Author: has written 5252 posts for this blog.

Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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230 Responses

  1. zuzu
    zuzu August 19, 2011 at 1:17 pm |

    Aw, I miss New York!

    15. Man-sitting (dudes who spread their knees SO WIDE when they sit down, as if they were lugging bowling balls in their pants).

    AKA “bigging.”

    I would add: don’t flip your friggin’ long hair on the subway. No one wants a faceful of your hair.

  2. Kristen J
    Kristen J August 19, 2011 at 1:19 pm | *

    HOW DARE YOU! Just because YOU can’t walk and read at the same time doesn’t mean the rest of are similarly impaired. Hell, I can write this comment and walk at the same time. You’re disciminating against the especially awesome! I am taking my overuse of exclamation points elsewhere! And I shan’t be back! *flounce*

  3. Ladeeda
    Ladeeda August 19, 2011 at 1:23 pm |

    The corollary to man-sitting, though, is woman-bagging, by which I mean setting your bag next to you to take up the seat. Here in DC, I see that at least as much as man-sitting, and it’s equally obtrusive and rude.

  4. Ladeeda
    Ladeeda August 19, 2011 at 1:24 pm |

    16. Not reading the article carefully enough. :(

  5. FashionablyEvil
    FashionablyEvil August 19, 2011 at 1:26 pm |

    Ladeeda, that’s #8.

  6. FashionablyEvil
    FashionablyEvil August 19, 2011 at 1:30 pm |

    Also, I restrained myself from adding an exclamation point or a smiley face to my comment. But I feel like it’s going to seem mean, so I would just like to say, “I didn’t mean to be mean!”

    Damn, being a woman is exhausting.

  7. Erin W
    Erin W August 19, 2011 at 1:42 pm |

    I agree with all of these, and would like to see them adopted in Philly. (Except 11 wouldn’t have much use, because our subways don’t have freestanding poles like the ones in NYC.)

  8. DP
    DP August 19, 2011 at 1:52 pm |

    Sitting down in the one remaining seat when you clearly require 2+seats to fit.

    Look, if you take up that much real estate on the train, and you get the seat first, then I won’t try to jam into the 0.5 of a seat that you left. But for the love of FSM, don’t try to cram into one small seat if you are John Goodman or Shaq.

  9. outrageandsprinkles
    outrageandsprinkles August 19, 2011 at 1:55 pm |

    @DP – So, since I’m really fat, if there’s one seat left I should just stand? Bite me.

  10. Computer Soldier Porygon
    Computer Soldier Porygon August 19, 2011 at 1:57 pm |

    but my testicles are so fantastically large I can’t help but sit spread-eagle also I can’t stand because standing is hard

    because of my big big balls

  11. bhuesca
    bhuesca August 19, 2011 at 1:58 pm |

    extremely loud and/or profanity-laced conversations in tight spaces of unrelated persons forced together by chance and circumstances, i.e. the subway.

  12. Tom Foolery
    Tom Foolery August 19, 2011 at 2:08 pm |

    Can’t wait to find out which of these rules is classist/ableist/etc.ist. Popcorn is in the microwave.

  13. Aisling
    Aisling August 19, 2011 at 2:16 pm |

    My town has no subway, so a lot of these aren’t relevant, but man-sitting! Holy hell, dude, your bollix CANNOT

  14. DP
    DP August 19, 2011 at 2:17 pm |

    outrageandsprinkles:
    @DP – So, since I’m really fat, if there’s one seat left I should just stand? Bite me.

    If it involves sitting on me, then, yes. Stand the fuck up, unless you’re disabled in which case there are helpful signs to that effect.

    Life ain’t fair, and you don’t get to crush my body with yours.

  15. Kaela
    Kaela August 19, 2011 at 2:18 pm |

    When I saw the main photo load on my feeder, I got unreasonably angry.

    Ugh. Subway etiquette, people. If not for God’s approval, at least because I don’t want to end up on Gothamist making a scene and dumping bubble tea on you.

  16. Aisling
    Aisling August 19, 2011 at 2:23 pm |

    (Gahh accidentally sent that mid-kvetch. Sorry, no idea how to delete?)

    My town has no subway, so a lot of these aren’t relevant, but man-sitting! Holy hell, dude, your bollix CANNOT possibly be that enormous! Nobody’s are! It’s probably some kind of scientific impossibility!

    Although I think we can excuse #8 in the case of your bus having menacing drunk guys and/or people who will probably sexually harass/assault you if you let them sit next to you? Yes? Yes.

    …I am horrified that #6 even HAPPENS.

  17. DammitJanet
    DammitJanet August 19, 2011 at 2:28 pm |

    From the original article:

    People who push a stroller for twins around with only one baby in it, creating discomfort for all who encounter them. You know you would feel idiotic calling 911 and saying, “I’m on a sidewalk downtown and I just passed a lady who seems to have lost a baby.” Yet you also know that if you don’t make that call, you’re going to be reading these headlines the next day:

    Woman Pushes Double Stroller 30 Blocks Not Realizing One Baby Has Escaped

    Child Vaulted Out of Carriage to Investigate Yarn-Covered Bull

    Holy hell, that cracked me up.

  18. Rachel
    Rachel August 19, 2011 at 2:34 pm |

    wow it only took 7 comments before #8 came in and tried to eff up a completly hilarious post.

  19. iiii
    iiii August 19, 2011 at 2:37 pm |

    I’m pretty fat and I don’t like feeling squished by someone next to me, so unless there’s a single seat open I generally stand.

    But if you gotta sit, you gotta sit. Even fat people have bad knees, you know? First-come-first-served is not the only applicable rule when sharing transit.

    I think there ought to be a law about backpacks, namely, TAKE THE DAMN THINGS OFF when you get on the bus or train. So sick of idiots whacking me with those things and then getting all offended when I call them on it.

  20. zuzu
    zuzu August 19, 2011 at 2:41 pm |

    bhuesca:
    extremely loud and/or profanity-laced conversations in tight spaces of unrelated persons forced together by chance and circumstances, i.e. the subway.

    Oh, fuck that!

  21. FashionablyEvil
    FashionablyEvil August 19, 2011 at 2:44 pm |

    So sick of idiots whacking me with those things and then getting all offended when I call them on it.

    Or when you politely suggest that they’ve been playing the same song clip from their ringtones for the last 20 minutes and that maybe they could turn it down/off?

    I think there should be a law against the inappropriate usage of the “bish plz” face.

  22. chava
    chava August 19, 2011 at 3:03 pm |

    Oh, ffs. Those seats are TINY, and unlike big-ballers or bag-sitters, news flash, fat people LIVE in fat bodies. Expecting them to stand is ridiculous.

    Your thigh will survive being touched by your neighbor, DP. I highly doubt anyone is actually sitting on you.

  23. manju
    manju August 19, 2011 at 3:16 pm |

    I’m grossed out by the idea of consuming any sort of food on the subway — do you know what kinds of germs are traveling in those cars, and you are opening your mouth and putting food into it?!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BDZFPpLMRU

    1. Kristen J
      Kristen J August 19, 2011 at 3:36 pm | *

      FYI. Greatest video evar. *flounce*

  24. chava
    chava August 19, 2011 at 3:27 pm |

    I commute to and from NYC for work. I’ve eaten stuff like falafel or a Cosi panini on the subway when it was the only shot I had at a hot dinner before getting on a 3 hour bus ride (where I do eat sometimes, and I’m sure people on the bus ALSO judge me for eating).

    But, you know, one of the benefits of getting older is not giving (as much of) a fuck what people think.

    My NYC rule: Clusters of tourists who stop in the middle of the sidewalk to photograph, feed, or just STARE at pigeons and/or squirrels are to be shot on sight.

  25. FashionablyEvil
    FashionablyEvil August 19, 2011 at 3:30 pm |

    pigeons and/or squirrels

    I think you mean “rats with wings” and “rats with bushy tails.”

  26. Doug Fudge
    Doug Fudge August 19, 2011 at 4:02 pm |

    I for one am very much in favor of banning the leaving-open-of-doors while blasting AC. Sure, I like to walk past it, but not so much that I think it should keep happening.

    Also, I agree with the person who said the thing about playing a clip of a song through your phone over and over again. I’d extend it to pretty much any playing of music (that isn’t busking) through a tiny device like that.

    I had an experience with that in the recent past. My thoughts were:
    1) why does that eight year old have a blackberry?
    2) why isn’t that eight year old’s mother/caretaker, who is sitting but one foot away, say “hey, maybe don’t play that in the subway, since it’s incredibly obnoxious to every single other person besides yourself”?
    3) why do people insist on listening to music through tiny phone speakers in the first place? Nothing sounds good through those. Not to mention that, if you’re on the subway, you have to turn the fucker all the way up just to hear anything in the first place, at which point all of what was previously music becomes clicks and pops as you permanently damage the speakers.

  27. Donna L
    Donna L August 19, 2011 at 4:06 pm |

    Kristen J:
    HOW DARE YOU!Just because YOU can’t walk and read at the same time doesn’t mean the rest of are similarly impaired.Hell, I can write this comment and walk at the same time.You’re disciminating against the especially awesome!I am taking my overuse of exclamation points elsewhere!And I shan’t be back!*flounce*

    Exactly. I was deeply offended by this as well. I was born and raised in New York City and have been reading while walking down the sidewalks since I was about 6 years old. I haven’t bumped into anyone yet; nor does it slow me down. I have radar.

  28. sb
    sb August 19, 2011 at 4:07 pm |

    I’m guilty of nail-filing on pubtrans — but I’m a reformed nail-biter who is prone to relapse if I have a snag, and I have a 1.5 hour commute. Really, a quick pass with a file is much less gross than me gnawing on them, and there’s grosser stuff on that floor than a bit of nail dust.

  29. DP
    DP August 19, 2011 at 4:18 pm |

    chava:
    Oh, ffs.Those seats are TINY, and unlike big-ballers or bag-sitters, news flash, fat people LIVE in fat bodies.Expecting them to stand is ridiculous.

    Your thigh will survive being touched by your neighbor, DP.I highly doubt anyone is actually sitting on you.

    I know that a certain amount of unwanted touching is de rigeur for the T (masshole) and we all accept that, mostly. You’re going to be uncomfortably close to people, and things will happen that in other contexts would be illegal.

    What gets me is when people sit and their sitting causes me physical pain, or makes it impossible for me to reach my bag if I need to grab something, or constrains my damn breathing. Yes, all of these things happen on a weekly basis when sitting on the train. I’m reading a book, and then someone gets in the empty seat and I have to get up just to breath.

    It’s not just fat people, either, sometimes you’ve got someone who is built like an NBA player trying to fold themselves in. If you think it’s not painful to be squeezed in between two guys who are 6’10″ / 250#….

  30. Sharon Cullars
    Sharon Cullars August 19, 2011 at 4:20 pm |

    You are my people! I thought I was just being persnickerty, esp. about folk who walk two and three people wide on a sidewalk and expect you (on the correct right side) to somehow scrunch up, disappear or meld into the building beside you to get out of their way! This has made me somewhat passive-aggressive (I know I should be ashamed) and I “accidentally” bump shoulders as hard as I can.

  31. Arkady
    Arkady August 19, 2011 at 4:20 pm |

    Heh, I used to live in a UK city popular with tourists, and while I miss the pretty buildings I don’t miss the crowds of tourists… one of their favourite habits was to stand on the only foot/cycle bridge, taking photos across the whole span of the (steep, could-only-just-cycle-up-without-changing-gear) bridge. For my first week I would stop for them, but after that…. well, I’m probably in quite a few tourist photos!

    Thing that annoys me: couples or groups of friends who go to a supermarket and repeatedly block the aisles while having loud, endless discussions on what to get. Some of us have highly efficient, time-minimising shopping patterns that are disrupted! GAAH!

  32. Raja
    Raja August 19, 2011 at 4:32 pm |

    I hope this is a joke

  33. Ellie
    Ellie August 19, 2011 at 4:38 pm |

    Most of these I haven’t experienced much of a personal problem with, though I see how they could be annoying if you put just a few more people on my daily bus. But man-sitting! This has to be one of my biggest bus pet peeves ever! Your nuts aren’t so huge that you need to take up the only remaining seat on the bus, while other passengers are standing right next to you, just to avoid crushing your beastly bits!

    A lot of other, mostly male, passengers where I live also like the sideways-sit, where they’re not exactly man-sitting, but their haphazard, diagonal slouch-sit requires two seats just the same. Really not necessary!

    /persnickety

  34. April
    April August 19, 2011 at 4:40 pm |

    This made my busmates look at me funny as I repeatedly laughed out loud. Speaking of the bus and public transportation rules, I will concur with the proposed law against that fucking shitty-sounding cell phone ring tone clip. My god, that’s annoying. Also, I do not understand the tourist hair thing– do people in NYC not get highlights like that? I personally find them hideous, but yeah, like every woman between the ages of 15 and 23 in MN seems to have them.

  35. Sanoe
    Sanoe August 19, 2011 at 4:43 pm |

    I apparently ‘man-sit.’ Lovely.

  36. XtinaS
    XtinaS August 19, 2011 at 5:12 pm |

    8. Putting your bag on the subway seat next to you (unless the train is mostly empty and seats are plentiful).

    Dear unholy fuck do I get completely pissed by people who blithely sit in the aisle seat on the bus, paying absolutely no attention to their surroundings lest they be caught noticing that the bus is now full, and so they should goddamn move over.  No, I really don’t care that people should ask to sit in the window seat.  People should bloody well not be horridly inconsiderate.

    12. Continuing to read your book, magazine, Kindle, iPad or smartphone after you have exited the train and are now walking. No one in the history of the world is capable of walking and reading at the same time. Put it down.

    Hey now, some people, such as yours truly, can knit while they walk.  SO THERE.  *pre-flounce flounce*

    Cyclists who ride on the sidewalk when there’s a bike lane available, or ride the wrong way down the street.

    My girlfriend and her husband, who live in NY, visited me in Portland.  She checked with me to see how Portlanders respond to people riding on the sidewalk, because it’s Not Done in NY.  (We were in the suburbs at night, so yeah, no one cares.)

  37. Kristen J
    Kristen J August 19, 2011 at 5:25 pm | *

    Hey now, some people, such as yours truly, can knit while they walk. SO THERE. *pre-flounce flounce*

    That is possibly the most impressive thing I’ve ever heard. *flounce*

  38. Anonymouse
    Anonymouse August 19, 2011 at 5:31 pm |

    Tourists who ask you for directions despite you wearing headphones and your “don’t talk to me, I’m in a hurry” face. Seriously, there are thousands of people all around. Someone will point you towards Times Square.

  39. karak
    karak August 19, 2011 at 5:36 pm |

    Don’t put your goddamn bikes on the handicapped seating. That area is SPECIAL for a REASON and I am going to pick up your bike and eat it, right in front of you.

    And this might be me and my Midwestern-ness, but if you jostle me, bump me, knock into me, or honestly touch me, it’s POLITE to either mumble “Sorry” or give me the pained, “sorry-so-crowded-no-choice” expression.

    Even if it pisses you off, if you see I have stuff, get out of my way. I will unapologetically bash you with this bag if you insist on standing in the exit.

    If there’s no room for you, your stuff, or whatever, accept it. Don’t fly in the face of reality. THERE’S NO ROOM BRO.

  40. Lori
    Lori August 19, 2011 at 5:44 pm |

    Hilarious! I’m a grouchy New Yorker who is pissed off a lot because of many of the offenses on your list. How about the nice woman whose golf umbrella poked me in the breast, ripped my new sweater and she didn’t even stop to say sorry? Anyway, this post made my day.

