Women Dump Bleach on Men’s Crotches to Stop Manspreading In Viral Video

Women Dump Bleach on Men’s Crotches to Stop Manspreading In Viral Video September 26, 2018

A Russian YouTuber is protesting against men that “manspread” on public transportation. Manspreading is defined as a sitting position men take, primarily on public transit, where they sit with their legs wide apart. Activists against manspreading believe that men assert the position to show dominance and power over others. A YouTuber, Anna Dovgalyuk, decided to protest against manspreading. She and her friends filled bottles with water and bleach. They dumped the bottles on men that sat spreadeagled on public transportation. The video has been viewed more than 1.3 million times since Anna uploaded the video yesterday.

In the video, Anna explains why she believes manspreading needs to be stopped. She says countries all over the world have taken a stand against manspreading. However, she says the issue is not well known in Russia. To spread awareness, she and friends decided to seek justice of their own.

The video follows women on subways. They are seen dumping water bottles on men sitting with their legs spread wide. All the men appear not to pay attention to space they take up and seem oblivious to people around them. As the women exit the subway, they dump the mix of bleach and water on the crotch of the men.

Naturally, the men get agitated and upset about having water dumped on their laps. However, the women believe they have accomplished their goal. Anna says the bleach leaves a stain in the fabric of the pants. The dye is evident to anyone that walks by and serves as a reminder to the men of their bad behavior.

The video has gotten mixed reviews since it was uploaded yesterday. Only 2,0oo people gave the video a thumbs up. Conversely, 41,000 have given the video a thumbs down. The comments on the thread take direct jabs at the approach the women make in their activism. One commenter Timi T said it best:

“This woman is the definition of an extremist; I don’t see anyway somebody could justify her behavior. Shame on the few media outlets that promoted this almost positively. Ironically, she’s greatly hurting the cause she’s fighting for. What a joke.”

While the video does bring light to an issue that exists in public transportation. The jury and science are still out on whether manspreading is a way for men to exert dominance and control. The Independent interviewed a spinal neurosurgeon John Sutcliffe about the phenomenon of manspreading. Sutcliffe gave a more practical reason for the manspreading. He told The Independent:

“The overall width of the pelvis is relatively greater in females, and the angle of the femoral neck is more acute. These factors could play a role in making a position of sitting with the knees close together less comfortable in men.”

He went on to say, “I suspect most men would suggest the reason for adopting the more spread posture in sitting would be the avoidance of testicular compression from the thigh muscles. The pelvic rotation goes some way to improve compression in both aspects.”

From a biological perspective, his reasoning does make sense. As a woman, I feel more comfortable sitting with my legs together. My desire to sit in this position has to do with my comfort not how others will perceive how I sit. I imagine many unassuming men take the same stance with manspreading.

Other research done on body posture has shown people that sit with more open body positions may feel more confident. Even Business Insider wrote an article on how to appear more confident. One of their suggestions was to sit and stand with your legs spread widely.

So there may be some truth to what Anna says about men using the position to show their confidence and authority. However, I tend to agree with commenter Timi T. about the approach they take. Good activists seek to engage and educate people on the issues they want to change. Dumping bleach-filled water is more likely to make a man angry than it will make them change their behavior.

There is a real issue with space in public transportation. Numerous transportation authorities have taken a stance against manspreading. In 2014, the New York Public Transportation Authority released a poster to stop men from taking up extra space on public transportation. One of the signs said, “Dude…..Stop the Spread, Please.”

Additionally, buses in Madrid, Spain started hanging signs that said, “Don’t Spread Your Legs,” in 2017. The issue of manspreading is more an issue of courtesy to others around us. If we want men to sit without spreading their legs, perhaps a more appropriate method is to ask men to stop spreading their legs.

Watch the video below and tell us your thoughts on manspreading. Do you think Anna’s approach is helpful or hurtful to the movement?

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • llDayo

    As a guy, sitting with my legs close together is rather uncomfortable. However, if I’m in a public setting I make the effort to not take up too much space if said space is limited. What I’m seeing with these girls throwing bleach/water at others is the increasing likelihood of an assault when one of the guys feels like he’s being attacked. If someone came up and threw bleach at me I’d have a hard time not doing something about it, even if it’s just apprehending the person and holding them until police show up.

  • TinnyWhistler

    There’s really nothing helpful about her approach.

  • Tawreos

    I would say that the video is most likely fake given the still from it. I have never been on public transportation where people would bunch up like that willingly. There are empty seats and yet they are all together. I think a manspread in this situation is more rudeness than dominant behavior. I am currently sitting here manspreading because it is comfortable, but if there were others sitting with me and space became an issue then I would try to not take up so much space. Calling out rude people needs to be done on occasion but their is no reason to destroy another persons property just because you disagree with them.

