There are many unwritten rules to riding public transportation, including but certainly not limited to: don't lean on the pole, let people off before getting on, and don't stand in front of the door during stops. But of all the unspoken rules, one of the most important is to always offer your seat to the pregnant, elderly, or disabled. So if you decline to follow that golden rule, get ready to face the wrath of a sassy pregnant woman. A recent tweet inspired a hilarious thread of (currently and formerly) pregnant women sharing stories of trying to get seats on public transportation — and the tales will have you simultaneously infuriated and in hysterics.
Last week, Brydie Lee-Kennedy, an expectant writer living in London, tweeted about a recent experience she had on a public bus, Scary Mommy reported. "Well it finally happened in my 8th month of pregnancy, I just sat on a man’s hand and bag when he wouldn’t move them off the last spare seat on the bus. We’re now sharing a very quiet ride," Lee-Kennedy tweeted. Sorry not sorry, dude, but you totally got what you deserved!
"I wonder what it’s like to live somewhere with a less Hunger Games spirit on public transport," Lee-Kennedy added, referring to London's intense tube and bus system.
Unsurprisingly, Lee-Kennedy is not the only pregnant woman to have experienced an interaction like the one she unfortunately experienced. Her tweet yielded several hundred responses, full of equally ridiculous bus and train interactions. "When I was pregs I asked a manspreader if I could share his bench seat on the bus and he gestured to his wide legs and said, 'No.' Like, 'Sorry, my balls need that space,'" one response read.
Another woman had the ultimate revenge on the sexist dude who refused to give her a seat. "When I was about 4 months pregnant I asked a man if I could have his seat on the train and I felt really sick as I was pregnant," she tweeted. "He said ‘well, you want equality, you can stand’ I threw up on him. And his newspaper. And his laptop bag. The look of shock on his face was gratifying." OMG.
Additionally, a mom shared a story of getting on the bus with her baby. "Many years ago I got on a bus w. new baby in papoose, & 6 heavy carrier bags. No seats so I stayed standing," she wrote. "The bus drove 50yds & stopped, the driver stood up & shouted ‘is no one going to offer this lady with a baby a seat?!’. An elderly woman stood. All the men remained seated." Come on, men!!!
As Lee-Kennedy proved, actions sometimes speak louder than words. "When I was 8 months pregnant (15 years ago) a man on a packed tube asked me to move so he could sit next to his friend," another mom tweeted. "I suspect my glare still gives him nightmares.... and my choice words ring in his ears!"
Congrats to all these fabulous women for standing up for themselves in so many badass ways!
All that being said, why exactly is it so important for pregnant women to have seats on buses and trains? Those standing on public transportation are obviously at a greater risk for falling than those sitting, in case the vehicle stops short. When a woman is pregnant, falling can be dangerous to both the mother and the baby. According to the Mayo Clinic, a minor fall during the first trimester typically does not cause any issues, because the thick uterine walls and amniotic fluid cushion and protect the fetus. But a hard fall during the second trimester and early third trimester can put you and your baby at a much higher risk, with a greater risk if your abdomen breaks the fall. Symptoms of a bad fall include contractions, losing amniotic fluid, placental abruption, or fetomaternal hemorrhage, the Mayo Clinic added.
Falls are not always dangerous, but the Mayo Clinic recommends contacting your physician after any fall to be safe, especially if you experience symptoms like contractions, vaginal bleeding, or abdominal pain, or if the baby stops moving — in those cases, women should see their doctors immediately.
So if you happen to encounter a rude dude with a bad 'tude, take a page out of Lee-Kennedy's book and feel free to sit on them.