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Why don't TTC riders give pregnant women their seats?

Posted by Guest Contributor / August 24, 2012

Pregnancy TTCI love the TTC. We're a one-car house and I want to stay that way. That means me riding the red rocket every day. Even during my first maternity leave I hauled my newborn all over the city on the rocket. He loved it and so did I (no torturous screaming car rides... I even nursed him on the subway once, much to the amusement of the 16 year old boys sitting across from us). We live on St Clair West and I love the dedicated streetcar line that is always harangued in the press. However, I have one major complaint. If I don't voice it I will turn it to THAT crazy lady on the subway.

TTC riders need to get off their asses and offer pregnant women seats.

If you aren't sure if a woman is pregnant, here are some clues:

  • If you can see her belly button through her clothes, she's pregnant.
  • If she's rubbing holding touching her belly, she's pregnant.
  • If she's slender everywhere except her stomach, she's pregnant.
  • If she makes desperate and/or rage-filled eye contact with you, she's pregnant.
  • If she's walking with her pelvis out and her hands on her back, she's pregnant.
  • If she's on her phone complaining to her friends about how no one offers pregnant women seats anymore, she's pregnant.

If you still aren't sure, just move. Don't even say anything to her. Just open that spot up.

And when your streetcar or subway comes to a stop, take a quick glance up from Fieldrunners or Fifty Shades - see any elderly people or pregnant women? No? Well, at least you checked.

Why should you offer a pregnant woman your seat? Other than basic etiquette you mean? Okay. When you're pregnant, even in early pregnancy, standing in one spot even for short periods of time can make you feel dizzy, faint and nauseous. Not to mention that with these new bodies our balance is off and we're more likely to tumble into someone's lap.

Thank you for listening.

This post was written by guest contributor Yasmine Abbasakoor. Photo by tapesonthefloor in the blogTO Flickr pool.

Discussion

229 Comments

Miranda / August 24, 2012 at 08:37 am
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You chose to get pregnant ... I chose to keep my seat. Next thing you know, you'll be wanting special parking spots and time off with pay (that I'm subsidizing). Oh ya, that's right ... you already have that.
Laura / August 24, 2012 at 08:44 am
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Giving your seat to someone who needs it is such a simple action that can make a big difference to someone's day. I worked on my feet and valued getting a seat every ride home but never felt better than when I gave it up to someone who needed it.

When I commuted pregnant, it was shocking how many people would rather push the pregnant women than offer a seat. Equally shocking was who was the most willing to give up their seat; Teenage girls.
hARRY replying to a comment from Miranda / August 24, 2012 at 08:45 am
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Oh please stfu, stop whining and act all deserving.
Inconsiderate jerks - but again im on a public forum...
TheVok / August 24, 2012 at 08:46 am
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It's not just etiquette, it's TTC policy, no?

It's also in everyone's best interest. A few years ago, my pregnant sister began to feel nauseous while standing in a rush-hour subway to work. She even asked for a seat, but no one gave her one.

She fainted and the train had to make an emergency stop for medical attention. It delayed everyone, not just her.
AV replying to a comment from hARRY / August 24, 2012 at 08:49 am
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What about those of us that work on our feet for 12 hour shifts? Don't we deserve a seat? Guess not because we didn't choose to have a baby.
stupidpeople replying to a comment from Miranda / August 24, 2012 at 08:50 am
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you are scum, you know that. Your parents should be slapped for the way they raised you.
Mel / August 24, 2012 at 08:51 am
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It's just classic herd mentality. "Someone" will give up their seat... but if I just look down, I won't be the first to take action & stand out in the crowd.
Dave / August 24, 2012 at 08:51 am
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Well, I'm usually in the subway during rush hour. If I do happen to get a seat, if I look up all I can see is crotch and ass. While that may not always be a bad thing (yoga pants FTW) it does mean that a pregnant lady 3 feet away isn't going to be noticed.

But yeah, if you actually can see someone who needs a seat - get the fuck up.
HeavyHolly / August 24, 2012 at 08:53 am
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Testify, sister! Very well said.
betty day / August 24, 2012 at 08:55 am
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While pregnant, I found that women aged 40ish-60ish who had kids were the ones most likely to give up their seats.
Ok / August 24, 2012 at 08:57 am
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Guess you better get your ass on the train before I do. I ain't giving up my seat!
Ben / August 24, 2012 at 08:57 am
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I was shocked at the stories my wife told me about riding the TTC while she was pregnant. Men looked away and pretended they didn't see her as the struggled to stand on the subway and streetcar.
bettycrocker / August 24, 2012 at 09:00 am
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i have seen every elderly shaky adults stand and almost fall down while people roughly 30 years in age hog all the seats. And watch them almost falling down, and still not offer a sit. Where the hell have we gone wrong in society, when we no longer give a sh!t about other people?
James replying to a comment from Dave / August 24, 2012 at 09:00 am
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Agree with Dave - when it's crowded you can only see the few people in front of you, so it's hard to tell who needs the seat. But, I've taken the ttc for years and for the most part people seem courteous to old, handicapped, injured and pregnant. I see people offer seats to those who need them all the time. Sometimes it doesn't happen when it should - but usually it does. We just remember the times it doesn't - that's all.
Borzo / August 24, 2012 at 09:02 am
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If someone is 50lbs overweight, do I have to give them my seat too?
Dizzy / August 24, 2012 at 09:04 am
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"Equally shocking was who was the most willing to give up their seat; Teenage girls"

That's interesting Laura. I read a book a few years ago which I think was a compilation of columns about the NYC subway. Anyway, one of the articles involved asking a number of pregnant women who tended to give up their seats and the overwhelming answer was young women and young hispanic men. (The middle aged of both sexes were the worst).

Generally I don't want to sit on a crowded subway - I've had too many fat sweaty people leaning into me, people eating next to me, rude morons in earphones who won't move when I need to get out, etc etc. I rather stand so I'm not trapped. But if I am sitting and someone gives me that desperate "I'm knackered" look I always give it up, it's such a nothing thing to do that can make someone feel better.
Cry me a river / August 24, 2012 at 09:05 am
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I agree it isn't just about pregnant and not pregnant....anyone who looks like they could really use a seat....elderly, kids, parents trying to control kids, whatever it msy be. Where is common decency these days? It's sad that so many are sooooo self involved!!
vampchick21 replying to a comment from Miranda / August 24, 2012 at 09:07 am
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And that attitude is exactly what is wrong with society today. I suppose the elderly chose to grow old? that disabled people chose to be disabled? That's such a selfish attitude to have. I suspect you're one of those completely inane, childish, ranting "child-free" babies.
vampchick21 replying to a comment from AV / August 24, 2012 at 09:08 am
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Same goes to you.
tdotlib / August 24, 2012 at 09:09 am
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Or you could, you know, speak up and ask for a seat. We all get in to our own worlds on transit - a polite: "Would you mind if I took your seat?" would get me to pay attention and realize that you need it more than me. Or you could just be a whiny bitch about it.
AV replying to a comment from vampchick21 / August 24, 2012 at 09:09 am
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And thats fine. But I'm not coming on to chew someone out for not giving me their seat.
Nope / August 24, 2012 at 09:09 am
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Please stop complaining.
At least people can tell you need a seat. I'm in my early 30's and have joint pain all over my body from Rheumatoid Arthritis and I'm in constant pain and no one EVER gives me a seat because I look young.

You complaining that because you chose to get pregnant and people won't bow down to you and give you a seat as a result is ridiculous and insulting
Rick / August 24, 2012 at 09:10 am
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I usually don't give up my seat because I don't want to make "a thing" out of it.
inconsiderate / August 24, 2012 at 09:12 am
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So, I was thinking about this very topic this morning and I know this comment may be perceived the wrong way. I know you all will think I'm an inconsiderate jerk after reading this, and that is something I'm just gonna have to live with. When it comes to the elderly, the pregnant, or someone who clearly looks like they are having the worst day on earth, I will give you my seat - gladly. I'm young, I can stand.

However, I am an impatient jerk in the mornings and don't like the fact that I have to go into work let alone the fact that I have to face the crowds (and my claustrophobia) to get there in the first place. I will gladly give you my seat, but I wish the TTC had something like a fast lane and a slow lane.

If you are pregnant, old, or insist on wearing 4inch heels on the subway, you can go in the slow lane. The rest of us impatient asses will be in the fast lane battling it out to be one of the first out of the pits of hell that is TTC Subway at rush hour. I honestly think it would be better for all parties. I'm sorry if that makes me sound rude or impetuous.
Dizzy replying to a comment from Nope / August 24, 2012 at 09:12 am
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Give up a seat to you does not equal "bow down to you", good grief.
I agree replying to a comment from AV / August 24, 2012 at 09:13 am
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Good point. I work long hours on my feet too. I deserve a seat at the end of the day and I really don't appreciate the cold stares from people demanding I give up my right to a seat. I hurried to go get one so I could rest.
Thing About Others / August 24, 2012 at 09:15 am
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Everyone deserves a seat every now and then.

You don't have to be pregnant or elderly or handicapped. If you've worked a 12 hr shift and the thought of getting up burns the soles of your feet then let someone else who is feeling better that day get up.

If I see someone who clearly needs a seat, I always get up. But if someone is older but seems to be quite spry and I've had a ghastly day, then that day, perhaps I hope that someone else will get up. When I'm feeling refreshed and was simply lucky enough to get a seat, I will give it up to anyone who looks like they need is, irrespective of age, pregnancy, ability, etc. I'll even give up my seat to someone engrossed in a book, swinging back and forth.

Most days you won't die from an extra 30mins on your feet, but some days you feel like you just might.
janet replying to a comment from I agree / August 24, 2012 at 09:17 am
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Don't worry i will give you cold stares all the way to your stop, you can count on it.
Beer Baron / August 24, 2012 at 09:17 am
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I know one weapon pregnant women should use...my wife had gas something feirece..just stand in front of the seated jerks, and "relax"..seat open very quickly.

BTW - i think the TTC rule should be the person who gives up the seat gets to punch those who dont.

Nope replying to a comment from Dizzy / August 24, 2012 at 09:20 am
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Good grief indeed! What an intellignet and thoughful response to my comment! NOT AT ALL
Simple / August 24, 2012 at 09:21 am
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Don't go at rush. Go earlier or later and you'll get your precious seat.

