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Manspreading, or as those guilty of it call it: 'sitting', has become a bit of a sore point for public transport users over the past couple of years. Granted, before that it didn't even have a name, but there's no denying that it rubs people up the wrong way.
And it's fair enough really, why should you have your personal space invaded just so that the person sitting next to you can air their junk out, or whatever it is they're trying to achieve by sitting in that position?
The answer is, you shouldn't.
People are up in arms about it, but apart from turning to the side and saying: 'oi, mate, can you close your fucking legs please, it's doing my head clean in?' what can really be done to stop it?
Well, there's one European city that has had quite enough of this sort of behavior. In fact, they've become so sick of it that they have gone to the effort of producing a dedicated sign, urging passengers to keep their legs closed when riding the tube...not that much to ask really, is it?
Madrid is leading the fight against so-called manspreading and the city's Municipal Transportation Company (EMT) plan on installing new signs in all its carriages and vehicles, which they hope will stop all of the inconsiderate leg spreading.
Esta es la señal de los autobuses de la @EMTmadrid para respetar el espacio de los demás y evitar el #manspreading. https://t.co/dnqdMycgaO pic.twitter.com/Xwcx3bx8DG
- Ayuntamiento Madrid (@MADRID) June 7, 2017
EMT released a statement announcing the move on Wednesday, reports the Independent.
The statement read: "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."
The push to introduce a sign comes after months of campaigning by women in the Spanish capital. The group, Mujeres en Lucha, led the protests, starting a petition called #MadridSinManspreading (#MadridWithoutManspreading) earlier this year.
The hashtag went viral on social media and the group presented the petition to Madrid's Mayor and Regional President.
It stated: "Manspreading is the practice of certain men sitting with their legs wide open on public transport, taking up other people's space.
"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."
Ahora a conseguir que el @metro_madrid como el metro de New York se sume a un transporte público sin #manspreading pic.twitter.com/hPrTnMz8Ab
- Rosa Laviña (@RosaLavina) June 7, 2017
However, Madrid isn't the first city to bring in such measures against anti-social leg positioning on public transport.
In 2014, New York became one of the first cities to take a stand against manspreading on public transport.
NYC's "Dude, please stop the spreading" campaign on the city's metro network gained widespread praise and support.
NYPD officers even went as far as arresting offenders who did not comply but all charges were eventually dropped.
However, not everyone was pleased, with some people taking to Twitter to voice their outrage at what they perceived to be the persecution of men.
"The MAN part of the word is out of order. I have seen women with handbags on other seats, lying back and spreading their legs like men..." Jesús Herraiz from Madrid said on Twitter.
Whatever you think on the matter, it looks like the banning of manspreading could become commonplace in the near future.
Words: Paddy Maddison
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