Feminism’s Latest Absurd Cause: Manspreading

If they didn’t wield so much influence, the radical feminism popular amongst bloggers, college liberals, and hipsters would be good for a regular belly laugh. Each new cause is more absurd than the last. While in many countries women are subjected to shocking rates of rape, genital mutilation, and stunningly backwards punishments for marital infidelity, America’s feminists concern themselves with lighter fare. The latest object of their scorn is a subway phenomenon known as “manspreading.”

For the uninitiated, manspreading is where a man takes up more than his fair share of subway space by relaxing with his legs spread apart. For those who see the patriarchy everywhere, this posture is the ultimate in male privilege. It is a threatening pose, meant to mark out territory and make women feel uncomfortable. It is not, of course, simply a way to sit chosen to avoid crushing one’s own genitals. That would be too easy. And it is not, of course, vaguely comparable to, say, filling the floor and the seat next to you with shopping bags and purses. But how could it be, since women are above reproach in all things?

Dangerous and Negligent

While one columnist insisted that the manspreading campaign was a sign that feminism was heading for its last, gasping breath of relevance in the Western world, that’s a little too optimistic for me. For good or ill, the radfems are here to stay. There is something far too intoxicating about victimhood, impotent rage, and conspiracy theories, and 3rd wave feminism has all three in ample abundance. For girls who grew up with very little strife, the movement provides them with the drama their real life so sorely lacks. But just because you and I might see it for the silliness that it is, even the dumbest of their causes finds support from university professors, liberal writers, and even the president of the United States.

While this brand of feminism does great harm to men, it is even more dangerous for women. When radfems insist that any sex that isn’t accompanied by a sober, written contract is rape, they make a mockery out of a problem that deserves real attention. When they focus their energies on campaigns as idiotic as manspreading, they leave women who are really suffering twisting in the wind. When they insist that “only men can stop rape,” they deny women the tools, tips, and knowledge they need to avoid dangerous situations.

Feminism – in its prior forms – was a cause worth believing in. It fought for the right to vote, the right to work for a fair wage, and the right to be treated as equal citizens. It was an important movement filled with brave women. But it has been a long time since the feminist left had anything worth saying. That’s unfortunate, because outside America’s borders, women around the world need a voice. They need a revolution. American feminists are too obsessed with frivolities and “microaggressions” to help them out.

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