Plan a head.
Ben replying to a comment from I agree / August 24, 2012 at 09:22 am
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The people who really need the seats are physically incapable of hurrying to them.
fartbug / August 24, 2012 at 09:22 am
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I love farting on the subway, i always get a seat.
the lemur / August 24, 2012 at 09:23 am
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Because people are oblivious and inconsiderate (not just on the TTC). I'll give up my seat to anyone who seems pregnant/unwell/old/very young enough to need it and I don't mind standing because I can manage to hold on.
I agree replying to a comment from janet / August 24, 2012 at 09:23 am
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You need a new hobby
Foxy replying to a comment from Miranda / August 24, 2012 at 09:24 am
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wow Miranda...you should be living in the States so you can vote for Romney. I suppose you think women who get raped choose to get pregnant too. With your kind of sense of entitlemnt, I shudder to think what life is going to be like for you when you are either pregnant or elderly. Treat others how you may one day need to be treated yourself.
Dizzy replying to a comment from Nope / August 24, 2012 at 09:24 am
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There's no intelligent response to anyone who thinks that giving up a seat is "bowing down" to someone. That is insane. However I do agree that not only pregnant folks need to sit sometimes, and I do give up my seat (when I have one) to anyone who looks like the day beat them up in some way or other. Or who, you know, asks rather than shooting death glares of bitterness at fellow riders expecting them to read their minds. Pity you obscured that decent point with the hateful nonsense at the end.
I agree replying to a comment from Ben / August 24, 2012 at 09:26 am
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As Simple said, plan ahead, wait for the next one, don't go demanding. Some people look young but work hard too.
Benedict replying to a comment from Miranda / August 24, 2012 at 09:27 am
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Ugh, you seem nice.
Benedict replying to a comment from Simple / August 24, 2012 at 09:28 am
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Ugh
ChinBeard replying to a comment from Miranda / August 24, 2012 at 09:29 am
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Keep on failing at life...
CLA replying to a comment from Miranda / August 24, 2012 at 09:29 am
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I really love this BlogTO article (rare occurrence) and agree with the author whole heartedly. You, on the other hand, sound like a righteous, bitter cow. Your mother was pregnant once too, you know. How would you feel if someone treated her with the disrespect that so many people in this city show other pregnant women? Not to mention the elderly..... how about someone makes your 85 year old grandfather stand on a crowded, hot streetcar because "their feet are sore" - would you be ok with that? Keep on living in your small, closed off, pathetic hipster world where its a-ok to be uncaring and not give a shit about anything or anyone, ever, except for yourself. Thumbs up to you.
Lisa replying to a comment from vampchick21 / August 24, 2012 at 09:30 am
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Not everyone who chooses to be child-free is a baby. Just like how not everyone who chooses to be a parent is responsible. You either have common courtesy, or you don't.
Ur / August 24, 2012 at 09:30 am
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.. always happy to give up my seat, except the time I had headphones on and was staring out the window when a pregnant woman decides to start screaming at me for not giving up my seat, when I wasn't even aware of her being on the bus- of course there were any number of people not giving them up but I guess it's only me who deserved that. Anyway, still gave it up.
you can't be serious replying to a comment from Miranda / August 24, 2012 at 09:35 am
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You sound like a complete idiot.
PDG / August 24, 2012 at 09:37 am
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TTC announcements encourage riders to give up seats for the elderly and the disabled. So, is pregnancy a disability? My other question for the author of this rant is whether she'd think it fair to pay an additional 3$ for a giant stroller on a bus or streetcar, or the subway in rush hour? Seems to me a lot of parents are suffering from entitlementia.
Alberich / August 24, 2012 at 09:38 am
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Giving up your seat to someone who appears to need it more than you do is by all means the appropriate thing to do. This is why I almost never take a seat unless there are many open.

At the same time, the article writer's ridiculous sense of entitlement is very off-putting. It would be a shame if all pregnant women felt that way.
KL / August 24, 2012 at 09:38 am
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I'm a 20 year old who often works 12-13 hours a day and im damn sure my parents still raised me well enough that I would give up my seat even after working said shift. These women "choose" to get pregnant so we can have a future generation, idiots.
Lisa replying to a comment from Thing About Others / August 24, 2012 at 09:40 am
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You have the right idea. Thank you for your honestly and courtesy.
RC / August 24, 2012 at 09:41 am
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I'm currently very pregnant and I just want to say that I've had a pretty great experience on the ttc with this pregnancy - so many people have been so generous with their seats on subways and streetcars. And it's been all sorts of people, young, middle-aged, male, female, all ethnicities. And I have had to ask for a seat on one occasion and the teenage girl I asked hopped right up to let me sit down. So thanks everyone who is doing this and being considerate. It's very much appreciated!
jen / August 24, 2012 at 09:42 am
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Sometimes people have ailments or disabilities that aren't obvious or visible. Please stop giving people death stares...you never know what is going on with them on the inside. That young woman who is sitting down just might be pregnant as well, and dizzy, and not showing yet.

Instead of ranting, just ask someone nicely if you can sit down; say that you're tired/dizzy/nauseous/whatever, and you would really appreciate a seat. No one is going to say no to that. Remember that most people on transit are off in their own worlds after a long day at work and they don't really notice the people around them, pregnant or no. They're not slighting you...they just don't see you.
Soused / August 24, 2012 at 09:59 am
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Generally I stand and read because I don't want to look up from reading each stop to see if someone needs my seat. With that said there are times when I am so unbelievably drunk and hungover that I have to fight off vomiting right there and then.

To all the pregnant women, old people, people with children or other baggage sorry those few times I did not give up my seat. I think you would agree standing on a TTC > sitting in subway car covered in vomit.
Diana / August 24, 2012 at 09:59 am
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Since when is being pregnant a disability? It is not. My Mother worked on her feet as as bank teller until she went into labor. She took the bus and subway to work everyday. People are becoming so selfish. Now I see all these special parking spaces for pregnant women or families with kids....again since when is being pregnant a disability? Those parking spaces discriminate against anyone who is not pregnant but DOES have a disability that might not be noticeable. I use them, because being pregnant is NOT a disability. I know of two women that JOGGED everyday they carried, so get over yourself, you are not disabled you are pregnant!
uh huh replying to a comment from Miranda / August 24, 2012 at 10:02 am
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The epitome of selfishness. You were raised so well!
Cory / August 24, 2012 at 10:03 am
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Wow, are people seriously this sh*tty? You know, there was a time where it was actually a point of honour to perform a kind and/or chivalrous act. Comments like some I've seen on here really, really worry me about what kind of future we're all in for...
Misanthrope / August 24, 2012 at 10:08 am
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I hate everyone. You may think I am joking or just trying to be funny. But no, I actually despise other human beings. If you drive an expensive car, I hate you. If you take the bus, because you can't afford a car. I hate you, too. Get a job. Or a fucking Metropass. Makes no difference. I hate vegetarians, vegans, ovo-lactos, pescos, fruitarians, carnivores, omnivores, and people who only eat local. I hate Volkswagen Beetle enthusiasts, people from Portland, people who like the show Portlandia, and fans of Emma Watson. I hate buskers so much, I once bought a strawberry milkshake from Johnny Rockets, just so I could hand it to a guy with a hammered dulcimer in Yonge-Dundas Square, and knock it out of his hands. Humans are despicable. It's their dead eyes and happy smiles; their whitened teeth and their black souls; their scuffed shoes and polished resumes. I sit on the subway, and wait silently for the apocalypse.

But I would still give up that seat for a pregnant woman, or anyone else who I can see needs it. Don't be a barbarian.
Bullit replying to a comment from jen / August 24, 2012 at 10:09 am
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100% agree. Some people need a seat more than you would think. For example my 25 year old friend looks normal until you realize that he can't move his ankle due to the metal plates in it (shot in Afghanistan).

As an aside, I read a ton on the subway and very easily get lost in my own world but do not take offense to someone asking for a seat. Just ask and I will get up, no biggie.
Unentitled / August 24, 2012 at 10:13 am
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It's shocking to see how many people think that the price of a token earns them a right to sit down on public transit; like somehow they've earned it through some act of contrition in handing over a few bucks. You paid to be shuttled across the city and as there are relatively few seats on all our transit vehicles, getting to put your ass in one is a treat.
If you honestly believe that running through the open doors with your elbows up means you have the right to sit down, I hope your smug sense of entitlement eases the shame you'll feel when everyone standing is staring you down for not offering up your seat to someone visibly in need. I, for one, won't stop there. As a father myself, I will actually break social convention and speak out loud (very loud, so everyone in the car will hear) and ask you politely to give your seat. I hope everyone else will do the same. Speak up for others.
stander / August 24, 2012 at 10:17 am
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This is straightforward, but it gets less clear with other groups.

I'm a male in my 20s. Should I stand for able-bodied men in their 60s? Women in their 20s? Women in their 30s? 40s?

Will they get offended? Will I look unnecessarily white-knight-ish?

To avoid these issues I just stand, even if there are seats free.
Miranda replying to a comment from vampchick21 / August 24, 2012 at 10:17 am
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I'm extremely respectful to the elderly and disabled and always offer my seat or assistance. Growing old or being disabled is not a choice they have made.

And you're right, I am happily "child-free". That's why it makes me mad that just because a woman chooses to get pregnant, she demands and gets the rights that I don't have.

I'm not entitled to a mat leave because I don't have kids yet I still have to pay into it (and subsidize others). Why can't I take a sabbatical for a year and get 55% of my salary?

Pregnant women get to park closer to malls, theatres, etc. Wouldn't the same walk I have to do be beneficial for them?
Ἀντισθένης / August 24, 2012 at 10:18 am
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And I thought Tokyo was bad. I'll stop telling my wife how much better Toronto is based on half the comments here. However, it must be said there are so many obese people in Canada, it can be hard to be sure one is pregnant until the distinctive shape of the last trimester (and even then...). Tokyo women? You can tell in the first trimester.

If you can't give up your seat because of empathy, give it up so you can have pride in yourself. If you don't understand, you never can.
Rob / August 24, 2012 at 10:21 am
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First, if I see someone who needs a seat, I do give them my seat - regardless of the time. I can stand. However, I can count numerous times where I offer to give up my seat to the elderly or pregnant women only to be told they don't need it because they are getting off a few stations away. So, my confusion comes from these scenarios. I've offered, they said no, should I continue to offer? How can I assume the next person who comes on is only one for a few stops? This, and selfishness, is where the perceived 'attitude' comes from, I think. I would rather have someone ask me if I could give up my seat - I'll get up and leave the seat. This way I know they need the seat and I don't need to go through a pointless exercise where I offer and they say no.
Cry me a river / August 24, 2012 at 10:21 am
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It's true I wish that random acts of kindness would happen all the time and be just common place.
apocalypse / August 24, 2012 at 10:22 am
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The zombie apocalypse can not come fast enough, after reading some of these comments, there is no hope for the human race.
Patrick / August 24, 2012 at 10:23 am
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As an able-bodied guy, I only feel comfortable sitting down if there is more than one empty seat on the train. I make it a point never to take the last empty seat.
Broke my foot / August 24, 2012 at 10:26 am
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I always give up my seat to those who look like they need it - I will never forget when I broke my foot people on the subway just looked at me and didn't get up. I had to ask.
I don't think a pregnant woman should be afraid to ask either, its not always as obvious as they think (I had a friend offered a seat because someone thought she was pregnant and she was mortified).
Alex / August 24, 2012 at 10:28 am
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Absolutely shocked at the comments on here. Whatever happened to doing the right thing? If you notice not just a pregnant lady, but an elderly person, ill person, or disabled person, you get up and give your seat. Chivalry was once considered honourable.

