Womanspreading 101: The What, Why, Who, & How (Can I Get Involved)

Womanspreading 101: The What, Why, Who, & How (Can I Get Involved)

Women all over the world are making more room for themselves and uncrossing their legs to protest society’s attempt to make us smaller via leg stance. It’s called womanspreading. Make room.

What is Womanspreading?

Instead of compacting ourselves into quiet corners, women are ignoring the female-only rules about “sitting like a lady” and spreading their legs as wide as they like.

Why are Women Doing It?

It’s not to anger old ladies or be rude in the subway. It seems like something that’s a passing trend and insignificant, but womanspreading is becoming the new assertion activity of the Feminist movement. Women are making room for themselves physically while symbolically refusing to make themselves small for the comfort of a male-dominant society.

With the tsunami of sexual allegations and abuses voiced in 2017, women are refusing to support a culture that limits and mutes them. Womanspreading is just one of the ways women are saying “Enough!” and are creating space for themselves free of ridicule and arbitrary gender rules.

Who, me?

If I had a quarter for every time I was told to “Cross my legs” or “Be more ladylike” (I am still not sure what ladylike is), I would have a cabin in Vail today. My brothers were entitled to all the room they could take simply by being male, while I was relegated to sit legs together, crossed at the ankles, uncomfortable and taking up as little room as possible.

Did you catch that last part because it is an all-too-real parallel to the expectations of women in our society: Take up as little room as possible.

Well, $%* that (and these too).

Get Involved: How to Womanspread Like a Pro

It’s as easy as it sounds; sit down and take up as much room as you like. Some women are snapping a pic and sharing them on Instagram #womanspreading. If you need some inspiration, Chrissy Teigen and Emily Ratajkowski are posting their spreads and supporting the movement.

More important than snapping a pic, don’t accept any shamers for getting your womanspread on. Some people will comment or “tut tut” at you and others may throw you are creepy leer, but the more significant part of the movement is to continue asserting your right to sit as you choose and take the space you are entitled to in the world.

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