Liz Jones wants you to realize that all men under 40 are “rude arrogant pigs” who won’t help ladies with car trouble. Liz Jones hates the world, and that’s fine. In New York, the closest thing we have are men who won’t give up their seats on the subway.
But this really shouldn’t be a chivalry thing. This should be a human decency thing, where you rise and relinquish your seat to those who seem to need it most.
Though honestly? I almost never do.
Look, odds are, I got on the subway at rush hour and I elbowed my way into that seat so I could sit and read my book for fifteen minutes rather than doing the crotch-rubbing sexual harassment dance with the standing people. I hate that dance. That is my least favorite kind of dance, next to the fox-trot. I’m sorry the other standing people weren’t hardcore enough to literally fling their bodies across the train onto an available seat, but, well, I guess that’s because they’re weak and they didn’t want it badly enough. I don’t want a man to just give me that seat. I want to win it. If someone else wants to challenge me to a duel for that seat I will engage in one, but I will do so sitting down.
Really, whether or not I get to sit and read peacefully on the subway or have a homeless man bump his genitals against my behind determines whether I arrive at work in a good or bad mood. Incidentally, that picture? That’s of me on a particularly successful day when I got three seats. That day is going to be awesome.
As for other people? Well, mostly I just make an effort to ignore anyone else who might deserve the seat more. Children? Run free on that subway car, it’s like a roller coaster! Old people? Old people love to stand! It’s good for them! Pregnant ladies? Well, okay. I guess I’d give up my seat for someone if she was actually in the process of giving birth. Like, if the baby was coming out of her right then. But I’d probably shoot purposeful looks at other people in the vicinity and hope they did it first.
I’m assuming that no one else is this bad about it. When do you give up your seat on the subway? What’s proper? If you live in an area without subways, please pretend you live in New York, and take the subway from Grand Central at 9:30 every morning and are halfway through Stacy Schiff’s biography on Cleopatra, and then offer some insight.