I'm not one to stereotype, really-and yes, I know racist/sexist/ageist/etc people say that all the time. Like many New Yorkers, I interact with such a broad swath of people on a daily basis that, practically speaking, it would be a taxing endeavor. Socially speaking, I have always felt strongly that individuals should be treated as such, no matter skin color, sex, gender, culture, religion or age (did I miss one?).
In my last pregnancy, however, I found there to be some universal truths about who is willing to give up his or her seat on the subway to a pregnant woman and who is not-and I'm going to guess that gender of who won't give up a seat, at least, won't surprise you.
Let's start with those who in my experience always give up a seat:
1. Latino men. Latina mommas are doing something right because I have never entered a subway car visibly pregnant where there is a Latin man present who did not immediately offer up his seat.
2. Black women. When no Latin men are available, there is almost invariably a black woman who happily offers up her hard-won seat to those with bulging bellies.
3. Older women. Women who are old enough to have already reared children or even grandchildren seem especially sympathetic to the awkward swaying of the obviously pregnant.
4. Women already sitting with young children. This one gets me every time. It's not easy to wrangle a young child to hold onto a pole, grab onto something yourself and shoulder whatever bag you're carrying, but women with young children often offer up their spot when there are plenty of young "able bodied" folks sticking to their seats on every side.
As to those who rarely if ever proffer a seat … men in business suits and men in Hasidic garb. I wish this weren't true, but it is.
What say ye New Yorkers and other public transit takers in other cities?