A new data analysis from EconoMonitor is attempting to prove that men don’t want to manspread — they need to.
With the help of data scientist Mark Skinner, EconoMonitor writer Ash Bennington looked at the science behind why dudes manspread on public transit. "Manspreading" refers to when men take up more room than necessary on subways, buses and other types of public transportration. (See examples here, here and here.)
After analyzing three data sets, Bennington and Skinner argued that because men are built with a larger shoulder-to-torso ratio than women they need take up more space. As Bennington explained in the article:
"Our new analysis suggests that manspreading is something men do to adjust for their body proportions — especially their high shoulder to hip ratio — and not an act of transgression against their fellow passengers… Manspreading appears to be an adaptive strategy that men employ due to innate morphological characteristics."
This analysis seemed a bit suspect so we conducted our own informal survey asking dudes to explain how they sit on a subway without manspreading.
Below are a few comments from men in The Huffington Post’s New York newsroom about how they avoid manspreading:
- "When I do sit, I rest my tote bag on my lap. If it mostly covers my thighs, then I’m not manspreading. Another technique is just to not be an oblivious asshole, and simply exercise some control over your pelvic muscles." — Alex
- "I just sit like a normal person." — Maxwell
- "I always stand. But, anyone who tells you they HAVE to manspread is lying. 99 percent of guys do not have junk that is so enormous or engorged that they can’t comfortably close their legs for a subway ride." — Noah
- "I’ve never once thought about spreading my legs while sitting anywhere because it is invasive and unnecessary. No one worth your time will test your masculinity for — gasp — crossing your legs or just sitting like a normal person who doesn’t think he deserves double the subway space." — Matt
Dudes on average are larger than women, so it’s inevitable they will take up more space. But you don’t have to be a dick about it and splay your legs, arms and luggage everywhere.
Also, we shouldn’t need science to prove that it’s rude to manspread.
Still confused? See below.
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