Manspreading Is the New Patriarchy

Men are awful.  Let’s all admit (even guys like me) that guys are constantly doing shit without thinking about how it affects others first.  Not that people of other genders are perfect.  I mean, I think we all need to admit that the thing we all have in common is that we’re all just awful, awful, awful assholes.  But I’m not here to write a post about men versus women or anything like that.

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However, I am here to declare a hill that I am willing to die on.  It’s called “Manspreading”, and it looks something like this:

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Men get into a lot of trouble for certain things others take as microaggressions.  For example, not putting the seat down when we’re done with the toilet for the women in the house.  The man that lives in my head says “She doesn’t put the seat up for me–is she incapable of putting the seat down herself?”  But, that’s a “choose your battle” type situation.  But, just FYI, in the St. Clair house, we’re both adults and put the seat up or down as needed.  We don’t need the other person in the house to do that tiny chore for us because we aren’t physically disabled.  If JoJo forgets to put the seat down and her business gets baptized, that’s on her.  If I forget to put the seat up and make a mess, I’ll be cleaning the toilet and the surrounding area.

Regardless, with things like that, I just shrug my shoulders and move on with muh day.

However, not everything a man does is meant as an act of aggression towards other genders–particularly those without their gentles on the outside of their bodies.

Look–all genders have body things that occur which cause problems.  We don’t really talk about them out loud, because ew, but we all have an unspoken understanding that certain things happen and we all have to roll with the punches.  Women get their periods giphy2and have to worry about bleeding through their clothes.  Sometimes you sneeze and have to do that quick hand cup over the nose area so that the surprise wad of snot that just flew out doesn’t gross others out.  Sometimes when you tinkle, you get a little on your pants or underwear and you just have to deal with it.  Sometimes a fart might squeak out during sex.  The human body is fucked up and unpredictable.  But, just so everyone knows, you’re all beautiful and wonderful and there’s nothing wrong with you.  Except you, Craig.  Who’s Craig?  Doesn’t matter.  He knows what he did.

So…let me explain the biology behind “Manspreading” for those whose gentles are not on the outside of their bodies.

Sometimes–well, quite often–when a person with a penis and a pair of testicles sits with their legs together, it feels like the circulation to our business is getting cut off.  Ever have your foot fall asleep and you have to jiggle it until it “wakes up”, the whole time it feels like pins and needles and the “going off the air” announcements followed by static on an 80’s television?  Yeah, it’s pleasant.

Now imagine that you have two walnut size things in a pouch hanging from between your legs feeling like that as you do your best to not be a nuisance and spread your legs.  Sometimes, you just gotta spread those legs and let the circulation start back up so that you don’t feel like your gentles are being squeezed in a vice grip.  It’s hurting so bad you don’t think about if it’s an inconvenience to others, because you’re not thinking “I wonder if anyone cares if I free Master Harold and the Boys for a minute?”.  You just want it to stop.

And you can’t always just stand up and walk it off.  You try “walking it off” when you’re on the crowded Powell-Mason cable car in San Francisco.  Trust me, you have to choose between death and aching balls.  Not an easy choice, but you’re going to go with aching balls every time.

When people say that “Manspreading” is men showing their dominance, I get so irritated.

My testicles throb with rage.

For the most part, men are not trying to commit a microaggression towards anyone.  They just want to stop feeling like they have testicular torsion.

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For educational purposes.

Basically, can we all agree that, from here on out, we don’t have to think that everything someone else does is meant to be rude or an inconvenience to us?  Sometimes it’s just thoughtless and not mindful and maybe they’re just dealing with a body issue.  Maybe, just maybe, their gentles fell asleep and they need to let them breathe.  And it’s not like a guy can turn to a strange person on the subway and say, “I’m sorry, ma’am/sir, but my balls are throbbing like a son of a bitch and I need to spread my legs.  Is that okay?”

I gotta go.

This post was inspired by Nova Halliwell’s “Gentlemen, A Word?” post over at Advice I Needed Yesterday.  Stop by and check her blog out–it’s absolutely amazeballs!

