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Metro Courtesy

December 15, 2009

It must be the holiday spirit but today I saw no less than five different people offer up their seats on either the shuttle or the metro.  The best part is about 2 out of 5 were really forced.  The person to whom they offered up their seat clearly was young and healthy and had no need to sit.  The only reason they were offered the seat was because they were female.  But it made the guys (who were old and feeble) giving up their seats feel good.

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One comment

  1. This is a topic that causes me a little angst because I honestly don’t know if I’m insufficiently polite, too polite, or just right.

    – If someone is visibly old and feeble, I absolutely get up.

    – If someone is female but young I do not. I am inclined to – I often do stupid crap like opening doors for women – but in the post-feminist age I imagine giving up my seat to a not-old women would be interpreted as chauvinist and/or a weak attempt to hit on them. The exception to this is if you are an old man yourself, in which case old-fashioned mild chauvinism is endearing rather than just dickish. But it’s quite awhile until I earn that leeway.

    – However if one seat is available when I board and a woman – regardless of age and fitness level – is also looking for a seat I always let her have it. That seems just chivalrous enough without pushing it.

    – Where I get confused is with moderately older women – say 50s or early 60s. These days, that’s really considered middle aged rather than old. And alot of them get around just fine. If I give up my seat for a 56 year old, am I just insulting her by implying she is old and feeble?



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