I’m a bit cranky today, owing to the fact that I am suffering from a wicked head cold thanks to the filthy, germ-ridden little creatures who live here with me. Kindergarten plague. Ugh. Even so, this tumblr has pissed me off royally. It’s called Men Taking Up Too Much Space on the Train.
Having spent a good deal of time on public transportation in Shanghai, Melbourne, Manchester, Toronto, Athens and Seattle, I know a bit about how to travel with a few manners. I also know how to travel with a modicum of sense when it comes to protecting personal belongings. And when I looked at these pictures, for the most part, I saw people taking reasonable precautions not to get their bags stolen, and not to trip people moving past them.
Almost all the men taking up too much space have large bags or backpacks between their feet, meaning that A) they aren’t taking up the seat next to them, and B) they can smush the bags against the lower portion of the seat so that people walking by don’t get tangled up in the straps.
Why is this even an issue? Well, duh, it’s because people men who sit with their legs apart and bags between them are trying to send a message to fellow travellers that they have really big dicks and that the entire world needs to stop spinning on its axis and accommodate said ginormous dicks.
Maybe these fucking idiots think we women are impressed when they act like their penis is so fucking big that they can’t even try to make room for you next to them on the bench. Because if there’s one thing we ladies like, it’s a monster dick the size of yule log (Happy Holidays!) and a man who won’t offer us a seat because it makes him slightly uncomfortable.
Anyway, these dudes aren’t going anywhere. They’ve been around forever (your pilgrim dick is not that big) and they’ll stay around forever (your cyborg dick doubles as a gun), so all we — women, children, the vast majority of men who understand the basic concepts of space and sitting down — can do is quietly rage and occasionally work up the courage to ask you to move your fucking legs. But that doesn’t mean we’re not glaring at you with the power of a thousand fuck yous when we see you treat the service that we all pay the equal amount to use like it’s your own fucking castle. Trust us, the major dick here is not in your pants — it’s you. You’re the fucking dick, so close your legs or go fuck yourself.
That little screed was part of the delightful Fuck You Week at Jezebel, and demonstrates the usual level of vitriol, bitterness, stupidity and hate we have come to expect from the ladies at good ole Jez.
Because you KNOW it’s only ever men who sit with their legs apart on the tube, right?
And women never, ever keep their bags between their feet.
And they certainly never collapse over into someone else’s seat.
Nor do they ever take up an inordinate amount of space giving each other pedicures on the fucking train.
They never fall alseep with their legs splayed.
And they never, ever sport asses so huge they have little choice but to take up two seats.
They don’t take up the seat next to them with their bags.
Women never carry giant bags you just know are gonna end up shoved in someone’s crotch.
They don’t spread out their legs at the bus stop, cramming Doritos (or whatever healthy snack that is) into their fat maws while airing out the lady cave for passerbys. Nope. That neeeeeeeever happens.
This kind of idiocy and first world problem bullshit makes me so angry because it seems deliberately designed to encourage women to get on trains or other forms of public transportation, ignore all the women doing the EXACT SAME FUCKING THINGS, and just spend the journey “leaning in” to perfect their hatred of men.
It irritates me because there is no reason for it. Everyone can be as asshole on the train or bus, and sometimes the things that we consider “asshole” behaviour actually have a pretty good reason behind them. One of my pet peeves is parents with monster strollers on public transportation. Or anywhere for that matter. Strollers are not required. The number of times I took a stroller on public transportation and forced other people to trip and squish themselves against an ugly, wheeled monstrosity: ZERO!
Hello, baby sling.
Strollers are not required equipment, and taking them on public transportation makes most of the stroller brigade assholes.
Now, having said that, I travelled with Pixie on public transportation with 5 year old LittleBear in one of those gigantic jogging strollers that everyone had to contort themselves to get around. LittleBear has had his abdominal muscles cut through 63 TIMES, and he isn’t very good at standing up on the subway, so fuck all the haters – he was in a super comfy stroller that maximized his comfort and forced everyone else into some momentary discomfort.
So sad, too bad. LittleBear had a good reason to be in stroller. Most kids have no reason. Their parents are just dicks.
It happens. People are assholes. They act as though the whole damn world belongs to them, and everyone else should just put up and shut up. What this tumblr blog is claiming is that MEN, and ONLY MEN are assholes on public transportation, and that really, really annoys me.