Until next time…

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10 comments

  1. So, I’m not willing to die on this hill. I think man spreading is fairly innocuous as far as male entitlement is concerned. But I am going to push you on this point: with the exception of planes where the seats are tiny and you have to be in them, why can’t men just stand up? Like, on the cable car, as you say, why can’t you just stand? No, it’s not exactly ideal for you, but taking the space of another person to accommodate yourself isn’t either. What am I missing? A seat is a seat and it’s the size of a seat. If that doesn’t work for men, then they can forgo the seat. No?
    Anyway, at the end of the day, agree to disagree. I save my rage for the real problems as you know 🙂

    1. I absolutely agree that standing and “walking it off” is the ideal solution. My point, which I think I might not have made well, is that some assumptions about manspreading are incorrect. It’s thoughtless—not aggressive or dominant—in a lot of cases. And overall, I think everyone is too quick to inconvenience others, but also too quick to assume those inconveniencing actions have motives which aren’t present. Who knew a toss off post would be so divisive. 🤣 But, as you said, in the grand scheme of things, this issue is not a biggie.

  2. This is also a hill I will die on, and I am on the opposite side as you, my friend.

    I don’t give a damn if a guy has his legs open a little bit. Most women don’t. We understand you don’t want to sit on your balls. I’ve crushed my own tits while rolling over in bed enough times to understand that putting your entire body weight on a sensitive external appendage sucks. So, if your legs need to part a bit to keep things comfortable, 90% of us don’t care.

    The times it gets into “manspreading” territory is when y’all spread your legs INTO OUR SPACE. That’s the dominance issue we talk about. When I have to squeeze my fat ass into a half a seat on the bus because some motherfucker needs four feet between his knees to air out his balls. That is some motherfucker TAKING MY SPACE and CLAIMING IT FOR HIS OWN. And, yes, that’s a problem rooted in entitlement and dominance.

    Balls aren’t that big. And if they are, you fucking deal with the discomfort. Chances are, men aren’t sitting in their morning meetings spread-eagle, because there are other people around and it would be disrespectful and rude. Same rules apply to any public space with seating. Why the fuck should I have to be uncomfortable and squeezed into a tiny space so some entitled piece of shit doesn’t? Bitch, I don’t know you and I don’t give a shit about your balls. If sitting in your own designated space is really crushing your balls so much that you can’t avoid spreading out into the space of those around you, STAND. THE FUCK. UP.

    Small seats are a problem. My fat ass gets it. But, taking my space (that I can barely fit all of my fat-smush into as it is) is not a solution. Complain to the transit district, but get the fuck out of my bubble while you do it.

    And FYI manspreading isn’t *just* about opening your legs, but about all the ways men take up more than their fair share of space in public settings.

    It’s funny you chose to post this this week, because I recently had to deal with this and was planning a post about it on Friday.

  3. I can’t say I’ve ever given this issue much thought, but you make a good point. I don’t think any woman wants Master Harold and the Boys making an appearance on the cable car, so a mild spread seems socially acceptable.
    And damn it, now that you’ve got me talking about the boys… I’m picturing that awful ballet dancer with the rabbit in his tights and your anatomically (far too) correct sock monkey. NOT how I planned on starting my morning. Ack!

  4. Well, I can’t say that Manspreading has ever bothered me. Why is it such an issue for some people? We all have our little tricks we do when our bodies don’t fully cooperate. When I’m in public and my ass decides to eat my underwear, I don’t just grab a handful of panty and pull it out. I’m a LADY for crap’s sake. I do gentle lunges like I decided to work out in the middle of the office in my work clothes. Or I do a wide stance peek over the shoulder while walking, like someone suddenly called my name. It’s called “subtlety”.

    I’m not going to admit how much of this is actually true…

    1. Hey, when I get a wedge, I do the quick duck-waddle-step-adjust move muhself. You gotta do what you gotta do. We all know what’s going on, but we don’t mention it. We’ll discuss it later behind each other’s backs. It’s called “manners”.

      1. Allen,
        Thank you for that educational lesson in male biology. Personally, I prefer manspreading to a guy standing there scratching his balls in public any day of the week. I’ve seen it — if ya gotta itch, find somewhere private first. That goes for both men and women, btw. Then don’t extend your hand out to me in any capacity. PLEASE. I don’t want to touch you or your hand at that point. Also, may I suggest jock itch spray! Thank God for hand sanitizers! *sneezing and wiping her nose *
        Mona 🤧🤪

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