  41. melissa
    melissa August 19, 2011 at 5:52 pm |

    Mom’s can have whatever strollers they want on the subway in my opinion. My music wakes me up in the morning, I need it. I’m gonna eat whatever the fuck I want on the subway and if someone doesn’t like I’m going to get loud and profanity laced. My idea of what food smells bad and your idea of what smells bad probably aren’t the same. I don’t want a bagel.

    Also anyone can sit next to me. I’ll move my bag for you even if I do think our thighs are going to touch!

  42. chava
    chava August 19, 2011 at 6:04 pm |

    It’s not inconsiderate. Believe it or not, some people need the aisle seat for medical reasons, or they get motion sick and might need the bathroom, or they just LIKE THE AISLE SEAT, got there early to get it, and you’re not entitled to it just because you got on the bus late. It’s like flying Southwest–aisle and window fill up first.

    If you need to sit in the window seat, stop being so damn passive agressive and ask them to move so you can get in. It’s not hard.

    /chronic commuter with clear anger issues. flounce!

    XtinaS:

    Dear unholy fuck do I get completely pissed by people who blithely sit in the aisle seat on the bus, paying absolutely no attention to their surroundings lest they be caught noticing that the bus is now full, and so they should goddamn move over. No, I really don’t care that people should ask to sit in the window seat. People should bloody well not be horridly inconsiderate.

  43. Rachel
    Rachel August 19, 2011 at 6:08 pm |

    The one and only time I have ever gotten sat on – and I mean sat on as in, fully on my lap – it was a rail-thin woman in DC who was mentally ill (she was a regular in my neighborhood, I had interacted with her before, etc).

    Never has happened with a fat person on public transit. I’m inclined to believe that’s apocryphal.

    I think all pedestrians should be required to walking licenses, and there should be tickets/penalties for (a) stopping short and (b) failing to signal when turning.

  44. Miss S
    Miss S August 19, 2011 at 6:11 pm |

    Okay Im in a public place trying so hard not to laugh. Number 5 was definitely me the first time I visited new york. Honestly, you would think I had never seen tall buildings before. Ive never done that in Boston Philly DC or any other city.

  45. WestEndGirl
    WestEndGirl August 19, 2011 at 6:34 pm |

    I am so now trying to think of a London version:

    #1 – if you get on the Tube (subway) first and are standing, listen to the person on the tannoy who is saying: “move down the carriage please” – it cunningly enough allows more people on the train. You do *not* need an entire half carriage and whole corner pole to yourself, while everyone else is crammed into the door area

    # 1a – the aforementioned rule is null where the person is below strap hanging height (c5″3) and cannot hold onto the horizontal bars (me!)

    #2 – tourists do *not* stand right at the bottom of the escalators in major Tube stations, either looking gormlessly at map books or the signs to the right tube lines. Because when people still coming down the escalator try to get off and can’t there could – and can – be carnage, as well as it inhibiting seasoned commuters’ “flow” and just trying to get to where they need to be.

    #3 – tourists do *not* do the map standing thing bang in the middle of a major pavement on a major street either – there is a side, use it!

    #4 – the ring tone thing, stop it now!! (glad to see the rage is international)

    #5 – men, and it is always usually men, if you have a long walking stick height umbrella, while you may *think* it is fine to tuck it under your arm when you are on your daily commute – depending on whether I am standing on an escalator behind you or just walking along – you are actively endangering my eyes or the rack of doom. Just hold it vertical for Pete’s sake.

    #6 – rucksacks – just stop it, if it is bigger than 20 litres you are just being ruuuude

    #7 – people leaving litter on the tubes/trains (apart from the Metro, that’s just polite) – it’s called Keep Britain Tidy – OK?!?!?!

    Favourite tourist annoyance anecdote:
    Wearing stupid Sub fusc (read black mortar board and cape thingy) and running late to an exam having overslept, yes actually running along the street to the Exam Schools, and having a tourist fling out their arm to stop me in my tracks because they wanted a picture taken with me!! Um, like, naaaah.

  46. WestEndGirl
    WestEndGirl August 19, 2011 at 6:43 pm |

    p.s. I can’t remember if it was a discussion on here or on Shapely Prose (sigh) that suggested it, but I now revenge man-sit to man-sitters.

    There is just so much drama concentrated on that damn knee ballet. It’s like kabuki.

    And the funny thing is: I nearly always win – the blokes are just so *shocked* that a woman hasn’t immediately surrendered her physical space to his giant imaginary balls and leg sprawling. I am also perfecting my important-man-walk down the pavement as well, but only being short entails quite a few full body check risks associated with it, alas. But oh, I aspire, I aspire…

  47. Miranda
    Miranda August 19, 2011 at 7:11 pm |

    Gah! #2 happens in Boston something awful. I just want to get home from work and I can see how much space is in the back of the train.

    Also, people who start jockying for position near the door while the train is still moving. You are not the only one getting off at your stop, and anyway there’s nowhere for the people in front of you to go until the doors open. Chill out.

  48. kdel
    kdel August 19, 2011 at 8:02 pm |

    Donna L: Exactly. I was deeply offended by this as well. I was born and raised in New York City and have been reading while walking down the sidewalks since I was about 6 years old. I haven’t bumped into anyone yet; nor does it slow me down. I have radar.

    Ditto that. I’m a high school English teacher. I can *grade papers* and walk without bumping into people.

  49. Helen
    Helen August 19, 2011 at 8:15 pm |

    At the risk of being srs and bringing the thread down, the Man-sit does speak volumes about entitlement, especially the entitlement to take up space in the world.

    Hmm, is the student who wafts through the turnstile and then cluelessly stops and stands right at the end of the turnstile to check their iphone, thereby blocking the exit for everyone else, simply being wafty and clueless, or are they demonstrating a huge subconscious feeling of entitlement, too? Perhaps.

  50. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable August 19, 2011 at 8:18 pm |

    Helen: Hmm, is the student who wafts through the turnstile and then cluelessly stops and stands right at the end of the turnstile to check their iphone, thereby blocking the exit for everyone else, simply being wafty and clueless, or are they demonstrating a huge subconscious feeling of entitlement, too? Perhaps.

    I stop and check my work phone whenever the fucker goes off no matter what I’m doing because my job is more important to me than inconveniencing people. So… yeah. Entitlement more than wafty or clueless, at least in my case. I know I’m being a dick, but I’m too terrified of being jobless to give on it.

  51. Hershele Ostropoler
    Hershele Ostropoler August 19, 2011 at 8:36 pm |

    15. Man-sitting (dudes who spread their knees SO WIDE when they sit down, as if they were lugging bowling balls in their pants).

    As long as his bowling balls are in his pants.

    Kristen J: Just because YOU can’t walk and read at the same time doesn’t mean the rest of are similarly impaired.

    I still carry anger from being told at age 7 or so, with no evidence and directly contrary to my experience, that I could not read on the school bus because I would get motion sickness.

    bhuesca: extremely loud and/or profanity-laced conversations in tight spaces of unrelated persons forced together by chance and circumstances, i.e. the subway.

    PDAs.

    chava: My NYC rule: Clusters of tourists who stop in the middle of the sidewalk to photograph, feed, or just STARE at pigeons and/or squirrels are to be shot on sight.

    Clusters of tourists doing pretty much anything are probably going to be annoying. I’m not going to get down on tourists just for being tourists, and if they don’t do touristy things who will, but they sure get goofy in groups. I don’t think I do that in other places.

    Anonymouse:
    Tourists who ask you for directions despite you wearing headphones and your “don’t talk to me, I’m in a hurry” face. Seriously, there are thousands of people all around. Someone will point you towards Times Square.

    I have no problem giving tourists directions. Sometimes I intercede if I merely overhere people dicussing a subway map with non-NY accents and consternation.

    WestEndGirl: Favourite tourist annoyance anecdote:
    Wearing stupid Sub fusc (read black mortar board and cape thingy) and running late to an exam having overslept, yes actually running along the street to the Exam Schools, and having a tourist fling out their arm to stop me in my tracks because they wanted a picture taken with me!! Um, like, naaaah.

    That’s a big peeve: do not treat me like I’m a cast member in NewYorkLand

  52. Computer Soldier Porygon
    Computer Soldier Porygon August 19, 2011 at 8:46 pm |

    Dear unholy fuck do I get completely pissed by people who blithely sit in the aisle seat on the bus, paying absolutely no attention to their surroundings lest they be caught noticing that the bus is now full, and so they should goddamn move over. No, I really don’t care that people should ask to sit in the window seat. People should bloody well not be horridly inconsiderate.

    The worst is the combo giant backpack/purse person + aisle seat sitter. Sitting in the aisle seat, giant holding shit device sitting in the window seat.

    MOVE

  53. Helen
    Helen August 19, 2011 at 9:13 pm |

    PrettyAmiable: I stop and check my work phone whenever the fucker goes off no matter what I’m doing because my job is more important to me than inconveniencing people. So… yeah. Entitlement more than wafty or clueless, at least in my case. I know I’m being a dick, but I’m too terrified of being jobless to give on it.

    Close, but no cigar – a professional answering their phone will press the button, clamp the device to their ear (given it’s not one of those on-the-ear jobs) and keep walking those vital few steps that get them clear of the turnstile. This is why in countries other than the US we call them “mobile phones”. They’re mobile.

  54. Helen
    Helen August 19, 2011 at 9:15 pm |

    I also hope that this doesn’t revive the hateful “slow walking” meme which was on Facebook a couple of years ago. Someone may walk slowly because they’re in pain, or elderly, or have a disability which is not immediately obvious to you. So I’d give mere slowness the benefit of the doubt.

  55. Tori
    Tori August 19, 2011 at 9:26 pm |

    Stand the fuck up, unless you’re disabled in which case there are helpful signs to that effect.

    Absolutely, DP — On the day when people stop telling me they won’t give up their seat (reserved or not) because, since I might not look disabled, they assume my “lazy fat ass can stand.”

  56. xenu01
    xenu01 August 19, 2011 at 9:37 pm |

    Whenever I want to stop- drink water, rest, discuss something- whatever- when I’m out, I “pull over”. Literally. Like, go to the side. I’ve done it forever. It drives my husband nuts, because he is a guy and doesn’t understand getting out of the way of people.

  57. xenu01
    xenu01 August 19, 2011 at 9:39 pm |

    I have also been known to pull over if someone is huffing and puffing and hurrying behind me.

    One of MY pet peeves is people trying to rush me out of the way. I am considerate when I can be, but sometimes we’re on a narrow staircase that is three hundred steps up and there’s nowhere for me to pull over and I am tired, ok, and FOR GSM’S SAKE WHY ARE YOU HURRYING THIS IS A LIGHTHOUSE YOU’RE NOT LATE FOR WORK.

  58. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh August 19, 2011 at 9:39 pm |

    “15. Man-sitting (dudes who spread their knees SO WIDE when they sit down, as if they were lugging bowling balls in their pants).”

    Oh I hate this. Just yesterday, after having to ask a man to move his leg so that I could get off of a bus, I realized that as a fat woman, when I have walk down the bus aisle and it’s a little too narrow and I’m involuntarily touching a person who’s sitting in their seat, I feel shame and embarassment that I am probably making someone uncomfortable and I apologize a lot, but the Wide Stance Club is perfectly fine with taking up all sorts of space and you literally have to tell them to put their damn legs together.

    Le sigh…

  59. Darque
    Darque August 19, 2011 at 9:42 pm |

    PrettyAmiable: I stop and check my work phone whenever the fucker goes off no matter what I’m doing because my job is more important to me than inconveniencing people. So… yeah. Entitlement more than wafty or clueless, at least in my case. I know I’m being a dick, but I’m too terrified of being jobless to give on it.

    Well, or maybe what you’re doing is totally normal – and the asshole who has to take all of three seconds to walk around you is, in fact, the true prick here.

  60. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh August 19, 2011 at 9:46 pm |

    “The subway is not the place to cut your toenails or fingernails or to remove your feet from your shoes for any reason at all, and if you do that, you should go to jail.”

    Ok, I admit sometimes I do remove my shoes…but rarely, and only because I have a problem with my feet that makes standing or walking for long periods of time, and sometimes I slip my sandals off to relieve the pain a bit.

    But I do agree with the general sentiment… And there’s an older man who used to take the bus all the time here and geez I wished he would wear covered shoes because the only other solution, a pedicure, had zero chance of happening, probably…eeek.

  61. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh August 19, 2011 at 9:50 pm |

    Helen:
    I also hope that this doesn’t revive the hateful “slow walking” meme which was on Facebook a couple of years ago. Someone may walk slowly because they’re in pain, or elderly, or have a disability which is not immediately obvious to you. So I’d give mere slowness the benefit of the doubt.

    I second this. I admit I am a fast walker who prefers to move fast when I can, but I’ve learned to be patient and take it easy on people. You never what may making them slower.

    And I especially appreciate people who are patient as well… I have been having a lot of pain and difficult with one of my legs for almost a month, and I’ve had to take it slow.

  62. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh August 19, 2011 at 9:50 pm |

    Annaleigh: You never what may making them slower.

    This should read “you never know what may be making them slower.” Holy missing words, Batman!

  63. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve August 19, 2011 at 10:40 pm |

    7. Consuming odiferous food on the subway. I’m grossed out by the idea of consuming any sort of food on the subway — do you know what kinds of germs are traveling in those cars, and you are opening your mouth and putting food into it?! — but hey, sometimes you’re in a rush and you have to eat en route to your next destination. I totally get that. But may I suggest a bagel, or a pretzel, or an apple, or perhaps a nice energy bar? A giant container of take-out Chinese or a bag of chicken wings is not the most thoughtful choice.

    I was totally with you before this one (and after, esp the ballsac hanging out thing) but this comment is incredibly xenophobic. Yes, many ethnic foods may smell terrible to you, but to some people they smell perfectly normal. Also certain people may find a “bagel, or a pretzel, or an apple, or perhaps a nice energy bar” completely tasteless, and would prefer to eat food from their country of origin or any other country from that matter.

  64. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh August 19, 2011 at 10:56 pm |

    I don’t seem to have any problems with smelly food, which is odd, since although I live in a small town and not NYC, we are very diverse a lot of people eat different things…

    But something that does occasionally cause silent frustration in me is when people bring their lunches or dinner on the bus to take home with them and I haven’t had any opportunity to take time to eat.

    I brought home a slice of pizza for my mother today which smells so good (seriously, all you have to do is walk into the pizza place and you get immediately hit with the aroma of good pizza), so I hope I didn’t make anyone desperately hungry. I know my kitty’s nose was working overtime when I got home and she smelled the pizza…

  65. Hershele Ostropoler
    Hershele Ostropoler August 19, 2011 at 10:58 pm |

    There’s nothing wrong with walking slowly; there’s a problem with avoidably walking more slowly than people behind you would be if they were able to get around you (the key word here is “avoidably”).

    Sort of like how everyone needs to get on the bus with as much speed and as little fuss as they can. People with disabilities that affect walking will be capable of less speed than the median, and that’s ok; people in wheelchairs may entail more fuss, and that’s ok — but don’t slow people down or inconvenience people simply because you don’t care.

  66. INotI4
    INotI4 August 19, 2011 at 10:59 pm |

    “Also certain people may find a “bagel, or a pretzel, or an apple, or perhaps a nice energy bar” completely tasteless, and would prefer to eat food from their country of origin or any other country from that matter.”
    There is no culture that I’m aware that lacks food without strong smells. If you want to eat something from your culture in an enclosed public space not designed for food consumption, pick one that doesn’t smell strongly. You’re setting up an American food=not smelly, foreign food=smelly dichotomy that simply isn’t realistic.

    Every culture has foods that are more appropriate for consumption in public, and foods that are less appropriate. If you pick the latter, I’m going to judge you as being an asshole.

