Manspreading, Manslamming, and Femsteering

They DO try, you know.

They DO try, you know.

Now that we’ve mostly dealt with the Islamic problem, I thought it was time to talk about the new feminist grudges, manspreading and manslamming.

What’s “manspreading”?

The folks at Gothamist have bravely taken on the scourge of “manspreading,” the male practice of sitting on a crowded train with your legs spread wide apart. It’s a habit so nefarious the MTA even built a campaign targeted at scolding men who do it. Now Gothamist has taken a camera on the subway and confronted guilty manspreaders about their unthinkable behavior.

And what’s manslamming?

In early November of last year, 25-year-old labor organizer Beth Breslaw decided to confront male entitlement one sidewalk stranger at a time. She was inspired by a friend’s experience: Having heard that men were less likely than their female counterparts to make room on a crowded sidewalk, this friend wanted to test the theory herself while commuting to and from her job in the Financial District. From then on, she spent every day getting repeatedly body-checked.

When I explained the crisis to my wife, she said “huh?” I explained that I was manspreading as we spoke, holding my legs far enough apart to put my elbows on them, as all men do when they lean forward. She had heretofore been unaware of the sexual aggression it represented, especially since the real aggressor on our couch is Raebert, the deerhound who always wants his head on my or my wife’s lap.

So I thought maybe it was time to discuss both these sexual issues.

Manspreading first. Factually, not that many people are on an urban subway when you consider the whole population. But men do tend to sit with their legs apart and their elbows on their knees all the time, in bus stations, on couches, and even in the awful confines of airline seats. It’s not a display or an aggression, or even a microaggression. It’s just a desire to be able to spring from the seat into action if there’s a need. And a convenient resting place for our elbows.

Does it really take up extra space? It seems to me that women are reacting to the endless strictures to keep their legs together, lest men look up their skirts. Fine. Spread yourselves. Let us look up your skirts. And while you’re at it, jettison the giant handbags, backpacks, and other baggage you invariably carry with you when you travel by subway, train, and airliner. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been assaulted by female luggage — in the aisle, from overhead, and in a seat on public transportation. Also, given that most of the U.S. population is obese, does a few degrees of leg askewness really matter? People on public transit are fat, fat, fat, fat, fat. There are women who more than compensate for the worst cases of manspreading whose thighs are so thick I can’t even see up their skirts.

On to Manslamming. Which is even sillier. I have the advantage here of being a man. If the premise were true, these alpha male slammers should barge through everyone. They don’t. Walking sidewalks in big cities is a cooperative exercise. Sure, there are jerks. People who give way to no one. Most are not that. I rarely bump shoulders on big city sidewalks.

Two rules. Good for both sexes. First, don’t be walking sidewalks to make a testosterone statement. Walk to get where where you’re going as expeditiously as possible. The biggest obstacle is pairs of people who are so busy talking to one another they don’t see anybody else. The second biggest obstacle is people on cellphones, male or female. They don’t see nothing.

The second rule is to pick the right side to be on. Pedestrian traffic tends to divide itself into this way and that way. If you insist on going this way against a that way flow, you can count on shoulder bumping experiences, whether you’re a guy or a gal.

My own worst pedestrian experiences have to do with women in malls and airports. You know. The old broads who are ambling along three abreast talking at half the normal walking pace. They don’t know and don’t care that they’re holding other folks up. Because they’re the only ones in the whole goddam place.

Which brings us to Femsteering. This article says something true I haven’t heard in 30 years. [boldface added]

…Breitbart [London] has discovered an even more pernicious gender-specific public nuisance that is endangering anyone on the roads. The phenomenon is known as “femsteering,” and it describes the almost total inability of any woman to competently operate an automobile. Though whispered about on men’s rights forums, in working men’s clubs and on the pages of tabloid newspapers for decades, this is the first time the trend has been discussed in the open in a serious publication.

According to the activists drawing attention to this ugly expression of female privilege, femsteering affects all of us: men, women and children, and threatens the personal safety of anyone on the motorway or, especially, on busy streets outside schools. Its effects are dramatic and visually arresting, they report: crumpled bumpers, crippled cyclists and petrified passengers screaming: “Mommy, why are you driving us into the wall?!”

Yet some women insist the whole thing has been cooked up as yet another way of oppressing women. Asked yesterday to comment on the phenomenon, Guardian blogger Judy Truncheon said: “For too long men have expressed their cis privilege by alluding to a mystical driving manoeuvre no woman has ever successfully executed, referred to as ‘parallel parking.’ It’s time feminism took a stand against this patriarchal fairy story and said it out loud: women can drive just as well as men.

“So-called ‘health and safety’ restrictions placed on women, demanding that we stop applying lipstick at 80 miles an hour and texting at clogged-up intersections before lurching into oncoming traffic are folk tales put about to discourage women from expressing themselves and as a way of perpetuating inequality.” Short-lived cable TV documentaries with titles such as Are You Ready To See The World’s Worst Female Drivers? have contributed to “unhelpful stereotypes” about women, she added.

Truncheon’s comments will come as a surprise to husbands everywhere, who have for generations been left with inflated insurance premiums and hefty repair bills for the carnage inflicted on family vehicles by the fairer sex. Men point to the numerous examples from their own lives and the privately whispered meme among men about their better halves and motor vehicles.

This is intended as satire but it’s also true. Women generally have better insurance rates than men, as the insurance companies proudly tell us, but the facts hide the facts. Men drive fast, they drive drunk, and they drive a lot more. Women drive into things, not because they’re drunk or mad, but because their spatial consciousness isn’t quite up to men’s. Uncomfortable fact. Last year, they asked Richard Petty when Danica Patrick was going to win a NASCAR race. He laughed. “Never,” he said.

Never. The same timeframe in which feminists are going to win the superiority over men they insist they deserve.


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