Good samaritans were in short supply last week when Nora Hsu, 32 weeks pregnant, stepped on a 1 train to Penn Station in the middle of an early spring heat wave.
So Hsu headed to the next car to look for a seat, but the minute she stepped between the cars, an officer removed the mother — rushing home to pick her 7-year-old up from school — from the train. “I told the cop, ‘Cut me some slack. I’m 32 weeks pregnant, and I’m just trying to get home,’ ” Hsu told New York Post. “I was out of breath.”
Instead of giving her a break, the officer held her for a 15 minute warrant check and wrote her a $75 ticket. According to the Post, Hsu’s ticket is just one in a string of many given for small infractions on New York subways lately. “They’re just trying to make money off of us,” Hsu said.
Trying to find out whether Hsu made a good case for breaking the rules, Kristin Cole at CBS 2 donned a fake belly and rode several subway routes to see if New Yorkers are as heartless as Hsu claims. Writes Cole:
“….Every time I entered the train women shifted seats to make way for me and men quickly offered me their own seat even when others were available.
And even as I declined seats, straphangers looked on anxiously as I swayed with the car’s motion. One dad quickly made way for my “condition.” And when I brought up Hsu not being able to find a seat on a crowded train, he surmised: ‘She was trying to get out of the ticket. That’d be my guess.’ “
But Cole also found plenty of women who’d been in Hsu’s shoes, too, saying that older women were the most likely to give up their seats. Hsu herself says that only once in her 32 weeks of pregnancy has someone given up their seat for her.
On a recent trip to Toronto, multiple people would jump up as soon as we boarded the train with our young children in tow. But Toronto is no New York. What do you think — is chivalry really dead? And should Hsu been exempted for breaking the rules considering her late pregnancy statues?