A man who turned to the internet for validation after refusing to give up his bus seat to a heavily pregnant woman has received a response that he was probably not hoping for.
Posting on Reddit forum 'Am I the Asshole?', the anonymous man appealed to users after writing his family "lost their minds" when he recounted the day's events.
"At my job, I'm literally on my feet all day, and I work 10-hour shifts. It sucks but the pay is good, so I can deal, but after a long day, my feet are sore [as f**k]", the man explained.
"I genuinely cherish the time I spend sitting on the bus ride home, knowing I have to walk another 15-20 minutes to my house from the bus stop. Which means more time on my feet."
He wrote the evening before he had been sitting on the bus when a "very heavily pregnant lady" got on.
"She looks around for a seat, only to find there are no available ones left. I'm the closest to her, so she starts giving me the imploring eyes. I had my headphones on and tried to pretend I couldn't see her, but once she started talking to me it became inevitable," he wrote, adding that he "wasn't rude or anything" but told her "no".
"I've had a long day and my feet are sore," the man justified his response. "I don't want to give up my seat."
He wrote the woman began crying, and explained she's a pregnant, single mother.
"I told her I'm sorry, but that was her personal choice and she can't expect other people to accommodate her life choices," the man wrote.
"We live in a state where birth control and abortions are free, so I don't know why this should be my problem.
"It's not my fault she decided to have a baby when she can't afford a car."
Eventually an older man on the bus allegedly called the Reddit user a "worthless punk" and offered the pregnant woman his seat.
The pair reportedly called the Reddit user "all sorts of nasty names, but I just looked the other way and ignored it".
The man said his family "flipped out" when he told them the day's events.
"But I was tired and had a long day, and I don't know why we need to keep perpetuating the idea that breeding somehow means you're entitled to people's seats. I'm tired, too, we're all tired in this pandemic.
"Am I the asshole?"
The post racked up over 1000 comments, with the answer almost unanimously yes.
"No - you didn't ask her to be pregnant, but you can, as an able-bodied otherwise healthy person just choose to be nice… Bringing up the contraception/abortion/'breeding' angle too really makes you an ass," one person wrote. "I bet you're a real 'nice guy'."
"Yeah, not only did he not give up his seat to a heavily pregnant woman, he also then let an elderly man stand during the commute. Society doesn't exist in a vacuum, consideration and empathy for fellow man is the hallmark of any decent community," another person added.
Others wrote they could only hope the man was making up the story for attention.
"No one normal uses the word 'breeding' to describe someone who is pregnant. "Please tell me you're a troll," one person asked.
"This is not it," another succinctly wrote.