Taking public transit can be tough. It is especially tough when you are several months pregnant. While returning home from work, a young man says he was too tired to give up his seat to a pregnant woman on the bus. He posted his story on the popular Reddit forum Am I the Asshole to get the internet’s opinion. (1)
Young Man Refuses to Give Up His Seat on the Bus for a Pregnant Lady
After arriving home, the young man told his family about what happened on the bus when he refused to give up his seat to a pregnant lady. His story explained below, enraged his parents and sister. He decided to ask Reddit who was correct: He or his family. (1)
Recently, the young man had to start taking the bus to and from work because he totaled his car in an accident. He had to wait one month for his insurance to come in so he could buy a new one. (1)
In his post, he explained that he works 10-hour shifts in a job that requires him to be on his feet all day long. He then has to walk another 15 to 20 minutes after he gets off the bus to his house. With a tired body and very sore feet, he relishes the time he has on the bus to sit and rest. (1)
Enter: The Pregnant Lady
This particular night, a woman who he describes as “heavily pregnant” gets on the bus during his commute. With COVID rules, there are fewer seats available, and his seat was the closest option for her. (1)
“I’m the closest to her, so she starts giving me the imploring eyes.” he wrote. “I had my headphones on and tried to pretend I couldn’t see her, but once she started talking to me it became inevitable.” (1)
He explains that he calmly told her no and his reasons why. The woman quickly began crying, explaining how difficult things are because she is a single mother. That’s when things got ugly. (1)
“I told her I’m sorry, but that was her personal choice and she can’t expect other people to accommodate her life choices.” he continues. “We live in a state where birth control and abortions are free, so I don’t know why this should be my problem. It’s not my fault she decided to have a baby when she can’t afford a car.” (1)
An Elderly Passenger Gives Up His Seat
After several minutes of the two of them going back and forth, an elderly man yelled at him, calling him a “worthless punk” and then got up to offer her seat. The bus made a sudden stop while they were switching spots, causing both of them to fall. (1)
Both the pregnant lady and the elderly man yelled at him more and called him very nasty names. He pretended to ignore them until he could get off at his stop. (1)
Why Can’t He Just Give Up His Seat? The Internet’s Opinion
Most Reddit users agreed that he was in the wrong by refusing to give up his seat. They said they while he may be tired after 10-hours on his feet, pregnant women are more susceptible to injuring themselves and their child if they fall. (1)
“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. Bringing up the contraception/abortion/’breeding’ angle too really makes you an ass.
I bet you’re a real ‘nice guy’.” (1)
He might not be “wrong” but…
Many were quick to point out that him saying no didn’t wasn’t necessarily wrong considering there were surely other people who could’ve given up their seats. What he said afterward, however, was extraordinarily rude, insensitive, and just plain wrong. (1)
“Public transit sucks. I assume there WERE other people who could have offered a seat but didn’t. Diffusion of responsibility does that, and once she “picked” this guy, it let everyone else feel morally superior because they totally /would have/ done it if she’d asked them but she didn’t.
But his attitude is so horrible that he’s the AH. I think her immediately jumping to being a pregnant single mom is weird (part of the reason I don’t believe this story), but him going off about BC and free abortions (what state is that???) and her bad decisions are what sealed it for me.” (1)
You Never Know What Someone Else Is Going Through
Many explained that just like she didn’t know his situation, he also doesn’t know hers. Perhaps her car was in the shop, just like his. His comments regarding abortion caused the most anger among commenters. They pointed out that him taking his job which “sucks but the pay is good so I deal” is also a personal choice. Why does this choice qualify him to have a seat and not hers? (1)
“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. YTA and a massive one at that (because of the rant).” (1)
Though some users said that they didn’t think him not wanting to give up his seat made him a bad person, his comments afterward certainly did. (1)
Hopefully, this young man will learn from this experience and not refuse to give up his seat in the future. What are your thoughts?