Manspreading In All the Wrong Places


So Manspreading has been in the news recently. Two men in New York were arrested for spreading their legs on a subway. It sounds stupid when you say it out loud, yet, it is true. Before we discuss what happened to these men, we need to understand what is manspreading and the controversy behind it.

Manspreading (also known as man-sitting) is the act of men sitting with their legs open. More specifically, it is a term for when it occurs on public transport, though it could be expanded for anywhere public seating is available. The first appearance of this term in a public forum was in 2013 on Tumblr. A feminist cited the issue of men spreading their legs taking up a lot of space, which she said is a means to oppress women who take up little space, thus making them uncomfortable.

This immediately came under attack, as this is nothing more than a way to control men. It also is a gross ignorance of biology and how the male body is designed. For men, sitting with our legs open is due to how our hips are structured. Because of how narrow they are, compared to women (which women’s bodies are designed for childbirth and men aren’t), men must keep their legs open to be comfortable. Which also means, to keep their legs closed is very uncomfortable.

This of course is not to say that men must keep their legs open. In times were space becomes a premium, due to a lot of people in a small area, men are known to close legs to make more room.

It’s one thing to bitch about this in public forums and social media, but this has become an issue for New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). At the beginning of 2015, MTA launched a campaign costing over $76,000 to put up signs that tell men not to spread their legs and announcements on the trains not to do it. Mind you, MTA is $34.4 billion in debt, but then, what is another $76k. At present, this is a campaign asking people not to be rude.

When it comes to this controversy, none are more famous than Tom Hanks. Yes, the actor. He got accused of manspreading and take up two seats. In truth he was doing this and freely admitted it, but added that the car was half empty and he decided to relax. Him taking up two seats was not an inconvenience for anyone. Yet, he was shamed for doing it.


The flip side to all of this, is that the worst offenders of space issues on public transports are women. The thing is, men do need to spread their legs to feel comfortable, but 99% of the time, if it is required of them to close their legs to make room, they will. However, women represent a greater problem.

How? Bags.

Two Trendy Women travelling on the Subway in Madrid with shopping bags after a day's shopping.B5G3FSkIgAEkQND

While men can easily make room, women will often carry bags with them, likely do to shopping. Now men do this as well, but more often it is because it is a backpack. However, when men carry a bag they usually keep it on them or put it under their feet rather than taking up another seat with it, and they usually have just one or two.

Women get on public transportation with multiple bags from shops.  When they do this, they put their bags on adjacent seats, and expect other paying customers to give up those seats to make room for them. No one is outraged about this. Even those who support the issue of manspreading are not bothered by women doing this, justifying that she is not spreading her legs.

woman taking up space

So if it is OK for a woman to take up multiple seats, and Tom Hanks is bitched at when the subway is half empty, perhaps this isn’t a space issue. Perhaps the issue is SJW trying to control male behavior, and criminalize men for being men. It is a form of harassment and attempt at shaming men who are not actually doing anything wrong and making it an issue about space despite the fact that women are the worst offenders when it comes to take up space on a train. There is also exaggeration of men spreading their legs with captions of them taking up seats when in truth, the people next to them still have a lot of space. People tend not to want to be touching someone if they can help it. More than that, most men will accommodate those around them if asked.

So let’s talk about the two men arrested. In my research for this issue, the good news I can tell you is that this is not a law. But then, how does one get arrested for something not a law?

The two men in question got arrested on Friday, May 22nd 2015 @ 12:11am. Focus on that time. After midnight on a subway. I’ve been told that at midnight, a subway car is mostly empty. Which means these two men were arrested for having their legs spread apart while the train was mostly empty.

Even the judge herself was shocked by this, citing that the subway couldn’t have had that many people on it. However, she didn’t throw out the case, but instead, slapped the men with a warning that if they do get arrested again, they would go to jail.

Again, why did they get arrested for something that is not a law that didn’t inconvenience anyone?

Because the police can. It appears that police can arrest anyone for any reason without probable cause to do so, for things that are not even a crime. This sounds like a bad cop show, but this is actually going on. People are arrested or written up for things that are not crimes, often times to be thrown out of court or given a bullshit sentence.

This is called Broken Window Policing. I quote to you a document from PROP (Police Reform Organizing Project):

A Department representative, a precinct captain or lieutenant, pressures officers to meet numerical goals regarding arrests and summonses, then deploys the officers in particular neighborhoods.

