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Madrid Joins Global Fight Against Public 'Manspreading'

Stop the spread!

20/06/2017 9:53 PM AEST | Updated 20/06/2017 9:53 PM AEST

If you've ever caught public transport you're sure to have experienced some 'manspreading.'

It's that irritating habit where men spread their legs across the seat beside them, taking up the space of others.

Madrid is the latest city to join in the fight to get men to close their legs, in a move that proves 'manspreading' has no barriers.

Municipal Transport Company started a new campaign this month focused on ending "El Manspreading."

The campaign signage features a crossed out red figure with legs spread out across two seats and is displayed alongside the other banned activities, such as smoking, eating and littering.

It was inspired by an online petition supported by feminist group, Microrrelatos Feministas, which has more than 13,000 signatures.

"We all have testicles between our legs, so there's a reason why we don't cross our legs as much."Geoff Stone, Canadian Association for Equality

"It is not something that occurs sporadically, if you look, you will realise that it is a very common practice," the petition said.

"It is not difficult to see women with their legs closed and very uncomfortable because there is a man next to her who is invading her space with his legs."

The group called on the Madrid City Council to follow the lead of other countries, such as Japan and the U.S., who already have 'anti-manspreading' campaigns in place.

In 2015, two men were arrested on a New York subway for 'manspreading.'

Some of these campaigns received some backlash.

In 2014, a men's rights campaign from Toronto accused the phenomenon as 'sexist' and encouraged men to spread their legs.

Geoff Stone, the spokesman for the men's rights group Canadian Association for Equality told the Toronto Sun, "It's male bashing."

"We all have testicles between our legs, so there's a reason why we don't cross our legs as much."

The ABC recently reported a recent study discovered 'manspreading' to be romantically attractive.

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