Sunday 26 January 2020

Knees together! Madrid launches campaign to tackle manspreading on public transport

Commuters on a train. PIC: Deposit Photos
Commuters on a train. PIC: Deposit Photos
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Spanish transport chiefs in Madrid are taking steps to reduce the practice of 'manspreading' on public transport.

The Oxford English dictionary added the noun 'manspreading' two years ago and defines it as "the practice whereby a man, especially one travelling on public transport, adopts a sitting position with his legs wide apart, in such a way as to encroach on an adjacent seat or seat".

Anyone who has been on the receiving end of a space-invading protruding knee is unlikely to be a fan of the practice.

The BBC reports that bus operator EMT and the Madrid's Metro rail system are planning on adding signs demonstrating manspreading with a big red cross indicating that the practice is frowned upon.

EMT's new sign

The move comes in the wake of a petition launched by women's campaign group Mujeres en Lucha (Women in Struggle) which garnered 12,000 signatures.

Madrid follows several other cities which have tackled the problem including New York, Philadelphia and Seattle.

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