BuzzFeed recently released a YouTube video “36 Questions Women Have For Men” which was quickly followed up with videos by The Amazing Atheist and Thunderfoot who attempted to answer the questions asked by the women of buzzfeed. I found their answers to the question “Why do men spread their legs so wide when they sit?” to be fully inadequate. You can watch the videos in the link below and see if you agree with me.
Men and women have different societal pressures dictating the way they sit. The way that women sit these days is largely dictated by the fact that skirt lengths have shortened to such a degree that if a woman’s knees are not touching when she sits her panties can be seen. In most country barring strange ones like Scotland, men are not expected to wear short skirts. Therefore, they are not pressured to keep their legs shut tight when they sit. If women were to sit comfortably with their legs sticking straight out in front of them from their waist the way most men do (and the way many women do when they are wearing pants), you would notice that men and women take up about basically the same amount of space proportional to their body sizes.
Men and women are not anatomically identical. Even though men are known to have smaller waists in proportion to the rest of their bodies than women, men are larger than women. So men take up more space just because they are larger than women. And if you couple this with the fact that men are not conditioned to sit with their knees together, they seem to be taking up more space even when their legs are sticking straight out from their waist.
Contrary to popular opinion, it is not because they have balls. Yes, balls are a part of the male anatomy, but they don’t get in the way of sitting properly. Now that we know there is not some sort of epidemic of elephantiasis forcibly spreading men’s legs well beyond the natural sitting posture, we must wonder: Is men sitting with their legs comfortably out in front of them so much a problem that there needs to be a new buzzword to describe the problem?
The word “manspreading” (the act of a male sitting with his legs spread as wide as possible so that he maintains a maximum of distance from anyone that may want to sit near him)
should not be allowed to exist without its equal and opposite “womanspreading” (the act of a female setting her purse and/or other hand held items as far from her person as possible so that she maintains a maximum of distance from anyone that may want to sit near her).
But if we lived in a perfect world, we would not need either “manspreading” or “womanspreading” as we already have a word that accurately describes anyone that engages in either of these gender specific sitting styles. Anyone that must take as much room as possible to the possible exclusion of sitting space for others is and has always been known as an asshole. So the words “manspreading” and “womanspreading” could and should always be known as assholeism.