  67. MariaAnn
    MariaAnn August 19, 2011 at 11:03 pm |

    WestEndGirl:
    p.s. I can’t remember if it was a discussion on here or on Shapely Prose (sigh) that suggested it, but I now revenge man-sit to man-sitters
    ….
    And the funny thing is: I nearly always win – the blokes are just so *shocked* that a woman hasn’t immediately surrendered her physical space to his giant imaginary balls and leg sprawling. I am also perfecting my important-man-walk down the pavement as well, but only being short entails quite a few full body check risks associated with it, alas. But oh, I aspire, I aspire…

    I love this. I do it too. I find that revenge man sitting is quite effective…

  68. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh August 19, 2011 at 11:05 pm |

    Let’s see, if I could make a law, I think one of mine would be no yelling at your friends when you’re on a city bus and passing by your friend who is outside of the bus and not likely to hear you anyway.

    There are a few people on public transit who have done this while I’m on the bus with them and the noise and yelling makes me nervous because of my sensitivity. I don’t care if they want to say hi to Big Joe, Big Joe can’t hear them from outside of the bus. And they can probably say hi to him somewhere else later on and be heard.

  69. CassandraSays
    CassandraSays August 19, 2011 at 11:06 pm |

    “I think there ought to be a law about backpacks, namely, TAKE THE DAMN THINGS OFF when you get on the bus or train. So sick of idiots whacking me with those things and then getting all offended when I call them on it.”

    Seconded. I am short – if you are tall and you whirl around with your backpack on, as people wearing them seem to feel compelled to do for some reason, you will smack me in the face with it. Please try not to do that.

  70. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve August 19, 2011 at 11:08 pm |

    INotI4: “Also certain people may find a “bagel, or a pretzel, or an apple, or perhaps a nice energy bar” completely tasteless, and would prefer to eat food from their country of origin or any other country from that matter.”
    There is no culture that I’m aware that lacks food without strong smells. If you want to eat something from your culture in an enclosed public space not designed for food consumption, pick one that doesn’t smell strongly. You’re setting up an American food=not smelly, foreign food=smelly dichotomy that simply isn’t realistic.

    Every culture has foods that are more appropriate for consumption in public, and foods that are less appropriate. If you pick the latter, I’m going to judge you as being an asshole.

    So you didn’t notice that the commenter had suggested these things as an less smelly alternative to a “giant take-out of ‘Chinese’”? Is this not saying Chinese food is, without exception, odious?

  71. 4catlady
    4catlady August 19, 2011 at 11:18 pm |

    Why has nobody mentioned reading over your shoulder and making unwelcome comments about your reading material? Buy your own book/magazine/smart phone/Kindle, and keep your comments to yourself. Thank you!

  72. inthepost
    inthepost August 19, 2011 at 11:20 pm |

    To all the walking-not-stopping rules: THIIIIIIIIIIIIIS.

    I live downtown (Toronto) and when my family visits from the outer suburbs, they do all kinds of crap like that. I think they have a different internalized understanding of how public space works, because in my suburby hometown you can walk and stop on a dime and look at whatever you want and take a map break whenever you want without anyone coming close to bashing into you.

    City walking: it’s basically driving. Need to stop? Pull over. Something taking your eyes off the road (like a cell phone)? Pull over. Are you an extra large or unusually shaped vehicle today (stroller, big bags, mobility aids)? Steer your course, do you thing, everyone will (read: should) try to stay out of your way, but don’t take any risks. Don’t veer suddenly without checking your blind spot. Stay in your lane (I’M TALKING TO YOU, LONDONERS). Leave room for others to pass, if possible. Be aware of the flow of traffic. Going slow is fine and often necessary, but should not be casually done by 4 people in a side-by-side mass blocking the entire ‘road.’ Don’t park anywhere that blocks others’ routes. It’s basically driving.

  73. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh August 19, 2011 at 11:31 pm |

    4catlady: Why has nobody mentioned reading over your shoulder and making unwelcome comments about your reading material? Buy your own book/magazine/smart phone/Kindle, and keep your comments to yourself. Thank you!

    Oh yeah, that seems to happen to me a lot. People seem to think that because I’m reading a book that I must need someone to talk to me instead. Those people are rude. Like the woman who insisted on raving about great Filipino food is (and great it is!) while I was desperately trying to catch up on a reading assignment for class while I waited for the bus. I really wanted to tell her to STFU but I didn’t.

    But in my community we also have a lot of people who never completed high school, junior high, or even elementary school due to migrant farm work and they often struggle with reading important papers, and when those people approach me while I’m reading, it’s because they want to ask for help understanding a letter or document and to have me read it. It happens often enough, I’m used to it, and that particular thing doesn’t bother me. I do what I can to help, and luckily I’ve never been in a situation where I’ve had to leave before I can be worthwhile.

  74. Dingo
    Dingo August 19, 2011 at 11:35 pm |

    My favourite has always been the tourists (And it’s ALWAYS tourists) on the train during rush hour, complaining loudly about how the trains is just SOOOOOO BUSY.

    Or when the train pulls up to the platform, the doors open, and the people waiting to get on refuse to move out of the way of the people wanting to get off.

  75. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve August 19, 2011 at 11:37 pm |

    4catlady:
    Why has nobody mentioned reading over your shoulder and making unwelcome comments about your reading material?Buy your own book/magazine/smart phone/Kindle, and keep your comments to yourself.Thank you!

    I have to admit I do display curiosity at people’s reading material. Not in the sense of reading over their shoulder, but I always have a quick glance at the title, and if the person is reading a great work of literature it makes me feel good about the world. I admit my heart sinks when I see someone reading something like Men are from Mars, Women are form Venus. But I don’t ever make comment…

  76. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh August 19, 2011 at 11:45 pm |

    I remember one time I was reading the New Testament at the transit station. A woman noticed and she said, “Oh, you’re reading the Bible? Praise God!” And I conversed with her (I used to be an evangelical at the time) about my now ex-pastor who had visited her church.

    But deep inside I was chuckling because I happened to be wearing a mock heavy metal band t-shirt that read “Black Death, European Tour” and had a list of the towns and villages hit by the plague… All that time she didn’t notice, and it was amusing. It’s the sort of think that freaks local church people out. :)

  77. Bonn
    Bonn August 20, 2011 at 12:17 am |

    I had a lot of these sorts of problems living in Tokyo, but the vast majority of offenders weren’t tourists. The only one that was really never an issue was odorous food on the train. The worst that ever happened was that someone would bring McDonald’s fries on there, and I think those are laced with some sort of cocaine, because when I smell them I suddenly want to eat them.

    Older ladies (by which I mean 60+) have this sort of “fuck you, I’m not moving for any damn thing” attitude. Which would be lovely if they weren’t stopping to do shit at the tops and bottoms of escalators or right in front of doors. It’s not frailty or feebleness, it’s just obliviousness. Most other people are pretty oblivious to others, which I suppose is part of the way you cope with having so many people crammed into a tiny space, but which just leads you to inconvenience the crap out of other people. I could swear that people were standing at the exact perfect spot to ensure that no one could get past them on either side. I thought I was just imagining things–that America was Just As Bad–until I got back here and the only people who were doing that crap were the Japanese tourists. :/

    Anyway, the bus thing! I’ve been noticing that on the bus here a lot of people (most people) will sit in the aisle seat, and no one wants to ask them to move, so the bus will be completely full except for all those window seats. I’ve determined that it’s the easiest way to be an asshole and keep other people from sitting next to you. At first I thought they might just need to get off soon, but that clearly wasn’t the case. I think they’re just trying to be seat hogs.

  78. Dimitri
    Dimitri August 20, 2011 at 12:23 am |

    You are a pig. This list infuriates me. Are you honestly supporting the imprisonment of someone who eats on a subway? Or somebody who cuts their nails? Get over it. If you don’t want to eat on the subway, don’t eat. America has an already swelling prison system because of people going to jail for stupid things like drugs, we don’t need to spend $50,000 a year from an already broke budget to impose your oppression on people on the subway just because you don’t like something or because you think it is disgusting. I think you deserve to be in prison for even making such a ludicrous list.

  79. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh August 20, 2011 at 12:40 am |

    Dimitri:
    You are a pig. This list infuriates me. Are you honestly supporting the imprisonment of someone who eats on a subway? Or somebody who cuts their nails? Get over it. If you don’t want to eat on the subway, don’t eat. America has an already swelling prison system because of people going to jail for stupid things like drugs, we don’t need to spend $50,000 a year from an already broke budget to impose your oppression on people on the subway just because you don’t like something or because you think it is disgusting. I think you deserve to be in prison for even making such a ludicrous list.

    Man, if I had the ingenuity to invent a joke detector for the clueless, I would be rich. I’m sure I could put a down payment on a car at very least just from all of the angry people who don’t notice when poor Jill is joking….

  80. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh August 20, 2011 at 12:45 am |

    Another thing that bugs the crap out of me is when someone is getting on the bus with a baby stroller, or one of those rectangular carts you pull with a handle, and instead of going to the back of the bus (provided there’s room in the back) they take an aisle seat in the middle or front and put the pram or cart where it blocks the aisle, and you have to squeeze painfully past their crap or they have to do a complicated maneuver just so that you can get off of the bus when it’s your turn to leave.

  81. XtinaS
    XtinaS August 20, 2011 at 1:59 am |

    chava:

    (a) I don’t have anger issues myself, but I read about them in a book somewhere.  *straightish face*

    (b) I do realise that some folk may have issues that require things that inconvenience me.  For example, some people really, actually really, can only conduct personal business on their cell on the bus.  (Dealing with banks, most often.  I have unbounded sympathy.)  Some people have phobias or issues re sitting next to the window.  (I couldn’t do so for a long time, because my commute takes me over the river, and the suicidal longing for the river was counterproductive re me getting to work.)  Some folk need to drown out their anxious or depressive or similar mental talk with loud music.  Perhaps, even, those who man-sit just had a vasectomy, and sitting with their legs appropriately closed is medically impossible for them.

    The thing I have an issue with, though, is the assumption that certain groups of folk (cell-phone talkers, slow walkers, &c) are entirely composed of well-meaning but otherwise not normal-condoned folk, and thus folk being annoyed with said groups is horribad.  (How very dare I be annoyed with people who are genuinely computer-illiterate, simply because I (a) really am and (b) work in tech support.)

    Groups of folk have assholes and sincere folk, true, but then there’s all the rest.  Frex, feminists are dedicated to an awesome cause, and yet, there are jerks.  Jerks are the statistical outliers, and I don’t factor them into my mental image of feminism.  The same goes the opposite way — sure, there are people who sincerely, for reasons that are none of my got-dam business, need to sit in the aisle seat.  I find it difficult in the extreme to believe that there are no entitled people, no jerks, no thoughtless, no inconsiderate people in this group of aisle-sitters.

    (I actually factor in a rectostatistical percentage of folk who genuinely have issues that involve things that annoy me, and get annoyed at the rest.  It’s odd.)

    Yes, I’m doing the “I’m interpreting that you said literally none of them, even though we’re smarter than this”, because “smarter than this” also includes “I wasn’t actually assuming, in thought or text, that every aisle-sitter was inconsiderate”.  Whee!

    (…I am in a rambling and pontificating sort of mood, and this may or may not have been coherent.)

  82. outrageandsprinkles
    outrageandsprinkles August 20, 2011 at 2:04 am |

    DP: If it involves sitting on me, then, yes. Stand the fuck up, unless you’re disabled in which case there are helpful signs to that effect.

    Life ain’t fair, and you don’t get to crush my body with yours.

    Haha, oh, dear, no. I will sit if I want to sit. I am large. Too bad. I have sat very uncomfortably, with my whole body squeezed together so as the disturb my fellow passengers as little as possible, but what can you do? (Well, according to you I can just stand). If I have to be uncomfortable because I am squeezed into too small of a seat, then you can deal with being uncomfortable having my large body up against yours. Implying that being pressed against a fat person is “having you body crushed” just makes me realize the truly quality human being I am speaking to.

  83. outrageandsprinkles
    outrageandsprinkles August 20, 2011 at 2:05 am |

    By the way, Jill – Love the actual post!

  84. Valerie2
    Valerie2 August 20, 2011 at 2:22 am |

    These are some great rules. I hate it when co-workers have “mini-meetings” in front of the sink, coffee maker, fax machine or any high traffic hallway. There are a dozen freaking conference rooms in the building, but nooo, they have to talk right then and there about their fricking spread sheets. Really?
    And a lot of people do that stop and talk thing when exiting a movie too. Move it along people, I just saw the same movie and I don’t need to know what you and your friends thought about it. Move along.

  85. Grace
    Grace August 20, 2011 at 2:49 am |

    In regards to no. 8, what if they weren’t raised by their mother?

  86. Gillian Love
    Gillian Love August 20, 2011 at 3:11 am |

    And I thought Londoners were bad. Looks like I’m never coming to NYC, just incase I accidentally offend a native with my touristy ways.

  87. Elisabeth
    Elisabeth August 20, 2011 at 3:12 am |

    Beijing version:

    1) People who drive their motorcycle (or car!) on the sidewalk should be shot. This goes double for people who drive their car in reverse down the sidewalk. Also, motorcycles and cars don’t belong in the bike lanes either. Crossing the street I can expect to get run over any minute by a car/scooter/cart/horse, but I can’t be that alert on the sidewalk as well.

    1b) if you are selling cheap trinkets/fruit on a blanket/cart, DO NOT set your blanket/cart up in the bike lane! You are part of the reason bikes ride on the sidewalk! Also, pedestrians, do not walk in the bike lane! It’s harder to demand cars and motorcycles and bicycles drive on the street if you don’t stay on the sidewalk!

    2) Traffic in general: when pedestrians have the right of way, you MUST yield. That means you must first pause, or at least slow down before turning. Also, do not drive the wrong way on a 5 lane highway. Do not turn into the wrong lane. Also, pedestrians: cars might be more willing to stop if you waited for the walk sign. Do not just slowly saunter out in front of 5 lanes of traffic when they have a green light. Also, if you are in a car and forced to pause briefly, do not lean on the horn the entire time! That will not solve the giant snarl caused by no one obeying traffic signs! (Also? horn =/= police siren. You CAN’T just run red lights while laying on the horn and expect it to be ok.)

    3) If you are getting on an elevator or subway, etc, WAIT for the people to get off first before getting on. Also, on an elevator, sometimes the door opens because people want to get on. Do not immediately press the close doors button 50 times the second the doors open because the elevator stopped at some place you don’t want!

  88. chava
    chava August 20, 2011 at 3:41 am |

    Hee, indeed.

    I guess we differ here in that I just don’t think the behavior is inconsiderate. I commute largely by bus and ask people to schooch so I can get in the window seat all the time. Never bothered me. They got there first and are sitting where they want.
    Now, pretending to ignore me AFTER I ask is different ;-)

    XtinaS:
    chava:

    (a) I don’t have anger issues myself, but I read about them in a book somewhere. *straightish face*

    (b) I do realise that some folk may have issues that require things that inconvenience me. For example, some people really, actually really, can only conduct personal business on their cell on the bus. (Dealing with banks, most often. I have unbounded sympathy.) Some people have phobias or issues re sitting next to the window. (I couldn’t do so for a long time, because my commute takes me over the river, and the suicidal longing for the river was counterproductive re me getting to work.) Some folk need to drown out their anxious or depressive or similar mental talk with loud music. Perhaps, even, those who man-sit just had a vasectomy, and sitting with their legs appropriately closed is medically impossible for them.

    The thing I have an issue with, though, is the assumption that certain groups of folk (cell-phone talkers, slow walkers, &c) are entirely composed of well-meaning but otherwise not normal-condoned folk, and thus folk being annoyed with said groups is horribad. (How very dare I be annoyed with people who are genuinely computer-illiterate, simply because I (a) really am and (b) work in tech support.)

