A feminist student specializing in “3D Design and Craft” from the University of Brighton has ushered mankind into a new era of sexual equality by designing a chair that prevents “manspreading” — that physiological necessity for men to spread their legs on public transport to prevent the pelvic muscles from exerting pressure on the testicular region.
“A university student has won a national award for designing a chair that stops men from manspreading,” reports the Daily Mail. “Laila Laurel, 23, created the piece of furniture to stop men from widening their legs and encroaching on other people’s personal space.”
The chair does nothing revolutionary and simply positions two pieces of wood so that the man sitting down must keep his legs together. Take a look:
The special chair has already been earning much buzz and accolades in the design industry. Laurel herself recently picked up the much-coveted Belmond Award, which “calls for imaginative and cleverly presented ideas,” according to the Daily Mail.
“It came from my own experiences of men infringing on my space in public,” Laurel said of her design. “With my chair set I hoped to draw awareness to the act of sitting for men and women and inspire discussion around this.”
Laurel said she felt deeply honored to win the Belmond Award. Her work, entitled “A Solution for Manspreading,” was hailed by award judges as a “bold, purpose-driven design that explores the important role of design in informing space, a person’s behaviour and society issues of today.”
Dr. Eddy Elton, senior lecturer of architecture and design at the University of Brighton, said he “will be forever proud” of Laurel for winning the Belmond Award.
“Over the past month our students and staff have come together to work tirelessly on its design,” said Elton. “Winning the award at such a prestigious event, which is recognised by the professional design community, was an amazing achievement for our students and university. Seeing our students being called to the stage to receive this award is something I will be forever proud of.”
The word “Manspreading” transformed from a feminist buzzword into an actual, formal member of the English lexicon in 2015 when the Oxford English Dictionary included it. It is officially defined as follows: “The practice whereby a man adopts a sitting position with his legs wide apart, in such a way as to encroach on an adjacent seat.”
As the anti-manspreading movement has gained steam over the years, cities such as New York and Madrid have enacted full-blown campaigns to either caution against the practice on public transportation or to ban it outright. According to medical experts, manspreading may actually have a basis in male biology and may not actually be the product of male privilege.
“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,” spinal neurosurgeon John Sutcliffe told The Independent. “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.”