NYC: Investigating the Manspread

It’s been bitched about, paired with cats, and ranks high among transit rider complaints. The phenomenon of “manspreading,” or sitting with your legs wide open to the discomfort of those sitting next to you, is also the subject of a recent Gothamist video that attempts to get to the bottom of why people do it. The blog interviewed so-called manspreaders on the New York City Subway and, with the aid of a tape measure, got their take on what is an acceptable amount of spread.

Now, lending Old Media cred to the backlash, The New York Times interviewed subway etiquette expert Johnny T. about the phenomenon and how best to counter it.

In January, New York transit officials will launch a campaign aimed at preventing riders from taking up too much space. But according to one man interviewed by Gothamist, that effort may be in vain.

“We have no choice to have our legs like that,” he said. “You know what I mean? You feel me?

Looks like a problem that won’t get solved anytime soon.

What do you think Muni riders. Is there any hope for our big-balled brethren?


  • Jeffrey Lynn McElroy via Facebook

    I have always given these folks the benefit of the doubt and guessed that they just had terrible groin rashes. Apparently they are not all disease-ridden—some are just assholes.

  • Pickles McGee via Facebook

    These spreaders say they have no choice when they’re crowding women but they close their legs a bit so they don’t rub knees with other men. So they are clearly deciding that it is okay to crowd women but not other men and are apparently also getting cheap thrills from infringing on women’s space.

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