    Groups of folk have assholes and sincere folk, true, but then there’s all the rest. Frex, feminists are dedicated to an awesome cause, and yet, there are jerks. Jerks are the statistical outliers, and I don’t factor them into my mental image of feminism. The same goes the opposite way — sure, there are people who sincerely, for reasons that are none of my got-dam business, need to sit in the aisle seat. I find it difficult in the extreme to believe that there are no entitled people, no jerks, no thoughtless, no inconsiderate people in this group of aisle-sitters.

    (I actually factor in a rectostatistical percentage of folk who genuinely have issues that involve things that annoy me, and get annoyed at the rest. It’s odd.)

    Yes, I’m doing the “I’m interpreting that you said literally none of them, even though we’re smarter than this”, because “smarter than this” also includes “I wasn’t actually assuming, in thought or text, that every aisle-sitter was inconsiderate”. Whee!

    (…I am in a rambling and pontificating sort of mood, and this may or may not have been coherent.)

  89. chava
    chava August 20, 2011 at 3:46 am |

    I do this!
    Unfortunately I think it gets interpreted as flirting. I’ve never had a man back off, just (ew) press closer.

    WestEndGirl:
    p.s. I can’t remember if it was a discussion on here or on Shapely Prose (sigh) that suggested it, but I now revenge man-sit to man-sitters.

    There is just so much drama concentrated on that damn knee ballet. It’s like kabuki.

    And the funny thing is: I nearly always win – the blokes are just so *shocked* that a woman hasn’t immediately surrendered her physical space to his giant imaginary balls and leg sprawling. I am also perfecting my important-man-walk down the pavement as well, but only being short entails quite a few full body check risks associated with it, alas. But oh, I aspire, I aspire…

  90. Ellie
    Ellie August 20, 2011 at 5:19 am |

    4catlady: Why has nobody mentioned reading over your shoulder and making unwelcome comments about your reading material? Buy your own book/magazine/smart phone/Kindle, and keep your comments to yourself. Thank you!

    Heeeey, what’s that? That one of them Kindle things? How do you like that? Yeah, I was thinking of getting one of those, but I don’t know… blah blah blah how do you feel about the iPad, don’t you like books, doesn’t it just feel great to open up a book, I could never get a Kindle because I love books, etc. etc. etc.

    Oh, I’m sorry, were you trying to focus on that thing you were reading, and then did I just interrupt with the same old obvious questions you get every day? Oh, excuse me! /sarcasm

    I think one of the things that bugs me the most about this is that I don’t even get interrupted to answer interesting questions. People always ask if I wouldn’t rather be reading a real book instead.

    On a slightly related note, people on the bus interrupt me all the time to ask if my septum piercing hurt– no, shoving a huge needle through a sensitive part of my face? Why would that hurt?! Okay, going back to what I was doing now, now that I’ve cleared up that Great Mystery of Science and Nerve Endings for you…

  91. WestEndGirl
    WestEndGirl August 20, 2011 at 6:23 am |

    Chava
    I do this!
    Unfortunately I think it gets interpreted as flirting. I’ve never had a man back off, just (ew) press closer.

    Sure, I’ve had a guy press back but, as per my ballet comment, that is part and parcel of the gentle to-and-fro until I vanquish his knee. The trick is, not to let one’s squickiness stop you from seeing it through to the end! It never even occurred to me they’d think it was flirting: just a, back off out of my leg space buddy!

    I’m sorry if this is a potential derail but it does relate to the whole rules of the city/inconsiderateness thing and what you said above – I really do think that, from what people say here and on other feminist blogs, that the issue of sexual harassment, particularly street harassment, is worse in North America than in the UK. Some of the stories about catcalling, groping, commenting, are just horrifying.

    I can count – and I’m 35 – sexually-oriented incidents of negative personal interaction in a street/public public on less than the fingers of two hands. So much so, I wouldn’t assume that the guy kneeing me back had any sexual intent at all.

    Now I’m wondering, am I just totally oblivious?!! I don’t *think* so, because it’s never come up as an issue in my group of friends (a real mix of orientations, backgrounds, presentations etc) and we’ve discussed lots of other things sexism.

    Transatlantic types – what are you thoughts?

  92. Kristen J
    Kristen J August 20, 2011 at 6:28 am | *

    @Ellie,

    Interesting…Usually, people stop me to ask how I’m reading on my phone and I tell them about the free software and free books…I’ve never had anyone mention that they like “real” books. I think they’re just jealous of your kindle!

  93. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable August 20, 2011 at 7:25 am |

    Helen: Close, but no cigar – a professional answering their phone will press the button, clamp the device to their ear (given it’s not one of those on-the-ear jobs) and keep walking those vital few steps that get them clear of the turnstile. This is why in countries other than the US we call them “mobile phones”. They’re mobile.

    So you’re from outside the US? Like, in places where apparently your subways have cell phone service? If AT+T had service on the F train, I wouldn’t have to stop to respond. Also, my phone is strictly for email. I don’t get phone calls on it. I still haven’t perfected walking and emailing, esp on any device that doesn’t have swype.

    Darque: Well, or maybe what you’re doing is totally normal – and the asshole who has to take all of three seconds to walk around you is, in fact, the true prick here.

    Hahaha, it irritates me when I’m behind them myself. Regardless of who the asshole is in this situation, at least half of the time it’s me. I’m okay with this.

  94. kiturak
    kiturak August 20, 2011 at 7:54 am |

    @Westendgirl: I’m new in the knee-ballet business (the way I do it, it’s more of a fight), but I did it once, too (Germany), and I don’t think it was taken as flirting. I interviewed the guys I saw the same evening, and they all said that *usually*, Man-Sitters take their knees together if they approach the seat next to them. All I can say is, I can’t remember anyone doing that when I approach, so apparently they only do it for other dudes.

    I do that regularly on planes, too, with the guys who immediately take up the entire armrest. Most of them seem completely surprised.

  95. Hershele Ostropoler
    Hershele Ostropoler August 20, 2011 at 8:06 am |

    Gillian Love: Looks like I’m never coming to NYC, just incase I accidentally offend a native with my touristy ways.

    I should modify; there’s nothing wrong with being a tourist, as long as you recognize that a larger percentage of people around you are not. One person gawking won’t block most sidewalks; a knot of people gawking, on the other hand …

    PrettyAmiable: If AT+T had service on the F train

    Does every NYCer here live on the F?

  96. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable August 20, 2011 at 8:26 am |

    I also live on the G, but I have no use for it during the weekdays and on the weekends, it’s been down at my stop :(

  97. FashionablyEvil
    FashionablyEvil August 20, 2011 at 8:47 am |

    I do that regularly on planes, too, with the guys who immediately take up the entire armrest. Most of them seem completely surprised.

    I have recently been engaging in passive-aggressive armrest maneuvers recently. Just because you’re a dude doesn’t mean you’re entitled to the whole armrest!

  98. WestEndGirl
    WestEndGirl August 20, 2011 at 8:58 am |

    knee-ballet
    arm rest-maneouvres
    elbow-altercations?

    I’m gonna get me a full vocabulary. :-)

  99. raya
    raya August 20, 2011 at 9:32 am |

    WestEndGirl:
    p.s. I can’t remember if it was a discussion on here or on Shapely Prose (sigh) that suggested it, but I now revenge man-sit to man-sitters.

    There is just so much drama concentrated on that damn knee ballet. It’s like kabuki.

    And the funny thing is: I nearly always win – the blokes are just so *shocked* that a woman hasn’t immediately surrendered her physical space to his giant imaginary balls and leg sprawling. I am also perfecting my important-man-walk down the pavement as well, but only being short entails quite a few full body check risks associated with it, alas. But oh, I aspire, I aspire…

    I started doing this, too, as a young teenager. Back then I was really really tiny and maybe took up three-quarter of a seat in a bus and pretty often, guys still thought it was appropriate to spread their knees so wide they squished my legs together.
    And once when I was 13, some guy even tried to sit down on the seat I already took. Like, he seemingly couldn’t think for a good reason why it would be highly inappropriate to share one seat with (and to semi-sit on the lap of, and to squish) a 13-year old stranger without asking just because my small body didn’t take up that much of space. It made me literally speechless and I felt so invisible. I was just so angry and fed up that I started this reverse man-sitting thing and took the aisle seat on the bus most of the time for a few years. No regrets.

    Another public transportation pet peeve: guys next to you who put their arm around your seat (like someone puts their arm around one’s shoulder) … I never saw a man doing this when the person next to him was male btw.

  100. Anonymouse
    Anonymouse August 20, 2011 at 10:03 am |

    Ugh, the “real book” conversation. I’ll fess up, I have a friend who was an early kindle adopter and I bugged her about that a few times. But we’ve head some great conversations about what kindles mean for books. I think it’s anxiety about electronics replacing “real” things which are somehow seen as providing a more authentic experience. Which I think is a bit silly.

    In any case, people sharing my cafe table? Please don’t ask me the same old tired questions about my kindle. Especially because, see those headphones? Yeah, that’s a huge thing for me. It’s a sign I’m not interacting with the world right now. Leave me alone!

    By the way, tourists in NYC have nothing on the DC crowd. I think they’ve heard all the bullshit about broken Washington from politicians and decided us residents aren’t “real Americans” but some sort of oddities, which makes us all contractually obligated to stop and explain things no matter how obviously busy we are. It’s just a weird attitude people who visit DC have towards locals. And then if you don’t know where something is, they get visibly frustrated at you. Like, I’m not a tour guide, buddy.

  101. WestEndGirl
    WestEndGirl August 20, 2011 at 10:31 am |

    Raya (beautiful name btw!)

    Another public transportation pet peeve: guys next to you who put their arm around your seat (like someone puts their arm around one’s shoulder) … I never saw a man doing this when the person next to him was male btw.

    Now the thing is, I have never seen or heard of this on London public transport. Ever. Maybe it’s passive-agressive politeness, maybe it’s sexual repression of us Brits, but this beyond the pale! If someone tried that with me on the Tube, then apart from me doing the evil death glare, other people would start to do the evil death glare too. It’s just, well, not polite!

    I know that NYC-ers like to think that they’re soooo ‘don’t eff with me’, but for all our ‘sorries’ and ‘pardon me’s’ and smiley grimaces, Londoners (I think Northerners are way more friendly) are actually just using it to say: this far and don’t even think about going any further!!!

  102. outrageandsprinkles
    outrageandsprinkles August 20, 2011 at 11:09 am |

    I think any sort of repeated interaction when I obviously have headphones all up in my ear-holes is pretty dang rude. One time a women started talking to me so I took out a headphone and she apologized, said she didn’t realize I was wearing headphones and asked me if she was on the right bus to get to the mall. While I don’t understand how someone can not see my headphones, that doesn’t bother me. What did bother me was the guy last week who kept moving to empty seats closer and closer to me, then finally sat in front of me and tried to engage me. I couldn’t hear fuck all of what he was saying, because HEADPHONES. Also staring out the window, making no eye contact and not smiling. Not sure what part of that says “move closer to me and try to chat”.

  103. Anonymouse
    Anonymouse August 20, 2011 at 11:38 am |

    Yes, it’s the repeated interaction, even going so far as totally ignoring the fact that you’re gesturing at your headphones and shaking your head at them. It’s almost always men, too. Women do tend to apologize for disturbing you.

  104. Medea
    Medea August 20, 2011 at 12:40 pm |

    Fat Steve: I was totally with you before this one (and after, esp the ballsac hanging out thing) but this comment is incredibly xenophobic. Yes, many ethnic foods may smell terrible to you, but to some people they smell perfectly normal. Also certain people may find a “bagel, or a pretzel, or an apple, or perhaps a nice energy bar” completely tasteless, and would prefer to eat food from their country of origin or any other country from that matter.

    The solution is to ban eating on the underground. It was forbidden in Caracas when I lived there, and the stations were amazingly clean.

  105. Hershele Ostropoler
    Hershele Ostropoler August 20, 2011 at 1:38 pm |

    Anonymouse: Ugh, the “real book” conversation. I’ll fess up, I have a friend who was an early kindle adopter and I bugged her about that a few times. But we’ve head some great conversations about what kindles mean for books. I think it’s anxiety about electronics replacing “real” things which are somehow seen as providing a more authentic experience. Which I think is a bit silly.

    The first few books I got on the Kindle seemed to be written in a somewhat detached style. I had resisted getting one for entirely separate reasons, but I wondered if there was something to the notion that the experience of reading paper books is substantially different from reading e-books, and something about the format made it seem detached.

    Then I realized Vonnegut was making a stylistic choice and the other guy was just a bad writer.

  106. Lisa
    Lisa August 20, 2011 at 1:59 pm |

    Oh! Oh! I have a man-sitting story. It was years ago, but it was so bizarre I’m still kind of trying to process it.

    I was called for jury duty, showed up at the courthouse, and was in the waiting room, which was full of folding chairs. There were maybe ten people there, all spread out nicely (there were over a hundred chairs there). Some guy comes in and promptly plops right down directly next to me and spreads his legs out. I was at the end of a row, so it was seriously almost as though he was trying to knock me onto the floor! (That’s a shock and horror exclamation point! Not a friendly one!)

    I might have been more cautious in other circumstances, because that’s a crazy thing to do, but I figured we were in the courthouse, he’s been through the metal detector, and there was pretty tight security all around; so, without looking up from my phone, I spread out, slowly but surely, grabbing any little real estate I could every time he backed up, until I was leaning back in my chair, with my left foot about midway to his chair, so he was the one all scooched over.

    I wasn’t making eye contact, but I could hear his breathing getting shallow and rapid, like he was getting madder and madder. I had to suppress my very strong back-off, don’t touch the creepy dude instinct, but I stuck it out until I was called and could get up without conceding defeat.

    I’ve been man-crowded any number of times, but that was just such a blatant and obvious power play. There was virtually no pretense about it at all. This guy just straight up walked into a room and decided to try to dominate me, like a dog humping my leg or something.

    It’s been years, and I’m still gobsmacked.

  107. Anonymouse
    Anonymouse August 20, 2011 at 2:17 pm |

    Hershele Ostropoler, I always wonder how, and if, “If on a winter’s night a traveller” would work on a Kindle. That first chapter about “you,” the reader, preparing to start reading the book…can it work if you aren’t actually holding said book but a plastic device with buttons instead? It’s definitely a different way of interacting with a text. / derail

    Back on topic, I engage in revenge man-sitting too! It’s pretty satisfying to make some jerk actually back off.

  108. Cactus Wren
    Cactus Wren August 20, 2011 at 2:28 pm |

    A word in defense of yarn bombing. I live in Arizona. As I type this, the temperature outside is 105°F. Anything made of metal and exposed to the sun needs to be wrapped in wool, or some other insulating material, for the protection of anyone touching it.

  109. Tori
    Tori August 20, 2011 at 3:28 pm |

    Cactus Wren:
    A word in defense of yarn bombing.I live in Arizona.As I type this, the temperature outside is 105°F.Anything made of metal and exposed to the sun needs to be wrapped in wool, or some other insulating material, for the protection of anyone touching it.

    Agreed, even if it’s not metal but still absorbs heat — I AM LOOKING AT YOU, BUS STOP BENCHES!

  110. Hershele Ostropoler
    Hershele Ostropoler August 20, 2011 at 3:30 pm |

    Anonymouse: I always wonder how, and if, “If on a winter’s night a traveller” would work on a Kindle.

    Whoever holds the rights apparently feels it would not.

  111. Tori
    Tori August 20, 2011 at 3:33 pm |

    Also, what (in my fantasies) would be an Arizona fine-worthy offense: When there are exactly two parking spaces in the lot with any shade at all, and someone parks their car in both spaces at once.

  112. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh August 20, 2011 at 3:52 pm |

    I do #8 on the bus (but only when the seats are plentiful of course). I’m trying to protect my personal space…if there’s plenty of room in the bus, then I don’t want anyone sitting right next to me.

