Paris takes on 'le manspreading'

Manspreading is a common problem on public transport

Men will be asked to close their legs on public transport

It is a common gripe of any passenger on public transport - men who spread their legs over their allotted space, effectively taking up two seats.

Now the global backlash against the leg-spreaders is growing. Almost 19,000 people have signed a petition asking the Syndicat des Transports d’Ile-de-France (STIF) to act for “the wellbeing of public transport users”. The local transport authority in Madrid placed a ban on 'manspreading’ in June.

On Tuesday the Groupe écologiste de Paris (GEP) took the reins by discussing the issue at a Council of Paris meeting. Their representative David Belliard asked that Parisian transport bodies take note of ‘manspreading’.

The Council of Paris conceded that ‘manspreading’ was a “pernicious form of violence against women”, and that the “sharing of public space, particularly in public transport, is often not in favour of women”.

The Anti-Sexist Brigade joined in with the campaign, posting around 300 stickers across the metro network, saying- “You should close your thighs. You don’t have crystal balls, they won’t explode.”

Some have objected to ‘manspreading’ being labelled a feminist issue. They have said women are guilty of ‘she-bagging’, taking up extra seats with their handbags or shopping.

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