I don’t know if it’s just because I’m in a really foul mood today owing to the fact that I despise being colonized by the snot virus, but it seems to me that the level of hate has been ratcheted up a notch lately. Hannah Roisin, in a recent Slate column, proclaimed that the patriarchy is dead, and that it serves little purpose for women to continue to blame their problems on a nebulous at best entity that hasn’t been in evidence in North America for at least the last 70 years.
Critics responded by creating a list of 39 things the “patriarchy” is responsible for, including vajazzling, juice cleanses, cardio pole-dancing, peak fertility and the fact that women can’t seem to nail down those pesky Nobel Prizes in any meaningful category.
Yeah, peak fertility is totally the fault of patriarchy. And so are cupcake shaped vibrators. Totally rapey patriarchy.
Really? That’s your fucking argument? You’re oppressed by vibrators shaped like cupcakes?
Meanwhile, in the real news, boys continue to slide behind girls in academic achievements, which has profound consequences for our whole society and economy because boys are the ones who grow up to actually MAKE SHIT THAT WE USE. You know, when they’re not cooling off their gonads on the train.
The achievement gap has life and death consequences for working class men, and men of color, in particular.
“Nearly half of young men of color age 15 to 24 who graduate from high school will end up unemployed, incarcerated or dead.”
Nearly half! We are throwing away nearly half of our young men of color and the shape of your vibrator is the key issue feminists want addressed?
It’s not like the problem is even difficult to remedy. Bring back vocational and technical training at the high school level – areas of education traditionally dominated by boys, who have this weird little quirk that makes them want to DO USEFUL SHIT.
The American system for preparing young people to lead productive and prosperous lives as adults is clearly badly broken.
Failure to aggressively overcome this challenge will surely erode the fabric of our society. The American Dream rests on the promise of economic opportunity, with a middle class lifestyle for those willing to work for it. Yet for the millions of young Americans entering adulthood lacking access to marketable skills, the American Dream may be just an illusion, unlikely ever to come within their grasp. If we fail to better prepare current and future teens and young adults, their frustration over scarce and inferior opportunities is likely to grow, along with economic inequality. The quality of their lives will be lower, the costs that they impose on society will be higher, and many of their potential contributions to society will go unrealized. This is a troubling prospect for any society and almost certainly a recipe for national decline.
For all the impressive gains women have made in education and labor force participation, they are incapable of preventing national decline, and indeed, may even be hastening it.
Girls don’t typically grow up to do useful shit that we NEED as an economy and society to survive. Boys are the ones who grow into the men who do the hard, dirty, difficult, challenging work of creating our machines and keeping them running. Work that typically doesn’t take place in an air-conditioned office, and tends to be hell on manicures.
The skilled trades sector is in precipitous decline, with few workers in the pipeline to replace the aging workforce.
The majority of those workers are men, and no doubt, will continue to be men, who express more interest in the skilled trades than women.
We’re throwing away half of our young men of color, denying all young men the opportunity to learn the skills they need to contribute to society in the way they WANT TO which happens to coincide with the way we NEED them to, and the problem we’re gonna talk about is that they take up too much space on the trains?
The trains that men designed?
Most engineers are men.
That men built?
Most manufacturing, especially heavy manufacturing jobs are held by men.
That men drive?
Most train conductors are men. In fact, the 2010 census shows 0% of women working as locomotive engineers, which means there are a few, but not enough to reach 1% of the total workforce.
That men maintain?
Another 0% of women work as railroad brake, signal, and switch operators, while a whopping 6% of conductors and yardmasters are women.
I have an idea. How about until we have a rail line with trains that were designed by women, built by women, maintained by women, driven by women – how about women shut the fuck up about how much space men take up on the train?
And try taking up a little less space yourself.
And perhaps, just perhaps, we should start talking about just who is going to continue to run our national transportation network when we throw all our public resources into educating more baristas of arts and ignore the boys who will grow up to design, build, operate and maintain our basic infrastructure?
The patriarchy may be dead, but the matriarchy certainly isn’t, and it looks poised to bring the whole world to a standstill.
Force boys into smaller and smaller spaces, and you destroy us all.
How very clever.
Lots of love,