  • I think dumping liquid on another person is a physical attack. I felt uncomfortable for the guys who were targeted. Asking the guy for a little more room would have been a more appropriate and potentially effective response. Plus you could see some guys jumping up to chase her but no camera follow up on what transpired after. Not safe, not respectful, not effective in my opinion. She came with preconceived notions that all the guys were being rude – some of the guys appeared to be sleeping!

  • you think so? did you watch the full video?

  • yep, my husband sits like that all the time, and I promise he’s not exerting dominance. He just says it’s comfortable.

  • yep, I would feel the same way too.

  • Raging Bee

    If those women took such radical overt action against more SERIOUS crimes by men against women (like, oh I dunno, rape, sexual harassment, that sort of thing?), would they get away with it at all? Or would they be sent to Siberia like the church and state authorities tried to do to Pussy Riot?

    This crusade against manspreading is nothing but compensation: the women doing it know that’s the most serious offense they’re allowed to protest.

  • Raging Bee

    And what’ll happen when men start publicly protesting against women whose appearance or demeanor they don’t like?

  • Tawreos

    I can’t at the moment, but like I said just given the way they are sitting it looks staged to me

  • Raging Bee

    It’s possible those people are clustered together because they know each other. Which would also make the woman’s actions inexcusable, since she’s barging in on a group who may not have a problem with one of their own taking up a little extra space.

  • igotbanned999

    This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve seen today. And I’ve seen SHS defending Brett Kavanaugh.

  • If you watch the video it’s not staged

  • Lol! It’s pretty stupid! I agree

  • WallofSleep

    These women better have some tough friends tagging along when they pull this shit. This is going to end very badly for someone.

  • Raging Bee

    They at least have someone with a phone-camera, which would be used to show a man brutishly reacting to a well-dressed woman’s judgment — so that means the man gets publicly embarrassed and busted for assault. And there should be plenty of assholes who’d be happy to back up a woman humiliating someone outside their group. As long as the women know not to mess with the wrong men, they’ll probably be safe.

  • WallofSleep

    Quite true. However I doubt I’d have the wherewithal to think all of that through with a crotch full of bleach.

  • persephone

    They do it on the grocery store belt, too. Next time you’re in a grocery store or store with a moving belt, watch the men. They spread all their stuff out, not touching as much as possible. I will push their crap together, and unload my basket. Of course, I’m old and I have perfected a basilisk death glare. I do everything I can to get all my stuff on the belt at one time. Men, nope.

  • Raging Bee

    No, but then they’ll have you as an example of what happens to men who resist the judgment of the “community.” Pretty soon other men will learn there’s no use resisting.

  • Sophotroph

    You can’t be serious. Women who do this are perpetrating assault. They’re likely to get beaten, and the men are likely to get away with it.

    I don’t care what you think somebody’s sitting position means. If you start ruining peoples’ clothes with chemical attacks, you need jail time.

    The women are 100% in the wrong here. And I’m a died-in-the wool feminist. I’m hoping I had a stroke and I’m reading this completely incorrectly.

  • nope – you are reading it correctly. I agree. I am a feminist too.

  • Raging Bee

    I’m not saying these women are right; I’m saying they’re not likely to suffer much consequences for their actions, for reasons I’ve already stated.

    Also, this sort of thing isn’t all that new in Russia: there’s at least some tradition of, say, older women berating or harassing younger ones in tube trains and other public places over their dress, manners or bearing. In fact, many Russians have said that’s a good thing, and compare it favorably to American cities where people get away with being assholes (or worse) in public places with ZERO response from crowds of bystanders who often could have stopped the offending behaviors.

  • WallofSleep

    That’s the story of my life. I’ve been a living object lesson for many. No regrets.

  • WallofSleep

    Male or female, if someone dumps a bottle of bleach in my lap they’re gonna get a taste of instant karma.

  • WallofSleep

    I’m pretty sure that isn’t a male-only habit.

  • Raging Bee

    You’ll get no complaints from me about that.

  • WallofSleep

    Probably not. You don’t strike me as the kind of person who would go around pouring bleach on strangers.

  • Raging Bee

    Lots of people are just oblivious about such things, and don’t make a habit of saving space and looking to see if anyone is behind them waiting to unload too.

    Lots of people also don’t grab the dividers to let the people behind them unload without getting their stuff mixed up together.

