TRAFFIC ALERT:

Montgomery Co. road will close because of landslide

D.L. Stewart: ‘Baby on Board’ buttons may be a sign of the times


Probably the most disturbing news item I read this past week that didn’t involve pro football concerned Baby on Board signs.

The story wasn’t about those yellow signs that decorated the rear windows of cars a few decades ago — a phenomenon I never understood. What was I supposed to do, I always wondered, only have collisions with cars that DIDN’T have babies on board?

As reported Tuesday in The New York Times, the current Baby on Board notices are buttons being worn by pregnant riders of the city’s subways in hopes of encouraging other passengers to yield their seats to them. Because the vast majority of pregnant persons tend to be female, the buttons are intended to be worn only by women, but in these times of gender flexibility, you never know.

I suppose what disturbed me about the story was the fact that there was a need for the buttons because I’d like to think giving up a subway seat would be instinctual for any person who had a mother who was ever pregnant. But maybe that’s because I’m a product of a time in which not giving up my seat to a woman would have earned me a smart rap on the back of my head from my mom. (Parents didn’t worry as much about concussions back then.) And the woman didn’t even have to be pregnant. She could have been an Olympic weightlifter and I still would have had to give her my seat.

We had all sorts of rules about how guys were supposed to treat women back then. Stand up when a woman came into the room. Tip your hat when you encountered a woman. Walk on the street side of the sidewalk when accompanying a woman.

I’m not quite clear about why we had to do that last one. One theory I read was that the woman would be shielded if a car passing in the street splashed through a puddle of water. Another was that, in the really olden days, people in the upper floor of buildings had a tendency to toss their garbage out the window and it would arc onto the heads of the person walking farther away from the building. That’s probably why so many men wore hats.

But the whole male-female courtesy thing took a U-turn in the ‘70s. I personally trace it to the day a co-worker and I were boarding an elevator.

“After you,” I said to her.

“Oh, no,” she replied, “after YOU.”

“Chivalry is not dead,” I declared.

“No,” she snapped, “but it’s mostly useless.”

Maybe she was right. But at least pregnant women didn’t need to wear signs to receive the consideration they deserved.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Memorial service held for woman killed during Southwest Airlines flight
Memorial service held for woman killed during Southwest Airlines flight

Nearly 2,000 mourners paid tribute to the New Mexico woman killed during last week’s Southwest Airlines engine explosion, KRQE reported. Jennifer Riordan, 43, of Albuquerque was killed while flying from New York to Dallas on Tuesday. The plane’s engine exploded, shattering her window. Riordan, 43, was remembered for her compassion...
Miamisburg police officers involved in shooting Dayton fugitive back to work
Miamisburg police officers involved in shooting Dayton fugitive back to work

Two Miamisburg police officers involved in the shooting of what authorities called a federal fugitive from Dayton are back at work. Miamisburg Police Chief John Sedlak said both officers – only one of whom fired a weapon in the wounding the Indiana armed robbery suspect outside the Byers Road Red Roof Inn April 3 – have returned to duty...
CVS Pharmacy hit by vehicle in Kettering
CVS Pharmacy hit by vehicle in Kettering

The CVS Pharmacy on East Stroop Road has been struck by a vehicle this afternoon. The crash was reported around 12:15 p.m. in the 500 block of East Stroop. We’re working to learn more.
April’s weather is poised to break this 68-year-old area record
April’s weather is poised to break this 68-year-old area record

April is almost over, and if you thought it has been a cold start to spring, you would be correct. In fact, according to data compiled by the National Weather Service in Wilmington, April in the Miami Valley has so far been the coldest on record. Records in our area date back 125 years. Even with the warmer temperatures that arrived over the weekend...
How does Clayton run? City offers Government Academy to residents
How does Clayton run? City offers Government Academy to residents

The city of Clayton is set to host its first Government Academy later this year, according to Director of Development Jack Kuntz. The academy will consist of a five- to six-week program that will include one class per week for one and a half hours in the evening. Classes will be arranged so that each week focuses on a department: one week with the...
More Stories