I had ideas for umpteen blogs. Here is where they all somehow converge and I attempt to do something productive with my sprawling web presence.
Tuesday, January 6, 2015
Stopping the scourge of 'manspreading' and other public transit space-takers
It might seem surprising, but the use of public transportation such as buses and trains is increasing at a rate that considerably surpasses the current use of highways. According to the American Public Transportation Association(APTA), public transportation rose to the highest number of riders since 57 years ago, with 10.7 billion trips being logged in 2013. This number is indicative of a 37.2 percent increase that is part of a longtime trend which does not seem to have an end in sight any time soon. The APTA states that the demand for public transportation is predicted to continually increase.
“Manspreading” is the focus of a current campaign in which the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is attempting to stamp out a “scourge” of space-takers on public transportation who are laying it all out, sometimes taking up two to three seats to themselves. It’s a habit that has received many complaints and sometimes, annoyed fellow passengers “subway shame” manspreaders via social media outlets.
Well, what is it precisely, this manspreading thing? According to actress Kelley Rae O’Donnell, a woman who has been taking pictures of culprits for the last three years and posting them on Twitter, "Manspreading is when men take up too much room on the subway by spreading their legs in a wide V, like geese traveling."
“It’s the bane of many female subway riders,” wrote the New York Times, and though many men consider sitting with their legs spread their lawful and god-given right, others counter with the commentary that sitting that way on crowded mass transit is simply rude, let alone obnoxious.
It’s not just the manspread that is under fire. Ladies, if you think you’re safe, you might guess again. Though most women don’t sit in splayed out fashion, an oversized purse or backpack taking up more than one sitting space could get some frowns thrown in your direction and an honorary position in the #subwayshaming feed.
Remember, as the MTA says in their current campaign, “Courtesy Counts: Manners Make a Better Ride.” So, close your legs, put away that tuna sandwich, don’t spread out across seats to take a nap and maybe wait til you get home to paint those fingernails. Your fellow passengers would very much appreciate it.
*originally published at the now defunct Examiner.com