Some Serious Manspreading on a Metro Bus


Good Morning Charles,
Indeed, I agree. "Manspeading" is most irritating. I ride the bus daily and have seen it on occasion. I read the article you referenced in the NY Times a few months ago. I found it funny how some woman in NYC are shaming some men in social media with photographs of their "manspread". Most awesome.
That looks like one of the seats in the middle of the bus that's a single. If that's the case I don't think it counts as manspreading.
I prefer the term "lava-ball'n."
Then what do we call women who think their purse needs its own seat? I see that just as often. Should there be a gender-neutral term for people who think their backpack does?
Serious manspreading is a drag, but not-so-serious manspreading really bums me out.
Newsflash: Men have external genitalia and it is more comfortable to sit with our legs slightly spread. I find this term really fucking annoying "manspreading, teeheeeheehee." Can we stop coming up with cutesy names for things and just start calling out assholes for being assholes?

You can sit with your knees apart without being an asshole by crossing your feet so that the bottom of your legs cross in an X. This way you don't spread out into someone else's space.

Don't put your bag in the seat next to you, move in to the window seat so that someone else can sit down, wear deodorant, don't touch other people.

One more tip: If someone is doing this just sit down. 9/10 times they immediately pull back into their space. 100% of the time they will move over a bit if asked politely. But that would be too easy, instead we'll go with the passive aggressive social media shaming approach. Carry on.
That term is sexist and derogatory and you wouldn't be complaining if it was a woman.
Honestly, the way most men sit naturally is basically what is considered "manspreading." It is quite uncomfortable as a man to sit with your legs together for much time at all.

There are certainly guys who take up more space than they need comfortably, just like there are people who use up too much space for their bags/backpacks, but most pictures I see of "manspreading" are guys sitting how men sit naturally and comfortably.
Where am I supposed to put my gigantic cock and ample balls if my legs are pressed together?
You might not want to complain about complaining.
You should have taken a better photo of the rewards card/keychain thing to encourage continued shaming by having the card suddenly change usage patterns.
@7, Charles will complain about even the most trivial of things that can be twisted into an injustice (see the inference about poorer areas of town not getting handles with their paper bags based on the observation of one grocery store).
All you usually have to do is ask "can I get that seat please" in a sudden and almost-too-loud voice and people will startle and move for you.
@7) Think about it: would ANYONE complain about "womanspreading"?
"I can't sit like a normal civilized human on the bus because my balls are just too damn big!!" is, ironically, the most childish excuse ever. Let's all point and laugh at the dudes who say this. Did I say dudes? I meant to say pussies. Sensitive pussies who's own delicate sense of comfort is more important than acting like a decent human who knows how to live in a city.
Did I do the shaming thing right? I usually stay out of other people's business.
Perhaps the actual definition of "manspreading" was not explained well enough for me, but what I am taking away from this is that because of anti-community culture and politics there is inadequate funding for sufficient mass transit and people are jammed into sardine-like conditions, enough that anyone that doesn't meekly bend to sacrifice the totality of their personal space and comfort (since they have already sacrificed a good deal of this by using mass transit in the first place) is ridiculed for not using the 'skirt with no panties - knees together' position. How far is this 'shut up and be grateful you have any mass transit at all' act going to go? Have we become so prissy that we will go full on Ball Shaming rather than recognize this is a symptom of the larger problem of making mass transit an option of last resort. Write an article that speaks to the issue - 'Underfunding of Mass Transit Undermines Community', rather than this click bait.
@10 Oh, lighten up
@2: If you're referring to the middle seats of an articulated bus, then there are two seats on either side, not one.
@1 Yeah, it was really cool how that blog focused on men of color on mostly empty buses.

Heaven forbid someone might space out and not realize how much space they're taking up. Just don't be a fucking asshole about it. Do you folks "shame" people who's grocery cart is in your way as well?

