic to sustain human life and I had to leave but man, I hope they get that sorted because it is a beautiful, infuriating, amazing place to live.

      • Josefina says:

        My city has one of the most crowded subways of Latin America. Ive used it on a daily basis for a decade. Never seen someone deny their seat when asked. More often than not, people do it without asking. We also do it just not for pregnant women, but women holding babies (though that’s rarer and usually done by other women).

        The stupid sleepy act is a common thing, though.

      • Kitten says:

        @Greenieweenie-Wow that was probably the most prime location. Did not know that about the air quality though. How sad.

        @Josefina-The “sleepy act” is a common one lol. They’re not fooling anyone.

        The thing is, at least in Boston, the design of the trains when crowded makes it very difficult to offer a seat to someone unless you are directly in front of them. Most of the time, it’s even more challenging (and potentially risky for the baby)for a pregnant woman to try to push past the crowds of standing people to get to an open seat that isn’t close by. I think that’s why I so often see pregnant women politely declining to take a seat that is offered to them.

  22. Tara says:

    I think we glamorize the past and believe everyone was so different then. My mom got married at 19 and became pregnant (with me) almost immediately. She was a secretary at a bank in Brooklyn. She worked through her first pregnancy. She was 8 months pregnant with me when she went to sit down on the subway. It was a big thing to have to sit apparently, she had to turn around first, not just jump in. As she turned, a man actually jumped into the seat she was about to lower herself into. She couldn’t’ believe it and just stood there staring at him. He refused to look at her, keeping his eyes down.

    Of course it was a woman who, observing this, stood and said loudly, please take my seat.

    This was in 1969.

    • Greenieweenie says:

      Do you guys not have signs on the subway saying please give up your seat to the elderly, handicapped, pregnant or infirm (seems to include small children)? Those four have priority over anyone else for seating. Maybe that’s why I don’t even get why this is a thing–why people think they can sit in front of a big pregnant woman.

      • HK9 says:

        They have them here in Toronto. I’ve taken transit most of my life (I drive now though) and have long made it a practice to walk past the priority seating and sit elsewhere. Most people do.

      • Insomniac says:

        At least on the DC Metro, they have those signs very prominently over the priority seating sections. But it doesn’t always matter, unfortunately.

  23. Micki says:

    I rode the subway in NYC to work every day last year while pregnant. I’d estimate that someone offered up a seat only about 1/3 of the time – and most of the time people were aware (not sleeping or reading). Interesting thing was it was always older men (50+) or younger girls / women (late teens or early 20s) that offered – that surprised me.

    • Kitten says:

      That IS interesting. I would assume that young guys would be the first to offer but I guess not.

      • Mean Hannah says:

        In my – and my friends’ – experience, young guys are the last to offer seats, if ever.

      • AG-UK says:

        I guess it just depends on the day the mood and how the other person is feeling I offer and many say no I am going one stop probably harder to get up again. I worked while being 7/8 months here in London some offered some didn’t. It didn’t bother me just went on my merry way also harder to squeeze thru endless people I’d rather just stay where I was. The tubes do have priority seating for elderly etc. Happy to say my 15 y/o son always gets up for elderly, children and pregnant women 🙂

      • lunchcoma says:

        Every woman I know who’s been pregnant has said that young men – especially young white men – are the least likely to offer seats.

    • OhDear says:

      I think it depends on the line that you take, too. On my line, I’ve noticed that it’s usually young non-white teenagers/men who are more likely to offer their seats, which middle aged white women being the least likely.

  24. Bageera says:

    I will gladly get up for a big pregnant woman. In the UK pregnant women can wear badges on the underground so you are able to distinguish between a faux pas and pregnancy. I don’t think they have priority over any one else less able to stand however.

    Oh and have any of you ever offered a seat and someone less able to stand says “no, thanks, you’re very kind…”, only to be glared at by people getting on the train, at the next stop who have not witnessed your previous polite and socially responsible exchange?

    • oliphant says:

      oh god i hate when that happens!! I usually say in a very loud voice ‘ARE YOU SURE YOU WON’T SIT’ haha broadcasting to the entire tube that I’m not a tw*t.