  • WallofSleep

    It’s the ones that want to park their shopping cart in my colon when I’m in line that really get on my nerves.

  • Raging Bee

    Hey, ya gotta snap it up, time’s a-wastin’ — oops, I mean, yeah, people who do that are a pain in the ass…

  • persephone

    It’s pretty much guaranteed if the shopper is a man. Much less often is the shopper is a woman.

  • WallofSleep

    I think there might be some confirmation bias on your part there, but that’s obviously just a guess. I happen to notice people of both genders doing that, all the time.

  • X32WaysToDie

    Are you seriously this passive about these horrible people pouring bleach on other innocent people? How is this fair? How is this just? I can tell you, if someone did that to me randomly out of nowhere, man or woman, it would not end well for them. Did they bother asking people to move? This is literally, by definition, a physical assault, and your article is about as condemning of their behavior as Trump’s comment about “many fine people”. Are you this nonchalant about assaults on women as well? Do you ask people if the assaults towards women are “helping or hurting” (good luck getting past the online shit storm that would cause)? I’m guessing no, which makes you a hypocrite.

    ALL people, men and women, should be treated equally, this is just wrong, and I’m disappointed that you seem to be more or less OK with this.

  • X32WaysToDie

    Oh yeah? You have any evidence for that? Sounds like a lot of personal conjecture.

  • X32WaysToDie

    Sounds like you’re just making shit up to me. Seems like you already have some bias against men.

  • J_D

    ….. You’re joking, right? As if dumping bleach on innocent people is somehow a more reasonable way to avoid jail/punishment and spin a positive light on your movement?

    These women had no idea if these men were “manspreading” (what a stupid term, by the way, almost as stupid as “mansplaining” — I hate to tell you, women do this shit too — it’s a human thing, not a gender one), but just assumed they were doing so to “assert dominance. I can tell you from personal experience, it’s uncomfortable to sit with my legs close together in most situations. It has nothing to do with me “asserting dominance”, I’m just trying to get comfy. If I am in someone’s way and they ask me to move, that’s all it takes and I’ll move, there’s no reason to be a douche to me about it before even trying to be civil and polite. There was no attempt to ask them to move, no attempt to be civil, just walk up to people they assume is doing something “wrong” and assault them and permanently destroy their possessions.

    If this were in any other context outside of “feminism” would you be OK with it? I personally don’t even think this is feminism, I think this is just some people being self-righteous assholes under the guise of feminism.

  • Raging Bee

    I never said I was okay with it. Not sure how you’d get that if you actually read my comments on this thread.

  • Raging Bee

    Also, I don’t these women are acting “under the guise of feminism.” Feminism isn’t much of a thing in Russia (and wasn’t much of a thing in the USSR either). This isn’t about “feminism,” it’s about some women acting as self-appointed manners-enforcers in public places. Like I said elsewhere, babushkas have harassed both younger women and men in public places before over alleged lapses in public comportment.

  • Kirill Burtsev

    It is staged. There is an article about it, though it is in Russian: https://lenta.ru/news/2018/09/25/machofake/

  • Kirill Burtsev

    Good observation! It is staged.

  • persephone

    I’ve made a point of observing it for many years now.

  • persephone

    Well, yeah, I have bias against men. I’ve been raped, sexually assaulted, emotionally and physically abused, and now I have strangers online calling me a liar.

    I’ve also had way too many men telling me that I’m anti-Semitic because I don’t like Bernie Sanders, despite my ex being Jewish. I’ve had several gay men telling me that their lives are just like a woman’s.

    So, yes, you can go fuck yourself, you whiny, nagging, little incel of a twerp.

  • Wait, hang on:

    Is it water, dye or bleach? Because that makes a big difference.

  • Elizabeth A. Root

    Before doing anything to anyone who one thinks is behaving obnoxiously, one should have first politely ask them to behave differently. Do these men even know why these woman are pouring bleach on them? I had a friend who claimed that she was being persecuted because some community event was held on one of her ancestral religion’s holidays. I asked her if she considered explaining the situation to them, not that she observes the holidays anyway. She could have gone to the meeting and asked that they avoid this in the future. I inadvertently scheduled something on a Jewish holiday. I was actually aware of the holiday, and scheduled the meeting on the day before, not realizing that the holiday begins at sundown on the day before it is listed on the calendar, instead of sundown on the day that is listed.

    On the subject of comfort, I read a book, whose title escapes me at the moment, which discussed how people stood, walked, sat, etc., in the past. According to her, and she had pictures to illustrate, women used to also sit with their knees apart; it is only in the 20th century with the advent of shorter skirts that they began to sit with their knees together. I wear calf-length skirts, so I only sit with me knees together as a courtesy to other people.