This selfishness is absolutely shameful, deplorable and unbecoming.
tea replying to a comment from Miranda / August 24, 2012 at 10:29 am
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I wish you're parents would have chosen to remain happily child-free
James / August 24, 2012 at 10:32 am
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It's laughable how some compare 12hr work shifts to a woman growing a human being in their belly.

Give up the seat for the pregnant and elderly, and enjoy being a part of a civilized society.
L daddy replying to a comment from Miranda / August 24, 2012 at 10:33 am
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you are whats wrong with this world
Teddy Boragina / August 24, 2012 at 10:34 am
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Should an elderly person give up their seat to a pregnant woman? Or, another pregnant woman? Likely the answer is no. How about a young person? You probably look at that person and wonder what's wrong with them if they do not move. The problem is you never know why they are not moving, did they just finish a 12 hour shift in a factory? Are they of limited mobility, or perhaps even, limited vision? You can't always see when someone needs a seat and trying to guilt people into giving up their seat to someone who has a visible need just attacks those with an invisible need.
Oh Really! replying to a comment from Miranda / August 24, 2012 at 10:34 am
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Hey Miranda, maybe Your mother should have made a different "choice".
Alberich replying to a comment from Unentitled / August 24, 2012 at 10:35 am
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Why does pregnancy earn someone a greater right to sit down than anyone else? It doesn't. Pregnant women don't deserve to sit simply because they're pregnant. If a pregnant woman is offered a seat, it's because the other person happened to notice and was kinder than was necessary.

People should endeavour to be kinder than is necessary.
Danielle / August 24, 2012 at 10:37 am
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I try to give my seat up if I see a woman visibly pregnant or an elderly person, but I don't always know if somebody is pregnant. I offered my seat to a woman who wasn't pregnant once, but looked it and she chewed me out, I felt terrible. I still offer but only if I'm sure.
uh huh replying to a comment from Diana / August 24, 2012 at 10:40 am
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I agree that the whole specialty parking space thing is a bit ridiculous, however it should be noted that those parking spots are installed by the retailers in an attempt to appeal to their customer base. Anyway, I really don't see how a pregnant woman hoping for some common courtesy from able-bodied people in her midst is being selfish. Have you ever been pregnant yourself? Just because you've known a few pregnant superwomen doesn't make it the standard. When I was a child riding the TTC with my mother, she always instructed me to offer my seat to any person elderly, pregnant, disabled or with small children. Offering your seat isn't an example of the wave of entitlement plaguing our society. It's one of the most basic forms of etiquette I would hope most children are still being raised with. If not, our society is going to continue to spiral down the toilet hole.
Kat replying to a comment from Nope / August 24, 2012 at 10:40 am
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This. I *do* give up my seat when I'm able-bodied, but as someone with a degenerative disc, I am often in severe pain but otherwise look young and healthy. I've gotten dirty looks from pregnant women when I literally wouldn't have been able to manage the movement to stand up out of my seat. If you think standing while nauseous is bad, try standing when one of your vertebrae has shifted and is pressing on a nerve. But that's not an injury you can SEE, so people just assume I'm lazy.

We all have problems. We have to be more polite and accommodating to people on both ends. Maybe you really do need a seat, but you never know who needs it more.

(However, people who take up three seats for their backpack and ipod? They're just jerks.)
alecto replying to a comment from Miranda / August 24, 2012 at 10:45 am
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Miranda, you're a selfish, childish POS. Enough said. Jesus people, if someone seems like they're in distress (whether they're old or pregnant or limping or tired, or whatever) get up off your ass and offer them your seat. It's the civilized thing to do.
willingtobet / August 24, 2012 at 10:45 am
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I am willing to bet the people who are self entitled and refuse to give up seats or anything else also voted for Rob Ford.
Mark / August 24, 2012 at 10:45 am
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You mentally challenged people who don't give up seats for elderly or pregnant women should be ashamed. But based on your responses I see that shame is beyond you.
Ando / August 24, 2012 at 10:46 am
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I find that 'most' transit taking Torontonians are self absorbed, apathetic assholes. They see the pregnant lady, the mother holding a crying baby or elderly old man desperately trying to find somewhere horizontal to sit, but as long as they avoid making eye contact with them, their conscious is clear.

I'll give my seat up for someone that looks like they need it. If I'm standing, I have no problem asking on their behalf. You can get pretty far by shaming someone though, its just sad that this is my Toronto.


Kieren replying to a comment from Mark / August 24, 2012 at 10:47 am
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So you expect mentally-challenged people to give up their seats? Quelle horreur!
Tommy / August 24, 2012 at 10:49 am
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This really isn't a difficult issue. The average Torontonian will go to extreme lengths to avoid any sort of public interaction, as evidenced by the number of iPod headphone/sunglasses/hoodie wearing folks on the TTC.

Given this point, we must accept the fact that most of us ignore all people around us; pregnant, disabled or other, it doesn't matter. Therefore, the onus unfortunately must be on the seat-wanter, rather than the wantee, to instigate the seat-swap interaction.

Maybe at some point in the future we'll all be nicer to each other, but this is the current custom. Take it or leave it.
Alison replying to a comment from Broke my foot / August 24, 2012 at 10:49 am
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Broke my foot, the same thing happened to me a few months back, but I was the one offering the seat. I wrongly made the assumption that a woman was in the early stages of a pregnancy based on her body language. (IE. Hand on stomach, other hand rubbing back, stomach looking rounded, etc.) Boy, was that an awkward conversation.

Let me tell you, if you guess wrong, it's just as mortifying...

I usually do offer my seat when I can. But, during morning rush hour, I rely heavily on being able to sleep on the train to work. So, I usually try to sit where it'd be less convenient for me to give up my seat versus someone else.
Nicole / August 24, 2012 at 10:51 am
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Wow I love how, "You chose to get pregnant." is a defense, when you damn well know a lot of people don't choose to get pregnant. What you're really saying is, "Since you chose not to have an abortion and, instead, decided to nurture and have your child, you don't deserve a seat." Real smooth guys.

You worked 12 hours and have one heavy bag, oh that must be just awful! Now imagine carrying that heavy bag, strapped to your stomach, for those entire 12 hours, and then some (oh like, for a few months straight).
jae / August 24, 2012 at 10:52 am
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I'm not surprised at some of the attitudes expressed here. When New Yorkers are friendlier and more helpful than Torontonians, you know there's a problem. I've struggled with a suitcase in the TTC and other public places, and people just look at me and keep walking. In New York I was offered help even when I didn't need it.

This "chooses to be pregnant" is bullshit...your mother also chose to be pregnant with you, so have some respect and manners. Although admittedly I can't always tell a pregnant woman from one with a large stomach, I do make an effort if it's obvious...same with parents holding kids or struggling on stairs with strollers, the elderly, people with crutches etc.

Rob's "dilemma" over riders declining an offered seat is a sad, weird one. I've never had anyone be less than appreciative when declining a seat and I think it makes both of us feel a little bit nice, no?

When I sprained my ankle and had a cane years ago, I was constantly offered seats, had doors opened for me etc. That courtesy seems to be lacking now.
Thelma / August 24, 2012 at 10:53 am
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For a poorly-written lame article, it sure is generating a lot of response.
LOL replying to a comment from janet / August 24, 2012 at 10:55 am
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Yeah, and your "cold" stare is going to make someone magically get out of their seat. Crazy woman... a SEAT is a privilege, not a right! Get over yourself!
ouch replying to a comment from Nicole / August 24, 2012 at 10:55 am
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and swollen ankles, sore back and boobs getting heavier!
K replying to a comment from Miranda / August 24, 2012 at 10:55 am
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My mom has a disability and I am always amazed at the acts of chivalry that happens when she visits Toronto. People give up their seats and offer to haul her luggage up the TTC stairs.

I was raised in a small town and won't give up that mentality when riding the TTC in this city. Do the right thing people.

Miranda, you are the exception to the rule. Your sense of entitlement makes me worry about society today.
Shawn / August 24, 2012 at 10:56 am
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As someone who has actually been pushed over and used as a human ramp while trying to board a bus at Kipling station with the subway out of commission, I think it's unreasonable to expect any sort of compassion or etiquette from TTC passengers.
Justin / August 24, 2012 at 10:57 am
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First off - Man all these comments are amazing! haha

Although I don't see seat rejection happen often - but when I do it's mainly because people sleep, eyes glued to their ipad, or they just can't spot it over a heavy winter jacket.

I would also lean towards the pregnant, (even elderly/disabled) person ASKING for the seat. It's not rude to ask for a seat.... in the RARE occasion that someone were to deny it (they're a jerk), but I would bet that there would be 9 people standing up immediately to offer their seat + sprinkle a little cut eye towards the selfish rider.

Just Ask !
Nicole replying to a comment from uh huh / August 24, 2012 at 10:57 am
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I always assumed parking spots for women who are expecting or have young children were there so you didn't have to guide a hyper kid across an entire parking lot. Especially since a) people in parking lots like to cut across the spaces and b) a parking lot full of cars makes for a lot of visual obstructions.

Besides, short of being in a rush or not liking the weather, neither of which are really valid, I don't think it's going to kill anyone to walk a few extra feet.
DL replying to a comment from RC / August 24, 2012 at 10:58 am
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Thank you! It goes both ways, ladies and gents. Death stares just perpetuate bad vibes to everyone involved. Author, if you would politely ask someone to give up their seat I don't see why they wouldn't. Just don't feel as if everyone has to feel obligated to rush to your aid. You never know what that person is going through. Sure, it'd be nice if everyone would leap to aid total strangers but that's unreasonable to presume. Politeness and courtesy are sorely lacking these days. Everyone thinks they deserve to receive it without giving it.
FedUpWithThisWurld / August 24, 2012 at 11:01 am
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Holy crap, people. Just get the fuck up. The 12-hour work day you're complaining about is how a pregnant woman feels ALL THE TIME. Stop being so god damn selfish.
James / August 24, 2012 at 11:02 am
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3rd trimester, sure.
Very pregnant, very elderly and disabled, sure.

Here's a novel idea, though, for all the petulant, entitled riders who feel their age or sex warrants them a seat: open your mouth and ask for it.

