It is polite to give up one’s seat to the elderly, people with physical disabilities, and pregnant women. In fact, there are little signs all over subway cars and most public transport specifically instructing people to do that. Unfortunately, they don’t do it very often. One woman decided that it happens so rarely that a person giving up his seat for a pregnant woman should be rewarded, so she made a little trophy to give to the first guy who offered her his subway seat while she was pregnant.
Last week, eight months into her second pregnancy, she finally got to give it to somebody.
According to DNA Info, New York designer Yvonne Lin had already been pregnant once in New York, and she was surprised to discover that not once in 40 weeks did a man offer her a seat on the subway. In her third trimester of her first pregnancy, Lin realized that she was getting a lot of seat offers, but only from women, and the vast majority of women offering her seats were women of color. But she still had not had a man offer her his subway seat. She decided it must be a rare phenomenon for a man to offer a subway seat, so she got a thank-you card and started carrying it around so she could give it as a sign of appreciation once a man did offer her a seat.
“I was getting no seats from men,” she told DNA Info. “if I finally get a seat from a guy then I have to celebrate this some way and make sure he knows he’s appreciated.”
Lin says she carried the card around throughout her third trimester, but she never got to give it away, because a man did not offer her a seat.
When Lin got pregnant again, she upped the stakes and made an actual trophy. She actually made a 7-inch bronze-colored statue of a hulking dude ripping his shirt off and a little plaque that says: “#1 DECENT DUDE: First Man to Offer Subway Seat to Pregnant Woman Throughout Two Pregnancies.”
Then Lin actually carried that little statue around with her whenever she rode the subway, and she says she made sure to dress in ways that emphasized the fact that she looks “obviously pregnant,” because she wanted a chance to give it away.
Finally, on February 24, she was able to award the #1 Decent Dude prize. She says she was riding the A train and standing in front of a man who was on his phone. Then he glanced up, noticed her, and then looked startled and embarrassed. She says as soon as he registered her presence, he stood up immediately and said, “Please take this seat, I just noticed.”
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! #subway #nyc #pregnant #socialexperiment
Lin says she hopes her experiment and trophy encourage people to be more considerate. “If men just gave up their seats the same amount of time or similar, then it would be no problem,” Lin said.
The man who gave Lin his seat is reportedly a veteran and a father of two, and he smiled while accepting his Decent Dude award from Lin. The MTA has already covered its subway cars in posters as part of its “Courtesy Counts” ad campaign, where they’ve been trying to convince subway riders to give seats to elderly people, people with disabilities, and pregnant women. Maybe they should put Lin’s decent dude in the ads, too.