Politeness: A Lost Art? (or, Is It “Manspreading” When A Woman Does It?)

I’m completely opposed to, what the media has deemed, “manspreading” on the subway, but let’s not pretend this is a “mens only” club.

As I boarded the F train at Delancey/Essex moments ago I found what should have been a seat. On a seat designed for three people sat, left to right, an elderly woman with her bag tucked in her lap and a young woman (possibly college-aged) sitting in the middle of the two remaining spaces with one bag between her spread legs and another next to her on the seat.

Subway Etiquette Fail

With no other seats available and not wishing to stand the rest of my journey, I offered a polite “Excuse me,” and gestured to the seat. I was a little surprised when she huffed, audible enough to startle the elderly woman, and then grabbed the “seated” bag and thromped (it’s really the sound it made) it onto her lap. She slid only slightly toward the elderly woman and I took this as my cue to have a seat.

I squeezed in. There was still a good ten inches between Miss Congeniality and the elderly woman to her left.

Apparently the limited space she had allowed me was discomforting to her and she threw her bag onto the floor, stood up, growled (yes, growled) at me, grabbed both of her bags and stomped to the other end of the train where she stood – the martyr in her mind.

I do not know this woman nor do I make any assumptions as to what her day has been like. If it has been a bad day for her, well, we’ve all had bad days. A bad day is no reason to be discourteous to another person when you have the ability to be polite… regardless of what is between your legs.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.