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Madrid has banned manspreading

Posted by
Emily Reynolds
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Look: I’ll level with you. I do not have balls. I am not, nor will I ever be, in possession of a pair of testicles. And this doesn’t just mean I won’t ever be able to pee standing up without pissing directly onto my legs, feet or other nearby object: it also means I will never know the bittersweet joy of manspreading. 

Manspreading, if you didn’t already know, describes “a man sitting in public transport with legs wide apart, thereby covering more than one seat” (thanks Wikipedia), and is a pretty contentious topic. Lots of men think it’s a made up word for a non-existent problem: women disagree, and argue that it’s not only a literal example of the patriarchal male’s necessity to take up space that isn’t his, but also that it’s really fucking annoying. 

Anyway, it seems like the city of Madrid is on the ladies’ side, because they have just officially banned it. They’ve unveiled a set of stickers showing a manspreader with the words “Respect others’ space”.

It follows a campaign from a group of feminists in the city, who describe manspreading as a “question of culture”. 

"We women have always been told to occupy the least amount of space possible, and men haven't," said campaign leader, Alejandra de la Fuente.

“We believe that putting a name to and making visible these kinds of daily sexist behaviours that go unnoticed is the way ahead to become more aware, seeing what we used not to see and leaving inequality and machismo behind.”

Personally, I’m on Madrid’s side here. Are your balls really so big, so full of hope and cum, that you can’t close your legs on public transport? Do they need so much air and space that you have to shove your besuited legs into mine on the Tube? Must our knees always touch? Do you feel no shame?

Please do not send me the answer to these questions on a postcard. Just write it on the side of your leg in fountain pen then immediately press it against my thigh instead. I’ll read it when I get home.

(Image: iStock)