I'm a healthy 20something male, and I've no interest in being 'courteous' to an able-bodied neighbour who thinks the world should read their mind and roll out the red carpet for them.
Lauren / August 24, 2012 at 11:03 am
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Don't be so passive. If you're pregnant and standing is unbearable, don't give cold stares and suffer. Plainly state that you are pregnant/not feeling well/etc., and ask if someone is willing to give up their seat.
Nicole replying to a comment from ouch / August 24, 2012 at 11:04 am
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And so much worse! My niece is four months old now and my sister's still having hip issues. I am making an uneducated guess that it's related to her being a skinny little thing; I don't think she had the bone structure for pregnancy!
Linds / August 24, 2012 at 11:05 am
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I don't think common courtesy is dead. My Mom was visiting recently and was pleasantly surprised people offered her a seat on transit. She's not elderly and is quite content to stand but thought it was so nice of those 'young men' who gave up their seat for her. There are always going to be entitled *ssholes in the world, but luckily there are people out there still who were raised to treat everyone with respect and kindness.
E / August 24, 2012 at 11:12 am
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Honestly, these hostile comments surprise me. When I was pregnant and riding the TTC twice a day, I was almost always offered a seat...from about the middle of my second trimester, when I was visibly showing. I think it was only once or twice that someone on the subway didn't offer. I didn't feel entitled to a seat, but I really appreciated it every time it happened. I tried to travel early to work and back so that I had a higher chance of finding a seat on my own.

As for why pregnant women should get seats as opposed to people tired from their day at work: well, there are a couple of reasons. One, it's really hard to keep your balance when you're pregnant - there's a lot of weight sticking out the front of your abdomen, making falls more likely. And two, if you actually *do* fall, then the consequences are much worse. You could hurt the baby or go into preterm labour.

But all that being said, I was pleasantly surprised at how courteous TTC riders were during my pregnancy. I even had one lady yell at someone for trying to sit down in a free seat that I was heading towards!
Adam / August 24, 2012 at 11:15 am
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A) there are designated seats for elderly/disabled (and I guess pregnant.) if I've moved all the way to the back of a vehicle or not near the door in the subway, I'm keeping my bloody seat. Some other jerk is taking up the priority seating, "stare" at them. Which brings me to...
B) angry stares? Seriously? How torontonian. I can't get over how passive aggressive people are. How about instead of glaring at someone who may or may not have noticed you, you ask "hey, would you mind letting me sit down? I'm pregnant." do you honestly think anyone would say no? If they say no, you can stand there glaring at them, filled with rage. But refusing to ask and expecting the entire world is aware of you and your needs? That's emotionally immature. And finally,
C) why aren't any of you passive aggressive pregnant ladies writing politicians to tell them to fund our god damned transit system so every vehicle isn't packed as tight as an industrial chicken farm? I guess a letter isn't a great forum for a cold, rage-y stare.

COMMUNICATION SKILLS!!!
EMBARASSED TORONTONIAN / August 24, 2012 at 11:15 am
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THIS IS DISGUSTING. I cannot believe those of you who say you would not give up your seat, and that women CHOSE to be pregnant. Need I remind you, that YOUR MOTHERS WERE ONCE PREGNANT WITH YOU. And, should some woman with poor judgement (or man, if you are shamefully women who supports this) EVER choose to have children with you, you need to keep in mind what you've been saying here and know that this is how you view the woman carrying your child. One more thing, if a woman 'choosing' to get pregnant is your defence, you are 'choosing' to work a 12 hour day.
Nick / August 24, 2012 at 11:16 am
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"Why don't TTC riders give pregnant women their seats?"

The same reason that your writer was complaining about crying children at Taste of the Danforth. Lots of Torontonians are whiny brats who consider themselves more important than others.
One Compassionate Guy / August 24, 2012 at 11:16 am
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Thank you for writing this very insightful article. From now on I will ask every woman with a large belly if they are pregnant. If yes then I will gladly offer my seat. If not then I get the satisfaction of knowing I made a fat cow self conscious of her weight.

Anyone else notice how many asians will rush into a train car to grab a seat and immediately "doze off" to avoid having to give up their seat to anyone who might have more need for it... well, at least it *looks* like their eyes are closed and they manage to ignore everything going on around them so I assume they are sleepy-time asians (S.T.A.s)
Michelle / August 24, 2012 at 11:25 am
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Or..ORRRR...we could demand a better public transportation system that addresses the problem of overcrowding and then, everyone gets a seat!
BM replying to a comment from Miranda / August 24, 2012 at 11:26 am
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Are you being serious Miranda? If so, you're a pretty gross person. Gross being mild.
lowrez / August 24, 2012 at 11:31 am
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Fun article designed to make everyone hate each other!

I've seen pregnant, elderly, and disabled people given seats by others many times. More often than not.
wow / August 24, 2012 at 11:33 am
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Lots of abhorrent pieces of I-wouldn't-give-my-seat-up shit here.

jerry / August 24, 2012 at 11:34 am
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One Compassionate Guy / AUGUST 24, 2012 AT 11:16 AM
Thank you for writing this very insightful article. From now on I will ask every woman with a large belly if they are pregnant. If yes then I will gladly offer my seat. If not then I get the satisfaction of knowing I made a fat cow self conscious of her weight.
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People who are so breathtakingly stupid they don't know the difference between a pregnant belly and a fat belly are far far far too stupid to comment on this topic.
tired of TO / August 24, 2012 at 11:42 am
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the way i see it, torontonians just really lack empathy. now i by no means think all pregnant woman have the 'right' to a seat.. just like nobody really does. i mean, we all pay the same fare (more or less) and are technically entitled to whatever service is available with a public transportation system. having said that, shouldn't the first thought on our collective minds be 'how can i help', not 'how can i avoid'.. which is so classic toronto? this really is a much larger issue, beyond the ttc, but its clearly seen here.
if you're tired, worked a 12 hour shift, you shouldn't have to get up.. but i'm sure for every exhausted worker, there are many more who are totally fine to jump up and stand for a while.
Claire / August 24, 2012 at 11:42 am
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Thankfully, the majority of TTC riders are not Blog TO readers. During my pregnancy, and subsequent use of the TTC with first a baby in a sling, then a stroller, people have been nothing but kind; offering seats, offering to carry the stroller when the station is not fully accessible, entertaining the baby etc. I agree with the poster above; this will always be a controversial issue, but always trying to act with kindness is usually the best thing to do.
Serious Reader of Classic Literature / August 24, 2012 at 11:52 am
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Maybe I can't stand up while I'm reading my copy of 50 Shades of Grey because I'm self-conscious of the damp spot I'm leaving on the seat?
Mark / August 24, 2012 at 11:55 am
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It really is simple. If you are healthy and able to stand you should if the seat is needed by anyone, old, pregnant, crippled etc. Instead people are content to live in their fantasy world and think only of themselves. And then these same subway riders are the ones who claim car drivers are the selfish ones.
notrealmenherethatisforsure / August 24, 2012 at 11:55 am
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I am in my 40's and I suffer from heel spurs, which some days are real painful to stand on. But I always give up my seat to the elderly and pregnant women. Because that is what a real man does, especially for pregnant women. The men that are posting here saying they are tired or just don't feel like it. Are not real men, just some whiney little b!tches.
asdf / August 24, 2012 at 12:00 pm
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What the fuck is wrong with asking if you can have the seat? I will not assume you are pregnant if its not obvious, I will not assume you worked more on your feet than me that day, and I will not assume you deserve the seat more than me automatically. If I have a seat and I don't offer it up to you, and you really need it... just ask. I am nice and will likely give it to you. Don't just stand there and bitch and whine and stomp your feet...
AdAMN / August 24, 2012 at 12:16 pm
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I offer my seat once to a pregnant lady. She didn't want the seat..
Lilian / August 24, 2012 at 12:20 pm
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Looks like most of the preceding comments gave BlogTO its answer:

Torontonians, apparently, are assholes. Next question?
Lilian replying to a comment from Nope / August 24, 2012 at 12:28 pm
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Im 30 and have RA/suffer from chronic pain, too. Just shut the fuck up.

"Waaah, Im disabled and assholes dont show empathy, so the clear solution is...being an asshole toward other disabled people". What ass-backwards logic.

Do us a favour and stay away from the sympathy/empathy points-scoring business for people with invisible disabilities.
Mark replying to a comment from Nope / August 24, 2012 at 12:35 pm
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Hah. I give up my seat when I can, but I'm a 30 year old otherwise-healthy-looking guy with severe IBS. The only way I can make it to my destination without shitting my pants often is to sit down and practically meditate.

But I look like a complete asshole.
Dan / August 24, 2012 at 12:37 pm
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What selfish people on here. What percent of riders are actually preggers? How often would you actually have to give your seat up?? Once in a month? Twice maybe? The horror!

I think the point is that if most able-bodied people were more willing to give up their seats, then there really isn't that big of a burden on any one person specifically, and those who genuinely can't get up for reasons not obvious to the naked eye (ie back problems, foot problems, 50 shades-related dampness) don't look like a**holes, and frankly don't have any reason to feel bad because someone was kind enough to not even really hesitate to give up their seat. For Christ sake, you guys talk about pregnant women like they're welfare freeloaders or something. Get a grip, seriously!

So just a recap: if you're healthy and unwilling to give up your seat to someone who is OBVIOUSLY pregnant - because that's really what we're talking about here; we're not talking first trimester or women carrying a little extra weight - then you can DIAF as far as I'm concerned. The world is better off without the likes of your particular brand of selfishness. I should think even Ayn Rand would agree with me on this, for once in my life.
Christina / August 24, 2012 at 12:39 pm
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Practice empathy. That's all. It only takes a few seconds. Just look around, as the doors open and close, and ask yourself, "Does anyone coming in look like they could really use a seat or a hand?"

You know the various instances - elderly, disabled, leaden with bags, having a hard time rustling their kids. It DOESN'T MATTER whether they chose their fate or not - in that moment, it's just you recognizing that someone might need help or a spot to rest their bum.

And if you're able to offer a seat or a hand, then go for it! If not, that's okay, too. If you had a really tough day and you feel your exhaustion outweighs the benefits to the other person, then stay put. You don't have to get into these issues of entitlement and weighing who "deserves" it more. We all need these kind gestures now and then. It's a quick decision to make.

Personally, when I was pregnant, I was often offered a seat (usually by women and then by men when I became more visibly bumped out). There are days when you're pregnant that you happily accept a seat - maybe you're out of breath from everything pushing up on your diaphragm, or maybe the bus is packed and you're afraid of being elbowed in the belly or falling - and other days when you'd politely decline because standing feels better. There was one day when I was pregnant where I had a seat but gave it up to a woman with a cane. No one else was offering, but she looked to be struggling more than I was. I wasn't trying to be a hero, but my empathy got me out of my seat.

