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Who is the asshole? Women should be allowed to manspread, too

Why is he manspreading?(Getty)

Why is he manspreading?(Getty)


July 28, 2023   6 mins

Consider famous moments of moral crisis throughout the ages, real or imagined. Peter denying that he knew Jesus before the cock crowed, say; or Jean Paul Sartre’s former pupil in Existentialism Is A Humanism, torn between joining the Free French to avenge his brother’s wartime death and staying at home to look after his devastated mother. Or think of William Styron’s Sophie, facing the terrible choice between her children in a concentration camp. If only they’d all had the Am I the Asshole? website to help them out. Don’t say the modern world doesn’t have its advantages.

Called AITA for short, this enormously popular sub-Reddit — which celebrates its 10th anniversary this summer and now has more than nine million subscribers — describes itself as a “catharsis for the frustrated moral philosopher in all of us” and a “platform for moral judgement”. Its stated purpose is “to assign blame”. Anonymous posters describe the tortuous ins and outs of disputes with loved ones, friends or co-workers, soliciting judgement from strangers. Readers gleefully weigh in with “YTA” (you’re the asshole), “NTA” (not the asshole), “NAH” (no assholes here), or “ESH” (everyone sucks here). Those browsing are encouraged to upvote responses they like. As is probably obvious, the site is based in the US.

Most of the conflicts described on AITA are no less ferocious for being deeply trivial. As I write this, the stories at the top of the page include a man who told his wife on their wedding day that her make-up looked weird; someone who refuses to eat any food his cousin makes for him because she once tricked him into eating cottage cheese; and a husband who unfolded all the clothes his wife had just folded for him, because she hadn’t rolled them the way he likes it. (At the moment, the dominant verdicts are YTA, YTA, and YTA respectively.)

The site is sometimes touted as a tool for “conflict resolution”, partly on the basis that those who receive a YTA judgement sometimes come back to explain how much they have supposedly learnt from the process. As a profile of the site from 2020 put it: “It’s a place where accountability actually exists… It’s also a place for growth.” It’s really not, though. It’s a place where people get to feel good about themselves by judging and scolding others. It’s great fun, but nobody here is going to get a Nobel Peace Prize.

As with the current vogue for podcasts and programmes about relationship counselling, one motive for browsing AITA is the enjoyable glimpses it provides into the fantastic dysfunction and pettiness of other people’s relationships. Where else could you read about a woman being passive-aggressive because her sister refused to get the “family tattoo”? Or about a man intentionally ruining his wife’s favourite Garth Brooks’s song because she didn’t like his preferred rap music (“I pointed out that the song That Summer is about an old woman taking advantage of a 19-year-old virgin”)? Or how about a woman telling her future sister-in-law that the she had inadvertently chosen a song about genocide as her first wedding dance (“Carrie was livid, screaming that the whole family would think she was a white supremacist”)?

A lot of the commentators seem intent on getting revenge for their own past emotional scars by castigating anyone who vaguely resembles a real-life foe of theirs. Whether the majority verdict on a post is YTA, NTA, or ESH, there is always an asshole around somewhere, upon which to project one’s situation and so get cathartically self-righteous. Harassed wives queue up to snark at hopeless-sounding husbands with just a little bit too much enthusiasm. Those who must secretly think of themselves as perpetual doormats respond to tales of freeloading friends with DIATRIBES IN CAPS. People with mummy issues take the side of daddy, and vice versa. “No Assholes Here” is everyone’s least favourite and most anti-climactic verdict.

And as for the motives of those offering up their own behaviour to scrutiny — for many of them, it’s apparently a desire for vindication rather than for self-improvement or reconciliation. (One imagines many a fight escalating rapidly with the fateful words “I asked Reddit who the asshole is, and they said it’s you!”) Skilful authors know how to craft innocent-sounding narratives putting their antagonists firmly in the wrong. The outcome is resounding validation from commentators, to whom the thought of unreliable or partial narration hardly seems to occur. Less adept and more hapless posters can seem almost masochistic in their inability to tell a sympathetic story about themselves, and get treated brutally as a result. (Ironically, these are probably the more honest and reliable contributors, though they receive no credit for it.)

Villainous stereotypes change from era to era. We used to have cads, bounders and knaves, and now we have assholes. But what exactly is the difference? Looking at AITA on its own, it’s tricky to pin down a systematic profile for the modern-day asshole. The term seems to be used there as a generalised synonym for wrongdoing. Males and females alike are dismissed with a YTA, and for no particularly distinctive reason that I can discern.

Away from the site, though, it is hard to escape the conclusion that the stereotype of an asshole is a mostly male-associated one. These days, society always seems to be finding new ways for men, in particular, to be assholes — whether it’s by mansplaining, manspreading, staring at women on the tube, or bantering in an off-colour way. (Indeed, the founder of AITA, Marc Beaulac, has said he started the site as a way to work out whether he was mansplaining to some female coworkers.)

