Ethics Observations On The “Anti-Manspreading Chair”

In case you haven’t caught up, “manspreading”  means “the practice of a man sitting on public transport with his legs wide apart, taking up more space than he needs and preventing other people from sitting down.” Of course, this is a stupid definition even if it does come from the Oxford English Dictionary. Someone sitting like that doesn’t prevent anyone from sitting down, nor does it prevent anyone from saying “Please move your legs,” or, if necessary, “Please move your damn legs; I want to sit here.”

But Laila Laurel, pictured above, has invented a chair that she says will physically prevent men from “manspreading” by forcing their knees together. The female chair, to the left, allows woman extra space and to sit more comfortably.  Laila’s a design student at the University of Brighton (that’s in England) and won an award for her invention.


  • During the fake news fiasco about Catholic students supposedly harassing a Native American man, many wrote and said that based on the viral photo, student Nick Sandman had a “punchable face.”

By that measure,  Laila Laurel has a punchable face in her smug photo above, but unlike Sandman,  it’s posed and intentional.

  • Double Standard Alert! Her male chair is misandry in wood. A male student daring to invent a piece of furniture to force a woman to do anything would be run off campus with pitchforks.

Interesting: women protest that men have no right to tell them what to do with their bodies even when it means killing human life, but they presume to tell men how to sit.

  • Any man who sits like that in public is a slob, and doing so when it blocks others from sitting is selfish and rude. In a democratic society and ethical culture, we deal with such problems with communication and cultural disapproval.

Laurel’s solution is totalitarian and fascist.

  • Is this satire? The chairs wouldn’t be used on a subway, so they don’t actually accomplish what they purport to. So in essence they just say, “Screw men!” And the school rewards her for that.


  • Commentary elsewhere: Satirical Twitter feminist “Titania McGrath” tweets, “These anti-manspreading chairs are all very well, but surely widespread castration would be more cost-effective?”

Althouse commenter 1: “What kind of DESIGN competition would award a prize to this crap? Oh yeah, one where woke trumps junk.”

Althouse commenter 2: “maybe she should stop cuntsplaining how to fucking sit. “


Sources: Daily Mail, Althouse

32 thoughts on “Ethics Observations On The “Anti-Manspreading Chair”

  1. s this satire? The chairs wouldn’t be used on a subway, so they don’t actually accomplish what they purport to.

    They will be used in subways, though. In the back. Where men will be required to sit. White men, of course.

    You will be made to care about the patriarchy.

    But seriously, how indoctrinated in “woke” feminist politics do you have to be to even come up with an idea like this? It beggars belief, and boggles the mind.

    And even though the young inventor is fairly easy on the eyes, if I ever see her, I’m turning around and going the other way…

  2. Furniture as socio-political commentary. Brilliant. Where’s the early, viciously satirical Evelyn Waugh when you need someone to take the Brits down a notch or two?

  3. Hey! Laila Laurel is CUTE! She is the first girl (I wonder who is triggered by my use of that g-word? I’m dying to know!) pictured in this blog since the irresistible Sydney (Jack will know who I mean) who has triggered my “instacrush” reflex (white male hetero-sexist, misogynist, testosterone-saturated predatory LUST).

    Yes: it can be assumed from the above that upon first sight of Laila (farther above), my mind went to: “I want to nail her!!

    And Laila isn’t even shown posing in some flirtatious or otherwise provocative way! (Well, maybe, like Jack implies, that smug mug with the crossed arms IS punchable…)

    I don’t care for the chair design; I think the award that Laila received for it is unethical for its thoughtless insensitivity toward, cynical stereotyping of, and deliberately intended hostility toward, males (but then, since when did the Golden Rule EVER start to apply in relations between males and females?). The chair itself, though? Unethical? No. Ethically neutral, I think. Just DUMB.

    Well, amidst my irrepressible lust, I brainstormed a bit more about this Laila and her oh-so-stupid chair…and concluded that she needs to be set up on a late night talk show with Crazy Uncle Joe (Biden). Let him sit in that chair, and show us all how to be a proper guy – of course, after he buries his face in Laila’s hair, near her neck, and takes a deep sniff, while putting his hands on her hips…

      • Wow. Thanks Jack. Not what I wanted to read, but, reading it confirmed how much I have changed over recent years. Naw, I don’t take any particular shine toward Sydney these days. (Honestly, I didn’t take that great of a shine toward her, ‘way back when. But the lust WAS there.)