  25. Nancy says:

    I love her. She is beautiful and I often share her opinion on things she goes public with. It is just common courtesy to give your seat up to a very pregnant woman, elderly or visibly uncomfortable person. She was being funny, but I so agree with her. It’s called common decency and respect. I suspect these days it would be called a random act of kindness, but shit let the woman sit!

  26. my3cents says:

    I lived in the Boston area throughout my two pregnancies, and took the T often. Only once was I offered a seat- by a sweet Hispanic man(which I was secretly very grateful for).
    I guess it has to do with cultural norms.
    Someone once explained it this way- English (maybe Americans to some extent) will not get up because to do so would be stating you are pregnant, stating you are pregnant means you had to have sex, so I guess it’s rude in some twisted manner..

    And to the commenters saying women should ask for a seat- I would never ever, I’d die of embarrassment- but that’s just me.

  27. Lexie says:

    I needed a subway seat much more during my first trimester, with my morning-noon-night sickness, but you don’t look pregnant yet so no one offers. In NYC most people really are courteous, though I once snapped a photo of a guy who grabbed an empty seat I was about to take (I was 8 mos by then– clearly with child). I was going to plaster his face all over social media but then I calmed down. Jerk.

  28. Sun says:

    There are lots of big sturdy men who don’t offer their seat then there are others who do. And I am always pleasantly surprised at the young men who do it. Of course there are always women who get up…

  29. Carebare says:

    One of my coworkers is mostly blind and recently got a guide dog and I was taking to her about her experiences riding our metro. She said that only about 50% of the time are people willing to give up their seat for her, but when they do 90% of the time it’s women. Men, and especially older men, almost never do. So basically humans, and especially men as usual, are the worst.

  30. fruitloops says:

    Everyone was nice to me while I was pregnant, but there is one story in particular I like to remember – I was 8 months pregnant, I went walking from work to the city center (some 35 minutes walking), did some shopping for the baby and went to the nearest tram station to get home because my feet were killing me already. In the tram some high school girl gave me her seat immediately, when on the next station older people started entering and a guy (in his 50s) sitting opposite of me gets up to give his seat to an elderly lady and says “Now I am going to give you my seat and she will give me hers” – pointing at me. I look at him and say “No I won’t because I am 8 months pregnant” and he says “That doesn’t make difference”. I just said that it made difference to me and he left. Funny, right? 😉 😀

    • Greenieweenie says:

      Ooh, that makes me mad. My aunt used to work 18-24 hour shifts on her feet while 9 months pregnant during her residency. I swear, in a hundred years we are going to look back on how we treat pregnant women now and be appalled.

      It’s to be expected, though, in a workplace designed for men.

  31. Josefina says:

    I once stood up to give my seat to a guy on crutches. CRUTCHES. He literally couldn’t stand up on his own. Before he made it to my seat a woman rushed at the speed of light and took it. I said, hey, I gave it to him. Her answer was “I’m diabetic”. I was ready to make a scene but then someone else give him a seat.

    • Delta Juliet says:

      I’ve been on crutches several times and people wouldn’t even hold a DOOR open for me. People kind of suck.

    • Mae says:

      Well this sucks, but I wonder if the diabetic lady was hypo-ing? If she felt that she was close to fainting, I can see why she’d feel more entitled to a seat than a man on crutches. Or maybe she’s just an ass.

  32. Wren33 says:

    I rode the T in Boston a few times when heavily pregnant (and I was skinny at the time so very visible). Not only did people not offer me a seat, one middle-aged lady also ran in front of me to grab the last seat.

  33. OrigialTessa says:

    Uh, I’m not going to jump on this bandwagon. If you take the subway, you take the risk of standing the whole ride. You don’t know the day the person seated has had, or what their circumstances are. They don’t owe you their seat just because you’re pregnant. If you aren’t fit enough to be on your feet, you probably should have stayed home or got a cab. It’s nice when a polite able bodied person offers you their seat, but I think it’s a bit much to expect it.