Quit being such whiny, passive-aggressive little shits and ask. Everyone keeps whiny about the anti-social techies, but you jerks are giving them a run for their money.
wtf, no moose knuckle?
Very well said. Mind if I steal it? With all the bitching and whining on Slog, I think "lighten up" may be the best response.
@2 and @19 - Yeah, I was trying to figure out which seat that might be and it does look like the fun circle. So I think this guy is probably taking up two seats for himself which, in my opinion, is a more egregious offense than manspreading.
OK, I haven't read any other articles about man spreading yet, but I'm already curious about how many people who bitch about this don't bother asking for some space.
Especially during busy times, the empty seat next to me is open, (unless you're seriously gross).
Just don't extend you're bitching to people like me whose jobs often mean carrying a heavier load (which for me on some days means a back pack full of tools and snacks, a hard hat, and maybe another bag with spare shoes).

I guess the point is, on a crowded bus with lots of people standing, should one even HAVE to ask some spread-legged moron taking up TWO seats to make room in the first place? Shouldn't he just KNOW to give up the space as a matter of common courtesy and in keeping with the greater Social Compact? And if he's using that extra seat as a shelf for a bunch of things he's brought with him, do those inanimate objects suddenly take more precedence than an actual human being, just because they're heavy and bulky?
The gentleman in question appears to be rather large in size, a result of overconsumption and a market system that favors corporate agriculture. We can blame capitalism for this.
@25, so what if you have to ask? Even the best of us have moments where we forget about certain things. Sometimes the bus fills up AFTER we grabbed the seat and for whatever reason we were in attentive to the combo of the extra space we may have taken up and the bus filling up on the way. Nobody's perfect.
As for the people who are in fact doing this because they're rude/inconsiderate, perhaps they are just taking advantage of the fact that so many people are wussies who are too afraid to ask politely. You know, the passive aggressiveness our city is famous for.
Besides, the shaming means more if you are willing to ask or just take it first, and that was my point that you missed.

@4 Walk toward the back of the bus, this is so much more common than people keeping a bag in the seat next to them.
I'm not afraid to go up to someone and ask if I can sit "there" while referring to their bag, spread legs or just sitting like a slob. I'd rather do that than stand next to them in a passive manner.

Yeah, because situational awareness and being a decent human being are SO HARD!
If the guy in the photo sat with his legs together, the people standing would be tripping over his knees. If your pants inseam is shorter than 34 inches you are not qualified to comment on or diagnose manspreading.
@30, no, it's not that it's hard, it's that none of us are perfect, and if you can't ask for or even take a courtesy that someone should be extending, you have no right to bitch.

And that's really my point, is that asking for something like that shouldn't be so fucking hard. Again, I haven't followed this too closely, but I get the impression that the public shaming campaign and bitching was started by people who didn't bother asking for that space.

Maybe it's because people feel they shouldn't have to ask for something someone else doesn't have a right to co-opt in the first place.
I have no problem with Metro or Sound Transit getting more vocal and clear about etiquette - but "manspreading" is not the only or necessarily the worst offense. And shaming just invites defensive reactions. A nice clear list of etiquette to accompany the existing signs of actual policies/regulations should suffice. Use only one seat, give up your seat for someone who looks like they could use a break from standing, respect privacy, move to the back, get a stroller smaller than an SUV, etc.
@33, so what you're saying is that it's OK to be a passive aggressive candyass!?!

I have to ad that this discussion, especially your retorts that "people shouldn't have to ask", has made me tempted to not practice my usual courtesies (like making room when the bus begins to fill up) just to see if people will either ask or even make me clear space. A little social experiment. Maybe tomorrow morning when I'll need a few extra supplies for work. My bag and hard hat know how to add to my footprint, and staring at my stupid smart phone is nice and distracting.
"a stroller smaller than an SUV"

