It's hard when your wife has a baby on the way. When this man is conflicted about a priority seat on a boat, he takes to the popular Reddit forum to ask:
Myself (28M) and my partner (31F) were recently riding the underground. My partner is 8 months pregnant and looks heavily pregnant too, no one could mistake her for being any different.
She’s not particularly mobile either now and we’ve taken to riding the underground more, even for shorter journeys just to allow her to rest more frequently when we are out and about.
We jumped on the Circle Line today and it was a particularly busy service during the rush hour with people packed in tightly and standing throughout the aisle. On trips like this I would look for one of the nearby priority seats reserved near the doors and would ask someone to vacate it to allow my partner to sit down.
On all occasions up until now we have never had a problem, those who were sat in the seats could see my partner would struggle to stand on a busy train and will give up the seat without hesitation.
On this particular day, one of the seats is occupied by an elderly gentleman with a walking stick (probably mid-80s) and one by a younger man (probably mid-20s).
I make what I think is my best judgement call and ask the younger man if he would give up the seat for my partner. He replies that he has autism and that his disability allows him to use a priority seat too.
I do understand that people have less visible disabilities and that under normal circumstances, he should be allowed to use the priority seat. However, I also felt that despite this, it wasn’t a physical impairment and he was more capable of standing than my partner who had been stood up for a long time and really needed to rest at this point.
When I tried to explain this to him, he became very defensive and called me an asshole for not appreciating his needs too.
Eventually, others began to overhear what was being said and someone else voluntarily offered up a ‘normal’ seat. But the experience left me wondering if I was an asshole for insisting this person needed a priority seat less than my girlfriend.
So, am I an asshole for asking someone with an invisible/non-physical disability to vacate a priority seat for my heavily pregnant partner?
Yes, YTA. You should have left it alone after that young man said he was disabled and needed the seat. Autism can be comorbid (occur together with) sensory, anxiety, and/or motor function issues that might make it difficult or overwhelming to be in crowded spaces or stand in a moving vehicle.
It’s very possible that this young man might have had trouble standing up on a moving train, that he could be easily overwhelmed and suffer panic attacks from unwanted physical contact and crowded conditions, or both.
NTA. Can’t believe I’m one of the only people saying this. Priority seats are for people who are physically impaired, not for people with disabilities. That sign above the seats that has a pregnant lady on it? Yeah that’s for you. Those seats are for you.
YTA. People in priority seats are there for a reason, and that reason is none of your business. You should have asked someone in regular seating, or better yet, don't take public transit if you feel she MUST have a seat.