Madrid just banned ‘manspreading’ on all public transport

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.

Madrid just banned ‘manspreading’ on all public transport
Manspreading is when men invade others personal space with their wide open legs. Photo: Nevermindtheend / Flickr

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”.

READ ALSO: Madrid gets gay friendly traffic lights


Hair removal kit and a vibrator? Outrage in Spain over prize for female squash champs

A squash club in Spain has been forced to apologize after sparking a sexism row for awarding female competitors prizes that included body hair removal kits and a vibrator.

Hair removal kit and a vibrator? Outrage in Spain over prize for female squash champs
An image of the trophies and gifts awarded to female players. Photo: Ganamos Con Ellas

On winning the Asturias Squash Championship on May 11th Elisabet Sadó not only received a trophy but also a gift – a Durex Play vibrator.

Second, third and fourth prize winners Olaya Fernandez Lence, Marina Arraiza Mier and Cristina Barandica Fernandez, also received gifts that included an electric foot file for removing bunyons and a leg wax kit.

Male players in the competition, however, were only awarded their trophies, without gifts of sex aids or beauty treatments.  


The players immediately complained to the Royal Spanish Squash Federation complaining that the prizes “promoted sexism”.

A photo of the prizes was posted online by local radio show Ganamos Con Ellas (We Win With Women), which described them as “degrading, shocking, harmful, inconceivable but sadly true.”

The athletes complained that it was a sign of the discrimination against women in Sport.

“We were very surprised, very shocked,” Sadó said. “We think it's very sexist. We want to bring it everybody’s attention because we think […] there's a lot of discrimination [against women in sport] and things have to change.”

Almudena Cueto, the director of the Asturian Women's Institute, said the players and returned the trophies and gifts in outrage.

“They returned the gifts and decided to make a formal complaint so something like this would never happen. What's occurred is shameful. It's left us speechless,” she said.

The squash club issued a formal apology “We understand the reaction and deeply regret this unacceptable incident,” said official statement signed by president Nacho Manzano and acting president Barbara Fernandez.

“The club reiterates its apologies to players, the Federation and people or entities offended by the discomfort caused by inappropriate gifts and that should never have been delivered.”

“We feel terribly ashamed by what's happened and we understand the gifts were not the appropriate ones but it was never our intention to offend anyone,” Manzano told local Asturian newspaper El Comercio Digital.

Answer this: Is machismo still alive and well in Spain?