Sometimes people mistake me for an old lady, on account of my grey hair. I see them on the tube when I get on and there are no seats, hesitating about whether to offer me their seat. Usually they decide, with some relief, that I am not as old as my hair colour suggests, and I remain standing.
On the whole, I think people should offer their seats to people that they think might be less able to stand than them. Of course, sometimes that means you offer your seat to a lady who looks like she might be pregnant and merely has a fat tummy. Blushes all round. I suspect sometimes I fall into this latter category as well as the might be old on account of grey hair category, this must be very confusing!
On Tuesday I travelled up to High Barnet for the monthly Barnet trades council meeting. There was an unmistakably old lady standing from at least Tottenham Court Road, where I got on, to Highgate. This is outrageous! If I hadn't been standing down the other end of the carriage from her (that's my excuse), I would have gone and remonstrated with the cretins sitting down and pretending they hadn't noticed her.
Moreover, some of these arseholes were wearing wedding rings. What does that have to do with anything? Well, it clearly shows that they are capable of forming affective relationships with other people outside their own family. Unless they are totally narcissistic, you would think they would be able to consider the question, what if it were my elderly spouse made to stand there, and gone on to do the decent thing. Or, put another way, I wouldn't want to be married to anyone who wouldn't offer their seat to an old lady. Clearly, there are an awful lot of them out there, at least there are on the High Barnet branch of the Northern Line.
Here's a question to ponder: if it had been a carriage full of working class people, rather than a bunch of middle-class commuters, would that old lady have had to stand? I doubt it.