A man has incurred the wrath of the internet after a heavily pregnant woman described how he refused to let her sit in the only empty seat left on her bus because he was resting “his hand” on it.
As if that wasn’t enough, the woman revealed she later incurred the wrath of her husband, who actually sided with the man in the bus in this particular argument.
It used to be generally accepted that a man would give up his seat for an expectant mom traveling on public transport – but studies suggest that may be changing.
In a U.K. survey of 2,000 regular commuters, commissioned by the skincare firm Mama Mio, just 60 percent of respondents said they would give up their seat to an expectant mother.
Meanwhile, 30 percent felt the gesture was only necessary if their “baby bump” was visible. While those figures may be alarming enough, the real-life example has seen things go one bizarre step further.
In a post that has been upvoted 14,000 times on Reddit, a 30-year-old woman who was eight months pregnant described the scene that greeted her when she got on a busy bus to go to work.
Getting on, she spotted one empty seat and headed over. When she got there, however, she found a “guy in his business attire sitting there with his hand on the empty seat.”
“I say excuse me and ask him to remove his hand so I could sit, but he tells me the seat was taken'” she explained. “I ask by who and he says his hand.”
At this point, the woman said she “wasn’t feeling well” so asked the man to “remove it” so she could sit – but he refused again. When she tried to explain she was “tired” he told her that her “pregnancy isn’t his problem.”
Having reached breaking point, with her legs burning and back hurting she decided to “go ahead and sit on his hand” at which point he became furious and started “shouting” at her. The man accused her of being “disrespectful” and “inappropriate” before getting off the bus, leaving her with everyone staring at her.
When she later told her husband what had happened he sided with the man, telling his heavily pregnant wife she acted “inappropriately” and chastising her for making the man feel “uncomfortable.” This was despite her explaining she was “tired of standing” and was “in desperate need” of sitting down.
The woman shared the post to social media in the assumption that many would see her as being in the wrong. But that could not have been further from the truth.
Gamerdarling wrote: “Seats are for butts, not hands. If you don’t want a butt on your hand, keep it on your own seat.”
MechanicMel84 commented: “I’ve been 8 months pregnant on public transportation and I 100% would have done exactly as you did. Seriously, what did he expect?” Cluckaduck47 branded the man “entitled,” adding: “One seat per passenger unless space permits which it didn’t because you as a passenger wanted to sit.”
ColoredGayngels said: “Offering seats to the pregnant, injured, disabled, and elderly is a common courtesy without being a required rule. Moving your hand to your lap is not a burden nor worth arguing with someone over.”
While the man’s reaction drew a lot of criticism, there was a similar amount of anger over the husband’s response to the incident. Laurelinn said: “How about he carries that baby he made instead of his poor overworked wife for at least one day before he starts shaming her for being tired and needing to sit.”
Atg4096 commented: “Your husband has his priorities mixed up. He should be backing you up, not siding against you. The fact that he thinks that that guy’s hand gets a seat to itself is seriously messed up.”
Canning_mama_1998, meanwhile, asked: “Would your husband rather you have done nothing and potentially fallen when the bus made a quick stop?”
Newsweek has contacted the original poster for comment.
File photos of a man on a bus and a pregnant woman – a man’s refusal to let an expectant mum sit down on a bus has sparked astonishment.