    Even if it is more comfortable, if one is going to use public facilities, one does need to consider the other people. Making someone else stand because one likes taking up two spaces is wrong. That said, I do make some concessions to reality; one time I was on a plane next to a very large man and his elbows and feet were spilling into what was supposed to be my space. He apologized profusely, but he really didn’t have a choice, except buying two seats with an arm rest that could be lifted (otherwise he’d need three seats.) I’m surprised that more men don’t make a fuss about the kiddie-sized seats that are the norm on airplanes. Just one more reason I avoid flying.

  • Elizabeth A. Root

    When I was still working, we had doors on either side of the elevator lobby that had to be opened with a key card. I first noticed that there are some people who pay attention to whether or not someone who is entitled to entry is right behind them, and hold the door or let it shut in someone’s face.

    What really got me were the ones who would hold the door for a colleague, but if it was “only” the cleaning staff would let it shut, even though the cleaning staff were were trying to wrangle their various bins and supplies and could really have used the helped.

  • Nomad

    I’m six foot two. I don’t fit anywhere meant for normal people. If I’m sitting on a bus or train and there’s nobody in the seats next to me, I “manspread”. God I’m sick and tired of that fucking phrase.

    You know what I do it? Because it’s more comfortable. I also do it because I’ve got a problematic muscle in my left leg and if it’s acting up it’s easier to relax it than keep it tensed up nonstop over a long ride. Manclenching, or whatever you call the opposite of “manspreading” causes me pain.

    If there’s people in the seats next to me I’ll try to make myself as small as possible. But this idea that I would spread my legs to assert dominance or something… I do it because the muscles in my legs hurt if I pull them inwards constantly. I do it because the seat height was not designed with my height taken into account, my legs are too long to fit on it right.

    If you deface my clothing in some sort of bullshit attempt to get media attention for “shaming” me for not wanting to sit in constant pain… Well… Be glad the bullshit assumptions about manspreading being some sort of dominance message are just that. You do that shit to me and I won’t respond in kind, because I don’t believe in that.

    ETA: I saw the comment suggesting that this video was fake, and I agree, this scene really doesn’t look legit when I pay attention to the background. So presumably this is just some sort of PR stunt. Okay, fine, whatever. But I just wanted to point out that bleach is a potentially dangerous chemical. This is dancing on the edge of becoming a chemical attack. Or in other words, assault. If this woman (or her handlers) doesn’t know what she’s doing, this could injure people. And even if it was completely fake, copy catters might not know what they’re doing and risk injuring their victims.

  • Nomad

    Bleach. I think that’s very clear. I don’t think this blogger quite understands what this woman was doing to people.

  • Nomad

    Making someone else stand because one likes taking up two spaces is wrong.

    I think I largely agree with you, but I find this phrasing problematic. What do you mean by “likes”? I’ve had to stand because an electric power scooter was taking up multiple seats. On the other hand, when I sit with a group of people and no open seats, I sit in pain because of the nature of the geometry of being tall and perhaps muscle or joint issues and what that means for pulling my knees inwards.

    I’m not saying the two situations are equivalent, but I do want to ask you what price the ability to sit is worth. Is my pain worth another’s convenience? I don’t get to question the rider of that power scooter, and I largely agree with that. They shouldn’t have to defend their need to sit. But now here we are, with my having to justify leaving my legs spread without having corrosive chemicals dumped on me.

  • Nomad

    Well, yeah, I have bias against men. I’ve been raped, sexually assaulted, emotionally and physically abused, and now I have strangers online calling me a liar.

    So therefore you get to be an authority on the way men put items on the belt at the checkout line of a supermarket. I see.

  • Nomad

    It appears that the video has been removed “for violating community guidelines”. I would agree that committing chemical attacks on people should probably exceed community guidelines.

  • Elizabeth A. Root

    I wonder if you read my entire comment. As I said regarding my experience with the tall man on the airplane, I realized that he simply didn’t fit in his seat, and since he was making an honest effort no to spread into my area, I just accepted the situation. Fortunately it was a short flight.

    Since I don’t entirely know your situation, I can’t comment on it. You might, for example stand up for part of the trip and let two people sit down, but I don’t know if that’s realistic. I usually stood if I thought someone else needed the seat more than I did, but at this point in my life, that would be difficult.

  • persephone

    Not what I said. But be as dense as you want. You and your opinion mean absolutely nothing to me.

  • Occam

    And while I’m shopping for new jeans you’ll be shopping for new teeth.