Cities campaign against manspreading: Are we adopting this in the Philippines?

Image by Skepchick, EMT

MADRID, SPAIN  –  Transport chiefs have recently launched a campaign discouraging “manspreading”.

So, what is manspreading? It could be simply understood if we would look at the featured images, but to give a more defined meaning, it is the practice of men sitting in public transport with legs wide apart, thereby covering more than one seat.

Empresa Municipal de Transporte, or EMT, a bus operator in Madrid, is putting up new signs showing a seated male figure, legs spread widely, next to a big red ‘X’

Image by EMT

EMT said in a statement (in Spanish) that the aim of the new signs was to remind male travelers “of the need to maintain civic behavior and to respect the space of everyone on board the bus”.

The move follows an online petition by a women’s campaign group, which garnered more than 12,000 signatures.

The women’s group Mujeres en Lucha (Women in Struggle) said in its online petition that it is not uncommon on public transport to see women “with their legs closed and very uncomfortable because there is a man next to her invading her space”.

Manspreading is already discouraged in some other cities around the world like Tokyo, London, New York, Philadelphia, Seattle and Chicago.

Three years ago, New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority decided to campaign against manspreading with signs on the city’s Metro that read: “Dude… stop the spread, please.”

Also, Seattle’s transport provider put up signs showing an octopus with its tentacles draped over bordering seats.

The US city of Philadelphia also launched a “Dude, it’s Rude” campaign.

The term ‘manspreading’ was accepted as a word in the online Oxford dictionary two years ago.

Question is — when it will officially be campaigned against in the Philippines. We can see ‘manspreading’ at least once a week, if not on a daily basis when we ride public transports like the buses and MRT/LRT.

Here in the Pinoy country, we have this special kind of sitting problem, on an exclusive pinoy ride: the jeepney.

Not just males, but females too. See how they occupy more than one seat. Ever felt annoyed by behaviors like these on a jeepney ride full of passengers?

Image by Alamy, Flickr

Let us think like people because if not, we’ll really look like this:

Image by Philippine News Today