Do we still need to give up seats for women in public transportation?

There has been a lot of debate and controversy on this issue lately. Several social media posts (and even some of our own articles) have talked about men needing to give up their seats to women on public transportation. Some viral posts call out men for taking up all the seats and ‘acting blind’ to the women standing up. Even more viral posts call out women for being entitled when demanding seats in the first place.

So who is right in this question? Is giving up seats for women a thing of the past, or is it common courtesy that we ought to hold on to?

(LOOK: Female commuter complains about men who don’t give up their seats)

One argument is that giving up seats for women is just plain and simple good manners. We were raised to show respect to women and the elderly, and this is one way of doing so. It goes back to the age-old adage of being a gentleman and all that jazz. It’s also important to note that standing up and being shoved around in public transportation like buses and trains is more problematic for women because they end up being groped — whether intentionally or not.

The responding view to this is that ‘good manners’ need only extend to the elderly, pregnant women, or PWDs. These are the people who are truly in need of special treatment and who seats should be given up for. Aside from being as courteous to women on public transportation as you would to any other person, there’s no need to go above and beyond. We all come from more or less the same situation: bone-dead tired from work, fighting just to get that spot on the bus or MRT, and rushing to get home. Why does your claim to a seat become stronger just because you are a woman?

(Let’s talk about ‘cancel culture’ online and why it has to stop)

Trying to justify the ‘right’ to a seat by talking about chivalry is self-defeating. The concept of chivalry is yet another tool of the patriarchy as it operates on the assumption that women are necessarily weaker than men. It propagates the idea that women have to be protected, that men are the superior sex. Women shouldn’t be asked to be seen as lesser, just for the sake of a seat.

(Let’s stop shaming women for what they choose to wear)

Where do you stand on this issue?


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