Even Britain’s new female prime minister can’t escape manspreading

A squeeze for some.
A squeeze for some.
Image: EPA/Zoe Norfolk
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Theresa May became Britain’s newest prime minister in July, following the country’s shock vote to leave the European Union.

May then formed her cabinet to help her with the mammoth task of running the country while also simultaneously negotiating Britain’s exit from the EU. When May released her first official photo of her cabinet, most people couldn’t help but notice a glaring gap.

While May takes up almost no space at all dead center, many of her male cabinet ministers had their legs firmly spread apart—the public faux-pas known as manspreading. Foreign secretary Boris Johnson, former mayor of London during the 2012 Summer Games and leading member of the campaign to withdraw from the EU, has drawn the most attention for his “Olympic-grade manspreading talents.”

Over the last few years, Facebook groups and blogs have popped up to shame male passengers who inconvenience others by keeping their legs wide apart. Manspreading was even added to Oxford’s online dictionary last year, with the following definition:

The practice whereby a man, especially one traveling on public transport, adopts a sitting position with his legs wide apart, in such a way as to encroach on an adjacent seat or seats.

Apparently, Boris has yet to take a hint.