“Man spreading” in my community

I’m going to admit that public transit and I don’t really have a relationship. I live in an area that isn’t well served, due to pretty severe under funding. Our bus system has gone to hell over the last few years, losing route after route, however we do have a connection with commuter rail, but as I’m not working, I don’t commute.

Full disclosure: my suburban community south of Seattle is a personal car community. Farmers went from horses, to wagons, to cars. Even as those farms have been swallowed up by industry, public forms of transit have taken a backseat to car dealerships hawking great deals that allow us to move efficiently from the older downtown core southward to the ever expanding strip mall-Supercenter-sprawl.

We like our cars, so much so that a great many still can’t give up their trucks and their massive SUV’s.

For those who work to the north of my community the rail system that began almost as a whim a number of years ago has grown enormously and become a boon to the smart folks who realize that they are saving years of stress, to both themselves and their vehicles, by riding the train each day. And there’s all that environmental stuff as a bonus as well. I bet that if I asked the majority those commuters riding those crowded trains about ‘man spreading’ they would give me a knowing look, and perhaps, depending upon their gender, also give me an earful on the subject.


Personally, I had not heard of this term until just a few days ago. I was visiting stories on Upworthy and came across this one:

She Tried Riding the Subway Like a Dude…ย 

I learned that man spreading is a pretty big issue…all over the globe…where public transportation is used.

This evening, scanning the local headlines, I can now proudly say that man spreading is an issue right here in my local community among all those commuters who use our rail system. I tend to think of my community as slightly out of touch sometimes, still slightly backward, absolutely not on a cultural level with large city life, but apparently our men have perfected man spreading and it is causing problems just as irritating here as it does in New York, or Berlin, or even up north in Seattle.

Butts Not Bags…

It’s good to know that our men are keeping up with appropriate gendered norms…


7 thoughts on ““Man spreading” in my community”

    1. Why thank you. I now feel slighted by the fact that this was never mentioned during contemporary sociology as the racial, class-based, age-related, sexist, gendered, and extremely complicated social issue that it is. I just might have tackled it as a research paper…

      Liked by 1 person

  1. As someone who lives in a large and racially diverse urban area — and who depends on public transit — lemme tell you: this is a real thing, a real issue, and a real easy topic for any two (or more) women looking for something to bond over. The way people arrange and deploy their bodies on buses/subways plays out differently not just by gender, also by age and race. Come do some sociology on a Philly bus sometime — you’d love it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know…I live in a truly non-diverse, moderately (or greater) conservative area that is so predictable and so just not interesting when it comes to social issues, if that makes sense. Part of the reason I think I feel so naive a lot of the time, and so uninformed as well. My favorite professor and I used to joke that we needed to experience life in the city together…gender topics, feminism…no one even knew what those things are where she comes from.


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