Everyone in those neighborhoods becomes a potential criminal even if their criminality is fabricated to meet the targeted monthly quotas, sometimes referred to by Department brass as “productivity goals”. The subsequent indiscriminate ticketing, false arrests, and illegal stops undermine officers’ relationships with communities and result in unfair, counterproductive policing. As the stories in this report attest, many community members do not feel that they can turn to the police as a source of protection. In fact, they often feel that they must take steps to protect themselves and their children from the police. They lose faith in a legal system that unjustly harasses and punishes them at its earliest stages with its most public arm.

The problem, as reported by PROP, appears to be with the policing within subways system at night. People, namely minorities, are ticketed or arrested for crimes including: putting foot on seat, walking between cars, and even having someone swipe in for you.

At present for 2015, there have been over 1400 summons to court for the issue of manspreading, holding open the possibility that more have been arrested for this.

While a quota system could explain why these sort of arrests are happening, there is no concrete evidence to prove a quota system is being used by police.

The long and the short of it is that feminists have given the police manspreading on a silver patter. Men can be arrested for something biological. It’s like women being arrested for menstruating. It’s not something women can control, but you better believe feminists would cry oppression if such a law were made… yet they are gung-ho about barring men from doing something that they need to do.

While the overall problem appears to be a race issue, as the majority of those accused of these petty issues are non-white, this new rule is a way of legal discrimination against men, as no rule has been made against bags on seats.

Our society is really going down a dark hole. First world feminism is complaining of something that doesn’t affect anyone, simply because it hurts their feelings. They have forced New York to make it a policy which now gives police the ability to arrest people for it, despite it not being a crime. I would think twice about living in New York, as it is becoming more and more anti-men by the minute.

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About the author


Once a member of the Honey Badgers, he left due to real life issues going on that required more of his focus. He is doing all that he can to make a career out of writing, but still is in the movement to give voice to men that so rarely get their voice heard. On YouTube, he is known as the Angry Egalitarian.

He's an easy going guy who loves deep analytical thought, enjoys gaming, and being goofy.

<span class="dsq-postid" data-dsqidentifier="152251">27 comments</span>

  • I’m just baffled that among all the problems we have in society, fucking manspreading is at the top of the list. Like WHY!? This is the most petty, moronic and pointless “issue” I’ve ever heard about. And what pisses me off even more is the fact that whiny bitches are screaming about it, which makes me want to send all of them back to basic biology class to learn about human body anatomy. because they clearly don’t understand it.

    If men had such wide space between their legs and nothing in that space, we could sit with out legs together. But not only our pelvis is very narrow which makes our legs be closer to each other, we also have fucking balls and sausage in between. So whenever a whining woman will bitch about it, I’d just say STFU darling. You don’t know how it is to be a man just like I’m not “mansplaining” to women how it is to have regular periods and hormone problems. Because I don’t know how it is to live with that and I’m not being a smartass about it, because I really have no clue about it. Why that somehow doesn’t apply the other way around?

    It is uncomfortable for me to sit like this in baggy pants that I usually wear, imagine majority of men who wear jeans. It’s a fucking torture.

    Women should try it out and see how it feels like. Put a tennis ball in your jeans (it has to be jeans because it’s not elastic) and try to sit with that down there for 15 minutes with legs close together. It’ll be highly uncomfortable as it is and the tennis ball doesn’t even have the nerves for pain. Testicles do and trust me it’s not comfortable to squeeze them.

    So stop fucking preaching to us how to sit if there is still plenty of room around. If there is none, I’m quite confident large majority of men will try to do their best to provide space for others while not castrating themselves in the process…

    • Why? Control. Plain and simple. Yet another tool the gynocentric culture has for emasculating and shaming men for being… men.

  • So we’ve identified the problem ie: feminists dictating how men should sit and getting this more or less enforced by law ( I can’t even believe I am writing these words!) which has quite rightly angered many of us. Now we need to calm down and think how we are going to tackle this problem and find a solution to this sexist bullshit. I think first of all men, en masse, should just ignore it and when confronted explain they happen to have a penis and testicles and narrow hips. Secondly, a medically themed poster campaign of our own explaining why we have no choice but to sit with our legs apart and how harmful and damaging it is to force our knees together. Thirdly, a further campaign targeting women who take up seats with their baggage. We have to start fighting back against this naked bigotry otherwise feminists will push things a lot further – I predict men being banned from traveling at peak times and/or being forbidden to sit. You may scoff at this but a few years ago we would have scoffed at manspreading.

