Manspreading — where a passenger’s legs are opened so wide it already invades another seating area — is now banned in city buses in Madrid, Spain.
Authorities have put up signs banning the said practice as part of the city buses’ new etiquette guidelines.
The signs, which feature an illustration of a man with splayed legs with a red X above his head, urges the passengers to respect the space intended for other travelers.
According to EMT municipal transportation company, the purpose of the sign is to discourage physical postures that bother other people. However, the restriction does not pose any sanctions or fines for those who will not act by the new rule.
The bus company took the said initiative following an online signature campaign launched by the woman’s group, Mujeres en Lucha (Fighting Women).
In their campaign petition, the woman’s group said that ‘manspreading’ is a very common practice which leaves women passengers very uncomfortable because ‘there’s a man beside them who’s invading their space with legs.’
The petitioners added that women were taught to sit with their legs closed together while men have the mindset of ‘territorial hierarchy as if space belongs to them.’
Aside from banning ‘manspreading,’ the EMT also asks passengers to refrain from eating or drinking inside the buses and to keep their backpacks on.