    • fruitloops says:

      Yes, because everyone can just afford a cab and/or to sit at home not doing anythig. It’s that simple, how didn’t all of us pregnant women think of that?

      • Kitten says:

        Ok but Olivia Wilde can afford a damn cab. Hell she could afford her own private driver.

      • fruitloops says:

        Of course she could Kitten, but OriginalTessa isn’t talking about her in particular, but about pregnant ladies in general.

      • LolaBones says:

        I’m pretty sure Wilde has the means to take a cab or an uber.

      • Snowflake says:

        So in other words, if you have money, take a car or an Uber. Decency and compassion is too much to expect? I like her tweet, I’m glad she told that guy to eat a bag of dicks.

    • Greenieweenie says:

      Oh, hon. That’s cute. I’m so glad I was pregnant in a culture that is…not like you! Often the reason people take subways is BECAUSE they can’t pay for a cab. And often, you have no choice to travel. It’s called medical appointments. They make them every month when you’re pregnant. I had excruciating back pain and still, I had to hobble to those appointments because I had no other medical care where I lived (on an island). So no, there was no other option aside from medevac. And my back pain from standing eventually became a life threatening condition! But hey, keep being an a-hole if that’s working for you, as if you’re entitled to a seat over everyone else simply because you got there first and First Come First Served is the inviolable law of public transportation.

    • Jackrabbit says:

      I’m not 100% sure about the NYC transit system but in Vienna they had seats “reserved” for priority customers (elderly, pregnant, handicapped and mothers with small children). They had signs and pictographs over the seats saying people not in those categories must give up their seats. When I was heavily pregnant I noticed it was almost always young women and middle aged women who would NEVER give up their seat……surprisingly elderly men and women would offer their place (but I wouldn’t accept – even with my big belly it was better and easier for me to stand). It was so irksome when able bodied people would just avoid eye contact and remain seated…..I would purposely stand beside the priority seat and with my big belly in their face. On buses the drivers would tell people to move out of priority seats if they are able-bodied but on the U-bahn it is an honour system.

      • thaisajs says:

        They have these in DC, too. You’re not supposed to sit in the seats if you don’t fall into the elderly/handicapped/pregnant category. People do, but the norm is that if they seem someone who falls into the above categories, they have to give up the seat. I’d say 9 times out of 10 people down here do it. But sorry for your experience! That was so rude.

      • Dani says:

        They have them on the subway too in NYC. Usually like 6-8 seats on each car. No one gives a shit though.

    • Lexie says:

      Aw Tessa, and here I was about to give you my seat on the bandwagon!

    • Mae says:

      Ya screw disabled people, they should just stay at home, especially if they’re poor too!

    • Nicole (the Cdn one) says:

      So because she makes an environmentally conscious decision to take public transportation instead of being a sole occupant in a vehicle, even though she could afford to, she’s not entitled to basic courtesy? Seriously? This is where we are as a society? SMDH.

  34. Cinderella says:

    For the times I’ve visited NYC and ridden on subways, I preferred standing…as close to the door as possible. I was terrified that I wouldn’t be able to get off at my stop in time. Your rush hour is some serious sh*t.

    If I had Olivia’s money, there’s no way you’d catch me on a subway while that pregnant.

    • Greenieweenie says:

      Oh…I could tell some stories. You haven’t lived until you have literally crowd surfed to the door only to have it close in your face. Better luck next stop!

      That said, I have seen people VIRULENTLY defend not giving up their seat to pregnant women and I just find it baffling. I don’t even get how an argument can be made. I have seen people write things like, “It’s not my fault you got knocked up!” What does that have to do with anything? Pregnancy is a medical condition. People with medical conditions warrant a seat over those with none. Like I just don’t remotely get how people can find this offensive or worthy of complaint.

  35. Christin says:

    I have never experienced pregnancy and public transit, but I did routinely help a wheelchair or walker-dependent parent to their appointments.

    The offices with no automatic doors were a challenge to manage with the wheelchair, and it was always interesting to see if and who would actually jump up from the waiting area to help us navigate two sets of doors. There were times several able-bodied people would merely watch and never move.

