I Hate These New "Baby On Board" Buttons The New York MTA IS Giving Out To Pregnant Riders

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NY TimesThe Metropolitan Transportation Authority plans to start handing out “Baby on Board” buttons to pregnant riders to help them get a seat. Riders can order a free button online, and it should arrive in about three weeks, officials said.

For the weary pregnant rider, the situation has offered a vexing choice: Do you explain your situation and ask for a seat, possibly eliciting a backlash, or wait it out until you get to your stop? The button makes it clear that a rider is, in fact, pregnant and would like to sit down — assuming, of course, that the rider is being honest. And now she has the clout of the M.T.A. behind her.

I don’t hate the idea, I just hate the branding. “Baby on board” is so impossibly smug. It’s sickening. I hate that slogan. Sometimes you’ll see it as a bumper sticker on a car. What do you want me to do, drive quietly? I was planning to pull alongside and ram you off the road like we’re filming Fast 9. But now that I see you have an infant in your car, I’ll just take it easy. Seriously, what a stupid message. It’s really just a way of letting complete strangers know you successfully brought a baby into the world, something that billions of people do by accident. It’s worse than the “Proud parent of an honor student” stickers even. Eh. Maybe not.

Here’s what the buttons should say: “I made a mistake, I’m pregnant and miserable, please give me a seat.” Fairly sure we’d all give up our seats for that honesty.

I’m also aware that people will take advantage of this. You don’t even have to prove you’re pregnant to get the button. Just an “honor system.” What a joke. We’re talking about subway seats; it’s fucking trench warfare. There’s no honor on the subway. Some lady, with a little bit of heft because she can’t stop eating pretzels, can now masquerade as pregnant in exchange for a comfy seat. If you think for one second I’m not getting one of these buttons and DARING people to question my pregnancy in this hyper-sensitive gender-flexible landscape of 2017, you don’t know me.

Lastly, I’ve made this point before but I think we should only be forced to give up our seat if the pregnancy was intentional. Don’t make me stand and suffer because of your sexual carelessness. It’s called a condom/birth control/plan B/abortion, ever heard of it?