Yvonne Lin, mom and product designer who is currently about eight months pregnant, has been conducting a social experiment of sorts when she's on the subway.
Dressed to “look as pregnant as possible,” she commutes close to two hours on the subway every day from Washington Heights. And she noticed that while she gets seats from women while she’s pregnant “fairly often,” it never happens from men.
That all changed when Ricky Barksdale offered his seat.
“He was staring at his phone,” Lin said. “He looked up and looked around and was like, ‘Holy crap, you’re pregnant! You need to have a seat.’”
That's when Lin gave him a seven-inch trophy that would be “big enough to make an impact, but small enough to fit in [her] work bag.”
She had been carrying a trophy in her bag during her last trimester, ready for this exact occasion.
During her first pregnancy, Lin carried around “some Papyrus card” with the word “Congratulations” on the inside to give to the first man who offered her a subway seat. She never got to use it.
During her second pregnancy, she upped her game and bought a customized trophy with the words “#1 DECENT DUDE, First Man to Offer Subway Seat to Pregnant Woman throughout Two Pregnancies” on it.
What did dad of two Barksdale think about it?
“It was a nice gesture of her, but it’s also sad for my male counterparts to allow something like this to happen,” he said, adding, “If you clearly see a visible pregnant woman, you’re okay to stand up. She needs that more than you.”
Barksdale, who Lin calls “a real life superhero,” hopes the story will encourage others to offer their seats to people who need them.
“I just hope that this story motivates others to do the right thing,” he said. “Whether they’re pregnant, disabled, elderly, just do the right thing and be a decent human being.”