Madrid clamping down on ‘manspreading’


TRANSPORT AUTHORITIES in Madrid are beginning to clamp down on ‘manspreading’!

The growing trend of seeing men taking up more seat space on public transport by sitting with their legs wide open is being outlawed following a series of protests and internet-based campaigns.

Madrid’s Municipal Transportation Company (EMT) announced that it will be incorporating new signage across all trains, metros and buses to dissuade “manspreaders” from their pose that has become increasingly annoying for many passengers.

The icon of a red stick man sitting with his legs wide apart will appear next to signs warning against smoking, eating, putting feet on seats and dropping litter and appears with the words “Respect the space of others”

In a statement issued last week, the EMT explained: “The new information icon indicates the prohibition of taking a seating position that bothers other people. It’s to remind transport users to maintain civic responsibility and respect the personal space of everyone on board.”

Mujeres en Lucha – a Spanish feminist group – have launched a petition and the Twitter hashtag #MadridSinManspreading soon went viral.

“Manspreading is the practice of certain men sitting with their legs wide open on public transport, taking up other people’s space,” reads the petition. “It is not something that occurs sporadically, if you pay attention you’ll see that it is a very common practice. It’s not difficult to see women with their legs shut and very uncomfortable because there is a man next to them who is invading their space with his legs.”

Madrid is following in the footsteps of cities such as New York, which in 2014, ran a similar poster campaign on its subway with the slogan “Dude, stop the spread please”.