Apparently, taking up too much space on the subway (a.k.a. "manspreading") is only socially acceptable when men do it.
Mic editor Liz Plank and Mic account executive Nick Heitz took to the New York City subways to see how people reacted when a woman manspreads. They found that people were not too comfortable with a woman manspreading, but seemed very accustomed to a man taking up multiple seats with his wide-legged stance.
While manspreading, Plank received numerous stares, and a random dude even snapped a picture of her splayed legs with his phone. There was little reaction to Heitz, who had his legs and briefcase spread authoritatively across three seats. (Though towards the end of the video, a few women politely asked him to move his bag.)
The experiment was created in light of a petition written by men's rights activists claiming that men need to take up more space due to the "testicles between [their] legs" and that anti-manspreading campaigns are "male-bashing." This is just one of a long list of bizarre and sexist arguments MRAs often use against feminist efforts.
The manspreading phenomenon has been discussed at length in projects such as "Move The Fuck Over, Bro" and "Men Taking Up Too Much Space On The Train," prompting the NYC Metropolitan Transportation Authority to launch a campaign encouraging everyone to be more courteous on the subways.
Plank explains in the video how collectively standing up to manspreading can empower us all. So, to all you manspreaders out there: Some manners and a little self-awareness goes a long way.
CORRECTION: 1/6/15 4:30 p.m. -- The original version of this post wrongly identified Nick Heitz as Nick Baker. It has since been corrected.