Is giving your seat to a pregnant woman really 'sexist'?
Last week in the UK, Jo Swinson, a very pregnant Member of Parliament (MP), unintentionally caused a maelstrom of controversy when she stood through a 30-minute session at the House of Commons in a room full of seated MPs.
"Pregnant woman stands!" Okay, not exactly news of a Royal engagement. So what's the problem?
tell you. Not one person -- male or female -- offered her a seat. And
this was in a room full of British people. Aren't they supposed to be
the polite ones?
Outrage ensued. Anger was further fueled by a source close to Swinson who was quoted as saying,
"The suggestion somehow that people should be outraged on her behalf is
ridiculous. The idea that just because she is seven months pregnant she
has lost all ability to stand on her two feet or fend for herself is
Seriously?? Who is this person and have they ever been pregnant?
been pregnant twice -- one a twin pregnancy (God help me!) –- and both
times, by the time I hit my third trimester, I couldn't stand up for
more than 10 minutes before my lower back ached, my ankles looked like a
couple of manatees, and my pelvic floor felt like it was going to give
way under the weight of the bowling ball in my abdomen.
How anybody can argue with letting a pregnant woman take a load off is beyond me. But argue they did: "…if a pregnant woman goes to DisneyWorld they shouldn't expect me to make it easier for them…" and "…it's a woman's choice to get pregnant. You wanted to be equal. Now you are. Quit crying about it..." and …if you can't stand for 30 minutes, you should be at home or find another line of work."
another line of work? This woman's not working at the Gap, performing
in Cirque du Soleil or teaching Zumba. She's a politician – isn't
sitting on your derriere part of the job requirement?? And since when
does needing to sit down mean you can't work? Really?? Tell that to
Sources went on to say Ms. Swinson was happy to
stand and would have asked for a seat if she wanted one. But anyone
who's ever been stuck standing holding a 20-pound load knows she was
just being polite.
But you can bet your Dr. Scholl's gel inserts
that as she was standing there – shifting her weight from foot to foot,
leaning on this and leaning on that in an effort to alleviate the
inevitable throbbing in the lower back and swelling in the legs
compliments of the gestating life in your womb, the following thought
crossed her mind: "WTF dudes?!" Or some British version thereof like,
"Well, this makes me miffed."
Even on her Twitter feed,
she let down her guard enough to tweet: "Lovely things you could do for
a pregnant woman today: 1. Offer her a seat. 2. Don't misquote her. 3.
Make her a cup of (possibly decaf) tea." Does that sound like a lady who
was happy to stand?
I'm just wondering: when did we, as a
society, lose our sense of decency? Giving up your seat to a pregnant
woman is common courtesy -- something we all should have learned about
as children when our parents made us give up our seat on the bus so an
older person could sit down.
This isn't an equality issue.
This isn't about women's rights. This is about seeing discomfort in a
fellow human being and accepting that it is our responsibility, as human
beings to help to alleviate the discomfort of our fellow man…or
At the very least, maybe you could just offer them a nice cup of tea.
Wednesday, August 27 2014 5:10 AM EDT2014-08-27 09:10:42 GMT
(WRCB) - Good Wednesday. We are really going to crank up the thermostat through the rest of the week. Yesterday we had highs in the upper 80s. Going forward, we will break 90 every afternoon through Saturday.More
(WRCB) - Good Wednesday. We are really going to crank up the thermostat through the rest of the week. Yesterday we had highs in the upper 80s. Going forward, we will break 90 every afternoon through Saturday. More