Lately this has been all in the news — to the extent only some under-inflated balls could make it go away. Mandspreading, it seems, is sitting with a wide stance on public transportation. Manslamming is the newer of the two, and that refers to the act of playing chicken when walking in public: Who moves first? These are both considered micro-aggressions and are complained about by all the usual suspects. Men: Stop with the micro-aggressions.
Be actually aggressive.
Manslamming is a stupid term and the whole concept was dreamed up by some seriously entitled people. In hockey if you illegally impede a player who does not have the puck it is considered a penalty — but you are not required to get out of their way and cede the ice to them. In what world am I supposed to cede ground to a stranger in public? I thought it was aggressive to do nice things for women, like holding doors and so on. It’s chauvinism. But cowering out of the way is… also chauvinism?
It must be nice getting to write the rules for the world.
In my younger, foolish, beta days I did things like that. But then I noticed that what happens when I do those things is that by giving a step, the person wants a yard. You don’t see men complaining about women traveling in groups two or three abreast (for a total of four to six breasts; twelve if they have backtits) and chattering. A single file line doesn’t hurt anyone on a busy street. We took the kids to Disney World a few years back and you want to talk about rude behavior? Try a large group walking and taking up nearly the entire wide park walking path and not budging for young kids.
A former boss of mine told a story of being in a bar in Iceland and it was during the time of year where it was daylight more than it wasn’t — he would leave the bar when it was still daylight sometimes. He enjoyed his time there, but warned that the people were Vikings. If they wanted to get to a place and you were between them and the place — watch out! They would walk through you. It wasn’t aggression or rudeness, it wasn’t patriarchy. It was simple “I am going there, and you are in my way.”
Now when I walk it is with a purpose. I’m not wandering around aimlessly for the hell of it. There is something over there that is going to make my life better in some way. By the time we left Disney, I wasn’t walking in a micro-aggressive way. I was walking in an aggressive way: if you hit me because you weren’t paying attention to anything not your smartphone you likely hit the end of my elbow. I won’t intentionally knock anyone down but if you’re walking two or more abreast and you aren’t trying to make way I’ll push through you. Don’t misunderstand, it’s not that I’m trying to be aggressive. But I have shit to do. Before walking into someone I will walk around them because it’s more convenient for me — but I’m not shy about voicing my opinion of a blockade, either.
When I had knee surgery at the end of 2013 I spent a few weeks walking with a cane. I intentionally picked out a brightly colored cane — red white and blue with an American flag pattern (not an exact flag but close) — because I couldn’t find one on short notice with a skull handle. I’m not trying to fat shame here, but on more than one occasion I was nearly bowled over by fat, rude, old baby boomer women. Other men gave way for the guy with a limp. But I didn’t write all over social media about how fat women were rude to guys with a cane.
As for manspreading… for years we’ve been told as men we don’t understand certain issues because we’re not women. We shouldn’t tell them what to do with their bodies when it comes to abortion because, well, we don’t understand. Many times over I’ve heard shit like that. Here’s my answer to that: Try living with big balls, then get back to me. They can be inconvenient. Of course, I avoid the issue entirely by avoiding public transit (I’m not fond of the smell of stale urine) and driving my own car and I will up until the point I can get a car that will drive me itself. Problem solved, I can sit with my knees as far apart as they fit in my car.
With the rising obesity epidemic in the United States I’d think fat-spreading would be more of a problem than where a dude’s knees are.
So, men: Stop being micro-aggressive. It doesn’t get you anything but scorn. Be aggressive. Be a bear. Nobody bitches about how bears sit or where they walk, and even if they did, the bear won’t care.