Every woman using public transport will agree with me that they often are forced to sit uncomfortably due to ‘manspreading.’
The term “manspreading” refers to the practice of someone sitting with their knees so far apart it encroaches on the personal space of people next to them.
The act which has now become a culture has been sparked debates globally for a long time.
I experience that almost daily when I aboard a matatu, and sometimes it becomes so uncomfortable, and that is when I alight and board the next matatu.
New York and Madrid are among some cities that took a step against manspreading on public transport. The two towns banned men from indulging in the rude leg extending move on its trains and buses. Madrid’s Municipal Transportation Company (EMT) even installed warning signs on its public service vehicles.
Two men from Brooklyn were arrested for spreading their legs apart taking too much room on the subway.
In a move aimed at getting rid of the act, a 23-year-old Laila Laurel, a 3D Design & Craft graduate from the University of Brighton has created a chair which she says gives a “physicality to an issue women face in quite a fun yet literal way.”
“I designed and created these chairs to identify and challenge problems surrounding the act of sitting that might potentially be more gender-specific, such as ‘man-spreading,'” Laurel was quoted by the U.K.-based daily the Independent.
Her chair which comes as “A Solution for Manspreading, has won a major award, the Belmond Award at New Designers in London, a major showcase of work from universities across the UK.
“Laila’s bold, purpose-driven design stood out to our judging panel as it explores the important role of design in informing space, a person’s behavior and societal issues of today,” the company said in a statement they shared on their social media account.
For her final-year project, she created two wooden chairs. One for men which are shaped in such a way as to force him to sit with his legs closed and the other for women, with a small piece of wood in the middle to encourage her to sit with her legs parted.
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