You finished a long, hard day at work but at least you can relax sitting down on the train commute home. Sorry, bub, no moments of private relaxation allowed to you any longer. A new crime has been commited and you probably are completely unaware of it: manspreading.
Yes, this new commuter scourge has been uncovered at the New York Times as revealed by Emma G. Fitzsimmons. Although she does not take this "crime" too seriously, several feminists do and have turned stopping the spread of manspreading into a crusade. Before we get to one such feminist crusader against manspreading, here is Fitzsimmons explaning this phenomenom:
It is the bane of many female subway riders. It is a scourge tracked on blogs and on Twitter.
And it has a name almost as distasteful as the practice itself.
It is manspreading, the lay-it-all-out sitting style that more than a few men see as their inalienable underground right.
Now passengers who consider such inelegant male posture as infringing on their sensibilities — not to mention their share of subway space — have a new ally: the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Taking on manspreading for the first time, the authority is set to unveil public service ads that encourage men to share a little less of themselves in the city’s ever-crowded subways cars.
The targets of the campaign, those men who spread their legs wide, into a sort of V-shaped slouch, effectively occupying two, sometimes even three, seats are not hard to find. Whether they will heed the new ads is another question.
Obviously most people have much more serious things to worry about...unless you are a feminist with way too much idle time on your hands such as Gabrielle Moss. Ms Moss has made it her personal mission to reveal to the world the heinous crime of manspreading.
She explains the strategy behind her public act of manspreading:
A problem as frustrating as it is mysterious, the man who takes up multiple seats on public transit with his splayed-out legs inspires all sorts of questions among his fellow riders: Is the leg-spreader exercising his male privilege, or, as some defenders would have you believe, merely attending to the unique spatial requirements of his balls? Is he blocking off empty seats to his left and his right with his knees out of obliviousness, or passive-aggressive malice?
...I decided, for the length of one weekend, to become a slouch-and-spreader. To truly understand the phenomenon, I decided I’d act like the worst examples I had encountered in my own commuting life: I wouldn’t budge for a knee nudge or exasperated expression. I would hold my ground. I would embody the worst of slouch-and-spread assholery to the letter. I would try very hard to imagine that I had balls, and that those balls were desperate for air. And by the end of the weekend, I hoped to understand what made the slouch-and-spreaders slouch and spread.
Unfortunately for Ms Moss, she discovered the secret joys of manspreading. A secret previously held by men only for eons until uncovered by our intrepid manspreading detective:
By the end of the weekend, I felt immensely confident, and also profoundly ashamed. I was horrified at myself for having capitalized on the very terror of aggressive strangers on the subway that I myself had felt so many times. But God, it was so easy to act like a dick on the subway! How could we possibly get people to stop slouch-and-spreading when it was this easy to do and this scary to stand up against?
Exit question: Who will be the first feminist to bust the following fellow for manspreading?