As I am writing this I am still reeling from what happened today on my bus journey and sadly draw the conclusion that sometimes the world is a bizarre place to live in.
After a busy school day, covered in school and sports bags like a well-decorated Christmas tree, I climbed into the bus, surrounded by three kids for which I was responsible. The bus was late, it was drizzling outside and the inside of the bus looked like a can of tightly packed sardines, making me think how busy this time of the day always gets and how frustrating it must be for adults on a daily basis. I navigated the kids to what seemed the only empty seat on the bus and a three-year old climbed on to it, with two five year olds holding on to me, stood next to the seat. As the bus started moving I heard a female voice that suggested that a seat should be vacated for an elderly lady with her granddaughter. I turned around and realised that the words were addressed to my child, via me.
I was brought up with respect for the elders-and not just on Rememberance Day! I raise my kids with the same principles and respect towards other people, irrespective of age or gender. However I was shocked to realise that a woman talking to me expected a three-year old child to get up and give her seat up, while everyone around, and I mean sitting adults, of which there were plenty, sat quietly and observed our conversation. I told the woman that I didn’t think it was an appropriate request and was told in return that I was rude and patronising. I made a child get up and watched an elderly lady in wonder, as she sat down with her granddaughter, who was clearly older than the child who just located the seat for both of them. It didnt cross her mind that a child of that size can be easily squashed by adults as the bus moves along its route.
I remember occasions, when I was taking a bus or tube from work, visibly pregnanat and people not bothering to offer me a seat after a busy day. I often see women, struggling with children and buggies, trying to climb up endless stairs on the tube without anyone bothering to offer them a helping hand. Good manners and respect are important but when a woman picks up on another woman and gives her a horrendous dressing down and no one bats an eyelid or worse, stands passively as if it doesn’t concern them-does it never cross their mind that it can easily happen to them as well?-I raise my head and say that what happended was just wrong. And if I saw someone in this predicament I wouldn’t shy away from standing up for them and offering them my gentle support. While I have amazing girlfriends and know some incredible women who I come across professionally on a regular basis, I also think that women can be eash other’s worse enemies. In some instances, much worse than men towards men. Does it have to be that way or can we all get along while respecting each other? Please let me know what you think if you are a mother and a woman.