A Non-Feminist Weighs In On “Man-Spreading”

Man spreading

We all know that feminists and other leftist factions are famous for inventing issues that no one ever thought of as being a problem.  Mostly, the complaints are in the “we can no longer enjoy the battle of the sexes” realm, because, well, it might mean that some women actually enjoy being female.

Every now and then, though, feminists stumble upon an issue that really is a pet peeve for a number of women.  The latest is a habit observed by the women of New York who use the MTA.  The Big Apple peaches call it “man-spreading.”

When a male of the species “man-spreads” he sits down and spreads his legs – because he can – thus taking up the space not just in front of his own seat, but a good portion of the seats on either side of him which are normally empty because he is blocking access to them.  Recent conservative commentary has lampooned the feminist press for even mentioning this as an issue.  However, some of us shorted limbed ladies are not so quick to condemn the complaint.  Just because we’re small, it doesn’t mean that we don’t need leg room, albeit less than the average man-spreader.

This writer has never ridden the MTA itself, but has had occasion in public seating to experience the phenomenon of a man getting comfortable in a seat and thus squashing the people on either side of him.  The primary example is a fellow season ticket holder for a local professional sports team who sits two seats to my right.  His manspreading forces my fellow game goer to sit on the left edge of the seat thus crowding me.  We’re packed in like sardines as it is.  This makes it much worse.  This isn’t simply an American phenomenon, either.  Once on a train somewhere in Italy, an Italian man sat next to a relative of mine and man-crowded.  My relative sat on two thirds of her seat all the way from Florence to Venice.  And this guy was about a foot taller than us, too.  Then there was the dude on the train to Canterbury….

These are but a few of the MANY times this writer and her tribe have been the victims of man-spreading on multiple public transportation systems on multiple continents.  To be charitable, rather than overly vulgar as Katherine Timpf of National Review demonstrates the feminist press is, the men who are guilty of man-spreading likely are not cognizant that they are inconveniencing anyone else or are taking up more than their share of seat space.  In that way, man-spreading is simply an outgrowth of the increasingly selfish and informal culture the west is becoming rather than a sign of the patriarchy.  Not unlike some of us ladies who commute with luggage sized handbags.  There’s never enough space.

So, now that the issue is out in the open so to speak, and the worst of it really is a matter of manners, there is no need to get the government involved.  Guys, this comes under the umbrella of gentlemanly behavior.  Acknowledging that this is increasingly difficult to find these days, it would be really nice of you to pay attention to the world around you when seated in public.  And yes, that goes for ladies, too.

About the Author

Cultural Limits
A resident of Flyover Country, Cultural Limits is a rare creature in American Conservatism - committed to not just small government, Christianity and traditional social roles, but non-profits and high arts and culture. Watching politics, observing human behavior and writing are all long-time interests. In her other life, CL writes romance novels under her nom de plume, Patricia Holden (@PatriciaHoldenAuthor on Facebook), and crochets like a mad woman (designs can be found on Facebook @BohemianFlairCrochet and on Pinterest on the Bohemian Flair Crochet board). In religion, CL is Catholic; in work, the jill of all trades when it comes to fundraising software manipulation and event planning; in play, a classically trained soprano and proud citizen of Cardinal Nation, although, during hockey season, Bleeds Blue. She lives in the Mid-Mississippi River Valley with family and two cute and charming tyrants...make that toy dogs.