The New York Times"> clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Manspreaders' Thighs Will Not Be Tamed

Photo: <a href="">The New York Times</a>
Photo: The New York Times

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

Manspreaders—the (mostly male) faction of the subway-riding population who feel repressed when their thighs aren't splayed across three seats—have heard the MTA's new "it's a space issue," tagline (and seen its accompanying signage), and responded with a resounding whine. Here are some of the ragey-est quotes from dudes who refuse to sit "like ladies," presented without comment.

"I feel that if we want to have our legs open on the bus and not have to keep them closed, then I feel that we should be allowed to do so. It's kind of unnecessary to ban a certain thing. Why are we calling this 'manspreading?' Both women and men can open their legs. Women probably don't do it as often as men do but it's something we all do and I don't understand why we have to label it as such."—Mike Wood, as told to The Globe and Mail

"I'm not going to cross my legs like ladies do. I'm going to sit how I want to sit."—Fabio Panceiro, 20, as told to the New York Times

"I pay my fare. I get on the subway. There's an empty seat. I grab it. I extend my legs, knees splayed. They go far and wide. And for this I'm held up to ridicule?"—An anonymous manspreader, as told to the New York Daily News

"I'm not going to say, 'Bro, there is a lady standing up right there. Cross your legs, young man."—Sherod Luscombe, 58, as told to the New York Times

"The coining of the term seems sexist to me, against men. I've seen women spreading out, as well—not just with shopping bags, but by also by spreading their hips and legs. Why not just call is spreading? It's an unfair generalization. Not to mention tacky, aesthetically."—"Joe," a New York Times commenter

"Give me a break. This is America. My needs count as much as the bozos with breakfast, the women painting their faces, the electronic game-playing zombies, the ear-bud wearing karaoke singers and, worst, the nail clippers."—An anonymous manspreader, as told to the New York Daily News

"I see the same thing on golf course practice ranges. Some men (women don't seem to do this) will put their bucket of balls into the next stall in front of them to try and keep others from using it. A lot of this is primal instinct. A need to avoid potentially dangerous contact. And if you don't believe in primal instinct why do you like bacon and french fries?"—"Alan," a New York Times commenter

· MTA to Crack Down on Backpacks, Male Subway Stance [Racked NY]
· Man Spreadage MTA Ads Are Here and They Are Great [Racked NY]