It does stink to be invisibly infirm - arthritis, sprains, that sort of thing. When I was recovering from a broken leg, no one could see I was in pain from standing. I bore it as best I could, watched for an opening, or if it got bad enough, I'd ask for a seat.
TO Woman / August 24, 2012 at 12:55 pm
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There is an overt and tangible lack of passenger TTC etiquette or sensitivity to the elderly or disabled in Scarborough. I don't remember these issues, say 10 years ago ~ but then Toronto's demographic has changed dramatically. I also have to to mention the difficulty for EVERYONE to navigate the front aisle of a bus when you have moms with big strollers sitting across from each other...leaving passengers 6-8 inches to move safely past them. Some will take up 2 front seats themselves to accomodate the length of their stroller and be indignant about moving to say one side only and giving us passengers a way through. The drivers do nothing and they should do more to ensure elderly, disabled and regular passengers are safely boarded. Have used TTC all my life. Can tell you the fabric of Toronto has changed forever; it's no longer Toronto the Good. TTC needs to address the changing demographic of the city; perhaps spell out our established cultural norms (in this case, etiquette) in 10 different languages. Who thought simple acts of kindness would require guiding signage and translation.
i block everyone out / August 24, 2012 at 12:59 pm
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It's not you I'm ignoring, it's everyone. Riding transit is stressful, and I block it out as best I can and occasionally even relax during my ride. The chief joy of transit is that someone else is driving and i don't have to constantly be aware of my surroundings. It's also impolite to check out every woman who gets on the train, bus or streetcar, and I'm still figuring out how to notice your (only sometimes) distinctive body shape without it looking like I'm doing this. (as well, I have also had situations where my offer of a seat has caused offense.) So generally these days I try to avoid sitting where I might need to give up my seat, and so I no longer try to perform the awkward dance of judging age, infirmity and pride (that is likelihood to offend) with just a quick glance.
TO Woman replying to a comment from Ando / August 24, 2012 at 01:00 pm
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Agreed, done this myself ~ saddenly.
Dude007 / August 24, 2012 at 01:02 pm
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The solution is simple, pull your heads out of your ass and think about your mother when she was pregnant with you and realize she would have appreciated it too. Anyone that doesn't do this is a mother hater!
Mark replying to a comment from TO Woman / August 24, 2012 at 01:17 pm
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Haha. Toronto's demographics haven't changed that dramatically in ten years. What a weird thing to say, and reason to ascribe it to.
A / August 24, 2012 at 01:25 pm
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I'll never forget the time I was 9 months pregnant and I was sitting on a packed bus. An elderly person with a cane entered the bus, nobody got up to offer this gentleman a seat so I, the ready to birth pregnant woman, offered him my seat. I'd like to think things like that are not the norm but from some of the comments here, who knows.
ED / August 24, 2012 at 01:30 pm
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All they need do is ask and I'll offer it! The problem with this city is that no one talks to each other! They look at you funny if you ask, and that's so embarrassing to them that they just avoid the situation completely, mill around and hope that they'll give up their seat. If they don't, well then, they're bastards or bitches who deserve what karma's coming to them! How am I supposed to know you're pregnant? I can't read your mind! Tell me and I'll move for you!
Sean / August 24, 2012 at 01:31 pm
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I never see other women getting up for a pregnant woman. As for men, they've been shoved the 'equality' agenda for so long by the equal rights movement, now they are showing the same respect as the other women do.
Dawn Mills / August 24, 2012 at 01:40 pm
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Get a car. Screw the TTC.
darnald / August 24, 2012 at 01:51 pm
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ahhh!!! breeders!!! With every new baby, a new nail in the coffin. The world is overpopulated as it is. Stop making babies!
Jer / August 24, 2012 at 01:53 pm
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Wow, what happened to "don't feed the trolls".... First poster really got people into it.. But, then again, always wonder what goes through the head of people who have no respect for others, people who liter, people who drive in the passing lane, people who don't give up their seats for someone in need.
Calvin K replying to a comment from Miranda / August 24, 2012 at 01:55 pm
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Miranda,
you probably never think about why we human live together, why we have societies and what's the point of social etiquettes. A big part is the propagation of our culture and human race.
You were, we all were, born into (often unspoken) social contract. And gave birth by, a pregnant lady.
Pregnancy and the production of the next generations are VITAL to the continue existence of our societies. Who do you think will carry on the torch of maintaining the social fabric once you are older? That's right, people younger than you. And where they come from? Pregnant ladies.

Most cultures gave pregnant women the utmost respect for this reason. Child bearing is such a huge part of societies we constantly have debates on issues related to it.

Also, mother. Just think of your mother while she was having you next time you see a pregnant woman. (Unless you are filled with self-loathing than that might backfired)
uh huh replying to a comment from Nicole / August 24, 2012 at 01:58 pm
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Fair enough. To be honest, I used the pink parking spots on occasion when I was pregnant. Now that my son is a toddler, I usually park in a less busy section of the lot and call it an opportunity for exercise (however minute). I can still corral him into the safety of a shopping cart mind you, so those spots might come in handy again some day.
dee / August 24, 2012 at 02:25 pm
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I am a 30-something "child-free" woman (don't want kids, don't even like 'em!) but you know what? I always give up my seat without hesitation to anyone who needs it! Pregnant, elderly, someone with a baby, even someone just tired-looking or whatever...why? Because all you need is a drop of empathy to understand how the other person must be feeling, and how hard it would be to stand on a moving train/bus...just think for one second how the other person must feel. Does this not move you?! If you are able to stand, how can you sit there while someone struggles before your very eyes, knowing you could help make their day just a bit better...but purposefully do nothing?!

I think to the times when i HAVE had help in a situation, and how grateful I felt for the person who helped me - for instance, there have been times on the TTC when people have offered to help me move very heavy luggage up the stairs. Just total strangers who saw i was having a hard time, and offered to help! Could i have eventually done it on my own? Probably! But with their kind help, it was a lot less of a struggle and made my day a lot happier! It's a wonderful feeling!

We should all strive as human beings to HELP EACH OTHER for goodness sake!! This is not a difficult concept to grasp!
RS replying to a comment from Miranda / August 24, 2012 at 02:37 pm
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You can also choose to be a raging, inconsiderate asshole apparently.
Kieren replying to a comment from Rob / August 24, 2012 at 02:42 pm
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I like how you put quotes around it Rob.

It is racist. Could be what you observed but it's just as racist as it is rude to not offer a knocked-up woman her seat.

don't feed the trolls / August 24, 2012 at 02:44 pm
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Why is everyone replying to Miranda?
mike1234 replying to a comment from vampchick21 / August 24, 2012 at 03:22 pm
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Your argument makes no sense.

1)Growing old is inevitable
2)You can't change being handicapped if you were born with those genetics
3)You can control becoming, or not becoming preggers
4)Maybe you should draft a competent argument before trying to tear someone apart
5)owned
Greg / August 24, 2012 at 04:04 pm
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The comments here and photo at the top of this article reinforce my viewpoint that the TTC is a dehumanizing way to commute. The unhappy expressions on your faces and your high density of people per square foot remind me of WWII photos of people being loaded onto boxcars to be transported to death camps. I feel sorry for all of you without other options, both those with and without seats.
jay / August 24, 2012 at 04:25 pm
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I would offer them a seat; but i dont wanna be condescending
well / August 24, 2012 at 04:41 pm
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mistreated and mistreating?
sometimes it seems there is little room left for a little one coming to an our collective world...
How can I reach Compassion?

KitCat / August 24, 2012 at 05:25 pm
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To everyone who responds with "You chose to get pregnant" you are cold. Seriously, how would you feel if someone said that to your mother?

Everyone is entitled to days where they feel like they need a seat but it is common courtesy to give up your seat for the elderly and pregnant. What is so wrong that you have to stand? Your personal sense of entitlement for a seat is horrendous.
The Real Truth replying to a comment from don't feed the trolls / August 24, 2012 at 05:28 pm
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Because she's right. Miranda is right and nobody wants to admit it.
missedthebus / August 24, 2012 at 05:33 pm
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Being pregnant is so far in this world we live in the ONLY way to reproduce our species. And so far it is ONLY women who get pregnant. These really pathetic comments a woman doesn't deserve their seat because they CHOSE to get pregnant???? If nobody CHOSE to get pregnant, (thus eliminating any onus on you to be courteous) our species would not exist. That's a fact. Another fact that the state of pregnancy does cause some changes in one's body that make it sometimes necessary to avoid standing for long periods. Offer pregnant women your damn seat!!! Without them we cease to exist! (If you're lucky, they won't want or need it and will politely decline, then you can keep sitting and yet you've done the right thing, you lout.)
Jeff / August 24, 2012 at 05:49 pm
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I don't remember if I've given my seat to a pregnant woman or if I've even encountered a pregnant woman who can't sit down near me. I probably would give up my seat, though. I've given them up to elderly people and others.
The Better Way / August 24, 2012 at 05:59 pm
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Miranda is totally, one hundred percent right. That woman is CHOOSING to take time off work to do something she thinks is important and wants to do. Everyone has to pay in to subsidize this so the same privilege should apply to everyone even if what they want to do doesn't happen to be "get pregnant".

Pregnant women, you are not entitled to a seat because you choose to have a child. People may be extremely kind and offer you a seat, but it is not your god given right. Be grateful and don't make a show of clutching your back and bitching to your friends on the phone if you can't always get what you want.
Jeff replying to a comment from Greg / August 24, 2012 at 06:03 pm
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That comparison of the TTC to WWII is... very ridiculous.
Al / August 24, 2012 at 06:10 pm
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There are designated handicap seats. If someone is sitting there, ask them to move so you can sit down. Don't just stand there and then write some passive-aggressive blog post criticizing all TTC users.
Frenk Fruter / August 24, 2012 at 06:16 pm
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Fascist Feminist!!!!
Cameron replying to a comment from Miranda / August 24, 2012 at 06:32 pm
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I love you and I could not agree more!
Chris replying to a comment from Diana / August 24, 2012 at 06:39 pm
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Being pregnant is not disabled. However, many pregnant woman experience complications or symptoms that make them very sick or tired. The reason to give up seat to them is one, to alleviate their pain from nausea, heartburn, hemmoids, swollen feet, back pain and rib pain from torn muscles and sometimes broken ribs, diarea, dizziness and low blood pressure. The second reason is more simple, if pregnant lady happen to fall as the are already have poor balance, the baby's life can be at risk. The same reason is why there are pregnant family spots. The further a mother has to walk on winter road covered with snow, the greater the chance she could fall and potentially endanger the baby's life. I'd like to hear who thinks resting their feet from working a day is more important than someone else's life. Courteseis to pregnant women or families is for the CHILDREN, not for the moms only.
Matt / August 24, 2012 at 07:05 pm
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159 comments later the question is answered:

Because TTC riders are assholes.
Dizzy replying to a comment from Matt / August 24, 2012 at 08:20 pm
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Nah Matt, just BlogTO commenters all brave and fighty when they can hide behind anonymous usernames.
torontonian replying to a comment from Miranda / August 24, 2012 at 08:32 pm
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It is people like you that give people from our city a bad name. I hope oneday you realise that you are an asshole and most likely have no friends.
Me / August 24, 2012 at 09:01 pm
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I always tell visitors to Toronto that if they really want to HATE Torontonians to take the TTC. These comments only confirm why.
Me / August 24, 2012 at 09:03 pm
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I get that being lefties, only caring about yourself and basic selfishness and inconsideration are part and parcel of it, but still it's surprising to see the Left so openly admit they're assholes.
GuestContributor / August 24, 2012 at 10:08 pm
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Wow...what an inconsequential article...there must be more pressing issues in Toronto???
Jeronimo / August 24, 2012 at 10:33 pm
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I don't offer seats most of the time because there's nothing more embarrassing than giving up a seat for a supposed pregnant lady, only to realize later that she's just fat. And fatties need to stand and sweat a little more.
Jeronimo / August 24, 2012 at 10:34 pm
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Really old and infirm. Those are the only people who should be entitled to seats.
Marc replying to a comment from Me / August 24, 2012 at 10:37 pm
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I get that being a neo-con you're retarded but could you please keep our retardation off the Internet? Thanks.
pizza hut / August 25, 2012 at 02:15 am
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i always make an effort to give up my seat to any pregnant women or elderly people its just common sense.
Invisible / August 25, 2012 at 07:27 am
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I'm chronicly ill, in and out of hospital, only leave the house for my weekly doctors appointment, and never ever ever get offered a seat just because I'm young looking. The solution to this problem is simple. During rush hour, if you're healthy, stand so ALL the sick, disabled, and elderly can fill the seats. Because at this time, there is always somebody with an invisible disability left standing.
Rob Ford / August 25, 2012 at 11:52 am
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Why doesn't she just drive a car?
Simon Tarses replying to a comment from Ἀντισθένης / August 25, 2012 at 11:32 pm
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Here we go again with the bitter, pissed-off Canadian expat who lives in Tokyo, and should be enjoying it there, but who then comes back to BlogTo to bitch and whine about how nasty Canad/Toronto is based on just a few comments on one blog.

