A man asked a woman to get out of a reserved train seat he bought and she refused.
The unnamed commuter, from Northampton, had booked the train from London on a busy day of cancellations, and took to Reddit to reveal how he had become embroiled in a battle over the seat.
According to the man, a 6’3 black man with a deep voice that would make Darth Vader jealous, he noticed a woman sitting in his train seat and politely asked her to get up.
The woman refused and sparked a 10-minute argument where other commuters claimed “someone like he shouldn’t be harassing an innocuous lady like her.”
Reddit user asked a man whether he was a ‘Karen” about making sure he gets to sit at his own seat.
The man spoke about the train incident, saying, “When I got to station it was packed to the max, trains were getting cancelled, delayed left and right, my train got delayed multiple time but luckily it arrived.”
“Since there was so much to do at the train station, it was difficult to get in. With my suitcase and mini bag, I was scanning my ticket. When I realized that my ticket came with my designated seating, I felt a bit more relaxed knowing that it was secure.
“The problem was that when I got to my place, someone was sitting in it. I politely informed her that the seat she was seated on was mine and I have the ticket to prove this.
After a while of back and forth, both sides became more agitated. The man then angrily pointed to the fact that he had paid the seat. At this point, people intervened.
Many commenters who had traveled on UK trains regularly told the man they believed he was right
He continued: “Someone said it was my seat as stated in the ticket so she should stand. One person heard the commotion coming from another carriage and came out to shame me for bullying her.
“She said that I should be ashamed of it: “Someone like you shouldn’t harass an innocent woman like her.”
The woman eventually agreed that it was his place and allowed him to sit down.
The man explained: ‘After 10 minutes and another delay (the train was at the platform the whole time) she reluctantly got up and sat next to someone else, I apologised for the disturbance, I put my suitcase up in the overhead luggage storage, sat down and put in my AirPods and calmed down with some music.’
“She got off at the stop before (Wolverton), and gave me an unclean look through the window.
Commentators, especially those who traveled on British trains regularly, leapt to the defense of the man.
One person wrote, “You paid the seat it’s yours simple and that’s all.”
Another said that the woman was being unreasonable, explaining: ‘I’m from the UK too and trains have been horrific atm and I’ve had mine cancelled too, if someone told me i was sat in their seat I would just get up.’
A third stated that “Most UK trains, especially those that go to and fro London, have little digital screens over the seats that indicate which seats are reserved for the entire journey and which seats are available.
Many commenters revealed the racist undertones they detected in the language used against the man and said that he shouldn’t be the one describing himself as a ‘Karen’
“She chose to sit in another person’s chair and then refused to move when she was explained to.
Others were quick to point out that the defense of the woman who was keeping the seat was racial.
One person said: “That!” [comment] “someone like you shouldn’t harass an innocent lady like her” took me out though. I was wondering what made you “someone similar to you” and why the woman was somehow “innocent”.
Another person agreed with the statement. “The subtle coded language was not missed… But, as you said. You paid for the seat. This is how it works.
‘If you board an airplane and sit in a premium seat, they would tell your to move even though technically you sat down first. Similar concept. She could have, and did, find another seat. It would have been different if the “innocent” woman had bought a seat and “someone like” refused to move
A third agreed that the women arguing were weaponizing whiteness and added that “Plain, simple racism, and bigotry” were their thoughts. That seat was yours, and you should own it. If the “innocent Lady” thought it wasn’t important, she should’ve moved in first and not used “I came first” argument.