Arrested Over ‘Manspreading’ On NYC Subway?

Arrested over manspreading? Male NYC subway riders have reportedly been arrested for taking up too much seat space on the subway by spreading their legs wide instead of crossing them or keeping their knees together.

Manspreading is defined by the Urban Dictionary website as the “act of men spreading legs – particularly on a subway train – to create space for genitalia, which has come under fire by certain feminist-leaners who insist the practice takes up too much room on crowded trains.”

manspreading nYC subway
Manspreading poster on NYC subway.

Men spreading their legs wide on New York City subway trains has reportedly become such a problem that the Metropolitan Transit Authority in New York has created posters detailing the proper way to sit on a subway seat.

A report recently released by the Police Reform Organizing Project (PROP) says engaging in manspreading posture can get subway riders arrested, especially if the individual is a minority. The 23-page PROP report which mentions manspreading is entitled, “That’s How They Get You.”

“Exposing discriminatory and abusive practices of the NYPD, that routinely and disproportionately affect our city’s low-income communities and people of color,” is the stated mantra of the Police Reform Organizing Project.

The PROP manspreading portion of the report claimed the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) response to the issue demonstrated the use of “misguided and racially biased tactics.”

“On a recent visit to the arraignment part in Brooklyn’s criminal court, PROP volunteers observed that police officers had arrested two Latino men on the charge of ‘manspreading’ on the subway, presumably because they were taking up more than one seat and therefore inconveniencing other riders. Before issuing a [ticket] for both men, the judge expressed her skepticism about the charge because of the time of the arrests: ’12:11AM, I can’t believe many were people on the subway.’ “

The MTA policy governing NYC subway seating appear to address manspreading.

“[No one is to] occupy more than one seat on a station, platform or conveyance when to do so would interfere or tend to interfere with the operation of the Authority’s transit system or the comfort of other passengers; place his or her foot on a seat on a station, platform or conveyance; lie on the floor, platform, stairway, landing or conveyance; or block free movement on a station, stairway, platform or conveyance.”

What do you think about NYC subways riders getting arrested over manspreading?

[Image via: A Katz / Shutterstock]

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