PLEASE take your self-entitled, smug attitude, stick it up your skinny white ass, and keep off of this blog. You live in Tokyo, and hate North America to bits-we get that. What we don't need to hear is you coming back here to shit on the rest of us who live here.
ian replying to a comment from Miranda / August 26, 2012 at 12:43 am
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Too bad someone decided to get pregnant and carry you to full term.
Theo / August 26, 2012 at 10:01 am
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Am I the only one who thinks that the drivers should give up their seats to pregnant women? That would solve multiple problems.
Mike Kennedy / August 26, 2012 at 10:30 am
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I should be shocked, but I am not. When I moved to Toronto I found it the coldest city I had ever visited or lived in. LA and New York were actually filled with MUCH nicer and friendlier people. I automatically open doors and give up my seat, but see grown men who act like , petulant children not doing the same. Your mothers should slap you for being such little jerks. The comments here representing such jerks we're almost in the majority. Calling out the men here. I more often see a woman give up her seat. Shame on you sniveling little entitled whimps out there.
Moose / August 26, 2012 at 11:03 am
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Somewhat relevant: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4Xv_kYwb6o&;feature=youtube_gdata_player

Personally giving up the seat is common sense. I sit all day so I usually stand.

Commenters stating to be embarrassed can't be serious. Inconsiderate people can be found in any city. Don't let a few dumbasses russle your jimmies.

Ignore the trolls that are successfully getting a rise from a lot of you.
AV replying to a comment from Laura / August 26, 2012 at 12:12 pm
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It's shocking how many people don't offer people their seats. Young punk kids - under 18 - who sit there ignoring the old women or man, or the person with a cane, or even when someone says "hey, I injured myself, can I have that seat?" and the douche bag kid ignores you.
I tore ligaments, cartilage, and muscle in my right ankle and leg a couple months back. I was - doctors orders - using a cane for 4 weeks. Only ONE TIME did ONE person offer me a seat, and it was a person 20-30 years older than I was. I told him no he needed it more, and told the 20yr old woman beside him to move. She scowled until I 'accidentally' hit her with my cane, then move.
victoria / August 27, 2012 at 02:49 am
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Being pregnant isn't technically a disability, but unless you have actually been pregnant, I can see how it would be difficult to understand how pregnancy is a very uncomfortable, often painful (albeit temporary) condition. Some women have very easy pregnancies. Maybe you did, or your mom, or "like 5 of your girlfriends" all had perfect pregnancies, where they never felt sick, or tired and they all had a painless labour that was over in less than 4 hours. Many pregnant women are not this lucky. Pregnancy is horrible. To be fair, I didn't really "choose" pregnancy. What I chose was to have children, and I consider the pregnancy merely the way of obtaining these children. I actually hate being pregnant so badly because of how horrible it makes my life for 9 months that even though I want to have one more CHILD, I dread the idea of living through another pregnancy.

I don't even take the TTC (thank god, because it sounds like a nightmare), but obviously a pregnant woman is not "entitled" to be offered a seat just because she is pregnant. If someone is nice enough to offer up their seat, that's great. If not, you stand. Pregnant or not. Unless you want a seat badly enough to ask for one. So, pregnancy sucks, but if no one wants to give up their seat, then you should ask, or just get tougher and suck it up.

I can't believe people have even brought up the special parking spots for pregnant ladies. Getting around during pregnancy is difficult. Pregnancy is very hard on your muscles and joints. I can't believe people would have a problem with some retailers offering special parking spots to pregnant ladies so they don't have to walk as far. I think if that is a worry or inconvenience or even a thought in your small-minded world, then you really need a reality check of what real grown-up problems are.
Not Irish but like em / August 27, 2012 at 09:29 am
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This debate has been raging in TOnight. When I was pregnant, I remember, towards the end, that my back hurt so sitting was somewhat better. And you're thrown off balance by that protruding stomach. But sometimes I was just fine standing. It's so true about people who pretend to be sleeping or not noticing standees who really need to sit. ALTHOUGH, I'm not pregnant but gray-haired now and I'm continually surprised by who gives me a seat on the bus and subway...all the time and I don't think I look that bad. On buses, people, if you're able-bodied STAY OUT of the first seats at the front which are meant for disabled, etc. The TTC should put the reminders right on the seats.
Not Irish but like em / August 27, 2012 at 09:34 am
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Victoria, pregnancy sucks? It's horrible....really?

Getting around during pregnancy is hard - please, spare us your whining. At my gym, we have women in classes right up to the end - exercise, good; parking nearest the entrance, bad.
mike / August 27, 2012 at 09:43 am
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I have a better question: Why don't people who need seats just ask?

I would give up my seat to anyone who asked without question, whether they appear fit and healthy or not, but I'm not a mind-reader. This blog sounds like a stereotypical argument with a PMSing woman - "You should have just known."

And here's a little hypothetical situation for all you self-righteous white-knights posting on here: What if the person's disability is obesity? How quick are you jumping up to give those people your seat? Yeah that's what I thought.
opensource / August 27, 2012 at 09:49 am
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I get up for pregnant woman, elderly and the disabled. It's the right thing to do, even if I'm tired. There is no danger to me in standing, maybe a little discomfort.

However, I don't give up my seat to all women, just b/c they are female. It annoys me when women purposely stand right beside seated men, with the hope/expectation that they will give up their seat. Those women, I ignore.
chivalry / August 27, 2012 at 12:54 pm
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Fair warning: if i see any of you so called 'men' sitting while a pregnant woman or elderly person is standing i WILL publicly shame you and possibly slap the shit out of you.
brian replying to a comment from chivalry / August 27, 2012 at 01:11 pm
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and what about women? there lazy ass's can stay seated?
Kelly / August 27, 2012 at 01:53 pm
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After a lifetime of giving up my seat to those in need, this morning I took the last seat on a very crowded streetcar, receiving heaps of dirty looks in the process. I'm in my thirties and not pregnant -- however I have a partially torn LCL muscle, in addition to a sprained knee (amongst other concerns). Standing for long periods of time is very painful for me, but I still have to get to work, carrying a heavy laptop, every single day. Maybe I should get a sign that says "I'm broken, not lazy", to avoid the public shaming that some people on here seem hellbent on giving!
chivalry replying to a comment from brian / August 27, 2012 at 01:55 pm
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Yes, I'd expect a man to give up his seat before a woman should have to. I guess that's just the way i was brought up. Much like proper grammar and spelling, chivalry isn't dead, it's just been lost on half-wits like yourself.
Lol replying to a comment from chivalry / August 27, 2012 at 05:07 pm
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And you will quickly find yourself enjoying a ride in the back of a cop car if you decide to put your hands on someone. Moron.
Pie replying to a comment from Misanthrope / August 27, 2012 at 05:10 pm
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Well said
Lol replying to a comment from Kelly / August 27, 2012 at 05:10 pm
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It's funny how they will stare at you and give you cut eye, but can't seem to muster up the balls to actually ask for a seat. I just ignore them.. if they can't open their mouth, it ain't my problem! We aren't mind readers and shouldn't have to be either.
Always / August 27, 2012 at 05:12 pm
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I no longer ride the TTC. I just bike everywhere, however when I used to take the TTC, I would always offer my seat to elderly, disabled, pregnant women, and anyone who I could see needed one. I work on my feet a lot so having a seat on a long subway ride home takes the load off, however I would still gladly give my seat up to anyone in need.

With all that said, I have no sympathy for overweight people who need a seat. And yes they chose to become overweight so it is their own fault. I know people who can't control their weight gain, but through sheer hard work and dedication they are still relatively normal sized.
joe / August 27, 2012 at 08:44 pm
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You women wanted equality, you got it. No holding doors and no giving up seats for the pregnant, that's equality!
victoria replying to a comment from Not Irish but like em / August 27, 2012 at 11:24 pm
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My apologies to "NOT IRISH BUT LIKE EM" that my "whining" has offended you. In case you didn't notice, I did say that just because someone is pregnant doesn't mean they are entitled to be offered a seat. They have the ability to advocate for themselves and ask. And again, I'm so elated to hear about the perfect pregnant ladies with their perfect happy pregnancies making the effort to go to your gym and attend classes until their due date. That's good for them. All I was saying is not everyone has a happy, painless, enjoyable pregnancy free of complications. Which is why it is nice if someone offers their seat, or why it is nice that they have special parking spots. I don't really understand why you have a problem with anything I said. Not everyone enjoys pregnancy, and I'm allowed to have an opinion on it (and I know I'm not the only one). My first pregnancy was much easier than my second. But I still hated it both times. You honestly don't sound like you have ever been pregnant before, or maybe it's just been too long since you have been pregnant and you just don't remember that it is hard on your body. I'm not making this s@#$ up or anything. Pregnancy IS hard on your body. That is a fact.

If I need to run into the grocery store for 5 minutes to grab milk and I don't want to park miles away from the entrance, I am not going to feel guilty about using those parking spots when I'm pregnant. Of course exercise is good for pregnant ladies, but when you are dead tired and just need to run out to grab some friggin milk, a hike from your car from the other end of the parking lot in 30 degree heat (or in ice and snow in the winter) can be pretty exhausting and even dangerous.

