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24th Apr 2023

Woman refused to move bag off seat on empty train after man’s ‘demand’

Steve Hopkins

‘I asked if he really wanted this particular seat and he said yes’

A woman has explained how a man demanded she move her bag off the seat next to her so he could sit down – even though there were plenty of other seats available.

In the latest iteration of the travel etiquette debate that has engulfed social media in recent months, the traveller revealed the bizarre exchange she had with a fellow train passenger.

Writing on Reddit the 30-year-old passenger, believed to be from the UK, told how at first she tried to resolve the situation by moving seats, only for the man to follow her and repeat the request.

When she refused the second time, the woman, who has not been named, said the man called her an “a******” and an “entitled b****”.

Her post, late last week, has gained almost 10,000 likes and a wave of support from people saying the man sounds like “a creep”.

In her post on the ‘AmITheAsshole’ subreddit the woman explained that she was on an “almost empty train”, with 5-6 other people in her entire carriage.

She sat at a four-seater and spread out her stuff. Careful not to put her feet on the seat, she spread out her jacket on the seat across from her, “so that the seat wouldn’t get touched by my socks”.

“If it matters: It was early in the morning and I had been wearing these socks for less than an hour. My shoes are also clean as I alternate two pairs daily to let them dry out between uses,” the woman wrote.

At that point, the woman explained, a man, she suspected was in his late 40s or early 50s, “entered the train, came straight to me and said, ‘move your bag’.”

She continued: “I was puzzled since there was plenty of free seats to go around, so I asked if he really wanted this particular seat and he said yes.”

Rather than argue the point, the woman chose to move to another empty four-seater and began spreading out her possessions as before.

“Before I could even get my shoes off, the dude was standing in front of me and said ‘move your bag’. I asked why. He said that he wanted to sit there,” the woman wrote.

“I answered that he had been wanting that certain seat that I vacated for him, so I don’t see why he would want to switch seats. He scoffed and explained that it was not about the specific seat but about ‘entitled people who think their bags deserve a seat’.

The woman stood her ground, explaining that she had “moved once for him and wouldn’t move again”.

She recalled: “He made a movement as if he wanted to grab my bag and I raised my voice saying ‘don’t you f***ing dare!’.

“He started lamenting about entitled people again. I told him ‘I moved for you. There are hundreds of free seats on this train, sit somewhere else.’

“He called me an a****** and went back to his seat. Then he called someone on his phone (or acted like it, who knows) and proceeded to loudly complain about ‘entitled b******’.

“To be clear, when a train fills up, I of course gather my stuff and vacate seats around me so that others can sit. But I don’t see why I should let some rando boss me around and invade my personal space for no reason.”

The woman made clear in her post that she did not feel “scared” in the situation – a concern raised by many – but simply thought the man had “some tinge of entitlement.”

“My impression of the dude was one of self-righteousness and some tinge of entitlement, maybe a bit of creepiness, but no hints of danger of physical violence.”

The post prompted 1.6k of comments, with most being on the woman’s side.

One person wrote: “This guy is a creeper and looking to cause trouble with you, a woman. Good for you not putting up with it.”

Another commented: “If the train was half-empty, it’s not his business what you do. After you moved and he followed you, he escalated the situation and frankly, he behaved like a certified creep. The move to grab your bag was a big no-no.

“Good thing you raised your voice: too often women are inculcated by society to be quiet, to be nice, not to cause a scene.”

Another commenter made the point that the annoyed traveller “would not follow a man around like this”.

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