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Madrid Bans Manspreading on Public Transport

Sat 10th Jun 2017
Madrid Bans Manspreading on Public Transport

In a bizarre move, Spain’s capital has issued a ban on “Manspreading” throughout its public transport services.

Municipal Transportation Company, EMT, the city’s public transportation entity said it would be installing new signage in all is carriages and vehicles in an attempt to stop the practice of manspreading.

Manspreading, considered rude, involves the practice of leg extending which often encroaches on the personal space of others as well as limiting the ability of others to sit or stand within the vicinity of the “spreader”.

In a statement, EMT said “The new information icon indicates the prohibition of taking a seating position that bothers other people” – Adding “It’s to remind transport users to maintain civic responsibility and respect the personal space of everyone on board."

The move by EMT follows months of campaigning by protest group Mujeres en Lucha, translated as “Women in Struggle”, to bring to an end what has been described as “exhibition of machismo and a micro-aggression that can make the person suffering it uncomfortable.”

Mujers en Lucha launched a petition earlier this year using the hash-tag #MadridSinManspreading and #MadridWithoutManspreading which quickly gained traction and went viral across social networks.

According to a report in the online version of the Independent, Mujers en Lucha presented the petition to Madrid’s Mayor and Regional President.

The petition 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.”

In April the CUP party look the issue to government level when they asked for a national campaign to be launched against the problem.

Madrid is not the only city which has banned “manspreading” on public transport.

In 2014, New York implemented a similar ban on manspreading and launched the campaign “Dude, please stop the spreading” which won widespread support. Other cities across the globe are considering similar bans on manspreading.

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