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Madrid launches new public transport campaign – to stop ‘manspreading’

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It sounds ridiculous, but the Spanish capital’s Municipal Transport Company (EMT) announced this week it will be adding ‘No Manspreading’ signs inside its trains and buses.

The new sign
The new sign

Not familiar with the term? It refers to the practice of men sitting with their knees wide apart on public transport and covering more than one seat.

The new signs ask travellers to “remember the need to maintain civic behaviour and to respect the space of everyone on board,” the announcement reads.

In short: you only get one seat.

Dude, it’s rude

But it turns out Madrid is not the only city to tackle this social scourge.

In 2014, the New York subway system ran a campaign to combat manspreading. The US city of Philadelphia also launched a ‘Dude It’s Rude’ movement, while Seattle used a sprawling purple octopus to encourage passengers to keep their ‘appendages’ to themselves in 2015.

Some South Korean trains also feature stickers on the floor to remind people where their feet should go.

Personally, I’m in favour as long as it applies to everyone – women included. If you’ve ever been crowded out of a seat on a train or bus, you’ll know what I mean.

Lauren Broomham

Lauren is a journalist for villages.com.au, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.


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