  36. Jessie says:

    First of all, I love Olivia but I VERY much doubt she reads as particularly pregnant in public (probably looks like she’s smuggling a cantaloupe). Also, why is she taking the freaking subway? She’s rich as hell and could afford an Uber at a moment’s notice.

    This city is weird about personal privacy and getting involved. I would be terrified to offer someone a seat (based on pregnancy) and then be told off because she wasn’t pregnant!! But yeah…. a person could be in full-on labor on the L train and a hipster would just record it while drinking his Kombucha….

  37. thaisajs says:

    I live in DC and when i was pregnant, I had pretty mixed experiences with riders on the subway giving me a seat. Usually it was women (all races) and black men. I don’t know why, but I had a lower percentage of white guys offer me a seat than anyone. (Unless it was older men, like 60+. I remember of couple of older gentleman offering me their seats.)

    I never fully understood this or why there appeared to be a gender difference in the willingness of people to give up a seat for the preggo. Generally speaking, people were pretty nice about it. Often I would turn the seat down cause I was only going a few stops and was fine with standing. But always appreciated the gesture.

    • Greenieweenie says:

      This anecdata supports my theory that willingness to give up a seat is related to cultural values (and maybe just empathy for fellow women)! Thanks! 🙂

  38. Mary says:

    I’ll keep this short. I’ll give my chair up for in a heartbeat for an elderly person or someone who is disabled. I will not give it up for a pregnant lady. Don’t know why, I just wont.

    • Cee says:

      If she’s well into her third trimester think about all the weight she’s carrying, plus she has a kid in there kicking her insides, especially her bladder. You can helo her be more comfortable for a little while.

    • Annetommy says:

      You don’t know why? I think I do.

  39. Dani says:

    I ride the subway frequently, it’s actually the opposite. Men are MUCH nicer to pregnant woman than other woman. People tend to both be obnoxious and just look away when you’re standing there huffing and puffing (been there) but most men are waaaay more courteous. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I think only one or two women at most got up for me, and it was after ten min of me shuffling from foot to foot because of how heavy I was.

  40. Cee says:

    I also notice that people do not offer their seats to men carrying toddlers or young children.

    I usually just stand up and give everyone a seat unless you look able bodied. If there are young kids I also tell them to sit, just in case.

    However just because you’re older than me does not mean you have more right to the seat. I hate it when people in their 50s get all bossy with youngsters or young adults. You can stand up just fine, do not get in face screaming at me.

  41. Lcurt88 says:

    In May I was 34 weeks pregnant and at the airport to fly home after seeing my parents. I went to wait at the gate and had over 45 minutes til boarding, the place was packed. The only two seats available were next to a man who had bags of McDonald’s in the seat next to him. I went to take the seat on the opposite side of his McD’s when he snapped that I was taking his wife’s seat. I actually snapped at him something along the lines of “I’m over 30 weeks pregnant and I can’t sit because your McDonald’s needs it own seat?!” Needless to say he did nothing but 5 or so other men were kind enough to offer to give up their seats…I was really embarrassed by my outburst, I blame hormones lol.

    • Sasha says:

      I would’ve just asked him to move his bags. I’ve done it on occasion.
      At first these people don’t even understand what you want from them. I think they just don’t even think about it, they don’t think about others. Urghh. I feel for you.

  42. Lalu says:

    This isn’t about sexism… It is about bad manners,pure and simple. I live in the south and I am a woman. You better believe I give up seats to older people or anyone else that looks like they may need to more than me. I have done this while men just sit next to me.
    My husband helps older people if they look like they are struggling loading something at the grocery. Teaching my son to do the same. I believe in chivalry still and I expect it. I hold the door open for men too. I think it’ shuts part of being a decent person… Looking out for my fellow humans.

  43. Inkblotter says:

    I’ll probably get flack for saying this, but she comes off as extremely entitled here. As a disabled person, one thing I learned growing up is that you can’t expect to be accommodated just because. The world doesn’t stop spinning on its axis because you believed people should behave in a certain manner and they didn’t. Does it suck? Absolutely! I can’t begin to describe the number of things have had to do just because of the way people tend to behave. I always thank people who are accommodating and helpful because they really don’t have to be, and I think its a bit of an a hole move on her part to get angry because people didn’t do what she wanted

    • naomipaige says:

      I’m with you on this!

