In NYC it’s illegal to do this on the train or bus 178



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We’re not sure whether to laugh or cry about the new rules for public transport in New York. On the one hand, the long arm of the law has reached out to stop anti-social behaviour. On the other, we actually need a law to enforce what was only recently considered common courtesy.

You know what we’re talking about, right? People (usually blokes, let’s face it) taking up more than their fair share of space on the train or the bus.

They’re calling it “manspreading” and already people are being arrested for the offence in NYC.

It’s not like they weren’t warned – earlier this year, New York’s metropolitan transportation authority began placing posters on public transport asking men to be a little more considerate of others.

The posters read, “Dude, stop the spread”.

Since then at least two men have been arrested and charged for “taking up more than one seat and therefore inconveniencing other riders”.


Reports say the men weren’t fined but received a warning they would suffer further repercussions if they were arrested again in the near future.

The new law was the result of that great tool of democracy, you guessed it, Twitter. A New York resident started snapping surreptitious pictures of blokes chucking a spread on the subway, hash-tagging it #manspreading. Others caught on, but the movement really gained momentum when actor Tom Hanks was photographed manspreading on a train:


For six months, the matter was dealt with politely with posters, similar to those you’ll see on Queensland rail at the moment, asking men (and other inconsiderate people) to think of others. When that didn’t work, the law was put into place and officers are not afraid to use it.

  Some have suggested a new law is needed to combat women who take up too much space with their handbags. aka “shebagging”.



The “manspreading” offence is part of a crackdown on anti-social behaviour that includes break dancing, walking between carriages and putting feet on the seats.

Tell us: would you like to see a law against manspreading here in Australia? 


Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Yep. But having said that, I don’t use public transport anymore, but if I have to again, I would tell him to keep ’em shut.

  2. Personal space invasion.
    I would give him a big nudge with my leg then the look..

    4 REPLY
    • Problem is they would still not move their legs as they actually believe the tripe they have huge balls. OMFG how sad. Not all men do this & I think they are just being considerate to stay within their own space.

    • How funny is this topic… cracked me up.. They showed Tom Hanks on a train, ( you would not have recognised him??) doing this and it was on front of Newspapers..Hahaha

  3. When using public transport I always squeezed my way onto the seat so he had no option but to “unspread” and I always asked her to move her bag or shopping so I could sit. Some people are just downright thoughtless. Make it law? Dont we already have enough legal regulation?

  4. No-one is expecting them to have their legs tight together but for effing sake they DO NOT need that much room. I have actually found that as soon as I sit next to a male (who does this as not all men do it, just the fuckwits) they immediately open their legs wider than before as a silent challenge.
    As for women with their bags, I ask “can you please remove your bag” get a filthy look & then start sitting so they had better move it soon otherwise I will sit on it & I am not a small woman. I HATE the way some women do this, once again it is a challenge as if to say what are you going to do about it. If the seat is free, no problems but move it once people get on the train for effing sake.
    Thank god I don’t have to commute anymore, Hated it as I had to travel 2hours each way in last job (which is why I moved out of Sydney). had enough of the inconsiderate travellers. We all pay our fares but that DOES NOT mean you can take up space into someone else’s space trying to get from A to B.

    2 REPLY

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