Philosopher Aaron James, author of the improbably titled book Assholes: A Theory, agrees: “assholes are mainly men”, he says, and are “overwhelmingly distributed among only one-half of the human population”. He defines an asshole, somewhat over-technically, as a person who “(1) allows himself to enjoy special advantages and does so systematically; (2) does this out of an entrenched sense of entitlement; and (3) is immunised by his sense of entitlement against the complaints of other people”. (This is not, we are told, the same as being “a jerk, a boor, a cad, a schmuck, or a mere ass” — though these too all sound distinctly male-coded).

James’s explanation of why more men than women are assholes, in his sense, is that our culture is “gendered” — by which he means that men but not women tend to be encouraged by society to act in overly entitled obnoxious ways. This is a familiar enough feminist complaint, aimed not at combatting seriously anti-social or violent male behaviour, but at policing relatively small-scale behavioural infractions, or at least perceived ones. The implication, often taken on board by cue-responsive liberal men like James, is that men could do better if they tried. I’m not so sure it’s that simple, though.

An alternative explanation is that — to put it bluntly — the whole thing is a bit of a set-up. The bar for what counts as pro-social, non-assholish behaviour is now placed at a point where more men are more likely to fail than women, for reasons they can’t particularly help. To take just a few examples: from one perspective, mansplaining is the favouring of knowledge-driven, fact-filled conversations, which many men tend to do in single-sex company anyway. Manspreading is accommodating the shape of the male pelvis, and avoiding crushing your testicles when sitting down. Staring at women on the tube is, at least sometimes, a harmless attempt to flirt with the opposite sex — which, moreover, we had better hope young men don’t stop doing altogether, if only to save our pensions. Acting “out of an entrenched sense of entitlement”, as James might put it, is — at least sometimes  — confidently owning and prioritising your own projects and decisions, defending them from criticism, and not collapsing in a gibbering wreck of self-flagellation and apologies, as per the present feminised ideal.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, bounders and cads — that is, lower-class social climbers — could exist as comprehensible social types, only because the default moral ideal was the well-bred “gentleman”. With the welcome loss of the gentleman as an archetype also came the loss of cads and bounders as social possibilities for men. Such categories make no real sense in the modern world any more, unless they are characters being played on-screen by Hugh Grant.

Analogously, my suspicion is that, when “being an asshole” isn’t just being used as a generalised shorthand for irritating behaviour, it gets its particular male-associated flavour because the opposing moral ideal is feminine, understood in a particularly boring, passive, and self-abnegating way. The suffocating wave of “kindness” and “inclusivity” that has washed over many institutions in the past decade has left many ordinary male behaviours stranded on the shore.

If I’m right, then this is bad news for men. But actually, it’s bad news for everyone. Excessive passivity and self-abnegation are not particularly good for women either. There’s a sense in which it is totally healthy to think your personal projects and decisions are more important than other people’s — they are yours, after all. Thinking this way doesn’t automatically make you a solipsistic asshole. It would be a strange and self-defeating attitude to constantly treat everyone else’s interests as exactly equal to yours, and nobody should do it, male or female.

What counts as “entitled” behaviour, then, perhaps ought to be recalibrated back to something more obviously dysfunctional. Maybe we could even allow both men and women, if they so wish, to mansplain, manspread, and stare at each other on the Tube. In life if not on Reddit, sometimes it’s ok to aim for YTA.


Kathleen Stock is an UnHerd columnist and a co-director of The Lesbian Project.
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Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago

“Manspreading is accommodating the shape of the male pelvis, and avoiding crushing your testicles when sitting down.”
At last, a woman gets it.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

And, what’s not mentioned is that most seats allow too little legroom for tall men. However, men being men, just adjust and manage without believing it to be a conspiracy against all males.

David Morley
David Morley
10 months ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

It’s important to remember that the case against manspreading was not originally about discomfort for others. It was about men displaying what was seen as (oppressive) dominant male body language. It didn’t matter if the seats beside you were free. The rudeness, discomfort of others argument was brought in to sell it to transport companies.

In practical terms the answer is simple: if there is room, spread out enough to be comfortable. If not, keep to your share of the space and put up with some temporary discomfort. It’s basic manners.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
10 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

After all the fuss, I started noticing what happens to seats on trains.
The majority of passengers try to be as polite as possible, though amongst the few who “spread”, the majority (not all though) are men.

But the most obnoxious are those who keep their bags on the seat next to them, and pretend not to notice even as the train fills up.
And guess what? Largely women.

I agree that it’s a out manners.
The problem with “manspreading”, as with anything from the feminism thought process, us that it pretends all men are somehow in this weird conspiracy, while ignoring that women are equally capable of bad behaviour on average.

Jacquie 0
Jacquie 0
10 months ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

The reason women put their bags on the seat is to stop men form invading their space. Many women have been assaulted or raped or suffered male violence and just don’t want you leaning up on them.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
10 months ago
Reply to  Jacquie 0

“Many women have been assaulted or raped or suffered male violence”
Thankfully none of the women I know have been raped or suffered “male violence” from someone sitting next to them on the train.

