Reddit User Asks If They Were Wrong To Refuse Giving Up Their Bus Seat To A Pregnant Woman

There are some unspoken norms in society that people tend to follow. When using public transportation, many people feel that there are "ethical codes" that dictate how you should act. Being from New York City, I can tell you that when you ride the subway there's an unspoken book of rules on how to act and what to do— it's just the way it is.

Not everyone agrees to the rules and regulations that are unspoken but known when riding public transportation.

Unsplash | Pau Casals

In fact, there are many people who feel that the "rules" people have are pretty bogus. Recently, one Reddit user wrote in to the website's popular subreddit, r/AmItheAsshole, asking if they were wrong for, "... not giving up their seat on the bus to a pregnant woman."

The Reddit user stated that their family, "... totally lost it on them."

Unsplash | Juan Encalada

"I take the bus to and from work (car got totaled about a month ago, still waiting on insurance to reimburse me so I can get a new one), and right now on public transit, you have to social distance. This means limited seating," they said.

The Reddit user added that they work a job where they are on their feet all day long, 10 hours at a time.

Unsplash | Simon Abrams

"At my job, I’m literally on my feet all day, and I work 10-hour shifts. It sucks but the pay is good, so I can deal, but after a long day, my feet are sore AF. I genuinely cherish the time I spend sitting on the bus ride home, knowing I have to walk another 15-20 minutes to my house from the bus stop. Which means more time on my feet," they continued.

When they were taking the bus, a very "heavily pregnant" woman got on the bus.

Unsplash | Ömürden Cengiz

"She looks around for a seat, only to find there are no available ones left. I’m the closest to her, so she starts giving me the imploring eyes. I had my headphones on and tried to pretend I couldn’t see her, but once she started talking to me it became inevitable," they said.

When the woman hinted at wanting their seat, the Reddit user said "no."

Unsplash | Pau Casals

"I’ve had a long day and my feet are sore. I don’t want to give up my seat. She started crying about how she’s a pregnant single mom, and I told her I’m sorry, but that was her personal choice and she can’t expect other people to accommodate her life choices," they said.

Other people on the bus decided to get involved after that.

Unsplash | engin akyurt

"After going back and forth for a bit, an old man finally shouted that I’m a 'worthless punk' and offered his seat to the lady. He started ranting and raving about the 'damn millennials' and I just looked the other way and pretended I didn’t hear it," they said.

Things got heated when the bus suddenly slammed on the brakes.

Unsplash | Ant Rozetsky

"As they were trading seats, the bus driver had to slam the brakes for whatever reason, and the pregnant lady and the old man both fell. They started yelling at me, calling me all sorts of nasty names, but I just looked the other way and ignored it," the user added.

When they got home, the Reddit user told their sister who then told their parents and it became a huge problem at home.

Unsplash | Manki Kim

"But I was tired and had a long day, and I don’t know why we need to keep perpetuating the idea that breeding somehow means your [sic] entitled to people’s seats. I’m tired, too, we’re all tired in this pandemic," they said.

The Reddit user asked the community if they were an "asshole" for how they reacted on the bus.

The vast majority of people on the thread said yes, in fact, this person acted like a total asshole.

"Did you know that being heavily pregnant really alters your balance, let alone the tired thing? No - you didn't ask her to be pregnant, but you can, as an able-bodied otherwise healthy person just choose to be nice. By being a selfish, grumpy, bugger a heavily pregnant person and an old person fell over," one person said.

Another user said that this individual put the pregnant woman in a dangerous position.

Unsplash | Camylla Battani

"You didn't show common courtesy by giving up your seat to someone who needs it much more. As in, if you fall during transit you might get a bruise, if she fell during transit, she might lose her child. Not to mention that no matter now tired you are she's more likely to have an accident while standing during transit than you," they said.

Some Reddit users said that in their countries, giving up seats to people in need is mandatory.

Unsplash | Thomas Reaubourg

"In Australia we have designated seats for people who might struggle to stand for whatever reason (pregnant, disability, age, e.g.). Anyone can sit there, but if someone who needs a seat gets on the bus your ass had better be out of it quick smart. You'll also get some dirty looks if you don't actively offer your seat to any person who even looks like they could be hitting retirement," one person said.

Someone said that this user completely missed the reason why we are supposed to give up transit seats to vulnerable people.

Unsplash | Mario Sessions

"The whole giving up seats for the pregnant and the elderly thing isn't because they're pregnant/elderly, it's because these particular groups are more likely to fall and suffer serious injuries when they do.

OP, being tired sucks, but being tired and sore doesn't make you more vulnerable to bad falls, being pregnant does. That's why you're supposed to give up your seat," they said.

One person, however, decided to take the opposing side and said this person was not in the wrong.

"Sorry folks, but I'm gonna go NTA [not the asshole]. And while [original poster's] word choices were poor, to say the least, the point stands that just because she is pregnant, doesn't mean she's entitled to his seat. Buses have lots of seats and I am dead sure that she could [have] found a different one by walking a few more steps," one user said. They also added that we don't know what the original poster does as a career, and they could be equally deserving of the seat.

While there were a few people who came to the original poster's defense, overall most people online said they should have given up their seat to the pregnant woman.

Unsplash | Weston MacKinnon

Many people pointed out that the pregnant woman needed the seat more for safety reasons, and called the OP out for causing her and an elderly man to fall when the bus stopped suddenly.

What do you think? Who's in the wrong here?

Filed Under: