Pregnant woman awards trophy to man who gave her a seat on public transport

Ricky Barksdale

Ever found yourself months into your pregnancy, exhausted and still standing up on the train to work? Pregnant New York mum Yvonne Lin feels your pain and she thinks that men particularly have a real problem surrendering their seats.

Saved you a seat

Yvonne had been stealthily carrying a “Decent Dude Award” trophy she’d had specially made around with her for months.

She was determined to bestow it on the first gent who offered her their seat, hopeful it would happen someday soon.

Can you believe she was almost at the end of her second pregnancy before an unwitting New York traveller stepped up for the award?

Dude, where’s my seat?

Yvonne admits she’d just about had it up to here with guys, when she finally encountered a compassionate man on New York’s subway system.

She’d come to realise that men do not generally give up their seat for pregnant ladies, rather it’s women who empathise and give tired mum-to-bes an opportunity to take a load off.

Thankfully a nice guy finally came along and restored her faith a titch.

“I’m about 8ish months preggers (again) and I look it. I’ve been gradually coming to the conclusion that men suck. I didn’t get a single subway seat offered to me by a man throughout my first pregnancy. So for the second pregnancy, I had this made and I’ve been carrying it around everyday – till last Friday. This guy is the winner,” she posted alongside a pic of the winning gent, holding the Decent Dude trophy.


Decent dude

The man in question was Ricky Barksdale, a US Army vet, martial artist and actor. Ricky says he initially didn’t realise Yvonne was pregnant, but had apparently just wanted to give her a comfy journey and was happy to stand so she could sit.

He was taken aback when Yvonne fished in her bag for the (amazing) trophy, thrust it into his hands and triumphantly took a seat. Ricky later posted a snap of his trophy to Instagram, sharing his perspective on Yvonne’s award.

“I’m sitting on the train and there was a lady standing in front of me and I didn’t realize she was pregnant, she’s wearing all black so it was hard to tell, I got up immediately to give her my seat and she said wait I have something to give you and she handed me this trophy lol. She’s been trying to give this trophy away for two months to see if any man would offer her a seat and had no luck till she came across me,” he wrote alongside the shot.

The award sparked lots of discussion about kindness, manners and New York’s culture.

Ricky said he hoped that simple gestures like offering a seat to someone in need might reform the city’s dog-eat-dog reputation.

“Sadly we as New Yorkers have that rep of being hard asses and it leaves all of us with a bad rep. I hope this shows faith in humanity.

Mixed reviews

Commenters on the Decent Dude Duo’s Instagram posts were divided in their view of Yvonne’s unkind dude dilemma.

“I want to fill Yvonne in on something she may not be aware of: hope your sitting down… “You live in NEW YORK”. Hello! If you choose to live in the rudest, most aggressive and classless environment in the United States, deal with it,” one person – with an alarming dose of suppressed rage – wrote.

“No one offered her a seat thru out the first pregnancy?! That is just sad. What has the city come to!! Glad to still have at least 1 decent guy walking around.. well deserved/too cute!!” Another (nicer) person commented.

Others had previously had a similar experience on public transport and were delighted that a man had done a kind thing.

“I’m on my third trimester as well and today was the first time I was offered a seat by a man. It’s incredible how there [are] not enough men like you. Well deserved award,” a lady said.

“I love this. and as a woman in NYC, I swear its only us women that get up for pregnant ladies.. GO DECENT DUDE!” One woman posted.

OVER-rewarding common courtesy?

We’re not 100 percent sold on the idea of male chivalry, but we do think that Yvonne’s highlighting an important issue about how we look out for and look after one another out there in the world.

Everyone on public transport should be on the look out for passengers that might be more deserving of a seat.

We are huge Ricky fans, but it’s kind of bonkers that a man is rewarded – however tongue-in-cheek –  for doing something that we should all be doing without a second thought.

It’s even more bonkers that this mum spent almost 2 full-term pregnancies standing up on the train before she encountered her much hoped-for “decent dude”.


What about you? Did men ignore your burgeoning belly on PT when you were pregnant?

When do you think it’s appropriate to give up your seat? And who do you give it up for? 


We’re not 100 percent sold on the idea of chivalry, but we do think that Yvonne’s highlighting an important issue about how we look out for and look after one another out there in the world.




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