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What is wrong with this country?

That it is reckoned necessary to add signs to public transport asking folk to offer their seats to pregnant women? I am not making this up - the signs go up on the tube from the 10th.

"London Underground research has found that a third of pregnant women travelling on the Tube are never offered a seat, and that expectant mothers can wait for an average of five stops to be offered a seat".

Remarkably poor, I am sure we will all agree, but it might be helpful to know whether this was all pregnant women, or those 'visible'. In order to deal with the 'visibility' issue, 'thousands of ['baby on board'] badges [were] given away to expectant mums so that other passengers could identify pregnant women'. I cannot think of any women I know who would even consider sporting such a toe-curlingly twee badge.

In the meantime, I foresee much trouble stemming from would-be gallants offering seats to the non-pregnant thinking that they were with child.


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Blogger Andy said... 11:31 am

I guess the signs are useful to focus your attention. In the same way that most people don't leave a train thinking, I'm not gonna mind that gap, it does no harm as a refresher, and may make people look around for any chubsters with child.
Also, it is good for the health of the nation, since fat women will get sick of being offered seats that they will either lose some weight or walk to work, both having the same result!  



Anonymous nomad said... 1:33 pm

Indeed, what is wrong with the country that such a notice should be necessary? Not so long ago, it would have been automatic for gents to give up their seats for a lady, pregnant or otherwise, and children would automatically stand should there be no seats available. However, no longer; much of that culture of basic "chivalry" and plain good manners was eroded by the feminist harridan classes who rudely refused to accept the seat offered (usually with some uncalled for comment about insulting her with such an offer, the implication being that she was considered as being unable to stand on her own two feet for a few minutes etc.). That led to gents no longer offering up their seats for fear of being rudely put down by the wimmin. Regrettably, the further decline in educational standards and basic manners over the years has added to the situation.

That said, I would hope that anybody - male or female - seeing a heavily pregnant lady would offer the seat. Similarly younger folk should offer their seat to an obvious OAP (am I allowed to use that abbreviation these days?).

I don't know if they have them on public transport in the UK, but in many countries I have been to the first couple of seats just inside the doors on all trains and buses have a notice above them saying that these seats are reserved for elderly and pregnant travellers, a custom which invariably seems to be obeyed by fellow passengers. But given the yob culture currently in fashion, I do not see much hope for change in the near future.  



Blogger Unsworth said... 2:11 pm

Of course the assumption here is that these oiks can actually read.  



Anonymous Spokey said... 12:18 pm

While I go along with what nomad said, I'd like to add that it's yet another instance of our betters doing our thinking for us, telling us what we can and can't, should and shouldn't do. Call it dumbing down the population, call it brainwashing, call it whatever you like -- sooner or later the bulk of the population will be reduced to ovine complicity.  



Anonymous Anonymous said... 3:03 pm

The real problem can sometimes be not knowing whether someone's pregnant or just overweight, in which case she may be very offended if you offer.  



Anonymous Anonymous said... 3:49 pm

Why do the signs not also include the elderly, infirm, and disabled?

Preganancy is a choice, while being elderly or disabled is not.

Is the difference a matter of misandry?  



Anonymous nomad said... 6:54 am

Anon 3.03: you are merely reinforcing the point I have already made: Why the hell should a women be offended by anybody offering them a seat?  



Blogger katarina said... 2:46 pm

Oh, Andy, ("fat women will get sick of being offered seats") I'd eat ice cream for dinner every night if I thought it would get me a train seat on the way home.

People are right to hesitate before offering seats to pregnant women. Pregnancy isn't a disease. It doesn't affect everyone in the same way. When, for about six weeks, I went on the bus using crutches, someone invariably offered me a seat, and I always took it very gratefully and thought nice things about people's educational standards and manners.  



Anonymous Anonymous said... 3:47 pm

There are those who will say "well they wanted equality, now they've go it"  



Anonymous Anonymous said... 4:44 am

Well, they wanted equality, now they got it.  



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