Is it easier for women to sit with their legs closed?


It’s a real thing. I’ve been a victim. I boarded an airport shuttle bus, and there was one seat left available for me, sandwiched between two occupied seats. One of those occupants had his knees far apart, with his backpack on the floor between them. I asked if I could take the seat next to him, which I had hoped he might interpret as a polite request to decrease his width. He mumbled a “sure”, but made no changes to his posture; not even sure he looked up from his cell phone. And so I took the open seat, with my knees pressed firmly together into a space much narrower than the seat I was in, while this bow-legged schmuck took up much more than his fair share of leg room.

This, exactly.

IMO that’s all about selfish jerkism, not about men vs. women.

Given the very very few women who wear short or tight skirts/dresses in public any more, there is nothing to prevent any man or most women in Machine Elf’s scenario from simply spreading knees to push equally against the oaf(s) sitting adjacent. His backpack will fit neatly in his lap if he’s properly motivated.

Selfish people will get away with exactly as much selfishness as the meek or unselfish will put up with. Color me unselfish but far from meek.

That’s not a fix anyone including me can apply everywhere every time. But we can apply it many places at many times.

I have never heard anyone use “manspreading” to refer to men sitting without their knees together, or sitting in the way most men sit most of the time. It’s used to refer to men who spread their legs so far apart that it seems they are trying to take up the maximum amount of room possible, taking up at least parts of two or three seats.They would need testicles the size of baseballs to justify taking up that amount of space.

If its manufactured, someone has used a time machine to slip an example of it into a 1940s New York subway poster. :rolleyes:
Spacehog isn’t called a manspreader, but he damned well looks like one. And in my experience, it’s not something that only women complain about. Three-seat schmucks inflict themselves equally on male and female neighbors.

And I’ve seen plenty of women lay down on train benches or set several bags and purses in the seats around them.

I’m not saying people of all genders aren’t occasionally dicks on public transportation.

All I’m saying that “manspreading” as both a term and a feminist cause du jour were made up by the alt-right to further justify hating feminists. It was never a feminist issue. It was never a political issue. It was never a “battle of the sexes” issue. It was a parody of “mansplaining” manufactured to make women look bad.

The most you can say is that some people of either sex can be jerks about their personal space on public transport. Turning it into a sexist or feminist issue was the alt-right’s idea.

Sure but the critical thing is not taking up space when it’s not required but what you do when others try to sit.
e.g. on the Shanghai subway I can honestly say I’ve never seen a woman who had bags occupying a seat and then left those belongings there while others were standing nearby or struggling to fit into the space available.
I can say I’ve seen manspreading many, many times, where the guy leaves his knees out there while others are standing for want of a space, or crushed beside him.

First of all, cite?

Secondly, who cares? If the alt-right gave a term to a phenomenon that previously didn’t have one then I can say, for the first time, “Well Done alt-right”. If the “man” part of it grates your balls, well, you could try to make something else catch on – Leg spreading or Space hog say, but I think it’s too late.

Sorry, I’ve been looking for one all morning and have come up short. If I’m wrong, please correct me. All I can say is that I have only heard this term from alt-right anti-PC people making fun of feminists and “SJWs” for it.

I read some feminist literature. I have a lot of feminist friends (I consider myself one, as well, but less an activist than others in my social circle). None of them talk about this. It never comes up. Is it possible somebody somewhere used “manspreading” as an example of a “microagression”? Yes, probably. But as far as I can tell the ones who publicized the term all over the internet to further their own agenda are the alt-right.

Because it makes feminists look bad. It makes people think that feminism and liberal activism is all about cracking down on frankly harmless differences in behavior between men and women instead of actual injustice and human rights violations. It plays into the idea that “women have been fully equal since the 60s and all feminists do these days is tear down men”.

But I just remembered this is GQ and I’ll stop the hijack now. If someone wants to start another thread about it elsewhere I can continue to defend my view, but without a definitive cite I’m not sure what else I can say about it anyway.

I have no idea why you think this is some kind of “feminist” or “alt-right” thing. :confused: It absolutely is a real issue. Ride the NYC subway for a day and you’ll see plenty of examples. It happens so frequently that the MTA has actually posted signs on trains telling people not to sit like that!

It has nothing to do with gender except that men are much more likely to sit like this, taking up more than one seat. No one expects people on the subway to sit with their knees pressed together, just that your legs should be the same width as your shoulders. (Obese people get a pass. But skinny dudes with their legs straddling 2-3 seats is very much a real thing.)

Do you also believe that people hogging the armrest in planes, to the point where their elbow actually gets beyond the rest, doesn’t happen?

While women may also take up more than their appropriate share of the space (my mother is the worst space-hogger I know and definitely female), doing it by leg-spreading is something that’s done by males almost exclusively, and that “almost” is preemptive as I’ve never actually witnessed a woman doing it.

And a British magazine in 1848.

More examples of where everyone agrees it is NOT acceptable behaviour. No examples of it being okay.

Some men behave in unacceptable ways. Personally, I’ve never bought the Susan Brownmiller argument (and at my age, unlikely to change my opinion now).