If there's one thing that all expectant moms can understand, it's the feeling of overwhelming exhaustion in the final weeks of pregnancy — that, and aching, tired feet. Whether it's swollen ankles or the fact that you're schlepping around a human being inside of you, those last couple of months of pregnancy are brutal on pregnant women's backs and feet like whoa. That's why one mama-to-be has gone above and beyond to recognize such a simple — and frankly, commonsense — act of kindness that is all too rare these days: A pregnant woman gave a man a trophy for giving up his seat on the subway.
You would think such a gesture would be far more common, but according to Yvonne Lin, a 38-year-old mom from New York City, it wasn't until she was eight months into her second pregnancy before a man offered her a place to sit on the subway. Speaking to People Magazine, Lin said, "I learned pretty early on that the women were being super cool about it and giving me seats more often than not, but no guys were giving me a seat. That discrepancy was a bit shocking." At first, she had a congratulatory card printed to "make a big tada about the first guy who gave me a seat," said Lin. But when that never happened, she upped her game and had a trophy made instead: "#1 Decent Dude: First Man to Offer Subway Seat to Pregnant Woman throughout Two Pregnancies."
Last month, Lin finally got to give out her trophy to Ricky Barksdale, an actor from the Bronx.
Lin posted the celebratory moment to her Instagram with the following caption:
I'm about 8ish months preggers (again) and I look it. I've been gradually coming to the conclusion that men suck. I didn't get a single subway seat offered to me by a man throughout my first pregnancy. So for the second pregnancy, I had this made and I've been carrying it around everyday - till last Friday. This guy is the winner!
What makes Lin's story so important is that it's not about the idea that "men suck" — her words, to be clear — it's that you would think something as common sense as offering a pregnant woman a seat would be far more ubiquitous, but as Lin's daily two-hour subway commute through two pregnancies proved, that's not the case. Fellow women were more than happy to offer up their seats for a visibly pregnant woman, but it took two pregnancies before a man would do the same for Lin.
In September last year, actress Olivia Wilde vented her frustration over the very same issue, but in her case, it seems like even the ladies didn't pick up on the unspoken rule of public transportation, either:
Look, this has nothing to do with women looking out for women, or that they're some how "better" than men. This also isn't about man-bashing, modern day chivalry, or Emily Post's social etiquette: Offering a pregnant woman a place to sit is just basic human decency and kindness. And as Lin's story shows, sometimes it takes a trophy to make the point — but it shouldn't have to in the first place.