The pregnant Equalities Minister, Jo Swinson, chose to stand during PMQs on Wednesday, despite being seven months' pregnant. No-one offered her a seat, and she didn't ask anyone to give up her seat. Her decision, and fair enough. If she felt able to stand for half an hour that is fine.
I remember inadvertantly being the subject of a fuss in my local supermarket while heavily pregnant because I didn't want to jump the queue. I was happy waiting, but the staff and customers tried to chivvy me to the front of the queue. It didn't bother me, in fact I was touched by their concern, and they were quite hurt that I refused. I felt quite sorry for them, but I genuinely didn't need the queue jumpery. I also remember one day asking someone to give up their seat for me on the bus (they did, no questions asked) because I did need to sit down. I was tired and the driver was a tad erratic and i didn't trust him not to brake or swerve and make me fall.
What actually annoys me is the fact that Swinson's aides have suggested that if someone had offered her their seat this would have been sexist. It's not sexist to offer your seat up to a pregnant woman. It's considerate. It's not because she is a woman that a seat may be offered it is because she is pregnant. It is not insinuating that she is weakened by pregnancy, just recognising that pregnancy can be quite exhausting. If men could fall pregnant I would just as equally offer up my seat. It's not sexist. I don't see how it could be described as such. In fact I would guess that if men could fall pregnant the world would suddenly be a much more considerate place, but I am possibly being sexist saying that (examples would be far better access to epidurals for a start!)
I am not outraged on Swinson's behalf that no-one offered her a seat. I am sure that Swinson would be assertive enough to ask for one if she had needed it. But describing the act of offering to give up a seat for a pregnant woman as sexist isn't about equality, it's about stupidity.