“This is my personal space!”
Police removed a woman riding the Northeast Corridor line on New Jersey transit who refused to move her bags on a packed train in a video obtained by NJ Advance Media and published in mid-February.
The unidentified Louis Vuitton bag-holding passenger is seen in the video mouthing off to various passengers, transit employees, and police who try, unsuccessfully, to get the woman to remove her bags. “I don’t want anyone sitting next to me,” the woman said in response to the agitated crowd.
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“This is my personal space!” she added. “I don’t care if I’m 50 pounds, 90 pounds or 300 pounds.”
Eventually transit staff and the officers present tired of the woman’s antics. Police moved in and asked the offending passenger to exit the train. “Step off, please,” one of the officers said.
Passengers were “clapping and cheering” when the woman finally got off the train, New Jersey local Thaedra Frangos told NJ Advance Media. “Then somebody sat down immediately in her seat,” Frangos said.
The incident might be best characterized as the female equivalent of the controversial practice of manspreading. In a 2017 piece for feminist outlet Jezebel about how Madrid had banned manspreading, Whitney Kimball defined the offense. “Manspreading, when men spread their wide open legs for the whole goddamn train to see and take up bench space which could accommodate at least three mid-sized women,” she wrote. Liberal outlet Mic, implying that the practice was a problem that needed to be addressed, published a litany of “absurd reasons ‘manspreaders’ use to defend their right to spread on the subway.”
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