Credit: The Standard

Raayan Zafar Credit: The Standard

‘We are losing our etiquette’ — Raayan Zafar

We hate to paint all men with the same brush but, by and large, y’all gotta do better.

At one point in time certain things were standard gentlemanly behavior — opening doors, letting a woman walk in a door first, offering up a seat — but when it comes to the latter, one man on the Victoria Line Tube in Stockwell wasn’t having it, not even for a pregnant woman.

According to Raayan Zafar, 32, a 40-something-year-old man became irate when another man gave up his priority seat to her one morning on the train. The tale is almost unbelievable, so it’s best to just hear it in her words:

“It was a long commute and I suffer from severe morning sickness – I’m on medication already,” she told The Standard.

“I feel dizzy and out of energy, which makes standing in the Tube quite difficult when there is not enough ventilation.

“I got the Victoria line from Stockwell and requested the priority seat. The man sitting there was a gentleman and gave me his seat, but then a lady who was already standing in front of him tried to take the seat, so I made her notice me by saying ‘excuse me’.

“That lady realized I was going for the seat, but the person sitting beside it started arguing with me, saying the lady wanted to sit there and asking: ‘Why are you taking the seat?’

“I showed him my ‘baby on board’ badge and he then rudely asked me: ‘Where is the baby?’

See point A about men having to do better.

“I was shocked – is that the way to speak to a pregnant lady? Do I have to carry my maternity notes with me all the time?” Zafar said to the Standard, adding “It’s early days so that’s why I don’t show, but that doesn’t mean I’m not pregnant or tired or sick all the time.”

It’s sort of funny the stranger would have the back of one woman but not another, particularly one sporting a “baby on board” badge. The whole purpose of the badge, launched in 2005, is to make fellow commuters recognize pregnant women and give up their seats automatically since many of us who live in cities with mass public transit know it’s hard out here on a daily for a woman trying to get a seat and the chivalry often doesn’t tend to be much better for expectant mothers, as evidenced by this situation. What’s funnier, though, is the nosy, irate commuter doesn’t appear to have gotten up to give up his own seat to the woman whose comfort he was initially so concerned with so, again, I say, men, y’all gotta do better.


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  • tigerthelion

    i think you missed the part in the article where it states: “The man sitting there was a gentleman and gave me his seat, but then a
    lady who was already standing in front of him tried to take the seat, so
    I made her notice me by saying ‘excuse me’”

    it seems to me we all need to do better, not just men. a man gave up his seat, what else would you want him to do?

  • We live in a fast paced society. Travel is more international than a generation ago. People are constantly on the movie. Yet, these realities are never excuses for some to act rude and disrespectful to a pregnant woman. Some people have no shame in their arrogance, narcissism, and grave anti-compassionate behavior. There is male privilege in the world. There is a reality where many people lack decency and want the world to solely revolve around them instead of promoting the common good among humanity. So, we believe in justice, respect for humanity, and showing dignity to any pregnant woman.

    • Noirluv45

      I remember taking the bus when I was back home in Portland, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen women, including myself, get up for not only pregnant women, but women with small children. It’s a dang shame.

    • It’s totally a shame indeed. Some folks lack empathy to people. When people see a pregnant woman or a woman with small child, people should allow them to have those seats. Elderly people should have seats too. Getting up is not a big deal and easing the burden of others increases the character of ourselves.

    • Noirluv45

      Exactly, Truth, and I forgot about the elderly. I don’t know how other cities function, but there were seats at the front of the bus, usually on the either side of the bus that were designated for the elderly or the disabled if they were to board the bus. I’ve noticed that in more recent times, chivalry and manners have gone the way of the dinosaur. Thankfully, there are some who remember their home training.

    • Exactly.

      Many buses do have sections which are reserved for the elderly and the disabled. Also, there are mechanical devices on buses that help people, who have a disability, to get on the bus. Too many individuals lack human compassion and home training as you have outlined. If someone lacks respect for others, then that lacks self respect. The Golden Rule is a true philosophy and sacrosanct moral ideal that we honor and respect. I appreciate greatly your wisdom Sister. Bless you.

    • Noirluv45

      You’re on point as usual. If someone lacks respect for others, they lack self-respect as well. Thank you, Truth. Keep bringing it, brother. Bless you too, brother!

    • You’re Welcome Sister.

      While we are on the Earth, we will bless others and be a blessing.

  • Mitch

    Is chivalry dead? If it is, who killed it?.

    • Noirluv45

      Who do you think killed it, Mitch?

    • Mitch

      I believe women in general played a part in it.

    • Noirluv45


    • Mitch

      I think some women in their quest for equality thought that being equal was the same as acting like men, and in doing so rejected the things that men used to do for women, such as opening and holding doors, pulling out chairs, letting a women go first, etc because they wanted to be treated the same as men. Plus, society is just ruder in general.

  • I’m puzzled as to why homeboy thought it was any of his business to begin with. She asked the man if she could have the seat and he said yes. Where does the third party come in?

    And the other lady, perhaps i can give her the benefit of the doubt that maybe she didn’t hear her ask the man for his seat and just thought the guy was getting up. But that other guy…extra for no reason.

  • TedMunch

    Sometimes I have the urge to give up my seat, but then I think “this is just another damn feminist who spends her life bashing men” and the urge passes.