Arrested over ‘manspreading’?

Published: June 1, 2015

Arrested over ‘manspreading’?, Two men were arrested for “manspreading” and taking up too much room on the New York City subway, documents have revealed.

The Police Reform Organising Project (PROP) collected 117 vignettes of citizens’ interactions with police for a report on the New York Police Department’s attitudes to race and class.

“Police officers had arrested two Latino men on the charge of ‘manspreading’ on the subway, presumably because they were taking up more than one seat and therefore inconveniencing other riders,” according to the report.

The term “manspreading” was coined by internet users to describe men taking up more than one public transport seat, by sitting with their knees wide open.

Celebrities such as Tom Hanks and Mathew Broderick were snapped taking up more than one seat as part of the #manspreading internet craze.

In January, New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) launched a subway etiquette campaign which included a poster reading “Dude… Stop the Spread, Please”.

The MTA’s rules of conduct prohibit passengers taking up more than one seat when it interferes “with the operation of the Authority’s transit system or the comfort of other passengers”.

The PROP report said “the judge expressed her scepticism about the charge because of the time of the arrests: ’12:11AM, I can’t believe there were many people on the subway’.”

The arrests documented in the PROP report appear to be the first time manspreading has led to a court appearance.

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