For those who don’t know, Manspreading is the practice where men sit with their legs wide apart. It is usually used in regards to their sitting on public transport, generally encroaching on women’s space. I’ve often heard men’s excuses, the most prevalent of which is – “I need room for my balls.” This has been poo-pood by many, especially women. So why do men do this? What gives them the right to act like this? To take up more than their space?
You may think as a cisgender, heterosexual, female, I might have disdain for the practice on Manspreading. I don’t. I believe it is a natural trait of men to sit with their legs wide apart. They may have to be reminded not to spread their legs. I do indeed have a problem with men who do not close the gap when it is obvious they are impacting others. I have always been a tomboy. Right from that first breath out of the womb. Now I can dress up and wear make up now and again. I even like feeling dolled up, sometimes. The thought of doing that everyday, like most women my age do for work etc. is godawful. No thank you. So I do have a feminine side somewhere. When I sit down in a chair, however, I either sit back and spread my legs (such a negative connotation for a woman) or sit forward and do the same. I don’t decide to do this, it do it without thinking. Now if I’m in public and think of it, I hurriedly change my posture, hoping no one noticed my manly gesture. I’m overweight, wear baggy t-shirts and have a very short haircut. People assume I am either transgender, or lesbian a lot of the time. I honestly couldn’t give a shite if they do. Seriously. I’ve always been a tomboy. Was always mistaken for a boy as a kid. Why change at 40?
What is the explanation for my posture, my natural posture of spreading my legs? The reason I’m writing this article at all is because I was sitting with my legs wide open, and caught sight of two women nearby. Both had their legs crossed. I wondered – is that their natural posture? When they sit down does their body cross their legs automatically? I will not claim that I understand how this ‘natural posture’ theory of mine may work in the brain. Maybe I’m full of crap. God knows I am a lot of the time. Do you now think it’s a little unlikely that men decide to be assholes and sit with their legs open, and women don’t. Do we really think that little of our male counterparts? I might well if I didn’t feel – no not feel – be as they are. I haven’t asked a male. I should. If they do feel the same natural pull I do, and don’t even notice that pull, then give them a break. Of course, be all means, ask them to encroach less. How about saying something like “Excuse me. Would you mind moving your legs a little closer together please?” Throw a big beaming smile on your face. I imagine most men will have no problem doing so. Some will be embarrassed that they didn’t notice. Of course there are plenty of assholes (of both sexes) that will not care.
I believe most people are good. I believe most people don’t want to bother others. There is no us and them. Not in this case. Accept that they ‘Manspread’. Accept that sometimes you might have to remind them not to. Accept that most will rectify the issue when asked. Manspreading, heck, and life are all about cooperation. I’m signing off, from my third home (home, Starbucks, Northwestern Memorial Hospital), sitting with my legs open at a table. It’s my natural pose. It just is. I can spend my life constantly trying to correct innate features, but why should I? I am not wrong. I am not a mistake. I am me.