    • Greenieweenie says:

      No, you should expect to be accommodated just because. In fact, as a handicapped person, you have a legal right to. Why? Because you’re a human being in the world. You exist, you may not be 100% physically capable–such as when a woman is heavily pregnant–and you are entitled to be accommodated in the world. Yes, the world owes you that. Because your value is equal to anyone else’s.

  44. CommentingBunny says:

    My adventures in public transit while pregnant included:

    – A young man pushing past me hard enough to make me stumble so he could get to the seat I was aiming for ahead of me, and smirking when someone else told him off about it. The person who told him off was sitting. She did not offer me her seat.

    – Many people holding their books a little higher in front of their faces when o came near them, so they “couldn’t see” me. My favourite was the one who did this with the New Testament.

    – Beinf on a sparsely populated subway at with only two people standing – me at 8 mos preggo and an elderly woman who looked to be about 80. We looked at each other an burst out laughing. We were both offered seats nearly immediately.

    – A week away from my dr date, being the only person to offer a seat to a man with a cane.

    – But a lot of people offering me seats as well. The majority were young men, but considerate people of all genders and ages were far more common than jerks. Of course, I live in Canada 😉

    • Christin says:

      I visited Toronto for a conference a few years ago, and found it the most courteous city I ever visited. My traveling companion was hospitalized our first day there, and people were just very nice, whether waiting for a taxi or driving out of the city.

      I’m from the supposedly hospitable US South, and people are not as generally courteous as what I experienced in Canada.

  45. Abby_J says:

    I rode the metro in DC to work through my first pregnancy when we were stationed there. Where I got on was a crowded station and seats filled up fast. I am fairly small, and LOOKED pregnant, so when I was huge, and had balance problems on a moving train, I very much appreciated the seat. Normally it wasn’t really a problem to stand until then.

    I could always count anyone in a military uniform, or black men/boys of any age to offer me their seat. This didn’t just apply to me being pregnant, but elderly people, or anyone else who obviously needed a seat.

    Young women were the least likely to offer their seat to someone who needed it in my experience. Some sitting in the handicap seats and would use a book or electronic device to feign ignorance.

    • thaisajs says:

      Yes, this. All this. I live in DC, too. Military folks often offered me a seat when I was pregnant. Men and women.

  46. Trixie says:

    Devil’s advocate:

    Pregnancy is not a disability. Why should people give up their seats to a (non-disabled) pregnant woman?

    • Amanduh says:

      …because a lady here lost her unborn child when she fell as the bus got rear-ended. Still would have hurt a non-pregnant person, but at least you wouldn’t suffer a loss like that. And yes-it could have happened when she was sitting…but I wouldn’t want to risk that experiment.

    • Insomniac says:

      Because pregnancy can be really uncomfortable (so I’ve heard) and it’s a polite thing to do?

    • thaisajs says:

      When I was pregnant, it upset my balance. During my first and second trimester, I actually fell to the ground a few times because my balance was off. (Fortunately, it never hurt the baby but I did scuff up my knees and hands.) And that was just on the street with no one around me. It was so weird. By my third trimester I guess I had fully transitioned to a waddle and I didn’t fall again. But being on a moving train can upset the balance of a woman who’s center of gravity has already changed.

    • Sasha says:

      Maybe it is not a disability in the US but in Russia women are on a disability/ maternity leave after 6 months of pregnancy.
      The US just pretends it is not a disability because they don’t want to deal with providing the maternity leave.
      A woman who is 7-8 months pregnant is usually miserable. Call it what you like.

    • lunchcoma says:

      Pregnancy makes it hard to stand. People who have trouble standing – whether it be because of pregnancy, disability, being elderly, being very young, or carrying heavy items – should be able to sit before people who can stand with little trouble.

  47. ari says:

    You chose to have a baby; deal with the consequences. Just saying.