    • Perhaps the men getting arrested for this should band together and file a class-action sex discrimination case against the precincts doing it, because enforcement seems to only be affecting men.

      • Yes, they should absolutely make a stand ( no pun intended!) I am damm well sure If I got nicked for such a ludicrous sexist ‘crime’ I would kick up a stink. God forbid this crap ever comes to London

    • Perhaps all men should get a note from their doctor stating they must keep their legs spread when sitting. Let’s make the problem worse.

  • What crazy version of alternate reality did I wake up into this morning?
    Arrested… ARRESTED???!!! For sitting with your legs too far apart on the subway? Are. You. Guys. Kidding. Me?

    I swear, it’s getting more and more hard to not start being really hateful of people in general, especially women (though I’d guess a good chunk of them probably wouldn’t deserve it). But it’s getting really really hard to control, and THIS isn’t helping…

    • Yes it’s hard not to “hate in general” but that’s the problem with wearing gang colors. Since I don’t see good cops doing anything about bad cops, and I don’t see “good women” doing anything about feminists, they are all wearing gang colors.
      If they don’t care, I won’t care. And backlash is coming.

      • It’s a problem for sure. Almost all women are content to sit back and watch men continually be emasculated and assaulted… and it’s a pretty solid indictment of our culture if you ask me. There are women… really good women… who are starting to speak up about this sort of thing. When they do they’re viciously attacked by the feminazis… but still some women like Straughan and Sommers and some others keep fighting the good fight. I’m not sure if it’s enough to stem the tide and eventually roll some of it back… or if we’re just screwed. But it is very disheartening to see how many otherwise smart good women are suckered into the lies and manipulations that modern day feminism employs left and right.

      • Hate is the hardest thing to deal with concerning feminists. Its gotten so bad that I have to be careful for my own health because hate can and will manifest into serious physical maladies. Negative emotion, if not properly processed does suppress the immune system! Besides from that, I can only hope that when the backlash comes its not going to devolve into a serious physical retaliation against feminists… because we all know what can happen when you get a group of hurt, angry people who’ve had enough… Total fucking chaos, caveman style lol! There are more then enough angry and frustrated young men to have this happen. We are gonna have to get a grip on our emotions and evolve past violent retaliation. guess at the end of the day our best recourse is what it always has been. Self mastery and redeploying our resources to man friendly sectors!

  • The term itself is offensive. Even if we pretend that 90% of the time it was men and only 10% was women taking up too much space (when the train isn’t, you know, half empty so irrelevant) which I don’t believe for a second is 90%..but even if it was, “manspreading” is a sexist (anti-male sexist) misandrist term. Let’s say there was a place where 90% of the crime was by blacks. Hypothetically, if that was true, would it be ok to call stealing by the term “black-taking” merchandise? It would be rightly seen as an outrageous term.

    Second, let’s call this what it is, it’s not just misandry, this is fascism, culturally, and with this arrest legally. Searching for manspreading arrest, I found some reports, and a disgusting article titled: “Manspreading arrest: I was groped by a man’s legs on the trainMen who spread their legs on trains are symptoms of a society that still sees women’s bodies as public property” on the conservative paper, the center-right UK Telegraph…it’s everywhere in the media. Never mind that she (of course) kept her mouth shut and for some reason couldn’t say “excuse me, your knee is hurting me”..

    Even if he was completely “guilty” of the worst she’s assuming, she wants to use that single experience (she admits the vast majority of so called manspreading is non-sexual) and use that to justify criminalizing men and to divert outrage at this arrest into making it all about “a society that sees women’s bodies as public property”

    When men’s bodies are policed and even arrested, for something that doesn’t hurt anyone (half empty train) or could be addressed with, and for over a century had been addressed with a short “excuse me, could you..” isn’t that about the definition of “making MEN’S bodies as public property”? But to her, that one man’s knee hurting her is proof that the central issue is “women’s bodies are seen as public property” while it’s ok with her that men’s bodies are policed and criminized.

    I don’t use the term fascist lightly. But when you look at Tom Hanks photo and the reaction, that’s culturally a misandrist version of fascism, and now the legal steps are taking place…Before it’s too late and before it gets much worse, people need to wake up…and speak up!

