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To think that pregnant women don't trump everybody else for a seat on the tube?

(993 Posts)
dancersdad Fri 09-May-14 19:34:48

I possibly need some perspective. DW and I were in London today, and unavoidably had to travel on the tube this evening in commuter rush hour. DW has a number of health issues that aren't physically visible, but definitely do impact upon her ability to stand on a crowded tube. When we got on at the start of our journey back the tube was packed with no free seats, so we both stood and I held onto DW as I was worried she was going to fall. The carriage was made up almost entirely of commuters. Two stops into our journey an elderly man got off leaving one of the priority seats free- the only free seat in the carriage. DW went to take the seat and was almost knocked onto the floor by a heavily pregnant woman who tried to slide into the seat alongside DW and beat her to it, as it was DW was already in the seat and the other woman stood up. She then told DW she was so sorry to ask her to move, but she was in a priority seat and as she was sure she knew, priority seats are reserved for those who really need them. DW told her that she had a reason for needing the priority seat too and refused to move when asked again. Cue a whole string of abuse about how no one has any manners nowadays, that she had asked DW to give up her seat for her because as a woman she would expect DW to understand that pregnancy can be hell, the least she could do would be to let her have the seat etc. I stepped in at this point and explained that DW really did need the seat, and loudly suggested to the rest of the carriage that I was sure someone else would be willing to give up a seat for her. Suddenly everyone else was deeply engrossed in their ipads, kindles etc, except for an elderly lady in the other priority seat who clearly needed it too, and offered her seat. The pregnant woman announced loudly that she couldn't possibly ask someone else who needed the seat to give it up, and it was a shame that some people (glaring at DW) had no respect for the priority system, which is in place to ensure those who really need a seat can get one. I pointed out again that DW had a genuine need for the seat too. Cue huffing, eye rolling, and lurching over DW whenever the train changed speed for the rest of her journey.

AIBU to think that although some pregnant women do need a seat on a tube, they shouldn't assume automatic priority over others also in need? There's no priority seat ranking system I don't know about? confused

BerniesBurneze Fri 09-May-14 19:38:26

Yanbu! It really ticks me off when people are so rude about hidden disabilities

WhoDaresWins Fri 09-May-14 19:38:42

Well, you clearly met a complete arse. Pregnancy is nothing to do with it.

But it sounds like your wife suffers from the 'I can't see your disability therefore it can't exist' mentality.

FWIW I'd say priority goes to disabled, elderly, pregnant in that order, though some people have dreadful pregnancies so there's room for flexibility.

meditrina Fri 09-May-14 19:39:42


Not all conditions are immediately visible. I wouldn't dream of berating someone who told me they had need of a seat on the sole basis I could see nothing 'wrong'. Pregnancy does not automatically trump other needs (and indeed the time I felt worse was before I was showing).

sonlypuppyfat Fri 09-May-14 19:40:10

It's always a tricky one. It's not nice for a heavily pregnant woman to fall or get knocked about. It's like me I've terrible arthritis in my feet it's like walking on glass but no one knows to look at me.

hotcrosshunny Fri 09-May-14 19:40:39

The tube seats say they're there for pregnant women, the elderly and disabled. The women didn't know from looking at your DW that she needed it.

So both of your are a bit U TBH.

Alpacacino Fri 09-May-14 19:40:56

Rush hour in the Tube is not a pleasant experience.

YANBU to be upset about the confrontation- and especially about the fact that no-one else offered a seat to the pregnant lady!
YABU to suggest that pregnant women should not feel entitled to priority seats.

squoosh Fri 09-May-14 19:41:35

She was rude but I imagine her rudeness was the result of many journeys where she was left to stand. London public transport doesn't bring the best out in people I find!

libertytrainers Fri 09-May-14 19:41:43

why didn't you wait until a train came along with empty seats?

TidyDancer Fri 09-May-14 19:42:35

Agree partially with WDW. This was about a prize arse of a woman, who unfortunately probably would've behaved like a fool whether she was pregnant or not.

I don't think there is or should be a priority list order though, it really is whoever needs the seat at the time.

Dirtymistress Fri 09-May-14 19:42:45

What is it that makes it hard for your wife to stand? Has she ever been heavily pregnant?
I think both parties were in the wrong

GobbolinoCat Fri 09-May-14 19:44:19

I am not sure, can you imagine how many times that lady has had to ask people to move who did not have disabilities.

It was unfortunate she was rude but I imagine she was probably at the end of her tether and has encountered plenty of perfectly well people sitting in that seat, she was also heavily pregnant, I know when I was towards the end it felt like the baby was pressing on my air supply and standing for longer than a few minuets made me feel faint.

Its a shame no one else, over heard however and simply stood up, that is what I would have done so both ladies - had a seat.

Perhaps the other passengers are the real issue here.

GobbolinoCat Fri 09-May-14 19:44:46

also should she fall or hurt herself she has another life on board doesnt she...

bellediva Fri 09-May-14 19:45:03

She was rude but all pregnant women should get a seat. The number of times I've had to stop preggers women from falling over on the tube is unreal.

Id be more annoyed about the other inconsiderate passengers to be honest. Someone else should have got up.

Pumpkinpositive Fri 09-May-14 19:45:42

The woman was bang out of line...


Your wife didn't actually tell the woman she had a disability, did she? "I too have a genuine reason for needing the seat" sounds slightly ...precious to me.

But I'm not sure I would have reacted differently if confronted with a frother. grin

(Nor am I suggesting anyone should go into any detail to justify the need for a priority seat!)

Gryffindor Fri 09-May-14 19:45:44

Liberty - hilarious. In rush hour London you could be waiting for many hours.

angryangryyoungwoman Fri 09-May-14 19:46:52

I think the most unreasonable people in this situation were the other commuters not giving up their seats when there were people that had additional needs for one.

libertytrainers Fri 09-May-14 19:47:33

many hours? must be worse than when i commuted then

angryangryyoungwoman Fri 09-May-14 19:47:50

Xpost with bellediva

NeedsAsockamnesty Fri 09-May-14 19:48:15

I think the pregnant woman was very rude and a bit of a knob. But I there is a big difference between a disability and a health issue so who knows who is bu in wanting the seat priority, but it does sound very much like your DW would have more need of the seat (unless the health issue is a coldgrin)

ilovemonstersInc Fri 09-May-14 19:48:22

Yabu. Your wife had you to support her and by the sounds of it pregnant lady didnt. She might have had a long day too. If your dw was by herself then yanbu. If the pregnant woman fell she would be putting herself and her unborn child at risk. If your dw fell you would have been there to catch her.

NeedsAsockamnesty Fri 09-May-14 19:49:24

Of course all my blatherings on the subject don't matter because nobody should be required to disclose the nature of their disability to the general public

tripecity Fri 09-May-14 19:50:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Retropear Fri 09-May-14 19:50:46

Sorry but I think a heavily pregnant woman should have priority or at the very least equal.Aside from anything else there is the safety of the unborn child to consider and lurching about with a heavy weight to carry and dodgy balance on a packed tube is risky.On top of this there are the breathing issues,knackered knees,exhaustion.......etc

gotnotimeforthat Fri 09-May-14 19:51:30

so you complain that pregnant women dont trump anyone else yet by doing so are implying that your wife should infact trump everyone else. including a pregnant woman?


YABU but she should not have been rude to you either.

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