    Yesterday the bus was filling up so I did move my bag, but then a little boy, and his mother and grandmother got on the bus, the little boy sat right up next to me and started putting his hands on me. I don’t blame the kid, I blame his mother and grandmother. There was enough room where the grandmother could have pulled him closer to her so I could have just 3 or 4 inches of space, but instead she and the child’s mother acted like it was the most adorable thing ever.

  113. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh August 20, 2011 at 3:58 pm |

    Dingo: Or when the train pulls up to the platform, the doors open, and the people waiting to get on refuse to move out of the way of the people wanting to get off.

    That happens all the time here with the buses. They see that someone wanted to get off but instead of stepping back and letting you off, they plow right past you. I’ve even had to tell the bus driver to freaking stop because they saw the rude people getting on and assumed they were finished with that stop and failed to notice I was still trying to get off the bus.

  114. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh August 20, 2011 at 4:04 pm |

    Anonymouse:
    Yes, it’s the repeated interaction, even going so far as totally ignoring the fact that you’re gesturing at your headphones and shaking your head at them. It’s almost always men, too. Women do tend to apologize for disturbing you.

    THIS.

  115. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh August 20, 2011 at 4:06 pm |

    Tori: Agreed, even if it’s not metal but still absorbs heat — I AM LOOKING AT YOU, BUS STOP BENCHES!

    I’m starting back at college on Monday… I think I am going to put a towel in my laptop case for this very reason… The bus stop bench there is wooden, but it’s in the middle of the blazing sun and it was already painful to sit on in shorts back in May when the semester ended…

  116. Helen Huntingdon
    Helen Huntingdon August 20, 2011 at 4:10 pm |

    My version of the revenge-mansit:

    On the buses in my city, sometimes people charge up the stairs to get on the second the door opens without looking to see whether someone needs to get off first. I’ve noticed men who do this, instead of getting back off again and waiting their turn, will pretend to step to one side of the stairs and look at me expectantly for me to try to squeeze past them in some ridiculously tiny amount of space. I stop square at the top of the steps, blocking the way, and wait (if I don’t fully block access to the bus, they will physically shove me aside). Eventually they get the idea and get back off.

    There’s an endless stream of this kind of physical bullying that smaller people face. I’m not even all that small, but I look smaller than I am, and the bullying I face from strangers who decide I shouldn’t be allowed more space than a toddler is absolutely relentless. So I’m surprised by the people basically announcing the being-sat-on incident above didn’t actually happen, when they weren’t even there. It’s happened to me. It’s a horrible experience. And no, since I’m using the phrase “sat on”, I don’t mean sat smushed up against, I mean sat fucking ON. It fucking hurt.

    Yeah if you need more space than the seats allow, I hear you. And if you really need to sit, I hear you. But that doesn’t make hurting me okay. No, it’s not one small incident that I should just get over, because you picked me to do this to for the same reason all physical bullies do — because I look small and you figured you could get away with it.

  117. Siobhan
    Siobhan August 20, 2011 at 4:34 pm |

    Annaleigh:
    Another thing that bugs the crap out of me is when someone is getting on the bus with a baby stroller, or one of those rectangular carts you pull with a handle, and instead of going to the back of the bus (provided there’s room in the back) they take an aisle seat in the middle or front and put the pram or cart where it blocks the aisle, and you have to squeeze painfully past their crap or they have to do a complicated maneuver just so that you can get off of the bus when it’s your turn to leave.

    I can sympathise with them to a certain extent, because sitting further back makes it damn hard to get out again if the bus is crowded. (The back doors have a pool right in the centre so it’s hard to get a stroller or bundle buggy out the back. A lot of our newer busses will also lower the front step to make getting on and off easier but not the back one.)

    What flummoxes me is the people who feel the need to push to get on the bus first because they have a big stroller or some other mobility issue that means they need to sit at the front. Then those of us who can walk to the back have squeeze by them.

  118. Helen Huntingdon
    Helen Huntingdon August 20, 2011 at 4:43 pm |

    The buses in my city have seats near the front that can be flipped up in various configurations to accommodate a number of different needs, the most common being some sort of walker cart. In the most common bus design, there are two spots near the front where by flipping up a single seat, someone with a walker/cart/stroller can easily sit and park their equipage securely and out of the way.

    It drives me bonkers when there are lots of open seats, but people who don’t need them sit in those seats, and don’t get up and move when someone gets on who needs them. I started sitting in them myself so that if someone does need the spot, I can just get up, flip up the appropriate bits, and get out of the way. It’s easier than asking whoever if they wouldn’t mind moving over just one seat.

  119. bhuesca
    bhuesca August 20, 2011 at 5:04 pm |

    Helen Huntingdon:

    There’s an endless stream of this kind of physical bullying that smaller people face.I’m not even all that small, but I look smaller than I am, and the bullying I face from strangers who decide I shouldn’t be allowed more space than a toddler is absolutely relentless.So I’m surprised by the people basically announcing the being-sat-on incident above didn’t actually happen, when they weren’t even there.It’s happened to me.It’s a horrible experience.And no, since I’m using the phrase “sat on”, I don’t mean sat smushed up against, I mean sat fucking ON.It fucking hurt.

    Yeah if you need more space than the seats allow, I hear you.And if you really need to sit, I hear you.But that doesn’t make hurting me okay.No, it’s not one small incident that I should just get over, because you picked me to do this to for the same reason all physical bullies do — because I look small and you figured you could get away with it.

    Quoted because this NEEDED to be said twice.

  120. Safiya Outlines
    Safiya Outlines August 20, 2011 at 5:11 pm |

    Helen H – That is such a lovely sentiment in your last paragraph. Imaginary sweet treat of your choice on it’s way to you.

    Hershele O – Thank for the link about the show all shorts.

    Finally, I am astounded at what some people can do while walking. Knitting while walking is verging on a superpower, IMO.

  121. chava
    chava August 20, 2011 at 5:29 pm |

    OK. So did the recognition that “OMG the fatties are CRUSHING MEEEE!” meme gets really fucking old, and yeah, generally has no basis in reality.

    bhuesca: Quoted because this NEEDED to be said twice.

  122. Archie
    Archie August 20, 2011 at 5:41 pm |

    yes that’s us with the monster stroller on the g train. Sorry. But you won’t find us in a car either because like many other Brooklyn families we don’t own one. A large stroller isn’t vanity. It’s practical when you need to haul kids, groceries etc around from one part of town to another.

    All that other stuff is true though.

  123. shfree
    shfree August 20, 2011 at 5:47 pm |

    What drives me nuts is when there will be eight, nine, or ten odd people gathered up by the front of the bus, all crowded like it’s full, when I can see empty seats toward the back. And then it makes it that much harder for others to get on, because no one wants to move all the way to the back of the bus. And this bugs even when I’m a responsible bus rider on a standing room only bus, where I’m standing all the way in the back and there is a huge gap between me and the next rider, because that person just doesn’t want to be that far away from a stinking door.

  124. Helen Huntingdon
    Helen Huntingdon August 20, 2011 at 5:52 pm |

    chava: Okay, but when did it become okay to tell someone an assault on their person didn’t happen? There’s another thread discussing how a school did this to a student, and no one seems to think that’s okay. Smaller people are physically bullied by larger ones continually in this society. Why is it all of a sudden okay to tell someone what someone did to them is just a lie?

    If you want to fight for equality of people of all sizes, I’m with you, but it’s almost not sounding like that’s what you’re talking about.

  125. raya
    raya August 20, 2011 at 6:18 pm |

    chava:
    OK.So did the recognition that “OMG the fatties are CRUSHING MEEEE!” meme gets really fucking old, and yeah, generally has no basis in reality.

    I’m not sure how to reply to this since I don’t think anyone (except for DP, maybe?) wanted to imply this. At least that’s not what I wanted to convey. Can’t we agree that sitting on small people is fucking rude and degrading, and that fat-shaming is rude and degrading (and a more structural problem), too?
    I honestly really don’t care what size you are: If you try to sit down on my lap and pretend I don’t exist, you’re an asshole.

    What I like about the subway in Berlin is that we have benches instead of shaped seats (not quite sure how to explain this properly), so one doesn’t have this feeling of taking up more space than one is “allowed” to, e.g. more than one seat.

  126. chava
    chava August 20, 2011 at 7:10 pm |

    Well, DP was the poster who mentioned the “being sat on” thing in connection to fat, and I think the only poster to whom people responded with “seriously. how often have you been literally SAT on by a fat person.”

    So, when Helen said that posters were implying that “the sat-on incident didn’t happen,” that was the post I assumed it was referencing.

    raya: I’m not sure how to reply to this since I don’t think anyone (except for DP, maybe?) wanted to imply this. At least that’s not what I wanted to convey. Can’t we agree that sitting on small people is fucking rude and degrading, and that fat-shaming is rude and degrading (and a more structural problem), too?
    I honestly really don’t care what size you are: If you try to sit down on my lap and pretend I don’t exist, you’re an asshole.

    What I like about the subway in Berlin is that we have benches instead of shaped seats (not quite sure how to explain this properly), so one doesn’t have this feeling of taking up more space than one is “allowed” to, e.g. more than one seat.

  127. chava
    chava August 20, 2011 at 7:19 pm |

    Yes. I am clearly trying to advocate for the bullying of “smaller people.” /sarcasm

    Look, I totally respect that sometimes smaller people get knocked around, treated as invisible, etc. That doesn’t mean that just because someone experiences a fat person sitting next to them as “assault,” that it actually was assault. I think its fair to point out that the “you assaulted me by sitting next to me/being in my field of vision while fat/you were fat AT me” language is pervasive and not worthy of serious consideration.

    Now, you weren’t saying any of that. But unless I’m mistaken, the post of yours I responded to was referencing DP’s distaste for being “sat on” by fat or tall people in the subway. I feel pretty legit critiquing his/her suggestion that large people should just stand and bear it, along with the narrative that figures sitting next to someone thin while large as “assault.”

    Helen Huntingdon:
    chava: Okay, but when did it become okay to tell someone an assault on their person didn’t happen?There’s another thread discussing how a school did this to a student, and no one seems to think that’s okay.Smaller people are physically bullied by larger ones continually in this society.Why is it all of a sudden okay to tell someone what someone did to them is just a lie?

    If you want to fight for equality of people of all sizes, I’m with you, but it’s almost not sounding like that’s what you’re talking about.

  128. Helen Huntingdon
    Helen Huntingdon August 20, 2011 at 7:42 pm |

    chava, you were one of the ones simply declaring it didn’t happen, just because you said so: “Your thigh will survive being touched by your neighbor, DP. I highly doubt anyone is actually sitting on you.”

    Now you’re making up entirely imaginary conversations. DP said that if your choice is between sitting on someone and standing, damn well stand. I can’t believe anyone would argue with that, and yet you are, mainly through this bizarre imaginary conversation thing, where you pretend people were talking about someone being sat next to, not someone being sat on. What’s up with that?

    The woman who sat on me because she needed two seats and decided sitting on an empty one and on me at the same time would work had other options. There were other seats on the bus, next to bigger people. She could have said, “My knees are killing me and I need to sit this instant, can you help me out?” and I would have moved without hesitation. She didn’t give me a chance — just sat on me to a degree I could not get up without her moving first. She was unusual because most of the physical bullying I run into is from men, not women, so yeah, that’s a really freaking unusual story in my experience, but it still happened, it still hurt, and it’s still assault.

  129. CassandraSays
    CassandraSays August 20, 2011 at 7:45 pm |

    @WestEndGirl – Yeah, I can’t picture the hugging the top of the seat thing happening in London. In the US, though? Sure. A guy on MUNI in San Francisco once attempted to take a nap on my shoulder. Granted that it was late, but he did not appear to be drunk or even really all that tired. I discovered at that point that the frosty disapproving look that works great in London is completely ineffective at making people back off in California.

    So far the rudest public transport experience, though, was the frat boy on a plane who PULLED MY HEADPHONES OUT OF MY EARS because he wanted to talk to me. Not something important like “the plane is on fire and we should run”, mind, he just wanted a chat. So he reached over and pulled my headphones out. WTF? And then he asked what I was listening to and tried to put one of my headphones in his ear. IN HIS EAR. I have a germ OCD so you can imagine how thrilled I was about that. (These headphones, I must now burn them.)

  130. Helen Huntingdon
    Helen Huntingdon August 20, 2011 at 8:10 pm |

    CassandraSays, I wish stories of yanking women’s headphones out weren’t so common, but they are, sadly. Your story reminded me of walking though a parking lot and a man screaming, “HEY!” at me at the top of his lungs in dire-emergency tones. When I looked at him to determine whether he was on fire or bleeding, he just leered and called out, “How’re you doing?” They’re worse than toddlers. Toddlers can be taught manners.

  131. CassandraSays
    CassandraSays August 20, 2011 at 8:17 pm |

    I will admit that I am often tempted to speak to men like that in the same tone that one would use on a badly behaved puppy.

    The yanking out of headphones has sadly happened to me before too, but the putting one of them in his own ear was a new twist. I dunno which was more disgusting, that or the guy who put his head on my shoulder, thus contorting himself into a ridiculous position as he was about 8 inches taller than me.

    (Side note – in general I am pro-snuggling, and if my friends want to cuddle up and nap on my shoulder that is fine. But random dudes on the bus, no.)

  132. raya
    raya August 20, 2011 at 8:41 pm |

    CassandraSays: @WestEndGirl – Yeah, I can’t picture the hugging the top of the seat thing happening in London. In the US, though? Sure.

    Just for clarification: I’m not from the US, but this happened to me in Rome, Vienna, and pretty often where I currently live in Berlin, Germany.

    @chava: Sorry for misunderstanding who you were responding to.
    But honestly, I’m with Helen Huntingdon here. If you need a bit more than one seat, that’s perfectly fine with me since I don’t need to take up that much space (plus I think seats in some places are way to small). But if you squish me to an extent where I can’t move properly anymore? That makes me unacceptably uncomfortable. And yes, it happens a lot! If it makes you unacceptably uncomfortable to stand up, then please ask me for my seat.

  133. Jackie
    Jackie August 21, 2011 at 12:01 am |

    No giant strollers, but isn’t that child discrimination which most of the people at Feministe are against?

  134. Darque
    Darque August 21, 2011 at 12:29 am |

    Helen Huntingdon:
    CassandraSays, I wish stories of yanking women’s headphones out weren’t so common, but they are, sadly.Your story reminded me of walking though a parking lot and a man screaming, “HEY!” at me at the top of his lungs in dire-emergency tones.When I looked at him to determine whether he was on fire or bleeding, he just leered and called out, “How’re you doing?”They’re worse than toddlers.Toddlers can be taught manners.

    Just giving you a moment to clarify, who are you referring to when you say “they”?

    Thanks,

  135. Sara
    Sara August 21, 2011 at 1:41 am |

    Bike lanes are less safe than sidewalks. I don’t begrudge anybody the choice to ride on the sidewalk as long as they’re going slowly enough not to bump into walkers. Before my bike got stolen, I always rode on the sidewalk except when there were absolutely zero cars on the road.

    I guess part of my defiance stems from my view that bike-specific sections of sidewalk would make for better city planning than bike lanes positioned directly adjacent to traffic.

  136. Mary
    Mary August 21, 2011 at 6:43 am |

    I’m not in favour of giant stroller bans in any case, but I suppose they might finally get stroller manufacturers to make the smaller fold-up (“umbrella”) ones in a height other than one-size-fits-all-short-people. That would be nice.

    I push a giant stoller around. Sometimes it’s useful to cart a lot of stuff in, and other times I’d love to be traveling light, but the handles of every umbrella stroller on the market are fixed at a height two inches below my fingertips when my arms point straight down. (A lot of parenting stuff seems to be made in a size that excuses average height men from ever having to use it, and I am in fact the height of an extremely tall man.)