Anyway, my original point was not to "whine" but to explain how being pregnant can be uncomfortable or painful SIMILAR to, but NOT THE SAME as a disability. I thought I was pretty clear, so I still don't get why my first post bothered you so much. You sound like one of those people that needs to get a life and not pointlessly worry about pregnant ladies getting special parking spots.
victoria / August 27, 2012 at 11:36 pm
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In case I am going to be misunderstood again, let me make it crystal clear:

-If you are pregnant, you are not entitled to be offered a seat
-It is a very kind gesture if someone DOES offer you their seat
-If you feel you need a seat and no one has offered, just ask
-If no one wants to give up their seat, suck it up and stand

And my sincere apologies to anyone else who found my earlier "whining" offensive. I was just trying to explain something from my own experiences and perspective.
QQ Yasmine / August 28, 2012 at 06:21 am
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Haha Yasmine Abbasakoor! You are such a passive aggressive coward.

Step 1) Walk on to the bus.
Step 2) Give death stare to the guy when he didn't give his seat to you.
Step 3) Come to BlogTO to whine.

Instead of walking on to the bus and assuming A) everyone can read your mind and B) every person who doesn't look obviously crippled should give you their seat, how about using your mouth and ASKING instead? I bet you'd save the trouble of having to write QQ posts like this in 99% of all cases.

All this talk and criticism about "selfish" people avoiding all human contact on the TTC and the OP whiner appears to be one of them! So typical to assume everyone can read your mind and then to get mad when you find out they can't!

Hahahaha
m / August 28, 2012 at 07:54 am
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Sigh, so now it's my job to check if every woman who boards is pregnant? If I see someone who needs a seat, I offer it. But this article makes me feel like the author is demanding my seat, which I resent.

Also, while I'm reading, I will not look up every stop and check every person, so politely asking me for my seat is acceptable. Try it.
Susan replying to a comment from tdotlib / August 28, 2012 at 09:24 am
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This is what drives me nuts. I always give up my seat when I see an older person/pregnant lady/person in need, but when it's packed, it's hard to see everything.

My mom complains all the time about seeing jerks with their bags on the seat when the subway is packed and I'm like, then why doesn't anyone ask if they can move their bag so they can sit? That's what I do. I'm not saying these people aren't jerks, but if you want a seat, sometimes you have to ask for it.
billy / August 28, 2012 at 10:10 am
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I once offered my seat to a young pregnant woman who just got on the subway from Yoga class, all decked out in Lululemon. She smiled and said "no thanks" and opted to stand. However, since she was standing beside me, I got the dirtiest looks from other passengers who think they have the right to judge everyone until she got off a few stops later. I even heard someone say to his wife, "it's the immigrants that don't know ettiquite" - I was fuken born in Toronto - diks!
half asleep / August 28, 2012 at 11:25 am
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On my bus/subway commute this morning I noticed the man in front of me give up his seat for an elderly woman and it immediately made me think of this thread.

I started to ponder why I hadn't noticed her as quickly as he did (other than the fact that he was sitting further towards the front of the bus).

I then concluded that I had only been awake for 20 some odd minutes, had not had a coffee, and was basically on auto-pilot until I got into my office. I have the same routine every day where I literally get up, shower, and run out of the house as quickly as possible.

Sometimes it's not that people don't care, are inconsiderate, or anything of that sort. Personally, I'm totally willing to give up my seat for somebody who needs it. That said, most mornings I'm simply in this half-asleep auto-pilot zombie routine and am really not paying attention to anything going on around me. I'm likely daydreaming about the coffee I am going to drink the moment I get to work.

So please, if you are in a position where you need my seat do say something to me. Many people have said in the above thread that we are not mind-readers. I'd like to add to that by saying it's especially true if we are half asleep on our morning commute.


Alex / August 28, 2012 at 11:38 am
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Just ask for a seat if you need one. I am not "faking" sleeping on the TTC, I am actually asleep, I can generally fall asleep and have dreams on buses and subways in a couple minutes. If you need my seat just tap me on the shoulder to wake me and ask for it. It's easy. I'm not sure why people are so afraid to talk to each other, but you really don't need to be. If you have an invisible disability or some other invisible reason to need a seat (even if it's just working a long shift) just ask someone for a seat. Even if that person has a reason for sitting chances are there is someone in earshot who will give up their seat instead. It isn't everyone else's job to constantly be on the lookout for people needing seats, it's your job to simply ask someone for a seat if you need it.

There is not a death of honour or anything in Toronto, you just need to remember that it isn't rude or anything to talk to someone. People give up their seats all the time, and help people with heavy things, etc. There have been a couple trolls on this section that seem to have everyone else convinced that they represent 90% of Torontonians, which I find very confusing. There will always be a few people that post stuff like that to get a rise out of people, or because they are just jerks. That doesn't mean everyone is like them.
TZ replying to a comment from victoria / August 28, 2012 at 05:29 pm
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Well said, Victoria! I never expected a seat when I was pregnant, but it was sure nice to get one every once in a while. I would have never asked for one or given the hairy eyeball to anyone to get one (didn't want to be rude), but it was lovely to be offered one. I never felt entitled even through there were days I was pretty uncomfortable.

I often found the people that were fastest to move for me were teenage boys - the rougher looking, the more likely to move. :) But, I think I may have run into Miranda at some point (LOL). A woman took the last seat on the subway one day towards the very end of my first pregnancy. She cut me off and pushed me out of the way as I was clearly waddling towards it. As she claimed the spot, she looked at me, triumphant, and said, "What? I didn't get you that way." I also had a man push me very hard into a pole - stomach first - on the streetcar because I didn't move quickly enough for him. When I told him to get his hands off me and that he pushed a pregnant woman, I was told to 'eff off.' Classy.

The one experience that shocks me more than rarely being offered a seat while visibly pregnant; however was very early in my first pregnancy (I wasn't showing). I was so sick on the way to work one day that I could no longer stand. My knees buckled and I was kneeling on the floor of the train with my head between my knees willing myself not to throw up. I couldn't ask for help because I would have vomited if I'd opened my mouth. Yet, in the midst of a very crowded subway, with people standing all around me - people who had watched me sink to the floor, not a single person asked if I was okay, let alone offered me a seat or some help. To me, that moment right there defined what's wrong with this city. Since that day, I've made it a point to "do unto others" and treat everyone I meet with as much kindness as I can. I teach my children the same. If that makes me naive, so be it. But at least my conscience is clear.
Me / August 28, 2012 at 06:37 pm
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The Lefties are so busy with their precious "RIGHTS" they have no consideration for anyone else but their entitled selves. Being BLOGTO, it's not surprising 80% of the comments here are uncaring and mean spirited.
Assuming Princess / August 28, 2012 at 09:54 pm
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So you don't say a word and everyone is supposed to assume you with the belly is pregnant? Move it buddy? How come you do not assume that the person at the front who is not moving for you has a chronic back or knee injury?
AnaB replying to a comment from Miranda / August 29, 2012 at 09:15 am
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Miranda
Are you mad? did your mother not hug you enough?
or are you just a bitter cat lady?

Get some manners and do the same!
Eric26 / August 29, 2012 at 01:59 pm
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Question: Why don't TTC riders give up their seats?

If the comments are any indication...

Answer: Torontonians hate pregnant women.

I never see pregnant women on the subway but I don't look at humans because I own books.
Ferris / August 29, 2012 at 02:54 pm
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First of all let me say I love Toronto, I love downtown and this will always be my home. But I have sensed a pattern of rudeness that has only gotten worse over the last ten years. It's not just the pregnant women on the TTC bus - it's elbowing your way past senior citizens on Bay or Yonge Streets, it's pedestrians - who have the right of way on a walk signal - being nearly run over by people who can't be slowed down for three seconds, it's rude service provided by guests in our country who should be thanking their lucky stars they're not back in their home countries drinking the same water that pigs shit in - you name it. No eye contact, no smiling when passing by on the sidewalk...whether this is s a sign of increased social isolation thanks to online chat rooms or just a sense of anger among people who are slowly having to move out of a downtown they can no longer afford, I don't know. But we are great at making each other feel unwelcome, in the way, unappreciated, and restaurants and cafes that used to have an ambience and comfortable setting now have an 'eat it and get out' attitude. That's not the Canada I know. I don't care if Toronto is the largest city. I can say these things because this is my hometown and I know that not everyone is like this, but it's situations like these that people go back to their communities and talk about all the assholes that are here.
joel replying to a comment from Ferris / August 29, 2012 at 04:03 pm
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Totally agree!
Cee / August 29, 2012 at 07:12 pm
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This is a very interesting thread. I'm actually surprised most people didn't comment on the part where the author decided to nurse on the subway. Gross.

For the record, I'm a female in my mid-20s. I don't agree with Miranda - I have given up my seat many times for seniors or people who needed it.

At the same time, I'm sick of the often arrogant attitude some pregnant women and mothers have - as if the world owes them something because they're having children. Like many commentators mentioned, I often find myself in a daze on the subway and I don't look up. If you want a seat, ask for one - most people probably don't see you.

Frankly, if I was far along in my pregnancy or had a stroller, I'd try to arrange my schedule to avoid rush hour. Why does everyone else have to lookout for you when you should be taking care of yourself in the first place?

Pregnant women - ask for a seat if you don't see one. Author of this article - you seem arrogant, get over yourself. Congratulations, you had a baby, so what.

Patty / August 29, 2012 at 10:38 pm
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I have offered my seat many times to people who seemed in need, families with small children, even people just struggling to read while standing and every single time I am met with this look like I am a weirdo, they often accept but rarely thank me. I offered to help a woman struggling to carry a stroller down some stairs and she seemed almost offended by it. It's a shitty feeling when you try to be kind and get no gratitude in return. So I think a lot of us kind Torontonians are a little jaded too by the entitlement that some people seem to have. I also think its not that hard to ask if you really need it, if anyone ever asked for my seat I would practically jump out of it but most of the time I am just dazed and in my own world and probably don't notice your death stares, use your words.
Boring Bill / August 30, 2012 at 01:51 am
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There's no winning with this stuff most of the time because of the always overflowing transit. The other day, I get on a bus with a huge bag of equipment I was bringing home from work. If I stand, me and my bag take up the room of two people, or it knocks people in the head every time we hit a bump, and everyone hates me. If I sit, I'm getting judged for taking a seat while some pregnant/elderly person/kid stands around.

I try to stand most of the time just to avoid this crap. You know what would solve it? More buses, streetcars, and subways on routes.
Alex replying to a comment from Patty / August 30, 2012 at 09:56 am
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I've noticed the same thing with people with strollers. Whenever I've offered to help someone with a stroller get on a bus they always say no thanks and just struggle themselves. I understand being protective, but with that many people around I doubt anyone would be able to steal your baby and you are more likely to hurt them by accidentally dumping them out of the stroller. I don't even offer anymore because I know there's no point.
Za-Moon-Da replying to a comment from Alex / August 30, 2012 at 05:57 pm
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Parents who turn down help when they have grocery bags, a small toddler AND a newborn in tow is just so crazy to me. When they say 'No' I just shrug and keep walking.

