If you “manspread” on the subway in Los Angeles, you could be $75 poorer after your ride.
The Los Angeles Metro has announced it will be fining passengers who insist on being rude to other passengers, and who fail to follow a Los Angeles Metro code of conduct called “Metro Manners.”
The list of potential, finable faux pas is extensive and includes everything from chewing gum on the subway to playing loud music to blocking automatic doors without good reason. Eating, drinking and smoking are already prohibited behaviors by law, but LA added vaping — or using an electronic cigarette — to its manners guide to snap up all those people who try to get around the smoking ban by whipping out an e-cig.
But Los Angeles says it’s also taking on the “epidemic” of “manspreading,” or the tendency of men riding public transportation to sit with their legs spread apart, taking up more than their fair share of seating. LA appears to believe manspreading is a space problem, but radical feminists have been after manspreaders for years, in New York, Boston, Chicago and on the West Coast, for a behavior they believe results from “toxic masculinity” and a male need to project status, particularly against women.
Most cities have limited their campaigns against manspreading to billboards; LA is the first to start fining people who sit with their knees open.
First time offenders will be socked with a fee of approximately $75 (the exact amount is up to the manners officer’s discretion). Every subsequent offense raises the amount, and after three, four, or five offenses, riders can be temporarily banned from using the subway, though how LA plans to enforce a Metro ban isn’t clear. Since people can buy temporary passes with cash, shutting down transit cards would have a limited effect.
Maybe they’ll just have “Most Wanted Manspreaders” posters in every underground stop.