#Unrefined29: Woman-spreading [non-fiction]

We’ve all heard about man-spreading… but let’s talk about woman-spreading.

Now you know I’ve got your back ladies, always, but as a woman of blubber I can tell you now there’s something us females do and it’s just as uncomfortable for those unfortunate enough to be in close proximity.

Generally, but not exclusively speaking, a substantial percentage of the female population is smaller. This probably means any seat you’re sitting in is spacious, relatively speaking. Now in this scenario we are at the theatre, let’s say, with a much-loved friend. You are talking together in the 20 minute interval, micro Hagen Daas in hand, and you have a “spacious” theatre seat*. So you rotate your whole body into the conversation. And here’s the problem; yes, you are smaller than your allocated seat space when you sit face on, as the God of seating intended. But if you swivel, you aren’t. The space you take up is larger side on when sitting down which is why seat are often deeper than they are wide, or at least have leg room at the front to allow your sticky-out bits to… well, stick out. Winter coats, knees and elbows are suddenly all over the place. At which point, so it my halftime gin & tonic.

Now generally as one of the populous who easily fills, nay spills over the seat, suddenly my personal airspace has been invaded. Like drones at an airport (see, I can do topical.)

Now before all the f-aters tell me to me to Mann-up and shed the flab, that’s not going to make much difference while the highly theoretical process of slimming down takes place**.

More vitally, you are missing the point. The theatre could be a tube train, a sauna or a bus stop. I merely notice the offence MORE because my existence requires more space, no matter how hard I try to tuck and suck in the sprawl.

But I believe, many of us have witnessed or experienced the phenomenon of woman-spreading, at some time or another. We label the act of man-spreading as a micro-aggression. Maybe in some cases it is. But I reckon a lot of the time, it’s just because it’s more comfortable and they aren’t considering anyone else in the public domain. Basically, they are thoughtless bastards. Similarly, when a woman sits in a seat in a manner not accounted for in its design, attempts something impractically sexual on a date or places a handbag on a chair (looking at none of my friends in particular), what is really being declared to all and sundry in the vicinity is that they, their conversation, attempt at getting laid or impractical white Mulberry Bayswater is more important than ANYONE ELSE.

Which maybe in the case of “Taffy’s” conversation at last night’s show could be true. I mean, “Yaz’s”, who wasn’t even in the building, boyfriend problems did sound vitally important to humanity’s continued existence. In which case “Taffy”, be a doll; sod off to the pub where intensely private conversations about absent mates and woman spreading belong.

Basically, what I am saying is maybe we are ALL becoming radically inconsiderate.

Let’s just call it people-spreading and be done.

*this is definitely a theoretical theatre, at least on London, where the seats are barely wide enough for the average svelt Londoner, let alone larger urbanite counterparts.

**also f*** you for suggesting access to culture should be based on any kind of “norm.”

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