    • lisa says:

      it’s not an illness and it was a choice, i’m not giving you my seat

      • kay says:

        i have three kids and i never expected any special treatment. It annoys me when pregnant women think they should be fawned over by everyone. They are usually the ones that once they give birth think they are the greatest mothers to ever exist.

      • Greenieweenie says:

        You realize the rationale for giving up your seat relates to the EFFECT of pregnancy and not the cause, right? That the cause is irrelevant and really, not any of your business? (Let’s hone in on the word “choice”, as exercised in your convoluted logic: so women who are pregnant as the outcome of rape are more deserving of a seat than those who are voluntarily pregnant….? What about voluntary in form but not in substance? How do you establish a woman’s agency?)

        And you realize that by not giving up your seat, you are claiming entitlement on the basis of having arrived there first? In fact, the logic of limited seating is that the limited number of seats should be offered up first to the small number of people who need to sit the most. You are not somehow more entitled than someone with an actual need simply because you got there first. Welcome to the costs of polite society. I look forward to the day nobody helps you with anything when you need it most.

    • Snowflake says:

      Wow, how harsh. Bet you guys have never been pregnant

    • serena says:

      Wow. So you see someone in trouble and you just leave them be? What a good life philosophy.

  48. Ginger says:

    Shamefully rude IMO. I can recall lovely people male and female giving me their seat on the bus, letting me go ahead of them in line for the bathroom and all sorts of nice comments. It was really nice. I enjoyed seeing a softer, kinder side of humanity and I lived in a big city at that time.

  49. Lcurt88 says:

    You’re right Ari, pregnancy is not a disability and something that most women choose to do. However, pregnancy does make you unstable, tired and sore. Old age isn’t a disability either though, is it? Yet I still choose to give up my seat or help someone who is older load groceries into their car. It’s common decency, it’s helping out someone who, at that time, needs it. You don’t have to help older people, disabled people or pregnant people but you can choose to and guess what? You might make someone feel better. I mean it won’t hurt you will it?

  50. deezee says:

    If she was in Toronto when she made the comment, that wouldn’t surprise me. People on the TTC have become very inconsiderate as the trains get more and more crowded. I have had many very pregnant friends complain about riders ignoring their obvious pregnancy even when they are in discomfort.

  51. Jana says:

    This whole comment chain makes my head hurt. Women have babies, men don’t. I live in San Francisco, and I have up my seat on a crowded BART train to a pregnant woman. Most of the men around me looked very sheepish after I did so.

    Fast forward a few years, and I was traveling in NYC…where people are “notoriously rude,” right? I was 7 months pregnant with my oldest son, and every single time I was on the subway, a seat was given to me.

    Some people are just a**holes. Pregnancy is a hard thing! Nothing to do with chivalry. Give up your seat, no matter who you are!

  52. OhDear says:

    I live in NYC and it really depends on the line – for example, a man got up for a very pregnant woman on my train yesterday, and 98% of the time people will get up for an older/pregnant/etc. person. People on the ones going through the richer neighborhoods are less likely to get up, from what I’ve observed.

  53. I’m a feminist through and through and I teach my teen boys to hold doors and car doors open, let a woman go first into or out of a room or elevator, walk on the outside of the sidewalk, and give up their seat on public transportation. I teach them by correcting their behavior when they don’t do it. Early on, I taught my husband that he must open the car door for me. If he didn’t do it, I didn’t get in. He would sit there asking what’s wrong F, and I would tell him. Now he does it. I take public transport, Muni and Bart here in SF Bay Area and every single time I’ve been offered a seat it’s been by a young black man. They notice, and they offer it in such a gentle inoffensive way. They simply catch my eye, smile, nod their head, get up and say ” would you like a seat?” I, in return, nod and say “thank you” and I sit. Never has a white guy, Latino guy or an Asian guy done this. What can I say? Props for the brothers who were raised right.

  54. Jay (the Canadian one) says:

    This really isn’t a hard concept for someone with a sense of decency: you give up your seat to someone who needs it more than you. Doesn’t matter if it’s a pregnant woman, an elderly man, or an otherwise-healthy teen you noticed limping as they got on.