  137. Mary
    Mary August 21, 2011 at 6:44 am |

    one-size-fits-all-short-people

    all should be struck-through there: the tigtog.net link suggests that the strike HTML tag is allowed here, but it seems the stylesheet strips it.

  138. Helen Huntingdon
    Helen Huntingdon August 21, 2011 at 7:58 am |

    “Just giving you a moment to clarify,”

    Oh thank you, what a relief. I couldn’t figure out who was in charge of doling out the moments to clarify.

    “who are you referring to when you say “they”?”

    Adults who behave like toddlers, based on the context. Though I was more specifically referring to adult men who behave like toddlers.

  139. Ledasmom
    Ledasmom August 21, 2011 at 8:35 am |

    There are or used to be handle extenders available for both umbrella-type strollers and those with bar handles. We found them very useful – my husband is a foot taller than I am, and even for me the standard stroller is a bit low.
    Of course, the other problem is that most umbrella strollers, certainly the cheap ones, are not made for very young babies – they can’t be used until the kid can hold its head up, requiring either a giant stroller or baby-wearing. Speaking just for myself, baby-wearing got old awfully quickly.

  140. Jackie
    Jackie August 21, 2011 at 9:13 am |

    Thank you! When out and about in NYC, I notice my blood pressure slowly rising throughout the day. And the man-sitting is the worst when the subway is crowded and you’re stuck between to man-sitting. Trust me fellas, your dicks are not that big. Get over yourself.

  141. Jackie
    Jackie August 21, 2011 at 9:13 am |

    I mean, “two man-sitters.”

  142. Miss S
    Miss S August 21, 2011 at 9:15 am |

    I have to agree with Helen here. As a petite woman, I despise people who realize they don’t have enough room and decide that my leg or arm is an acceptable thing to sit on. If you need my seat, just ask me.

  143. maribelle1963
    maribelle1963 August 21, 2011 at 11:38 am |

    Jesus Christmas, this thread is depressing:

    1. How dare people be fat, or push strollers, talk on their cell phones or LOOK AT THEIR SURROUNDINGS while in public. Fucking assholes.

    2. Doesn’t everyone around me know I’m always late, and furious, and didn’t plan ahead for the NORMAL OCCURRENCES OF EVERYDAY CITY LIFE that occur EVERY FUCKING DAY?

    3. People who live in popular tourist areas who loudly decry tourists suck. Tourists are spending a lot of money in your town, and they could go anywhere. You might not notice how their extra bucks help your local economy, but you sure as hell would miss them if they stopped. Our town and surrounding ones are experiencing many business shutdowns due to decreased tourism in the recession. Don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone.

    At the risk of hyperbole, the more I read blogs the more I am convinced that our world is doomed. We can’t even find seats on the subway peaceably, how the hell are we going to take on global climate change or the increasing wealth discrepancy, dwindling resources?

  144. maribelle1963
    maribelle1963 August 21, 2011 at 11:44 am |

    I am hearing and learning from the petite women who are expressing frustration at being sat on and/or not seen. Thanks for that.

    BUT:

    “As a petite woman, I despise people who realize they don’t have enough room and decide that my leg or arm is an acceptable thing to sit on.”

    Despise them? Really? Active hate? Sounds healthy. Because it isn’t possible they didn’t see you, or misjudged the distance between the two of you.

    “If you need my seat, just ask me.”

    Sure, that should work fine. After you give them a lecture about how they could fit in a seat if they just lost weight, and their sister in law just lost 500 lbs on the Muggle’s Diet, and they really should try it.

    Have you read the comments on this thread? Can’t imagine why fat people are trying to silently squeeze themselves into whatever spot is available and hoping like hell no one challenges them.

  145. Helen Huntingdon
    Helen Huntingdon August 21, 2011 at 12:03 pm |

    maribelle1963, hating fat people for being fat is completely different from hating people who sit on you. As for the latter, how many times do bigger people get to shove you around, sit on you, and bully you in countless other ways reserved overwhelmingly for small people before you’re allowed to get mad? How many rapes do you have to endure before you get mad at rapists, before it’s no longer “unhealthy”? How many racial slurs and disproportionate arrests before anger at racists is okay?

    The phrasing, “As a petite woman, I despise people who…” gave me pause as well. But she didn’t go on to say, “I despise people who dare to walk around fat in public” or anything equally heinous, she said she despises people who sit on her. Sounds reasonable to me. I do think the phrasing would have been clearer if it said, “As a petite woman who also gets this kind of bullying a lot, I despise people who…”

  146. bhuesca
    bhuesca August 21, 2011 at 12:06 pm |

    chava:

    Look, I totally respect that sometimes smaller people get knocked around, treated as invisible, etc.That doesn’t mean that just because someone experiences a fat person sitting next to them as “assault,” that it actually was assault.

    chava, do you apply this same framework to other forms of assault? i.e. “you may experience this as x, but it wasn’t REALLY x, you weren’t really x-ed?”

    I think that it is horrid and hateful when people try to define others’ experiences for them, and especially when it simply is because it may help their particular personal or political agendas.

  147. bhuesca
    bhuesca August 21, 2011 at 12:07 pm |

    Helen Huntingdon:
    maribelle1963, hating fat people for being fat is completely different from hating people who sit on you.As for the latter, how many times do bigger people get to shove you around, sit on you, and bully you in countless other ways reserved overwhelmingly for small people before you’re allowed to get mad?How many rapes do you have to endure before you get mad at rapists, before it’s no longer “unhealthy”?How many racial slurs and disproportionate arrests before anger at racists is okay?

    The phrasing, “As a petite woman, I despise people who…” gave me pause as well.But she didn’t go on to say, “I despise people who dare to walk around fat in public” or anything equally heinous, she said she despises people who sit on her.Sounds reasonable to me.I do think the phrasing would have been clearer if it said, “As a petite woman who also gets this kind of bullying a lot, I despise people who…”

    Thank you.

  148. Helen Huntingdon
    Helen Huntingdon August 21, 2011 at 12:11 pm |

    I couldn’t help thinking last night as I was going to sleep how gendered physical bullying and fat hate are. Physical bullying, based on what I’ve read and what I’ve experienced, is mostly done by men, but fat hate seems disproportionately targeted at women.

    This makes no sense given that one of the excuses given for hating all fat people is that they harm others with their use of space. That’s more a dude thing than a fat people thing.

  149. Helen Huntingdon
    Helen Huntingdon August 21, 2011 at 12:16 pm |

    Oi, I think maybe I expressed myself poorly there. I was trying to get at the fact that large women get bullied a lot for daring to take up space. Small women get bullied a lot for daring to take up space. It’s too easy to decide that people of a size different from one’s own are the problem, when it’s bullies who are the problem.

    Too often people take out their anger at bullies on a more convenient target. If you’re a man or a small woman, fat women most often are a safer target for your ire than the people who actually shoved you around. If you’re a large woman, small women are a safer target than men as big as you are. I’m trying to make a plea for remembering not to let the divide-and-conquer tactics of the real bullies work on us, but I may well be doing a piss-poor job of it.

  150. chava
    chava August 21, 2011 at 12:33 pm |

    Intersectionality. You might want to think about it.

    If an MRA loudly decries that women/the courts are oppressing him or that he feels assaulted by women wearing revealing clothing….yeah, I’m going to call bullshit.

    But, you know, carry on with the “horrid and hateful” and “imaginary conversations” I appear to be having.

    bhuesca: chava, do you apply this same framework to other forms of assault? i.e. “you may experience this as x, but it wasn’t REALLY x, you weren’t really x-ed?”

    I think that it is horrid and hateful when people try to define others’ experiences for them,and especially when it simply is because it may help their particular personal or political agendas.

  151. Helen Huntingdon
    Helen Huntingdon August 21, 2011 at 12:38 pm |

    Okay, good to know: chava is not with those of us who are for equality for people of all sizes.

  152. chava
    chava August 21, 2011 at 12:41 pm |

    So, I’m mostly with you here.

    But “large women” bully “small women”? I really don’t see where you’re getting that idea. Large women are not being fat AT people, and certainly aren’t in some sort of privileged social or physical position to bully thin women.

    You sound like you’re trying to make this about a continuum of size and physical power. The smaller you are, the less you have/the more likely you are to get beat up: men bully “large women,” large women bully “small” women, and I assume the next step is small women bully children. But that position ignores issues of privilege & intersectionality.

    Helen Huntingdon:
    Oi, I think maybe I expressed myself poorly there.I was trying to get at the fact that large women get bullied a lot for daring to take up space. Small women get bullied a lot for daring to take up space.It’s too easy to decide that people of a size different from one’s own are the problem, when it’s bullies who are the problem.

    Too often people take out their anger at bullies on a more convenient target.If you’re a man or a small woman, fat women most often are a safer target for your ire than the people who actually shoved you around. If you’re a large woman, small women are a safer target than men as big as you are. I’m trying to make a plea for remembering not to let the divide-and-conquer tactics of the real bullies work on us, but I may well be doing a piss-poor job of it.

  153. chava
    chava August 21, 2011 at 12:45 pm |

    Yes. I have a secret agenda against petite women.

    Helen Huntingdon:
    Okay, good to know: chava is not with those of us who are for equality for people of all sizes.

  154. Helen Huntingdon
    Helen Huntingdon August 21, 2011 at 12:46 pm |

    Sure some large women bully some small women, just as I quite clearly said in the passage that you quoted that some small women bully some large women. What’s with the bizarre cherry-picking?

    And you’re back to the imaginary conversations again with the “being fat at” strawperson. Come on, you know you’re the one inserting that and it’s not coming from anyone but you. Others of us have talked about incidences of actual bullying, such as being sat on.

  155. Helen Huntingdon
    Helen Huntingdon August 21, 2011 at 12:47 pm |

    “Yes. I have a secret agenda against petite women.”

    It doesn’t sound so secret, since you keep claiming that the assaults we report didn’t happen.

  156. Avida Quesada
    Avida Quesada August 21, 2011 at 1:56 pm |

    Annaleigh: Man, if I had the ingenuity to invent a joke detector for the clueless, I would be rich. I’m sure I could put a down payment on a car at very least just from all of the angry people who don’t notice when poor Jill is joking….

    Noop, you will be a billionaire, you will have Carlos Slim, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett asking you about donation.

    And that will be just the beginning.

    Avida

  157. Avida Quesada
    Avida Quesada August 21, 2011 at 2:39 pm |

    chava:
    and I assume the next step is small women bully children. But that position ignores issues of privilege & intersectionality.

    As an advocate for children rights well been I found this insulting.
    To many times I found authorities not protecting children from abuse because they can’t find a male culprit. For me Privilege is not something that should be use to justify violence by the supposedly powerless. Once you abuse the general rule don’t apply to you any longer.
    So yes big people can abuse people of any size, and I don’t believe that the answer is having so big people standing: They are more likely to need the chair.

    My solution will start by asking: Why in a country like the USA are public transportation not design to accommodate a big percentage of the population?

    Also I have been on a bus with many big people, (mostly men) that go lengths to avoid pressing me, to the level of standing up when I came after them.

    Avida

  158. maribelle1963
    maribelle1963 August 21, 2011 at 5:00 pm |

    Um, Jill, I do get the concept of humor. (I am not the person above insisting you are actually trying to fill the jails.) When I write “At the risk of hyberbole…the world is doomed” at least it’s clear I understand irony. Hopefully.

    “…understand that sometimes Funny Thing Is Funny,”

    If you have to insist that it’s funny, maybe you’re not getting the message that it really wasn’t, that much. Your jokes were gotten; they just fell flat. *shrug* Probably not really the end of the world, despite hyperbole.

  159. maribelle1963
    maribelle1963 August 21, 2011 at 5:05 pm |

    And PS my comment was specifically about your comment thread. Some seriously negative shit going on in the public out there. People upthread are justifying slamming their bodies into strangers for real or perceived spatial violations.

    That’s some fucked up shit right there.

  160. chava
    chava August 21, 2011 at 5:14 pm |

    Um….yeah, exactly. Seriously, I don’t think we disagree there.

    The comment you’re quoting was supposed to point out that “big people abuse smaller people” is too simplistic of a chain, and often intersectionalities change issues of pure physicality. E.g., power isn’t always about who is bigger.

    Avida Quesada: As an advocate for children rights well been I found this insulting.
    To many times I found authorities not protecting children from abuse because they can’t find a male culprit. For me Privilege is not something that should be use to justify violence by the supposedly powerless. Once you abuse the general rule don’t apply to you any longer.
    So yes big people can abuse people of any size, and I don’t believe that the answer is having so big people standing: They are more likely to need the chair.

    My solution will start by asking: Why in a country like the USA are public transportation notdesign to accommodate a big percentage of the population?

    Also I have been on a bus with many big people, (mostly men) that go lengths to avoid pressing me, to the level of standing up when I came after them.

    Avida

  161. chava
    chava August 21, 2011 at 5:44 pm |

    I’m going to try this one more time.

    There is a pervasive societal meme that positions fat people, especially women, as “assaulting” others with their bodies. This can be by sitting next to someone, or simply by being seen in public while fat. So yes, I call BS on the idea that simply sitting next to a large person is “assault,” and on the idea that if you might get touched by someone’s flesh, they should stand.

    If someone sits ON you, that’s a different story.

    Here is a link that says it better than I can:
    http://kateharding.net/2007/12/05/miss-conduct-rocks/

    Helen Huntingdon:
    “Yes. I have a secret agenda against petite women.”

    It doesn’t sound so secret, since you keep claiming that the assaults we report didn’t happen.

  162. chava
    chava August 21, 2011 at 5:48 pm |

    And for what it’s worth, I am, in fact, petite.

    chava:
    Yes.I have a secret agenda against petite women.

  163. Helen Huntingdon
    Helen Huntingdon August 21, 2011 at 7:37 pm |

    So chava, what’s with all the imaginary conversations then? People here talked about being sat on. You’ve continually pretended they were talking about being sat next to and raised a big stink about it. What’s with all that self-created drama?

  164. Miss S
    Miss S August 21, 2011 at 10:44 pm |

    Wait what??

    Perhaps I should have said, I despise when people sit on me, as opposed to the people themselves. As in, I despise the situation, not the person. I was rushing to get to work.

    My point still stands. I don’t like being sat on. This is pretty normal….I mean do any of you like being sat on by a stranger?

    I’m still laughing at the person who thinks I’d lecture someone about being fat. This isn’t about someone being fat, it’s about someone sitting on me. They could be any size. They are usually they’re bigger than me, but I’m petite, so there’s a pretty big gap in between ‘bigger than me’ and fat.

    I mean, if I know you, and we’re all drunk and piling into a cab, sure, it’s cool. CUZ I KNOW YOU. If I don’t, please don’t sit on me. I usually offer my seat to elderly people, etc. Where I’m from, that’s what people do. I would much rather stand up than get sat on by a stranger.

    I’m not saying I’ve been assaulted by fat people. However, I’m not in the business of telling someone that it couldn’t possibly happen.

  165. Hershele Ostropoler
    Hershele Ostropoler August 21, 2011 at 10:44 pm |

    “Sat on,” to me, means “the seat I was occupying was treated exactly as though it were empty.” Anything else is “next to.”

  166. Miss S
    Miss S August 21, 2011 at 10:49 pm |

    To clarify, I believe that anyone can be assaulted by anyone.

    Also, I was specifically talking about being sat on, not sitting next to.

  167. A.W.
    A.W. August 21, 2011 at 10:50 pm |

    Siobhan
    “What flummoxes me is the people who feel the need to push to get on the bus first because they have a big stroller or some other mobility issue that means they need to sit at the front. Then those of us who can walk to the back have squeeze by them.”

