Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Sitting-In For Not Standing Up

Women need to stop complaining about men not giving up their seats for them on public transportation, namely trains and buses.

First of all, it's not a rule. The rule states that able-bodied adults are to give up their seats for the handicapped, the elderly, and expectant mothers. And for the most part, I do see men do just that. However, it is rare when I see a woman give up her seat for a senior citizen. I ride the Trixie Trolley (#156 LaSalle) everyday, and always sit in the back of the bus in the elevated section. There have been puh-lenty of times I have given up my seat in the back of the bus to a senior citizen who has had to make his/her way through the crowd, past all the seated young women in order to get to my location. Not standing for a woman is showing equality; not standing for an elderly person is just shameful and disrespectful.

And since I mentioned it, I guess I don't understand the concept of a woman - especially a young woman - demanding a man give up his seat or hold a door open for her. I don't argue that it is a polite gesture that men need to be taught while still young in order for it to be ingrained into who they are as adults. But I don't think these gestures should be expected or even demanded. I'm happy to give up my seat to a woman who I am certain is in the latter stages of her pregnancy (key words there are "I am certain"; at times, it is difficult to tell). But I'm not about to stand up for a 26-year old woman just so she can sit down to read.

I've heard all the arguments before, the biggest being shoes. Here's a tip: here's what I do when wearing a pair of shoes all day that hurt my feet. I throw them away. Or, I don't wear them. I'm sorry women feel the pressure of society to wear body altering clothing, but it is ultimately a choice they've made. Just as there is no law that says I have to show a woman any courtesy, there is no law that says she has to dress the way she does.

I am 42 years-old. By all accounts, I look perfectly healthy. But no stranger on a bus or train has any idea what my health problems are, just like I have no idea about anyone else. Unless your health situation is obvious (which even mine are not), I'm not going out of my way to make you more comfortable when I have no relationship to you - or worse, just because you are a woman. I would think you would find that more insulting than flattering. And if you don't, you should.

2 comments:

  1. I was raised with manners and respect for all people, but being polite isn't a requirement, it is an option. I hold doors for ANYONE who is coming towards it if I am there first. I give up my seat for anyone who looks like they want to sit. But demand something from me, and suddenly I become a deaf & dumb mute. There is no law that says I have to do any of these things, it is my choice to make the world a nicer place!

    Women, wear comfy shoes until you get where you need to be! You have those purses that really should say samsonite on the side and have wheels, put your hooker shoes in there until you get where you are going!

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  2. I could not agree with you more on this subject. Late last year I was on Drex and they were talking about this. They said I was not a gentleman because I would not give up my seat to a able body lady. But yet got mad at me when I said if I demanded that, that lady cooks and clean for me there will be bloody murder on my part. I'm like you... If I feel as though you need a seat I'll give it up. But just because you want to read the "RedEye" is their problem not mine. I'm getting heated just thinking about this topic.

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