  55. Sasha says:

    I am late to the discussion but in Russia all public transportation has signs which say something along the lines of “Please give up seats for women, elderly and children”. Maybe the US should consider it. In my experience in the US and the UK (London) people don’t give up their seats to pregnant women. Nobody did for me.

    I give up my seat to elderly, people with children, pregnant women. I give it up my this is how I was raised and I can’t pretend I don’t see that person struggling to stand (back to my yesterday’s post about Russian not holding back on public shaming)) ) . Often the people I am offering it too act bewildered, they don’t expect it.

    Also, in Russia it is a common practice to let women with small children ahead of the line. This thought doesn’t even seem to occur to most Americans. The women are standing in line with their wailing babies and nobody bats an eye.

    • serena says:

      there are those sign in the UK too, but if those seats are full, there’s nothing you can do about it.

  56. BetsyD says:

    I’m 7 months pregnant, and do not live in a metro area requiring me to take public transportation, and live in the Northeast. With that said, I’m still able-bodied, just pregnant. Sure, there are days when I’m uncomfortable, and my feet are swollen, but most of the time I prefer to stand and move around more.

    Earlier today on a message board of a pregnancy app women were debating getting a temporary handicapped parking permit during pregnancy, and not for a specific pregnancy (or non-pregnancy) related medical issue – simply because they are pregnant, bigger than usual, and their feet hurt. I couldn’t believe a healthy young woman would suggest preferential parking is needed for some achy joints and swollen feet.

    Pregnancy is an exciting time; it can be exhausting, and physically taxing. Getting offered a seat on busy public transportation is a very nice gesture, but I wouldn’t get too worked up about it if nobody offered. If I was in a bad way, and desperately needed to sit, I’d ask.

    • Sasha says:

      One thing you don’t consider is that on public transportation you can be pushed or thrown if the bus/ train breaks abruptly. It is dangerous for pregnant women to stand in public transport.
      Also, you will find out that even if you feel ok at 7 months, there most likely be a huge difference in how you feel at 8.5 months.

      • Kitten says:

        Again, if it’s dangerous take an Uber. Literally the price point between train fare and an Uber around here is $3 or $4. I mean….I think it’s one thing to say that politeness and manners should dictate that we relinquish a seat if someone needs it. It’s another thing to make it seem like pregnant women are incapable and risk losing the baby if they take a train.

        Public transportation is not for the weak and fragile, which is why most cities have an alternative form of transit for the disabled. Here in Boston we have The Ride, a van service funded by the MBTA that takes elderly and the disabled to their destination.

    • Greenieweenie says:

      It is very individual. What you need depends on the length of your commute and the nature of your job. Let me also point out that some women need to sit even when they appear able-bodied. My department gave me six weeks maternity leave after I had my child but I was still not physically ready to stand for the whole 90 min commute to my school. Yet I had to go back, because I desperately needed the income and couldn’t take more time off. This is just reality. I remember I had only three days prior started being able to stand for more than several minutes at a time.

      My point is just that pregnancy and delivery is different for everyone. For some people, it is an extreme physical experience. But overall, I really resist the idea that “some people might get too much/more than they deserve if we…” People use this to argue against affirmative action and social welfare policies. It doesn’t matter if some pregnant woman didn’t really need to me accommodated and actually was. It matters that the practice and the precedent exist in society. A little unfairness is okay! The able-bodied/the privileged will survive.

  57. Ronnie says:

    I was on the underground in London many years ago. I was standing and suddenly felt very lightheaded. Next thing I know I’m lying on the floor looking up. No one offered to help me so I got up and took hold of the pole next to me. I fainted again. I have no idea how long I was out but when I came to a heavily pregnant woman was bending over me. She helped me up and gave me her seat. She had with her her probably two-year-old son. No one else on the train even looked or attempted to do anything. So yeah, people are a-holes and Olivia has every right to call them out.

  58. Colette says:

    Well I would offer my seat to a pregnant woman,a person(man or woman) with a child,elderly person,disabled person,etc.

