The first time I heard the term “manspreading” was a week or two ago on social media. For those who don’t know, “manspreading” is just what it sounds like: when a man spreads his legs when he sits. I guess it’s been a thing for a few years. New York City, Japan and other cities and countries have been trying to put a stop to it, on public transportation most of all.
According to this New York Times article, “commuters in Madrid are the latest global denizens to fight ‘El Manspreading,’ that scourge of crowded buses and trains. This month, public transportation officials in the Spanish capital are telling passengers to, literally, keep their knees together instead of letting them drift apart.” The Madrid campaign has an image of a little red figure with legs splayed, taking up two seats, with the universal slash-mark across it.
On NYC subway trains, the practice is discouraged by MTA etiquette notices, as well. There was even an alleged “manspreading” arrest in NYC (though that is unconfirmed). I guess I’ll be more mindful next time I “manspread.”
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