Madrid just banned ‘manspreading’ on all public transport

Madrid just banned ‘manspreading’ on all public transport
Manspreading is when men invade others personal space with their wide open legs. Photo: Nevermindtheend / Flickr
Madrid’s transport authorities are clamping down on ‘manspreading’ - the common practice that sees men take up more space than they need to by sitting with their legs wide open.

The Municipal Transportation Company (EMT) announced that it will be incorporating new signage across all trains, metros and buses to dissuade “manspreaders” from adopting their annoying pose.

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”

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“The new information icon indicates the prohibition of taking a seating position that bothers other people,” explained the EMT in a statement issued on Wednesday.

“It’s to remind transport users to maintain civic responsibility and respect the personal space of everyone on board”.

Feminist group Mujeres en Lucha launched a petition on Monday and the 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 enlightened cities such as New York, which in 2014, ran a poster campaign on its subway with the slogan “Dude, Stop the spread please”.

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