  59. L says:

    This my sister-in-law witnessed on a crowded subway in New York: heavily pregnant woman standing. The only person to offer her a seat was ANOTHER pregnant woman, just not as pregnant. True story!!!!

  60. HeyThere! says:

    I have been that lone woman in a conference full of men who offered my seat to the pregnant lady. I hope it shamed all the lazy men who were sitting there pretending not to notice her. I was appalled! I have an infant now and will do everything in my power to raise a gentleman to the fullest. I think people blame technology and lack of parenting due to obsession with technology, but I think it’s just people being cold hearted. Children follow by example. If the parents aren’t offering up seats, holding doors, helping elderly reach something on a store shelf, and just being nice to service clerks…most likely the children won’t be either. It makes me so sad for our country. We are better than this! It only takes one nice gesture to make a persons whole day!

  61. TyrantDestroyed says:

    Is depressing to see that most of the people offering seats to the elderly/injured/pregnant tend to be women. I’ve seen men who pretend to sleep or watch in another direction. One day I couldn’t stand it and ask politely the seat for a very elderly man to a young guy listening music.
    I always tend to give my seat for the persons in need and bothers me that people is so selfish.

  62. kri says:

    I am sure she is referring to a large jar of pasta sauce.

  63. Kate says:

    Why can’t people just ask for a seat if they need one?

    When I was pregnant sitting was agony. My hips were all messed up and if I sat on the subway I’d spend the whole ride working through the pain while trying to make my way up again so I could manage to waddle off at my stop. People kept getting out of their seats to offer it to me, but I didn’t want it. They’d push the issue, usually lose the seat to someone else, and then acted like I was the rude one. My grandmother has the same thing happen to her all the time. She prefers to stand because her arms are still strong enough to keep her upright by holding onto the poles if the train stops suddenly, but her lower body is weak and she can’t keep herself secure in a seat anymore in that situation, she goes flying out of it. I also have obviously disabled friends who are physically more comfortable standing for a variety of reasons and other disabled friends who look 100% healthy but really need to sit.

    The current system of people glancing at you and deciding whether you need a seat based on that is idiotic. A lot of people who look like they need one really don’t, and a lot of people who desperately need one are overlooked. So just ask.

    BTW, I think men are wary of offering their seat to pregnant women and women on the cusp of being elderly because it’s drilled into them to never assume those things. Riding the subway everyday I think most people will have witnessed at least one woman screaming at a man because he inadvertently called her fat or old by offering her his seat. Combine that with ‘never ask unless the baby’s crowning’ and ‘never ask a woman’s age’ and this is what you get.

  64. Vox says:

    I know everyone will disagree vehemently, but imo pregnancy isn’t a disability and therefore isn’t quite on the same level as ignoring elderly or obviously disabled people. I have a disability (invisible except for when I walk) and I will absolutely give up my seat for an elderly person or a person with what I judge to be a more pressing disability, but I won’t give up my seat for a pregnant lady unless they’re obviously struggling. I would give my seat up to anyone obviously struggling more than I am at the time.

    I think it’s equally bad regardless of gender if a person sees ANY person who is obviously struggling and doesn’t think to offer them their seat if they’re in a position to do so. Men don’t owe that basic consideration more than women unless you buy into chivalry on some level.

    I agree with the previous poster that a lot of people are afraid to assume a woman is pregnant in case they aren’t and they inadvertently embarrass her and themselves.

  65. serena says:

    That’s so rude! Can’t believe some people can be this petty.

  66. Stephanie says:

    Meh. I’m a native New Yorker. I ride the subway daily. I noticed it’s not about being rude, it’s more general obliviousness. When I see someone who needs a seat (preggo, elderly, handicapped, or in a cast or something) I’ll offer it. The commotion of switching almost always leads to the nearest man then giving me his seat. It’s not that we don’t care it’s that we’ve learned to tune out other people. If she wants a seat she should ask.

  67. Sarah says:

    There are people on the subway who have worked a double shift on their feet for 12 hours and are on that subway because they cannot afford a car. They are as deserving of that seat as a pregnant woman and especially one that can afford a car or several.