Have you heard of this term called manspreading? There is a video doing the rounds of a woman going around pouring bleach – light diluted ones – on men that deliberately spread their legs apart on public transport or take up more than the agreed space of the armrest. If you have ever been a victim of manspreading, you may agree this is a good punishment for those who do it.
And why exactly do people do it? The reasons for this may vary but it is like asking why people put feet on train seats. Because they are unlikely to be prosecuted for that (although one train company does make it an offence), they don’t really care about others, and because they are insecure. You may not necessarily agree with the suggestion that manspreading masks a certain level of insecurity, but if a person were a country, political commentators might remark that aggressive over-expansionism masks a psychological fear of being invaded and is triggered by such feelings of insecurity. People who manspread decide to take up more space than they need to so that if someone else does the same thing, they would have retained the normal space they are entitled to anyway. It is a pre-emptive strike.
Is it fair to pour bleach on someone who has manspreaded though? We must be careful we do not condone such acts, otherwise crazy individuals might take it upon themselves as vigilantes to throw water on women who do their makeup on public transport. We must be careful not to degenerate as a society.
But sometimes we feel the need to retaliate, in a tit-for-tat manner, in order to deal with the perpetrator. But perhaps a better way of investing our energy, instead of making life as difficult for the other person, would be to seek a resolution for all parties to move on. After all, disagreements can last so long a period and drain our energy so much that less might have been required to resolve it. We can take a lesson from classical music – the solo concerto. Both the soloist and orchestra compete, but in the end, success really depends on how they work together!