Assault is not love

They don’t invade our space because we are pretty. They invade our space because they can.

Exit row seat with plenty of room for this man’s legs, yet he spreads into my space. MY space. MINE.

Men spread because they think we’re pretty!

I had a conversation with a male friend about manspreading. He seemed to think it was a compliment to me that a total stranger on a plane – when this stranger had plenty of leg room because we were in the exit row and the stranger was not eight feet tall – wanted his leg to touch mine.

Friend: I thought you knew him?

Me: Nope. Total stranger.

Friend: Wow! You just felt familiar, I guess?

Me: This happens to me every single time I am on public transportation. Men take my space.

Friend: you must have a very inviting aura… 🤔

Me:  I would like to think I am special, but this happens to almost all women. 😟

Friend: Only the pretty ones… 🤫

I do not have an “inviting aura”

I have been doing all I can to cultivate an RBF. I do not want to be approachable. I do not want to be nice.

What I want is to be left TF alone.

It’s not about pretty, it’s about power

I am not nor have I ever been particularly pretty. In addition, I am a Woman of a Certain Age, which means that in general, I have become invisible as a sexual object to men.

And yet, I am manspreaded upon.

Why is that, do you think?

Do men manspread other men?

Hahahahaha. No of course they don’t.


1. In criminal law, [battery] is a physical act that results in harmful or offensive contact with another person without that person’s consent. 2. In tort law, the intentional causation of harmful or offensive contact with another’s person without that person’s consent. (Source)

That is, if you touch me without my permission, you have committed battery.

(In some places, they call that “assault,” although assault is also defined as the threat of unwanted touching or physical harm. I used “assault” in the title because I think that’s the term more people use when they think of unwanted physical contact.)

What is “manspreading?”

I will define “manspreading” just in case you are a man and have never experienced it.

Manspreading is when a man spreads his legs out beyond his space into the space of the woman next to him. Sometimes, that spreading means the man’s leg touches the woman’s leg, but often not, as we women tend to pull our legs in because we don’t want to be touched by a stranger.

Sadly, the response of the manspreader can be to spread even further, encroaching deeper into our territory. We pull our legs closer together and lean to one side.

Or, if we push back, thinking, “Maybe he doesn’t know he’s in my space and if I push, he’ll move his leg.”

Hahahahaha nope. That is not what the manspreader thinks. Instead, I think they think we’re coming on to them.

Boys tease us because they like us

It goes back to childhood, when even people I adored, like my own father, who was in most things a feminist (although he never would have used that word) – he required all of his children, boy and girls, to learn how to maintain a car and to cut the grass; he encouraged me in all of my dreams – to become a doctor, an astronaut, a writer; he suggested I apply to the Merchant Marine Academy because he thought it would be a cool profession – repeated the same BS many of us were taught: That when boys chase us or pull our hair or tease us, it’s because they like us.

That is, shut up and take it – it’s a sign of love!

Some men seem to consider our mere existence an invitation for their attention

All I will say about Punny Badger’s stupid take on books in bars is – Why does he even care? It’s not like people – probably women like me who used to take a book when she would watch her musician boyfriend perform in a bar – are reading AT him.

I promise that when I was reading, waiting for John’s band to set up and get started (they tended to run late), I was not crying for attention.

I wanted to sit in a bar and not be bothered.

That’s all.

Could we start teaching boys not to touch girls instead of teaching girls that unwanted touch is a good thing?

I hope that parents now are enlightened enough that rather than telling their daughters to suck it up when boys give them unwanted attention and touching, they are teaching their sons NOT TO HASSLE WOMEN.

It doesn’t matter if they think we are pretty.

It doesn’t matter if we have an “inviting aura.”

Stop. Touching. Us.

Stay out of our space. Stay out of all of our spaces.


5 thoughts on “Assault is not love

  1. An “inviting aura” . . . . what????? Would your friend blame this inviting aura for that kid that grabbed your butt a while back? When do people become responsible for their weird, bad behavior?


      1. Funny, the “punchable face” defense doesn’t wash. . . . is it only women’s and femme’s appearances that provide explanation for the behaviors of others?


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