I want to be a man. I’m not talking about having an operation and waking up with a penis and two balls. I’ve had nightmares where that happens *shudders*. I’m talking about how I carry myself around day to day. Specifically, I am talking about manspreading.
On our recent trip to London I noticed that the tube was over-run with manspreading. I nearly tripped up over one man who was sat on a seat with his legs so wide apart that he was practically mansplaining. I worried that between his legs was the black hole. I was fearful that I might fall in there, get sucked in and be lost in his misogynistic hole of sexism forever! He had taken over the whole space in that carriage because he felt that it was his right. I’m not going to lie, it was a cross between being outraged and then admiration for how he was claiming his space, not giving a fig about the rest of us!
Manspreading has also spread across the sea to Jersey too. Manspreading is very real on this little island. There are men that hurtle down the narrow lanes in their massive 4×4 (which is basically just an extension of their penis), they hog the road and despite them being in the 4×4 they will force you to go off-road because it is their space and you are female. I have been forced to reverse up a narrow, winding road to a pass space on my side of the road. This is despite the man being sat right next to his passing space. Now when that happened I was so angry with myself. I was angry for not standing my ground. I was angry that I reversed half-a-mile up the road, getting equally flustered as the children mucked about in the back of the car. I was angry because after he passed me, he clapped his hands, no not in a thank you jolly kind of way, in a very s-l-o-w condescending way. He patronised me. He made me feel small as if I didn’t already feel small enough, I really didn’t need him to make me feel smaller.
I want to be a man
I want to be a man, I want to manspread. I want to be in charge of the road. I want to have the confidence to make the man reverse when he should reverse. I want to walk down the street and people to get out of the way for me. I don’t want to move around a man every time they come barrelling towards me and end up dancing out of the way, whilst muttering “sorry, sorry”. I am really generalising here as I am implying that all men will manspread. That is not true, what is true is that my experiences tell me that I am always going to be the one who has to move.
I wonder what it is that makes a man manspread? Is it the way they have been raised? Have they spent their whole life having people move out of the way for them? Or does the problem lie with me? Is it because I feel like I have become invisible? Is it linked to the fact that I am now a stay-at-home mum? Have I become invisible? Quite possibly. I don’t think that I was this bad when I was out at work. But then I lived in England, I didn’t have to drive down narrow lanes, I didn’t have to negotiate with a 4×4. Now I find myself living on Jersey and on a daily basis I am having to negotiate my status as I feel I don’t totally belong. I find myself trying to take-up less space, I find myself trying to make myself smaller. I need to stop getting out of the way of men.
I need to reclaim my space. I need to make myself seen again!
I am going manspreading. Watch out Jersey here I come.
WE NEED YOU!
We are the real face of feminism. We are reclaiming it and redefining it. Yes, we might have children but we can still be a feminist. Us mothers want our voices to be heard too. We are part of the feminist movement. We want to be seen and heard! The Mother Feminist series is inviting all of you to share what feminism means to you:
- Do you like the term feminism?
- What does feminism mean to you?
- Do you call yourself a feminist?
- Has your outlook on feminism changed post-children?
I want to hear your opinions, ideals and feminist role-models. If you would like to get involved then please drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org