Last mum standing – pregnant equalities minister Jo Swinson was left without a seat during 30-minute House of Commons session on Wednesday but a source has suggested that it is ‘quite sexist’ to suggest she was not capable of standing
We’ve all been there, whether it’s feeling faint in the local coffee shop to the claustrophobic commute to and from work – but should pregnant women really have to ask for a seat? Well, a source close to the Liberal Democrat MP, Jo Swinson who is seven months pregnant, said it was ‘quite sexist’ to say she had been incapable of standing during most of Prime Minister's Question Time.
So while the incident led to outrage on Twitter, Miss Swinson could not seem to see what the fuss was about despite championing women’s rights in government.
The source quoted in The Independent said, ‘the suggestion somehow that people should be outraged on her behalf is ridiculous. The idea that just because she is seven months pregnant she has lost all ability to stand on her two feet or fend for herself is quite sexist.’
David Cameron would give up his seat to an expectant mother as it was the ‘decent thing’ to do
The source added, ‘She did not think it was an issue. If she had wanted to sit down, she would have asked to sit. She is quite capable of fulfilling her functions as a minister – including standing and walking – while she is pregnant. She is not somehow severely incapacitated.’
Despite this, the incident reignited the debate about whether people should offer their seat to pregnant women – and whether expectant mothers should assume they would.
Downing Street distanced itself from the comments, insisting David Cameron would give up his seat to an expectant mother as it was the ‘decent thing’ to do.
The world and his wife is weighing in on whether it’s sexist to give up your seat for a pregnant woman, so what are your views and experiences? We want to hear from you…