Manspreading, the practice whereby a man travelling on public transport adopts a sitting position with his legs wide apart, in such a way as to encroach on adjacent seats, is a real problem in Madrid. So says, a women’s group (Mujeres en Lucha) and they want it stopped.  

A women’s group in Madrid has successfully lobbied Madrid transport authorities to launch a campaign encouraging male passengers to respect their fellow commuters’ space and stop spreading their legs and encroaching on other seats.

The group, called Mujeres en Lucha, collected over 12,000 signatures in an online petition protesting against the discomfort caused mainly to women by men taking up more than their fair share of the available space on public transport.

Now it’s hoped that signs showing a male with his legs wide apart and a large red cross will remind male passengers that they are not the only ones who need space when commuting. The signs have already started appearing on buses, and the Metro is expected to run a similar campaign.

Madrid is not the first city to feel the need to curb men’s roving legs; in the United States, New York, Philadelphia and Seattle have led the way in the fight against thoughtless seating postures.