    Ah, but that presupposes those people who don’t need the front seats don’t use them. I used to think my balance was okay – not great, but okay. Moved to Philly and I’m stuck riding the bus, since I can’t bicycle here (visually impaired, there’s too many objects to navigate). I can’t, apparently, balance on a moving bus. I’ve gone on the bus with my cane and had to cling like a barnacle to the metal bar kiddie corner to the door (and I do mean cling, I had both arms wrapped around that damned thing), and I STILL fell over and damn near squashed someone. – Then – someone got up and gave me a seat. Not the only time I’ve fallen over on a bus, by the way. And certainly not the only time people who don’t need the aisle seats use them. There’s no way in hell those 12 (4 on each side, then 4 bordering) people all needed those seats. I’ve found the people who tend to push to get on the bus snag the aisle seats – and then one of ‘em ends up moving (though not always) when they see someone who they think – deserves – the disabled seating. S’ridiculous, particularly considering invisible disabilities. If someone doesn’t need the seating for whatever reason, shouldn’t be using it.

  168. Helen Huntingdon
    Helen Huntingdon August 21, 2011 at 10:58 pm |

    “Sat on,” to me, means someone place their body in a sitting position such that the next thing between their person and the earth’s center of gravity was my person. In other words, I was used as a piece of furniture.

    The woman who sat on me was purportedly aiming to sit in the seat next to me, but sat on me all the same, to the point that even though there were no seats in front of us, I could not get up unless she got off me first. When I cried out in pain, she said, “You’re fine,” in a dismissive tone. When I asked her to let me up, she repeated the same. It doesn’t matter whether she was treating my seat as fully empty or partly empty — she sat on me all the same.

    What’s more, there were plenty of other options. There were other single seats open on the bus, so one easy option would have been asking me if I’d mind moving to one of those to give her more space. Another option would be sitting next to one of the skinny young mansitters whose hips and thighs are much narrower than mine, affording her more room. Instead she did what physically bullies generally do, and targeted the most fragile-looking person available.

    As I and others like me keep repeating on this thread, this kind of physical bullying is not some exception we deal with, it is the relentless, merciless norm. Making up excuses to abuse us further is getting damn tired.

  169. Jadey
    Jadey August 21, 2011 at 11:21 pm |

    Can we agree that both of these things exist:

    1) “sat on” being used literally to refer to people (of any size, but more likely small) being treated like chairs.

    2) “sat on” being the common hyperbole that is used to describe a person (of any size, but more likely large) sitting *next to* someone else and having their body touch or slightly overlap with the body of the person next to them.

    Because this seems like people talking at extreme cross-purposes where neither side (understandably) is comfortable backing down because of how fucked up things are on both sides of this. The language overlaps unfortunately, but I think we can agree that *literal* “sitting on” is unfair and unjustified (and that no one here is or should be arguing in favour of that), but the *hyperbolic* accusations of “sitting on” are bullshit and shaming (and no one here is or should be defending that). Otherwise it seems like we are taking chunks out of each other because of hurts that other people have caused.

  170. Tori
    Tori August 21, 2011 at 11:26 pm |

    Ah, but that presupposes those people who don’t need the front seats don’t use them… I can’t, apparently, balance on a moving bus…

    Me too either. I have nerve damage in my hips. I’ve learned to compensate for it pretty well on regular surfaces (flat sidewalk = best, ramps or stairs = workable, bus moving through traffic = my body cannot deal) so I typically don’t use a mobility aid other than good walking shoes.

    When I get on the bus, this places me in a predicament. Strictly speaking, I don’t need the accessible seating (and on my bus routes, there are people who need that particular seating more than I do), but I do need seating before the bus pulls away from the stop.

    Best case scenario, I’m ready when the bus arrives, to maximize the chance of being near the front of the line. Best case scenario, there’s an open seat somewhere, and I can slip into it without raising eyebrows.

    Worse case scenario, I don’t find a seat before the bus starts to move. I fall or reel, sometimes inadvertently thrusting my hip or rear against another passenger’s body.

    Worst case scenario, I do this and then need to ask someone for a seat (otherwise I just keep falling). This has happened to me 4 times. In all 4 cases, the responses included the terms “lazy,” “fatass,” and either “bitch” or “cunt.”

  171. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh August 22, 2011 at 12:50 am |

    Jadey:
    Can we agree that both of these things exist:

    1) “sat on” being used literally to refer to people (of any size, but more likely small) being treated like chairs.

    2) “sat on” being the common hyperbole that is used to describe a person (of any size, but more likely large) sitting *next to* someone else and having their body touch or slightly overlap with the body of the person next to them.

    Because this seems like people talking at extreme cross-purposes where neither side (understandably) is comfortable backing down because of how fucked up things are on both sides of this. The language overlaps unfortunately, but I think we can agree that *literal* “sitting on” is unfair and unjustified (and that no one here is or should be arguing in favour of that), but the*hyperbolic* accusations of “sitting on” are bullshit and shaming (and no one here is or should be defending that). Otherwise it seems like we are taking chunks out of each other because of hurts that other people have caused.

    This is certainly something I can agree with. The two sides are reacting their own pain. On the one hand, it sucks so much being a fat person on transit because people’s disgust for us as fat people comes out. If we brush by them going down the aisle they make faces. If you have to touch them while sitting, it’s clear they’re disgusted by you. As fat people we offend fatphobics with our very presence. And it hurts. I brushed by a man the other day getting on the bus and apologized, but he still looked disgusted…

    On the other hand, it’s enlightening but so sad to learn that smaller-bodied people endure abuse and bullying including actually getting sat on, which I accept the fact that it happens. It’s terrible to treat a human being like a piece of furniture.

    As a fat woman, I’m very sorry for any small-bodied people here who feel their experience is being invalidated. Unfortunately fat people are used to smaller people who aren’t very nice and have a huge exaggerated reaction to the slightest contact with a fat person. Sitting in a two person bus seat with a fat person for 2 minutes turns into “OMG fat person crushing me!” you know? So sadly some fat people are reacting from those experiences. It’s too bad that it’s causing small-bodied people to feel invalidated.

  172. chava
    chava August 22, 2011 at 4:09 am |

    Seconded.

    Jadey:
    Can we agree that both of these things exist:

    1) “sat on” being used literally to refer to people (of any size, but more likely small) being treated like chairs.

    2) “sat on” being the common hyperbole that is used to describe a person (of any size, but more likely large) sitting *next to* someone else and having their body touch or slightly overlap with the body of the person next to them.

    Because this seems like people talking at extreme cross-purposes where neither side (understandably) is comfortable backing down because of how fucked up things are on both sides of this. The language overlaps unfortunately, but I think we can agree that *literal* “sitting on” is unfair and unjustified (and that no one here is or should be arguing in favour of that), but the*hyperbolic* accusations of “sitting on” are bullshit and shaming (and no one here is or should be defending that). Otherwise it seems like we are taking chunks out of each other because of hurts that other people have caused.

  173. Mr. Kristen J.
    Mr. Kristen J. August 22, 2011 at 8:15 am |

    Tori,

    That ticks me right off. I’ll admit this is one of my hot botton issues, but I don’t understand how able bodied people can see someone struggling and not give them their seat. For fucks sake. I can’t even believe stuff like that has to be said.

    There should be a law that if you don’t get up, you never get to sit down again.

  174. Helen Huntingdon
    Helen Huntingdon August 22, 2011 at 8:43 am |

    Jadey, that would be nice. But I’m not sure that covers all that’s going on here; the fact that public transport seats are too small is being used as an excuse to sit even if it means hurting someone. Those of us who have been targeted by this kind of bullying are saying to quit it — it’s cruel, dehumanizing, and just plain dirt mean. We’re getting told that others have a right to sit, as though that somehow answers our protests, but we have never contested that; we’ve only said we’re tired of being bullied.

    The false dichotomy that someone either might have to hurt someone or stand is just plain making up excuses for bullying. You can give the other person a chance to move. Yeah, they might turn out to be a jackass who is nasty to you, but pre emptively physically hurting someone because they might be verbally rude to you, or suggesting that this is a valid course of action, is truly rotten behavior.

  175. Helen Huntingdon
    Helen Huntingdon August 22, 2011 at 9:29 am |

    Given how the seats are too small for our society, and given how large women get treated in our society, I can see where just plonking yourself down in the prescribed space-for-one-person can feel like a radical act. But chava’s favorite word, intersectionality, applies. If in so doing you physically bully the standard targets of choice for physical bullying — those who look small and least likely to fight back — you’re not being radical, you’re just being a bully.

    If you go the ableist route and decide that you are the arbiter of how much squishing or being sat on someone can take, you’re not being radical, you’re just being a bully.

    How about we all be radical together and revenge-mansit like crazy?

  176. Miss S
    Miss S August 22, 2011 at 9:45 am |

    That ticks me right off. I’ll admit this is one of my hot botton issues, but I don’t understand how able bodied people can see someone struggling and not give them their seat. For fucks sake. I can’t even believe stuff like that has to be said.

    I agree. But as someone pointed out, some people have invisible disabilities, meaning others can’t see them. In that case, people would probably have to ask. I’d move for them.

    And yeah, maybe in a different conversation, in a different place, at a different time, someone said they didn’t like being sat on to refer to sitting next to fat people. That’s not what we’re talking about here. (At least, I don’t think anyone meant that.) We’re talking about people who sit on other people. It’s uncomfortabe, it’s rude, and it’s just not cool.

    There should be a law….

  177. Miss S
    Miss S August 22, 2011 at 9:49 am |

    Also, I totally have to admit that the guy next to me on the bus shattered the “all new yorkers are rude” stereotype. He helped me catch a cab, gave me directions to Grand Central, gave me directions back, told me a few places to go, and directed me to cheesecake all before he returned on his way to Harlem. It was really sweet. He didn’t man sit either.

  178. chava
    chava August 22, 2011 at 9:55 am |

    Wow. So cool that you know my favorite word AND that I have a secret agenda against petite people.

    Really, was that necessary?

    Helen Huntingdon:
    Given how the seats are too small for our society, and given how large women get treated in our society, I can see where just plonking yourself down in the prescribed space-for-one-person can feel like a radical act.But chava’s favorite word, intersectionality, applies.If in so doing you physically bully the standard targets of choice for physical bullying — those who look small and least likely to fight back — you’re not being radical, you’re just being a bully.

    If you go the ableist route and decide that you are the arbiter of how much squishing or being sat on someone can take, you’re not being radical, you’re just being a bully.

    How about we all be radical together and revenge-mansit like crazy?

  179. Jadey
    Jadey August 22, 2011 at 9:56 am |

    @ Helen

    You made the point above about being sat upon and treated like a chair, and absolutely no one is disagreeing with you that that is 100% wrong.

    However, it’s a crappy, structural feature of over-crowded transit that people are going to have to sit closer together than they would ideally want, and that this might result in discomfort and possibly pain (e.g., when someone else’s elbow is digging into your side). I know I used to live in a city where the buses would get packed so full that there was literally no more room for anyone else, and we would have to drive past crowded bus stops until we got downtown where everyone would get off. In those cases, no one, big or small, had much choice about where their bodies went, and fat people still got shamed for taking up “too much space” and small people (especially children – good lord, I saw some scary moment with kids) were still at greater risk for being squished, and it was no one’s fault but the city’s for shorting their routes.

    Fat people may be extra polite and ask people around them permission to sit down first, but as other commenters indicated above because we live in a fat-hating world, in many places there’s also a good chance that this politeness will be met by rudeness and anger. So no, what you are asking for is not straightforward and simple (although I’m certain that there are many fat people who keep taking the risk and being polite and policing their bodies beyond what is actually physically possible). You want people to acknowledge how badly small people are treated, but you also keep minimizing and ignoring how badly fat people are treated, which makes me think that your interpretation of intersectionality is kind of one-way.

    You say we should engage in revenge man-sitting, but don’t you see that what the commenters here were calling for was revenge fat-sitting? Why are you assuming bad faith that the fat people here would of course use that as a chance to hurt and bully small people? Many people here, and I will include myself in this group, have expressed thanks that you brought up the flipside of the size coin and talked about small people being overlooked and shoved aside. Truly, thank you for that. But recognize that fat people en masse are not the enemy here and that you are veering into the territory of Oppression Olympics. As much as you want to make sure small people are not forgotten, we have just as much legitimacy in not wanting big people to be forgotten either.

  180. Helen Huntingdon
    Helen Huntingdon August 22, 2011 at 10:17 am |

    “You say we should engage in revenge man-sitting, but don’t you see that what the commenters here were calling for was revenge fat-sitting?”

    No, I honestly missed that part. That’s horrible — can you show me where it was?

    “Why are you assuming bad faith that the fat people here would of course use that as a chance to hurt and bully small people?”

    Why are you pretending that’s what happened, when what really happened is I responded to people claiming the incidents some of us reported don’t even exist, and to the creating of a false dichotomy that excuses sitting on people?

    “But recognize that fat people en masse are not the enemy here.”

    If you read my comments, you’ll see I have been doing just that, over and over again. Why are you pretending otherwise?

    “You are veering into the territory of Oppression Olympics,” — I’m confused on that one, because from my perspective it was others who went there when they started claiming the incidents some of us report don’t even exist because fat people have it tough. That’s never made any sense — fat people have it tough AND the incidents being reported exist.

  181. Helen Huntingdon
    Helen Huntingdon August 22, 2011 at 10:31 am |

    “Fat people may be extra polite and ask people around them permission to sit down first, but as other commenters indicated above because we live in a fat-hating world, in many places there’s also a good chance that this politeness will be met by rudeness and anger. So no, what you are asking for is not straightforward and simple.”

    Of course it’s not simple. I’ve never pretended that it would be. It’s just better than the appalling act of sitting on someone.

  182. Vigée
    Vigée August 22, 2011 at 11:03 am |

    Fat Steve: I was totally with you before this one (and after, esp the ballsac hanging out thing) but this comment is incredibly xenophobic. Yes, many ethnic foods may smell terrible to you, but to some people they smell perfectly normal. Also certain people may find a “bagel, or a pretzel, or an apple, or perhaps a nice energy bar” completely tasteless, and would prefer to eat food from their country of origin or any other country from that matter.

    I get horrible motion sickness almost every time I’m in a car, on a train, on the subway, in a plane, on a boat or even just in the ocean. I take things for it, but not every single day. And you know what makes it worse? Strong smelling food of any kind. So maybe this comment isn’t so much xenophobic as a suggestion that any kinds of strong-smelling foods are inconsiderate on the subway, which, by the way, is not a restaurant. It’s not even an open space like a park or a bench. It’s a confined space where people can’t get away from what you’re eating.

  183. Anna
    Anna August 22, 2011 at 11:28 am |

    I completely agree with this list, and might I add that there are easy-to-see rules on escalators as well. When you see that a bunch of people are standing still on the right side of the escalator while leaving a huge path on the left, it seems logical to suppose that the left side is being left open for a reason, not so you can stand on the left side by yourself, while the rest of New York is trying to walk up that Escalator. Drives me NUTS when I want to walk up that escalator and some idiot standing there blocks everyone else.

    Though I have been guilty of consuing in the train, that only happened because I had no time to lunch at work and I had to run to my doctor, and the train ride was the only opportunity I had to sit and eat–I was pregnant and diabetic. I thought I could just be careful not to touch anything while I was shoving food into my mouth.

  184. Anna
    Anna August 22, 2011 at 1:00 pm |

    As a fat woman, I’m very sorry for any small-bodied people here who feel their experience is being invalidated. Unfortunately fat people are used to smaller people who aren’t very nice and have a huge exaggerated reaction to the slightest contact with a fat person. Sitting in a two person bus seat with a fat person for 2 minutes turns into “OMG fat person crushing me!” you know? So sadly some fat people are reacting from those experiences. It’s too bad that it’s causing small-bodied people to feel invalidated.

