Men: Close Your Legs
On a flight back to the States after vacationing in Spain, I had the distinct displeasure of sitting next to a young man whose legs were positioned no differently than that of a woman in stirrups getting a Pap smear.
Oh yes, a manspreader.
Imagine playing kneesies on a plane for nearly seven hours trying to reclaim space that’s rightfully yours—space that you paid for.
The Oxford Dictionary defines manspreading as “the practice whereby a man, especially one travelling on public transport, adopts a sitting position with his legs wide apart, in such a way as to encroach on an adjacent seat or seats.” My experience on this flight isn’t foreign or unique. As women, we encounter manspreading anywhere one can find seats—planes, trains, buses, YOU NAME IT—every single day.
Question: Who raised you?
It’s your world. All space is your space. Being cognizant of how you take up space? THE HORROR!
Science isn’t as quick to condemn manspreading and reduce it to an outward expression of misogyny, because science can be used to justify most of the messed-up things that men do. According to science, men have narrower pelvises, and the angle of their femoral neck (think the area where the leg and hip meet) is more acute. Simply put, it’s more uncomfortable for men to sit with their legs closed.
So one of your legs must point towards Mogadishu while the other points towards Compton because of science? Ok.
Have men, not science, tell it, they don’t want to compress their junk. Again, THE HORROR!
I’ve seen enough of you “down there” to know that most of you shouldn’t be feeling that encumbered. I’m going to leave it at that.
ONLY because of science, I offer this suggestion: In public spaces, sit as comfortably as you can without intruding on neighboring seats and their occupants.
Extra credit: Be more cognizant of how you take up space, literally and figuratively, in your everyday life.
Fun fact: Madrid banned manspreading on public transportation in 2017.
I should’ve stayed in Spain.