    • I actually didn’t go far enough in my comment. I could and should have used 100% in my example, and here’s why.

      By imaging how it would be rightly seen as outrageous if stealing was called “black-taking” even in a hypothetical society where 90% of stealing was done by that demographic, it would still be an outrageous term. So even if we pretend that men were responsible for 90% of “taking up too much space” or similar nonsense assumption, it would still be outrageously misandrist to call it “manspreading” But, what if it was 100%?

      If in a hypothetical society (obviously not this one) men were responsible for 100% of the cases, would it be ok to call it manspreading? Again, let’s think of race. Imagine a society where 100% of the crime is by blacks. It WOULD still be outrageously racist to call it “black-taking” because you could still have the great majority of blacks being law abiding…so it would be outrageous and racist to associate the law abiding majority with the stealing of the minority. Similarly, even if we pretend, laughably, that 100% of “taking up too much space” was done by males, it would be similarly outrageous because it would associate negative behavior with the ENTIRE demographic, the majority of men behaving responsible and a percent of them being responsible (we’re pretending) for 100% of the cases of taking up too much space.

      The inescapable conclusion is that even before we pick apart the lies about “it’s almost always men doing it” and other lies, even if we imagine the most extreme false charges made were true, even if we imagined that 100% of the time it was men doing it – it is still offensively, even outrageously anti-male sexist language to call it “manspreading”….yet this is what the mainstream media, right (Telegraph) and left and the rest, adopt that language without blinking.

  • Democracy is a suicide pact with stupidity. Think of the worse people you meet. Now remember that they can hide in a voting booth and make their horrid ideas into laws enforced at gunpoint.
    But I’m at a point where, seeing people use “free speech” to destroy freedom, I won’t be caring if we get to a point where men in brown uniforms start beating the crap out of “the left” (generally the SJW/feminist/GLBT alliance) in the streets.
    (gee, where has that happened before? And how did that end last time?)
    Nope, since these people would destroy others in the most cowardly way (using the police as their personal weapon), I cannot find myself raising voice nor rifle to defend them from a fate that, forgive me for saying this, they may well have coming. Even if they start getting rounded up. They would cheer if they can get me or people like me rounded up.
    And if they want this to boil down to a level where it’s more about survival than principles, well… I didn’t ask for it.
    Yeah that’s how I feel right now.

    • I feel your frustration (see my comment above about this being fascism) but you lost me at the first sentence. The alternatives to democracy are neither morally good, nor useful to MHRM, at the end of the day. And most versions of democracy do not include the right of a minority or even majority in the ballot box to take away certain rights of others, so the ballot is not a danger when you have functioning democracy. Maybe our problem is it’s not a very functional one right now?

      Anyway, where I really hope you reconsider, is this. There are not many things I would list higher on the dangers list than a culture, society, and legal regime where people get arrested for “manspreading” but one where cops “beat the crap” out of “the left” or anyone else for assembling in the streets, that would be worse, yes.

      At least you put “left” in quotes…I am sickened as an actual progressive or politically left person by what is done under those names, the same way a conservative might be sick when words like “freedom” are used as a cover for wars based on lies or for draconian or anti-freedom laws at home. The movements you allude to have little to do with actual peace and justice and equality, but they use the terms.

      You want to give cops the right to beat the crap out of people assembling in the streets who are “SJWs”? Then the cops will also give themselves permission to beat the crap out of libertarians or actual progressives like myself next time we’re in the street against a war, or against corporate welfare for Wall Steet, and they’ll beat the crap out of you or your friends or co-workers for any other issue, too. Not smart. Then again the cops already give themselves permission, so encouraging them is only asking them to go even farther in the already messed up direction they are. No thanks…

      Instead, let’s get a functioning democracy back, our representatives, let’s get them to representing us, the media, back to saner and more responsible and more accountable practices, and the list goes on, I’m sure you can add to it. One thing NOT on my list: a country where cops feel even more “comfortable” beating the hell out of citizens than they already are…

  • I think that the seating on subways and trains is designed for women.
    The seats are too low and the headrests (if present) are also too low.
    For most men, anyway. The consequence of too low seating with those
    with ‘inappropriate leg length’ is a forcing out of the knees.

    Punishing ‘manspreading’ is like punishing short women for not having both feet on the floor when seated.

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