        I now read of a young woman, and her mother, as examples of two persons well-adapted to, and well-assimilated into, a Nation of Assholes – even living, breathing, walking, “bitching” products of same. Crusading to make the world better (Syd sez), by walking the walk of The More They “Change,” The More They Stay The Same. Back at home, in their favorite (?) “suicide capital.” Expecting to propagate love everywhere they go, while insisting on proudly exhibiting their uncompromising un-loveability for all to see, at the times, places, and manners of their choosing. Ain’t freedom great? Hate doesn’t stand a chance, with such self-anointed “freedom.” Because power and control. Power and control always trump hate. Okay, enough sarcasm…

        The two most saddening sentences I read in the whole interview were:
        They don’t care who you are. All that matters to them is who they think you are.” Talk about a self-condemning self-description by the virtually incurably self-blinded. I don’t think Sydney is healed of her madness yet. I wish her well, but I have strong doubts that she has bottomed-out yet.

        Lost souls. Looking for love in all the wrong places.
        History. Rewind, and replay.

        Well, I guess I’m a “hater,” too. Forever entirely incapable of love or loveability, and entirely by choice. (/sarcasm)

        I used to think ethics could out-live all societal evolution, and ultimately triumph in a society of self-perfecting, if not self-perfected, individuals. Now, I am agnostic about that. No: make that just plain skeptical. Oh, what the heck: call me a denier. A denier of the existence of any potential for any human to be able to save oneself from oneself. God Help Sydney and Miki!

  4. So, she won an award for designing a . . . chair. A chair. A chair? It’s a chair, with a seat narrower in the front then in the back with side rails, forcing a fellow to cross his legs European style. That is award worthy? Really? I am in the wrong business.


    • Wel, notice that the women’s (womyn’s?) version has a handy mounting plate for certain, er, recreational attachments… so she’s (thays? xihe’s?) got that going for her.

  5. Leaving the wokeness aside….

    …both the male and female models look ridiculously uncomfortable. Call me old-fashioned, but shouldn’t that be a factor in whether a design is award-worthy?

    • Yes, these chairs are totally unworkable on multiple levels. Three came to mind before I even saw her smug and arrogant expression. 1) the chairs make no accommodation to students or adults of different disabilities, Forget using for either sex if in a cast, crutches, larger sized like athletes, or obese… I guess she believes these people must sit on the floor like serfs? You could not use them just for ADA reasons. 2) Honestly the gender count year to year and space to space varies. What if the 3pm shoppers are mostly female and 9pm is bar hopping? There will never be enough chairs of the right type of person. I’m thinking of the Uni classrooms which had either far many or far too few left handed desks. I’m sure she’ll make more on the copyright if the schools have to order 50% more to cover most permutations. (little conflict of interest there: kickback vs great designs) 3) neither design looks comfortable and there is no support or back to hold coat or backpack. The number of spokes to indicate gender is a dig. (and can a trans use whichever is more comfortable, if any?) No one would suppose a stool, a chair with such a low back has any place. Think of all the extra back injuries after accident or disaster when that ultra low back hits your back!

      The only thing these chairs are good for is a fireplace,

  6. I tried to post this to Facebook. Apparently, Jack is still on Mark Zuckerbergs no no list. Shame.

    I sit with my legs open depending on the circumstance. I, of course, also live in a desert. But when anyone wants to sit next to me, I appropriately move and give them as much space as I possible can. Being a much broader individual, that space is very limited. I am very mindful of the space around me simply because of that.

    I hardly ever use public transportation or sit in locations where “manspreading” is going to spark an all out misandrist riot.

  7. Firstly, the “woman” chair is just as dumb as the man’s. Why put a block in the center to force the woman to spread her legs, instead of just making the seat wider to allow for a range of comfortable positions. I would like to know what the criteria were for this “design” competition, because from an actual functional perspective, this is garbage.

    Secondly, since gender is a social construct and is fluid and can vary from minute to minute, the obvious workaround is to identify with whichever gender affords you the more comfortable chair, at least for the duration of your seating. How dare Laila Laurel force me to conform to her gender stereotypes! She’s history’s greatest monster!

  8. I hope she’s lez otherwise she’s going to be lonely for the rest of her life as no normal man would ever date such a deeply ridiculous woman.

  9. Men spread their legs when sitting because unlike women they do not have a wide hip base that would help stabilize the sitting position. Men spread their legs to help create a more stable sitting position. If their legs are forced together the muscles in the lower back would strain to maintain posture and that’s uncomfortable and or painful. Men have a natural out turn of the legs from the hips,so forcing them together would also strain the inner thigh muscles causing fatigue over a short time. Then there’s the issue of a man’s junk but I don’t even have to go there.

  10. The male chair may prevent some manspreading, but the female chair forces the woman to spread her legs. Let that one sink in for a moment…clearly the designer didn’t think this one through.

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