A stroller the size of or bigger than an SUV. Please provide a link.
Women have nothing better to do that complain -- *yawn*
Did my hyperbole manspread into your comment comfort zone?
This only bothers me when someone sits in the seat next to me and also on my lap. Or elbow me in the side. Or calls me a cunt bitch when I ask to sit in the seat occupied by a backpack.
I see plenty of women taking up more room than they are entitled to, whether by spreading or with their bags. I've yet to see any evidence whatsoever that spreading is something men do more than women. I could decide to take pictures of only black dogs and offer them as proof that all dogs are black, but it wouldn't convince anyone with half a brain. We've taken an anti-social behavior both genders do and singled out men for it. Fuck off.
I am physically disabled and walk with a can. I am a large man in body shape. I try very much to keep my legs together so as not to offend anyone. It puts a lot of physical pain in me to do so. But the feelings and needs of others is more important. As a disable person I have to stand while capable others sit in the front seats. I don't say anything because their needs are more important than mine.
So I will sit with my cane between my locked knees in pain so as not to offend others.
It just occurred to me that I probably should stay off the bus after I get a vasectomy, because I medically need to manspread at that point in time, and if someone were to ask, they might not appreciate hearing that the reason I can't close my legs.
@41, I'm sure no one is talking about disabled people like yourself. But not all of people's issues are readily visible, hence the above vasectomy comment.
I think that your feeling self conscious about this is indicative about what's wrong with this debate.
Before his position was eliminated during a "reorg" (heh-heh), one of the supervisors where I used to work manspread while mansplaining his mandates to his female underlings. For emphasis, he would also tilt back in his cushy executive office chair. His name was "Dick" (I kid you not).
telling men to close their legs. quit slut shaming.
I know that my friends and I (and some women I've spoken to on transit) put our bags in the seats on uncrowded buses to discourage men from sitting next to us. This is absolutely because so many of them manspread or pester us. There are some men that purposely sitting next to us, even if there are 10-12 seats open. You can't tell me that isn't suspect. I will actively make eye contact with other women getting on transit that is starting to fill up and ask them specifically to sit next to me. I do it because I've had to deal with one too many creepers in my life. I'm sorry that most of you dudes don't get this. It's a fucking fact of life for women who ride crowded transit.
@46, as long as you're not preventing anyone from getting a seat this is OK.
Gawd, some of you guys are whiny and annoying. I live in nyc, and manspreading is an annoying problem. When a man sits down and feels that he needs to take up half my seat because he has testicles, that's a problem. And, give me a break with the whole, "It's more comfortable" schpiel. Get over yourselves and get a fucking car if you don't know how to sit correctly with other people. There apparently need to be flyers available titled, "Ball management tips from a drag queen" so some of you can stop with that pathetic excuse. Oh, and by the way, ads on the train shame women for bad public transportation behavior as well.
If I responded to a story about a woman caught in a lie by saying, "Just another lying woman. Why do women lie so much? We need a campaign to shame women liars," you'd know I was a misogynist. Just so here. Anyone who uses the term 'manspreading' is a sexist who proves that MRA's have a point.
No woman of sound mind would ever sit like that.
take more pictures of mens crotches.
@31 has a valid point. If you have long legs and there are people standing in the aisle your choice is to spread your legs or jab the standees with your knees (or otherwise occupy what little space they already have). Not saying that's everyone's excuse, but it's not uncommon.

In this case, that looks like one very overweight man, who is already spilling over into the next seat. Probably why people are not in any rush for the seat next to him.
Re asking for a seat:…
Interesting stuff...
#52, the point is not valid. I've got the magic 34 inch inseam, and nobody runs into my knees while I'm sitting sideways on a bus. I'm more likely to have my knees smashed by reclining ST seats. I'm not the only one in my peer group that has such long legs either. My peers don't have this issue. This issue is made up, to try and gin up an excuse.
Proper etiquette is irrelevant. The transit code of conduct is clear here. Ask them to not block a second seat. If they refuse, let the bus driver know. After the bus is stopped, and the driver informs the offender the bus will not move until they disembark, the problem solves itself.
I ride the light rail from Rainier Beach to downtown every Tuesday morning during peak commuter hours, and there are a ton of people who put their bags on the seat next to them. Mostly men, and mostly with bags smaller than the one I carry in my lap. If I can take up one space, so can you and your backpack (and your apparently gigantic genitals.)
I hate the manspreading mentality because it leads pairs or groups of men to spread out across multiple seats and shout at each other to be heard. If you're going to have a conversation on public transit, fucking sit next to the other person.

From the sounds of it, you don't really seem to need an excuse to come off like a privileged, insufferable douche-nozzle, but go right ahead with your little "social experiment"; no doubt it will only reinforce the negative opinion people already hold about you.