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Pregnant Israeli shames indifferent London commuters

Channel 10 reporter takes hidden camera onto London Underground, proving failure of ‘Baby on Board’ campaign launched in 2005

Channel 10 anchor Miri Michaeli Schwartz poses at 8.5 months of pregnancy. (Screen capture Miri Michaeli/ Instagram)
Channel 10 anchor Miri Michaeli Schwartz poses at 8.5 months of pregnancy. (Screen capture Miri Michaeli/ Instagram)

An Israeli TV journalist has bemoaned the apparent indifference of London commuters to women with child, and has released a hidden camera video to prove her point — that they will rarely offer her their seat even for a mother in an obviously advanced state of pregnancy.

Miri Michaeli Schwartz’s Facebook post was picked up by the Daily Mail, reporting on the incident with the questioning headline “Would you give up your seat for a pregnant woman?”

Michaeli Schwartz, a reporter working for Channel 10, wore a ‘Baby on Board’ badge, a pin with a London Underground logo meant to signal to commuters that the wearer is pregnant, even if they’re at an early stage and may not be showing.

The pins are part of a campaign that began in 2005 to help pregnant women enjoy a more comfortable journey on the tube.

A Baby on Board badge. (Courtesy)
A Baby on Board badge. (Courtesy)

Michaeli Schwartz said the campaign is a failure.

“Almost 9 months of commuting in the tube with the ‘Baby on board’ badge have come to an end,” she posted. “At first thought it is a brilliant London invention. How will other people know it’s not easy traveling with morning sickness if I don’t yet have a real big baby bump? Proudly and happily I wore my badge, hoping people will notice and offer me the priority seat when I need it. That didn’t happen,” she wrote in a post last week.

“Then, I thought Londoners get up only for ladies who are later on in their pregnancy. I was frustrated I don’t ‘look pregnant’ enough. That fact did not change how pregnant I felt. It was awful.

“Now, from the top of 38 weeks of pregnancy, when there’s absolutely no way to ignore my huge bump (with a cute little baby girl inside of it!), I can tell you — London tube commuters just don’t care,” she wrote.

London friends,Almost 9 months of commuting in the tube with the “Baby on board” badge have come to an end.At first I thought it is a brilliant London invention. How will other people know it’s not easy traveling with morning sickness if I don’t yet have a real big baby bump? Proudly and happily I wore my badge, hoping people will notice and offer me the priority seat when I need it. That didn’t happen. Then, I thought Londoners get up only for ladies who are later on in their pregnancy. I was frustrated I don’t “look pregnant” enough. That fact did not change how pregnant I felt. It was awful.Now, from the top of 38 weeks of pregnancy, when there’s absolutely no way to ignore my huge bump (with a cute little baby girl inside of it!), I can tell you- London tube commuters just don’t care. That’s why I decided today to take a hidden camera with me in order to show you how one day of my life looks, standing sometimes for long periods of time on the tube, swollen, exhausted and afraid of sudden brakes. Commuters see me, they see my bump, sometimes even stare but don’t get up, even if they are getting off of the train at the next station or are seating in the priority seat with a sticker of a pregnant lady as a reminder above their heads.I already know how people look when they try to act like they haven’t seen me. The newspaper is held up a little higher, the phone comes out, headphones are placed in ears or sometimes.. they stare at my bump and just don’t care.I think the first woman in the video, doing homework with her child on the Jubilee line, missed a chance to teach him a much more valuable lesson- how to respect others and be a little less selfish.Where I grew up, ever since I can remember myself my mother would get up herself and make me stand up if a person who needs the seat more got on the bus. It was so clear to me this is how it should work. No badge needed.Once in a while there are a few righteous people on the tube, as you can see at the end of the video clip. Unfortunately, they are not the majority. Transport for London

Posted by Miri Michaeli Schwartz on Thursday, February 4, 2016

Michaeli Schwartz decided to shame the commuters by filming them with a hidden camera. She said commuters refuse to get up to allow her to sit “even if they are getting off of the train at the next station or are seating (sic) in the priority seat with a sticker of a pregnant lady as a reminder above their heads.”

“I think the first woman in the video,” she wrote, “doing homework with her child on the Jubilee line, missed a chance to teach him a much more valuable lesson — how to respect others and be a little less selfish.”

“Once in a while there are a few righteous people on the tube, as you can see at the end of the video clip. Unfortunately, they are not the majority,” Michaeli Schwartz wrote.

According to Channel 10, the video has made her an “internet sensation” in Britain. The clip, according to her Facebook page, was seen more than 16,000 times.

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