Recently, on a train, I stood near a mother and her son. I think he was about 6 or 7, he was getting cranky, the train was crowded and warm. I was getting cranky too. A woman, seated, motioned to his mother that she’ll get up for the child. The boy sat down, didn’t thank the woman, and the mother didn’t tell him to thank her. The mother mumbled something. I wouldn’t have given him my seat. The woman who did was sitting next to a guy who didn’t budge.
I see men and teenage boys watch women, the physically challenged, and the elderly stand all the time. Those are the brave ones, the real punks lose themselves in their apps, music or the filth of the subway floor.
It bothers me to see caregivers, usually women of color stand up while the children they “nanny” sit down. She should sit and put the child on her lap. I live on the Upper East Side where the children in my neighborhood are in a state of mass confusion. They are used to seeing black women take care of the young or the elderly. Nope, you are not getting my seat, I don’t work for you, and I’m not interested in encouraging your sense of entitlement.
There are exceptions. A mother overloaded with a sleeping baby and bags; I’d give her a seat. A child who looks like he/she is about to faint, I would offer my seat, and roll my eyes at the guy nearby who didn’t. I’m also not so fast to get up for a younger person because I’m a little more than five feet away from the floor, they, maybe two or three. Their lower center of gravity will come in handy. Mine is a crap shoot that I don’t want to know about.