She believes that manspreading has been “fought around the world - but hushed up” in Russia.
Photo by JRWooley6
The term “manspreading” began to pop up on the American cultural radar around 2008. It’s believed to have started as push back against men who spread their legs wide on subway cars, taking up extra space.
While taking up an extra seat on a subway is both annoying and rude, it connects to a larger theme of ways men dominate spaces around them. Manspreading as well as mansplaining are seen as a manifestation of male entitlement.
While public awareness campaigns have been launched in the United States and Europe to make men more conscious of how they utilize public space, one activist in St. Petersburg, Russia, believes the men in her country have yet to get the message.
Anna Dovgalyuk, a law student and Instagram model, says that manspreading has been “fought around the world - but hushed up here,” so she has taken the task of teaching Russia’s men a lesson.
But she’s doing it by pouring highly concentrated bleach on their crotches. “This solution is 30 times more concentrated than the mixture used by housewives when doing the laundry,” Dovgalyuk admitted. “It eats colours in the fabric in a matter of minutes - leaving indelible stains.”
While she may think that bleaching a man’s jeans in the crotch area is funny, highly concentrated bleach can cause bad skin irritation and eye damage.
Dovgalyuk believes it’s worth it to get Russian men to reconsider how they take up public space. “We not only cooled the manspreading down but also marked them with identification spots!” she said.
This isn’t the first time Dovgalyuk has received attention for her activism. Last year, she flashed her underwear to commuters to raise awareness for upskirting laws in Russia.