Once I was on my way home and got off the train at Warden. I make my way over to the bus dock and see this woman who appeared to be pregnant. I grab a seat in the front (one those "priority seats) and wait for her to come in. As the driver was raising the lowered floor, I got up and walked over and asked if she wanted the seat. "I'm not pregnant" she responds. The worst 15 minute TTC ride of my life.
J Bell replying to a comment from PDG / August 30, 2012 at 09:00 pm
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Careful - some people don't have cars and babies have to be with someone 100% of the time. When you do shopping or anything you have to take the baby along and that means taking a stroller. It's not nice to assume everyone who uses a stroller is 'entitled'. Many people have no choice.
J Bell replying to a comment from PDG / August 30, 2012 at 09:02 pm
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Also, I am pregnant and people offer me a seat about 80% of the time. I always say thank you to them for offering, even if I don't take it. Some days I really need a seat, and other days I don't. It is much harder to stay upright and balanced on a moving train when you're pregnant as your centre of gravity changes constantly. Thank you to everyone who has offered me a seat.
J Bell replying to a comment from Cee / August 30, 2012 at 09:04 pm
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Breast feeding isn't gross. And remember, maybe the mother is choosing between a screaming baby or breast feeding in public. I know what I prefer.
Pregnant Lady replying to a comment from Miranda / August 31, 2012 at 10:46 am
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Clearly Miranda has never been pregnant. I hope she reconsiders her thoughtless comments if she "chooses" to get pregnant in the future.
Same Here replying to a comment from Nope / September 1, 2012 at 08:18 pm
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Same here. I suffer from widespread chronic pain due to repeated injuries sustained at work and in accidents and most days, I can barely stand for five minutes to brush my teeth. But because I look 25, no one ever gives a crap. Worse, I get people like the OP glaring at me like I'm the antichrist because she's pregnant and thinks I couldn't possibly need a seat more than her.

I give up my desperately needed seat for seniors all the time, by the way.

Instead of raging at riders and presuming they're all hating on your precious mommy self, why not blame the government for underfunding transit for decades, creating overcrowding? Why not blame the cost of living for creating a bunch of adults working 12-16 hr days on their feet who need a seat as much as you do? Why not ASK FOR A SEAT like a grown-up instead of demanding we all read pregnancy sign language between the butts and bags of a packed subway?

Because, you see, I have disabled person sign language of holding my hip, wincing in agony, fighting tears and constantly shifting my weight when standing on a subway and no one notices me, either. And don't even get me started on the times I've been left to stand while on crutches.

Pregnancy, in the vast majority of cases, is a choice. It's not a disability. I'm sorry, but I have a lot less sympathy. At least your misery stops in 9 months. Mine has been with me almost half my life and will continue to worsen until I die. Sue me for not rushing to your aid, especially when you don't ask for help.

And yes, on bad days, I ask for myself. People almost always offer a spot. Who offers first? Seniors - because they see my pain and know it on sight. I turn their offers down.
Fletcher / September 2, 2012 at 02:07 am
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found It positively helpful and it has aided me out loads.
I'm hoping to contribute & help different customers like its helped me. Good job.
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You're so cool! I don't think I've truly read anything like that before. So wonderful to find another person with original thoughts on this subject matter. Really.. many thanks for starting this up. This web site is one thing that is needed on the web, someone with a bit of originality!
MMG replying to a comment from Diana / September 30, 2012 at 04:46 pm
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I'm currently pregnant and I'm aware that I do not have a disability - pregnant women fully know they are NOT disabled. Though being pregnant is a "natural state" for women, it is one that is not without substantial risks to both mother and child - most ancient civilizations and societies that value the role of women, and place value on basic respect and consideration for each other, can recognize this. I think giving your seat up for someone in need, including pregnant women, is not a matter of giving up your seat so someone can feel more COMFORTABLE than you and rest their aching feet, while yours may ache too, it's actually a matter of SAFETY. I think the problem lies in the fact that many people are just very ignorant when it comes to their bodies, let alone a pregnant women's body. The pregnant body has gone through huge physiological changes in a relatively short period of time - please remember, the creation of another life is not a small feat for any living thing.

I think fully understanding the physical changes a pregnant women's body goes through would create so much more empathy for her when she is teetering on TTC. This is not to say a pregnant woman is any more deserving of a seat than someone else....but since we're on the topic of pregnancy, this is what I have focused on.

A pregnant women is not just hoping to sit down because she's been up early, her feet hurt and she's had a long day, she's hoping to sit down, because she may have a completely altered sense of balance where even one fall can be detrimental to both her and her unborn child. If you've ever rode on the TTC, pregnant or not, you may also understand that even holding on to a pole for dear life, may not help to keep you on your feet as the train pulls into the next stations and comes to a stop, or if the train decides to unexpectedly jolt to a stop between stations - which happens more often than not!

If it was your mother, your sister, your daughter...would you want people completely disregard her and treat her in such a disgusting manner?

Please stop being so selfish. As a society, why do we harbour so much APATHY for each other? People who are sick, disabled (where the disability is seen or unseen), elderly, and expectant mothers should be shown more concern. Pregnant women may have chosen to be pregnant, but this is a fact of life and one the human race depends on- they did not choose to get drunk, roll down a flight of stairs, break their leg, and are now asking for your seat. They are only experiencing a condition that is responsible for bringing every single human being into this world!! Have some decency and get out of your selfish bubble. Most importantly, don't confuse the issue at hand - giving up your seat to someone in need including a pregnant women is a matter of SAFETY and not comfort.
STEVE / November 13, 2012 at 02:51 pm
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I take the subway twice everyday, and Every single time I have seen a pregnant woman someone has given up their seat. Every single time!! So clearly if that didnt happen to you then you didnt look pregnant.
Vicky / December 4, 2012 at 01:27 pm
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I wonder:  What is the highest education level Miranda has achieved?!?  To me, giving up your seat to whoever needs it is just a common sense - I think even a grade school kid can figure that out.  BTW, pregnant women also contributed to EI when they were working. 

 

Also, Miranda, although you don't have any kids, you wouldn't even be here in this world without pregnant women!!!

 

Some of these so called Torontonians should be ashamed of living in this big city.  I visited San Francisco recently and took their buses.  The moment someone who needed a seat got on the bus, people along the front two rows stood up automatically and moved further back.  A lot of these people are teens/ in early twenties.

 

Torontonians should think about:  Is this society all about making money and being efficient?  You would not have to give up your life to someone who needs a seat/ who might lose his/ her life without a seat.
Boat / January 10, 2013 at 09:44 am
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If you are pregnant, don't ride the TTC at rush hour, get a car.
If you are too poor to have a car, don't get pregnant.

There are so many people in need of seats, and TTC don't have them, TTC is even reducing the number of seat in future trains.

Ya, take that boy of 18 years old, standing by the door way, who just had a broken spin surgery, you cannot see anything wrong with him, but his is in huge pain and need a seat.

So if anything, don't blame the people of Toronto, blame the old, evil, and expensive TTC. (they need more train lines)
anna replying to a comment from Miranda / January 17, 2013 at 05:57 pm
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second that completely. unless you have been raped ( in which case you have a choice) you chose to get pregnant and go through all that. great joy comes with great pain. plus the people on the bus are tired too. i just had 4 exams in a row, and i am tired. i wouldnt give up my seat, because you decided to have sex. pregnancy is not a disability.
me / January 17, 2013 at 08:57 pm
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People really have become serious ASSHOLES!! Applying their internet (lack of) personalities to the real world I guess. A world of self obsessed narcissistic rude Fuckwads. God forbid you risk doing a kindness for another human being.
mctoot / January 21, 2013 at 05:01 am
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I was on the train with my pregnant wife. I made someone get up. It's basic manners to give up your seat in these circumstances and its selfishly repugnant not to do so.
Jon / January 21, 2013 at 05:35 am
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"...second that completely. unless you have been raped ( in which case you have a choice) you chose to get pregnant and go through all that. great joy comes with great pain. plus the people on the bus are tired too. i just had 4 exams in a row, and i am tired. i wouldnt give up my seat, because you decided to have sex. pregnancy is not a disability...."

- You demonstrate beautifully the selfish, abhorrent nature of our society. I work in the ER for 16 hours. I am exhausted but I still give up my seat because I know 1) it's extremely uncomfortable being heavily pregnant, 2) It's potentially dangerous for a pregnant woman to stand on the TTC. So boo hoo if you had four exams and your tired. Why don't you, for once in your selfish little existence, extend the hand of human kindness and learn some basic compassion for someone else.
me replying to a comment from Jon / January 21, 2013 at 09:06 am
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Agreede. 4 exams. Hahahaa!! She is sooo tired from sitting on her ass all day!
Todd replying to a comment from mctoot / January 21, 2013 at 09:11 am
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I would fight you before giving into you demanding my seat for your wife.

I didn't get to fuck her. She doesn't get to sit. It's that simple.
mctoot replying to a comment from Todd / January 21, 2013 at 11:10 am
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Given your crass and quite frankly obscene reply I genuinely feel sorry for you. Unfortunately you represent the socially inept primordial excrement of humanity. A graceless barbarian whose sole recourse is to resort to violence and a limited vocabulary. I would implore you to give up your seat for a pregnant woman but that, like any further discourse with you, would probably be a waste of time.
Todd replying to a comment from mctoot / January 21, 2013 at 11:57 am
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Hey, congrats on finding an online thesaurus!

I hope your baffling sense of entitlement doesn't extend down to your unfortunate, miserably progeny, but I think it will. Daddy has a temper.
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ttcaware replying to a comment from Miranda / November 27, 2013 at 12:19 pm
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Someone "chose" to get pregnant to have you, maybe they should have thought twice about it since your lack for human compassion is absolutely disgusting. If you have ever been in a pregnant womans shoes then you should know that its almost impossible to keep your balance on the streetcar or subway, being in a crowded place makes you feel nauseated and dizzy which could in turn make a woman faint and not only injure herself but may injure others in the falling process. If you have any consideration for the woman that held you in her womb for 9 months then you would be so kind as to get up and offer someone who "chose" to add another generation to this earth you're not so much needed seat while they are on transit. Plus, and I can guarantee that most expectant mothers and new monthers will agree with, if we had any other choice then to ride the TTC pregnant or with a small child we most certainly would. We aren't there to make everyone else uncomfortable, we are there because we have to make a living just like everyone else not only for ourselves but for the family that we "chose" to have.
ttcaware replying to a comment from PDG / November 27, 2013 at 12:28 pm
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TTC announcements also include pregnant women. As for paying and extra fare for a stroller, would you ask someone to pay and extra fare for a wheelchair? A child which is not able to walk and stand on its own depends on that wheelchar, and the mother depends on it to be able to go out and make a living and run errands just like the rest of the population that does not have a child. So being discriminatory against someone that is just trying to live their life after having a child, just like your mother did, is not going to help the case. Trust me, if we had another choice but the public transit system then we would gladly take it.

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