    It’s completely wrong to throw dirty looks at someone for their size and because body parts unintentionally brushed against each other where public transportation is involved. It’s uncomfortable to touch any stranger, whether it’s crowded or not, but getting daggered looks or comments for something completely unintentional seems wrong. I admit that I had cringed a couple of times when, in a crowded train, I had to endure someone’s sweaty back pressing against my arm. I’m still grossed out by the memory, but none of those two incidents involved men of a particular size.

    I’ve experienced being talked about for squeezing myself between two people. I was tired, I was sick, and I needed to sit, and there was one seat between two rubenesque ladies. I supposed I fit, so I sat, which to my chagrin wasn’t terribly free of space, but then I felt too embarrassed to get up and just stand, as I was clearly sitting. I didn’t want the ladies to feel like I found their closeness off-putting, which to be honest, I did not… until they started talking smack about me. At first I didn’t realize it, but when I did, I was well and truly embarrassed. I was also getting mad. And such nasty thoughts I kept having as they talked about me in increasingly less veiled language. When I got off my stop, I wanted to yell back, but that point, I was too embarrassed to really care. I just wanted to get out.

    So I guess in a sense, there has been rudeness on both sides, but in all honesty, I’ve only ever experienced that once. After that incident, I had been careful and conscious about avoiding that very situation again. I figured sometimes, even if my feet were killing me, it wasn’t worth the embarrassment and aggravation of getting passive-aggressively talked about unfavorably in front of everyone.

  185. Hershele Ostropoler
    Hershele Ostropoler August 22, 2011 at 3:43 pm |

    An example of extreme man-sitting on the F train: the seat between the door and the end of the car, which comfortably seats two-ish Hersheles, was entirely occupied by a guy who was around 0.8 of a Hershele but who was spreading his legs and sitting diagonally besides.

  186. Diane
    Diane August 22, 2011 at 8:19 pm |

    All I can say is….PREACH!

  187. Jackie
    Jackie August 22, 2011 at 8:57 pm |

    Jill: …no.

    I see so when a person from Feministe makes a joke against allowing parents access to public transportation because they have a large stroller, that’s okay. When a child free person makes the reasonable request that not every place should be a similiar environment to Chuck E Cheese, their post either isn’t posted, or the thread is closed. Since you just don’t want to hear at all that adults have rights to spaces with screaming and crying, or that parents should actually you know, be parents.

  188. Rational_PrettyAmiable
    Rational_PrettyAmiable August 22, 2011 at 9:09 pm |

    Hershele Ostropoler:
    An example of extreme man-sitting on the F train: the seat between the door and the end of the car, which comfortably seats two-ish Hersheles, was entirely occupied by a guy who was around 0.8 of a Hershele but who was spreading his legs and sitting diagonally besides.

    Oh are you on the F too? I didn’t get that before.

    This morning, there was a chick sitting by the pole and a guy sitting next to the door, man-style. The seat between them was free but the guy’s legs were clearly impeding me from sitting there. Also, he had creepy-lecherous face. I sat in the pole-lady’s seat when she left. He looked pissed.

    In yo’ face, creepy lecherous guy.

  189. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable August 22, 2011 at 9:09 pm |

    My b re: the name. I was snarking earlier.

  190. Avida Quesada
    Avida Quesada August 23, 2011 at 4:51 am |

    http://kateharding.net/2007/12/05/miss-conduct-rocks/

    Loved the general tone of the blog. Also make me thing about solving the current issue. I still believe that it’s not an either or, if we insist that the current state can’t be change or we don’t apply the our strength to do it, it will not change. Even so it was a good point.
    The other part is that she appear to be bling to her privilege: As a latin american middle class women I use the bus almost every day, and multiple times during the day. I know this happened. And happened often.

    Maybe we are tune for the men sit but not to the other stuff?
    Normally I don’t care about the “compression” until it’s very high, but, I most confess, I hate the men sit even if not affecting me, since I link it to the oppression of women.

    chava: Sorry that I miss read you.

    Avida

  191. Helen Huntingdon
    Helen Huntingdon August 23, 2011 at 9:13 am |

    Love the link, Avida Quesada. A commentator named Rose had a great comeback to the mansit: “It’s not THAT big. Please move your legs.”

    I noticed on that thread and this one a clash of viewpoints arising from different public transport situations: Some just complaints are met with, “But public transport is always crowded, so too bad.” No, it is not always crowded. The giant-mash-of-humanity mode is not the only mode of public transport, and yeah, the rules of decent conduct change a bit depending on which one you’re dealing with.

    Like the guy who needed 2+ seats who insisted recently on sitting next to me on a 2-seat bench — possibly a reasonable option when it’s going to be a full ride. Not reasonable when he did it because there were other spots available where he could have 2 seats or more to himself. He was just being a jerk, and I suspect it had zilch to do with him being fat and everything to do with him being a dude. He kept starting to ease into leaning on me, and when that didn’t result in me shrinking away from him and crushing myself into a corner, he would start visibly as though he was all surprised there was a person there. Then a few seconds later he’d repeat the whole process.

  192. Jackie
    Jackie August 23, 2011 at 9:47 am |

    Jill:
    Jackie, considering that I’ve written a post making the reasonable request that not every single place be 100% open to children at all hours and saying that I do think some places should be adults-only, I’m not sure you’re on square footing here.

    When?

  193. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh August 23, 2011 at 11:07 am |

    Jackie: When?

    *smacks forehead* Some time ago? As in, not yesterday?

  194. groggette
    groggette August 23, 2011 at 11:15 am |

    Annaleigh: *smacks forehead* Some time ago? As in, not yesterday?

    Feministe really needs like a search function or something….maybe right at the top of the page, just underneath the heading and to the side of the articles? Maybe a mod should get on that ;)

  195. Rare Vos
    Rare Vos August 23, 2011 at 11:48 am |

    I highly doubt anyone is actually sitting on you.

    It happens to me All. The. Time. Its always dudes. I’m short and petite, and apparently invisible. In fact, I’ve got some impressive bruises all down my left side from being partially sat on Saturday on the bus.

    That said, I used to be M.O. myself, so I give up the seat. There was a time when my body couldn’t handle standing long periods of time and, that’s always the first thing I’m worried about.* I remember, vividly, how uncomfortable and sometimes painful I was. Have my seat. I don’t need it.

    * Obligatory caveat: no I’m not saying all heavier people are unfit, have bad knees, or are physically uncomfortable standing long periods of time. I was back then, so just in case, I’m offering the seat. Of course, offering my seat to someone has gotten my head bitten off a few times, but wev. I’ll risk giving offense in that way, rather than not offering it at all.

  196. Jackie
    Jackie August 23, 2011 at 12:19 pm |

    Annaleigh: *smacks forehead* Some time ago? As in, not yesterday?

    Is it unreasonable to expect if a mod wishes to reference a post, that they should be able to offer a link to it?

  197. Jackie
    Jackie August 23, 2011 at 12:20 pm |

    I meant to say author.

  198. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub August 23, 2011 at 12:37 pm |

    Hey! I have an idea! How about we not make a thread that is based on a jokey post all about your grievances over imagined discrimination at the hands of Feministe against the childfree?

    Sincerely,

    A Child-free single woman with a cat who’s sick of seeing threads become all about one commenter’s personal issues.

  199. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh August 23, 2011 at 4:58 pm |

    groggette: Feministe really needs like a search function or something….maybe right at the top of the page, just underneath the heading and to the side of the articles? Maybe a mod should get on that ;)

    It certainly couldn’t hurt! :) In the meantime, when I want to find an older Feministe post, I use Google (although sometimes that might not help much if you don’t have very specific keywords to use…).

  200. What NYC needs is MORE LAWS | MKP-Hearts-NYC, Brooklyn Edition

    [...] From There Ought To Be A Law in the NY Times to Feministe’s worthy addenda… [...]

  201. Jackie
    Jackie August 24, 2011 at 1:55 am |

    Guess there’s no talking to any of you, or getting you to be accountable to past pro-child posts, that demeaned childfree people. Like how it’s discrimination to suggest children don’t belong in restaurants, nope, you never posted that. I just made it all up right?

  202. Jackie
    Jackie August 24, 2011 at 2:01 am |

    http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2011/07/14/in-defense-of-children/

    http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2010/07/27/shorter-cuter-more-honest-people/

    So here are some posts here, that advocate for children being allowed everywhere regardless of behavior. Feministe is biased against adults having the right to childfree spaces, just read the second link, IT’S RIGHT THERE. If someone else posted about large strollers not being allowed in certain places, there’d be a problem, but if a person from Feministe makes adultist statements it’s okay!

  203. chava
    chava August 24, 2011 at 8:57 am |

    or….
    Feministe is not a monolith, and encourages a variety of perspectives, giving their guest bloggers largely free rein?

    Jackie:
    http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2011/07/14/in-defense-of-children/

    http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2010/07/27/shorter-cuter-more-honest-people/

    So here are some posts here, that advocate for children being allowed everywhere regardless of behavior. Feministe is biased against adults having the right to childfree spaces, just read the second link, IT’S RIGHT THERE. If someone else posted about large strollers not being allowed in certain places, there’d be a problem, but if a person from Feministe makes adultist statements it’s okay!

  204. Helen Huntingdon
    Helen Huntingdon August 24, 2011 at 8:59 am |

    Jackie, I’m child-free and inclined to sympathize, so I’ll probably look at the posts you linked. I did click them just long enough to see they weren’t written by Jill.

    Give her a break. Feministe is not a monolithic hive-brain. It is alive through the backbreaking dedication of our fearless host and her neverending search for guest posters. If you want a blog that has a single, unified viewpoint that is The Final Answer On What It Stands For, I think you got the wrong blog. If you have a beef with those two posts, take it up with the authors of those two posts.

    Before you can reasonably say a blog of this type and sheer magnitude has an anti-childfree bias, you’re going to need a hell of a lot more than two posts.

  205. Helen Huntingdon
    Helen Huntingdon August 24, 2011 at 9:06 am |

    That said, I can see why the “you do not have a right to childfree spaces,” bit from Maia was upsetting — I find it incredibly offensive. But that’s something to take up with Maia. You’d need a whole lot of stuff that extreme before you could say Jill/Feministe is anti-childfree.

  206. Andie
    Andie August 24, 2011 at 9:10 am |

    Yeah, if you read through the comment sections of said articles, you’ll find that there’s a pretty even amount of pro-kids and no-kids sentiment coming from either side. I know there’s been enough anti-kid sentiment on this site to get my mommy-back up (although even as a mom, I still believe that some places should be child-free).

    x2 to those who said this place is not a monolith of any one opinion or experience.

  207. Casey
    Casey August 24, 2011 at 9:17 am |

    “Adultist” may be the funniest thing I’ve read today. I’m imagining mobs of menacing five year-olds roaming the streets and rubbing their sticky hands all over the dry clean-only clothes of every adult who happens to get in their way, as their eight year-old counterparts lobby for laws restricting the movement of all post-pubescent citizens. Adultism! ‘Tis a scourge on civil society!

  208. Hershele Ostropoler
    Hershele Ostropoler August 24, 2011 at 12:58 pm |

    Without rereading the posts and skipping merrily over what it means to have a right to something, I really don’t think anyone has a right to childfree spaces. There should be spaces reasonable parents — I’m not so childfree as to declare that an oxymoron — would feel children wouldn’t enjoy and might cause disruption, spaces reasonable parents would understand children are discouraged, but people who find they can’t have a good time when a child is around are being ridiculous.

    And getting back on topic, the subway is not one of those child-discouraging spaces.

  209. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh August 24, 2011 at 1:01 pm |

    Jackie:
    http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2011/07/14/in-defense-of-children/

    http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2010/07/27/shorter-cuter-more-honest-people/

    So here are some posts here, that advocate for children being allowed everywhere regardless of behavior. Feministe is biased against adults having the right to childfree spaces, just read the second link, IT’S RIGHT THERE. If someone else posted about large strollers not being allowed in certain places, there’d be a problem, but if a person from Feministe makes adultist statements it’s okay!

    …Anddddd none of those posts were written by Jill herself.

    Thanks for playing.

  210. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh August 24, 2011 at 1:06 pm |

    Here Jackie, here’s something that Jill you know, actually wrote. Take note of the second paragraph:

    http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2010/05/14/on-hating-kids/

  211. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub August 24, 2011 at 1:29 pm |

    JACKIE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOLY AND PROFANE, GET A FUCKING LIFE.

  212. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh August 24, 2011 at 1:33 pm |

    Sheelzebub:
    JACKIE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOLY AND PROFANE, GET A FUCKING LIFE.

    Sorry Sheezlebub, didn’t mean to feed the troll.

  213. Tom Foolery
    Tom Foolery August 24, 2011 at 1:38 pm |

    Adultist

    I want to sincerely thank you for your contribution to the ramp that the “-ist” suffix will someday use to gloriously jump over a shark.

  214. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub August 24, 2011 at 2:11 pm |

    Annaleigh: Sorry Sheezlebub, didn’t mean to feed the troll.

    No worries, Annaleigh. You did nothing wrong, and I’ve been known to throw the odd bag of Cheetos at them myself.

  215. Drew T
    Drew T August 24, 2011 at 2:28 pm |

    I generally love this list, but would like to just point out that, as an occasional “man-sitter” myself, (and seeing quite a bit of “reverse man-sitting” stories) it’s often not a conscious decision to immediately take up as much space as possible, but just out of comfort. Sitting with my legs shoulder width apart is easy enough, but squishing them together takes a conscious, and surprisingly large amount of concentration. When somebody goes to sit down, I’ll usually apologize or just move my legs in if I notice, but sometimes I don’t, and a simple “excuse me” suffices, rather than passive-aggressively knee-battling.

    …Although I would say from experience that likely over 95% of my peers WOULD deserve reverse man-sitting.

  216. Lettuce
    Lettuce August 24, 2011 at 4:38 pm |

    As a casual observer of this blog, it strikes me that you guys seem to be really really passionate about semantic distinctions.

  217. Hershele Ostropoler
    Hershele Ostropoler August 24, 2011 at 5:31 pm |

    Oh, and:

    Rational_PrettyAmiable: Oh are you on the F too? I didn’t get that before.

    I think we’re all Feministers on this train.

  218. Rare Vos
    Rare Vos August 25, 2011 at 7:43 am |

    it’s often not a conscious decision to immediately take up as much space as possible, but just out of comfort

    You mean, you have the privilege to be only concerned with your own comfort?

    Well, color me shocked! Shocked, I tell you!!

  219. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh August 25, 2011 at 12:50 pm |

    Rare Vos: You mean, you have the privilege to be only concerned with your own comfort?

    Well, color me shocked!Shocked, I tell you!!

    THIS.

  220. XtinaS
    XtinaS August 29, 2011 at 2:33 am |

    Drew:

    it’s often not a conscious decision to immediately take up as much space as possible, but just out of comfort.

    And you don’t consciously consider the comfort of those around you becaaauuuse…

  221. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh September 1, 2011 at 6:44 pm |

    Oooh, I just remembered this today:

    There should be a law against ice cream trucks parking outside of schools at the end of the school day when all of the kids are going home.

    I say it NOT because I am a big, big meanie who doesn’t think children deserve ice cream, and NOT because I hate smart entrepreneurs, but because having a ton of kids milled around ice cream trucks adds to the ridiculousness of traffic at that hour (I say that as a public transportation passenger). Most of the traffic around schools at that hour is inevitable and necessary since children need to safely get to their modes of transportation, be it a family member or the bus itself, or head off on their way if they are walking home, but the ice cream trucks are an unnecessary addition to the gridlock.

    / grinch

    *and yes, this is a bit of a Thing now. We never had ice cream trucks waiting outside for us near our elementary schools when I was a child, but I see it all the time now… Gah.

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