Manspreading: Public bus signs tell men to keep legs together

USA TODAY - Buses in Madrid, Spain, will soon have a new warning sign directed at men: Don’t spread your legs.

Madrid’s public transportation service, EMT, worked with an equality and feminist group to develop an icon reminding passengers to respect everyone’s space.

The signs show two blue bus seats with a red figure wearing shorts spreading his legs wide, into the accompanying seat. A red X is in the top left corner.

Manspreading, when men open their legs wide while sitting, was recently subject of a Madrid-based Change.org petition that asked for signs in public transit.

Other transportation companies around the world have developed similar signs.

In 2014, the New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority released a poster campaign showing a man with his legs spread and the slogan: "Dude…Stop The Spread, Please. It’s a space issue."

Seattle, Washington's transit has used an icon of an octopus invading others' space. Japan has also posted signs urging commuters to avoid manspreading.

But a knee jab on a subway ride isn't the only reason manspreading is a hot button issue. Many say it is an example of gender bias that men require more space.

News site Mic conducted an experiment showing a man and woman spreading out on NYC subways. They recorded people staring and taking photographs of the woman who spread out, and largely ignoring the man who did the same.  

Some men have criticized the term, saying women take up space in similar ways, using the hashtag #femspreading. 

Follow Ashley May on Twitter: @AshleyMayTweets

Copyright 2017 USA Today


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