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Friday, October 18, 2013

Giving up a seat for a pregnant woman

There cannot be much happening in Westminster if this story about Liberal Democrats Minister, Jo Swinson is all the media can report on.

The key points are surely that (a) being pregnant is not a disability: (b) Jo Swinson was not looking for a seat in the first place. If she had been then she would have asked; and (c) I don't believe it is sexist to offer a seat to a pregnant woman if it looks like she needs one, it is good manners.

Personally, I will hold open a door for anybody irrespective of age or sex, and offer a seat to anybody who I think might be struggling otherwise.

It seems to me that Jo Swinson's comments were made out of exasperation at being asked by a journalist if she was offended at not being offered a seat. The sexist remark was clearly directed at the intent behind the question not the idea itself.

Still, if the incident provokes a national debate on good manners it cannot be a bad thing.
Peter, Jo never said, nor does she think, that it's sexist to offer a pregnant woman a seat. This story has got out of all proportion.

I think it's really important that her words are recorded on this, otherwise she goes down in history as being the Equalities minister who said something that she never actually said and it becomes a Trivial Pursuit question in 10 years' time.

Like you, I offer anyone who needs it a seat and hold doors open for everyone.
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