I don’t remember when I first heard the term “manspreading” but I do know that I have been seeing it quite a bit more in memes and videos online.
At first I was like, “why is it everything men do nowadays get ridiculed?”
But then I was like, “wait, do I manspread?”
It has been a little while since I’ve been on public transportation. I tried thinking back to the times I took the train into Philadelphia, or the couple times I was on the Metro in Washington D.C. over the past few years and I don’t remember taking up more space than I needed. And I am pretty sure I did not encroach on anyone sitting next to me and make them uncomfortable.
All the times I remember, my wife was with me. Sitting next to me. So maybe that had some effect? We usually sit close anyway.
I took a survey of my sitting habits around the house.
When sitting by myself I sometimes caught myself sitting in the most relaxed manner possible. This did not always involve manspreading. Sometimes my legs were spread out. Sometimes I was slouching. And sometimes I was practically laying in the chair.
But all those times I was sitting by myself. No one else around. In my own house. And quite often I was sitting in a chair meant for only one person, so no one was ever going to sit next to me.
So I waited for my kids to have their spring concerts at school. Being crammed into a middle school auditorium doesn’t leave much room to be comfortable.
And I noticed when I was there that I also sat in the most comfortable position possible. My legs might be relaxed, but when someone sat next to me and the rows filled up I brought myself together and was mindful of the people next to me.
I was brought up with manners. I learned early on to always be courteous of the people around me. I stand when a woman or an older person needs a seat. When I am sitting or standing in line or shopping in the store I don’t encroach on others.
People have personal space and it is rude to invade it.
I don’t manspread at the expense of those around me.
But I have deifintely become more aware of manspreading.