22. Badge of honour
Hurrah, Team Nice’s prototype for badges for pregnant women has been made. It’s too early to tell how effective they will be. If you have a bun in the oven, or indeed know of someone who does, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we can send you some, as we really want to trial it as fully as possible.
Just to recap, baby on board badges are given out free by TfL for pregnant women to wear, to help people on busy public transport to identify those who need a seat. Whilst this is a wonderful thing to do, it is my opinion that the badges themselves may be not identifed easily enough. I am really not trying to steal the idea, just help improve it, so I though that if we make them look like the yellow car stickers that say ‘baby on board’ they might work better.
I asked my friend Clare (pictured below with a niceties-token) who is 6 months pregnant, to wear the prototype and also find out about how she feels about getting a seat, as a commuter.
I didn’t used to think I needed a seat when I first started showing, but now because of my low blood pressure from the pregnancy, sometimes I really do. I always felt that that if I was pregnant I would be confident enough to ask people for a seat – protecting my unborn child. But it’s weird, I find it hard to give people eye contact on busy public transport, let alone ask them for their seat.
It feels rude – confrontational almost. I don’t want force anyone in to doing something that they don’t want to do. I know if I made eye contact with people, and they acknowledged me, they might feel guilt-tripped in to standing up – but probably like most people I am not ballsy enough for that.
I usually get on the train and open my coat, so people can see that I am pregnant, and wait (or hope!) for someone to notice me and offer me a seat.
I also found a lovely lady called Michelle Rogers (pictured below), in the loos at a restaurant on Saturday night. Michelle is 7 months gone. Michelle was confident enough to give people eye contact if she needed to sit down but said that when that happens, often people don’t respond, possibly because as Clare suggested, it feels confrontational.
Oooh and our next Niceties Token Party will be on the 17 Nov at the O-Bar in Soho. Details? BANG!
By Liz Akers