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Move Over Manspreaders

By: Jacqueline Saguin

It’s 9 a.m., and you’re on an RTS bus. People scramble past you, flooding any available spot. Amidst the madness, a bright, angelic light hovers over the last seat. You sit down and immediately knock knees with the men on either side of you, nudging your own legs together. Welcome to the magic of manspreading.

It’s such a universal act that even Merriam-Webster dictionary gave it a definition: 

Manspreading (noun): the act or practice by a man of sitting with the legs spread wide apart (as in a public seating area) in a way that intrudes on the space of others.

Search #Manspreading on Twitter, take a scroll down and you’re bound to find never ending tweets capturing it on public transportation. From planes, buses and restaurants, a man is somewhere intruding on a woman’s personal space, stretching their legs a mile wide. 

A 23-year-old feminist, Laila Laurel, designed a chair named “A Solution for Manspreading” that calls for the end of the infuriating act. She crafted a wooden seat for men that prevents them from spreading their legs out. And she made a similar chair for women that encourages them to sit wider apart, with a block resting in the middle.

Laila Laurel, designer of “A Solution for Manspreading” chair

The question is, do men realize their breach in other’s personal space or are they oblivious to their surroundings?

Ian Kampert, a University of Florida graduate, said he thinks people are just not mindful.

“I feel like they’ll do it, not as a power move, but [as] a way to clear space and be more comfortable,” he said. “Even when that comfort comes at the inconvenience for others.”

But, how much space does a guy really need? The world may never know.