She encountered a man who refused to move his leg from her personal space until she decided to do something about it.
Men's tendency to occupy physical space in various settings has been observed and discussed in relation to gender dynamics. This behavior manifests in actions such as sitting with legs wide apart, sprawling across seats, or spreading belongings on shared surfaces. While not all men exhibit this behavior, it is often perceived as a display of dominance or entitlement, unintentionally encroaching on the personal space of others. In a Twitter post by Neena Jha (@DrNeenaJha), she went through a similar experience with a man intruding into her physical space. She turned to Twitter for solutions and was flooded with hilarious replies.
UGH!! Sat next to a really selfish guy who refuses to move his leg from my space. 🤬— Neena Jha (@DrNeenaJha) May 28, 2023
Rude to casually kick his leg away?! pic.twitter.com/g88EEEq9WW
Jha wrote in her viral post, “UGH!! Sat next to a selfish guy who refused to move his leg from my space. Rude to casually kick his leg away?" She also accompanied this with a picture in which the seat spaces are marked and the man is seen aggressively spreading his leg so far out that his toes reach the aisle. He was invading the space intended to be hers. While some attempted to defend the behavior by asking people to “spare a thought for us taller men,” Jha explained that the person in question had been acting entitled to her space instead of taking a polite amount of space.
"He just had such an awful attitude & claimed my space as if he was simply entitled to it," said Jha. The tweet went viral with over 3.7 million views and over 6K likes, as hundreds of people raged in a debate about the behavior and how best to deal with it.
While I accept its most likely manspreading, do spare a thought for us taller men. I’m 6’6” and they reduced the legroom in trains and planes to the point that I now basically cannot fit with sitting both legs to one side or another.— Keith Grimes (@keithgrimes) May 28, 2023
He knows what he's doing... Social conditioning and his need to exert dominance through physical posture— ℕ𝕚𝕞𝕒🐦 (@DrStrangetwit) May 28, 2023
Basically just being entitled. Not sure what the solution is apart from what you did in return (coughing fit? loud whistling? whoopee cushion? Spilling food/drink?)
The majority of users encouraged Jha to address him directly with a passive-aggressive comment, pull her tray down, wax his legs, kick it away, or at the very least ask him to move. However, some became increasingly outlandish, suggesting Jha could try fake coughing, amputate the whole leg, or spill hot coffee on his bare leg. In a follow-up tweet, Jha wrote that she ultimately stretched out her legs, and the fellow passenger "left in a huff" and gained the two seats to herself. In another tweet, she thanked everyone for their advice and wrote she was "so awful at speaking up & standing up for myself." She added that her favorite suggestion from Twitter was "casually pulling out one leg hair of his at a time with a pair of tweezers."
No. Just start waxing it.. he will soon move.— Jason Elsom (@JasonElsom) May 29, 2023
You can amputate the whole leg and be within your right— You know, thaaat Colin (@ThaaatColin) May 30, 2023
I would of put my feet on his leg. If he’s entitled to comfort, so are you.— 𝙑𝙄𝘾𝙏𝙊𝙍𝙄𝘼 𝙋𝙀𝘼𝘾𝙃😈💦 (@Posh_Totty_Vic) May 29, 2023
Obviously dressed by Sports Direct, so not much chance of any etiquette from him. Elbow, slap and sharp kick to the ankle should suffice!— DB (@bobbydazzler_7) May 28, 2023
While we welcome terms like "mansplaining" and "manspreading" into our lexicon, the latter is far more offensive, so much so that it was banned in Madrid. According to the Independent, in 2016, the Metropolitan Transit Authority in New York released an official anti-"manspreading" campaign, encouraging subway riders to show "courtesy on public transport." John Sutcliffe, a spinal neurosurgeon, explains that the art of "manspreading" could be a matter of physicality rather than sheer egotism. "The overall width of the pelvis is relatively greater in females, and the angle of the femoral neck is more acute. These factors play a role in making a position of sitting with the knees close together less comfortable in men."
Yep I said excuse me & stretched my legs out, which pissed him off so much he just left 😂 pic.twitter.com/8hxqhpLsO3— Neena Jha (@DrNeenaJha) May 28, 2023
Sutcliffe added, "I suspect most men would suggest the reason for adopting the more spread posture in sitting would be the avoidance of testicular compression from the thigh muscles. The pelvic rotation goes some way to improving compression in both aspects." While women empathize that sitting with legs crossed is not the most comfortable position, physiological differences do not warrant men spreading their legs on public transportation. Seats in trains and buses are congested as they are and spreading your legs apart and intentionally trying to take up more space or being rude is inconsiderate behavior that affects those around us.