Is That Seat Taken?

“Q. Does a gentleman offer his seat on the train or bus?

A. A man should always give his seat to people who would otherwise fall down or suffer ill effects. People on crutches. Old people. The sympathetically tipsy. Beyond that, no. Women are equals now: They can fend for themselves.” (GQ, Glenn O’Brien, September 2006)

We’d also add pregnant women, people carrying luggage, or anyone else that looks desperately in need of a seat to that list. But he’s right about the broads; if they can run for president, be cops and marines, and pump iron at the gym, they can certainly stand up until the train gets to Union Station.


A gentleman does not initiate conversation with the woman sitting next to him, beyond a pleasant “good morning” or “excuse me.” However, if there are plenty of other seats on the train, and she takes the empty one next to you, you’re allowed one, but no more than one, opening gambit. If you’re in Singapore, and the cute, petite kindergarten teacher takes the empty seat, we recommend asking for directions to the temple.

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