It is strange, though, that women are so defenseless in trains, colleges, air conditioned offices, but somehow as strong and powerful as men when it comes to the police, military, fire brigades, competitive sports.

Gill Holway
Gill Holway
10 months ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Womens problems I often think, come from wearing skirts. The last time I was forced to wear a skirt was at my daughters wedding. I live in skintight jeans and leggings daily these days. A fetching pair of black cord today and my last skirt died the death when I walked out of the office on my last day in the Civil service who would have forced us to wear civil service drawers if they could have got away with it.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
10 months ago
Reply to  Gill Holway

That’s true, I wonder sometimes whether even women would be more comfortable “manspreading”, but they have become attuned to sitting like that for reasons of “preserving their modesty” to use an old fashioned term, while wearing skirts.

Would be interesting to see how Scots behave while wearing kilts.

Ms Lindsay MCGAW
Ms Lindsay MCGAW
9 months ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

The kilt is designed for manspreading…so much fabric.

Ms Lindsay MCGAW
Ms Lindsay MCGAW
9 months ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

The kilt is designed for manspreading…so much fabric.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
10 months ago
Reply to  Gill Holway

That’s true, I wonder sometimes whether even women would be more comfortable “manspreading”, but they have become attuned to sitting like that for reasons of “preserving their modesty” to use an old fashioned term, while wearing skirts.

Would be interesting to see how Scots behave while wearing kilts.

Gill Holway
Gill Holway
10 months ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Womens problems I often think, come from wearing skirts. The last time I was forced to wear a skirt was at my daughters wedding. I live in skintight jeans and leggings daily these days. A fetching pair of black cord today and my last skirt died the death when I walked out of the office on my last day in the Civil service who would have forced us to wear civil service drawers if they could have got away with it.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
10 months ago
Reply to  Jacquie 0

“Many women have been assaulted or raped or suffered male violence”
Thankfully none of the women I know have been raped or suffered “male violence” from someone sitting next to them on the train.

It is strange, though, that women are so defenseless in trains, colleges, air conditioned offices, but somehow as strong and powerful as men when it comes to the police, military, fire brigades, competitive sports.

John Riordan
John Riordan
10 months ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

I like the suggestion that if you really want nobody to sit next to you, don’t put your bag on the seat, leave it empty and whenever someone approaches, smile suggestively and pat the empty seat. Everyone will stand up rather than sit next to you.

Of course I’ve never tried it myself and I suspect if I did I’d get arrested, but it’s a funny thought nonetheless.

Chiara de Cabarrus
Chiara de Cabarrus
10 months ago
Reply to  John Riordan

It is pretty funny indeed but imagine how terrifying if someone took you up on the offer !

Chiara de Cabarrus
Chiara de Cabarrus
10 months ago
Reply to  John Riordan

It is pretty funny indeed but imagine how terrifying if someone took you up on the offer !

Michael Walsh
Michael Walsh
10 months ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

putting bags on the seats is a disgusting thing of itself

Jacquie 0
Jacquie 0
10 months ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

The reason women put their bags on the seat is to stop men form invading their space. Many women have been assaulted or raped or suffered male violence and just don’t want you leaning up on them.

John Riordan
John Riordan
10 months ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

I like the suggestion that if you really want nobody to sit next to you, don’t put your bag on the seat, leave it empty and whenever someone approaches, smile suggestively and pat the empty seat. Everyone will stand up rather than sit next to you.

Of course I’ve never tried it myself and I suspect if I did I’d get arrested, but it’s a funny thought nonetheless.

Michael Walsh
Michael Walsh
10 months ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

putting bags on the seats is a disgusting thing of itself

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
10 months ago
Reply to  David Morley

After all the fuss, I started noticing what happens to seats on trains.
The majority of passengers try to be as polite as possible, though amongst the few who “spread”, the majority (not all though) are men.

But the most obnoxious are those who keep their bags on the seat next to them, and pretend not to notice even as the train fills up.
And guess what? Largely women.

I agree that it’s a out manners.
The problem with “manspreading”, as with anything from the feminism thought process, us that it pretends all men are somehow in this weird conspiracy, while ignoring that women are equally capable of bad behaviour on average.

David Morley
David Morley
10 months ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

It’s important to remember that the case against manspreading was not originally about discomfort for others. It was about men displaying what was seen as (oppressive) dominant male body language. It didn’t matter if the seats beside you were free. The rudeness, discomfort of others argument was brought in to sell it to transport companies.

In practical terms the answer is simple: if there is room, spread out enough to be comfortable. If not, keep to your share of the space and put up with some temporary discomfort. It’s basic manners.

Andrew D
Andrew D
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

At the risk of being personal, how big are your testicles Richard? Maybe I shouldn’t be admitting it, but I find I can sit in non-spreading comfort without being crushed.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew D

My nads are gigantic, and I don’t care who knows it!

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

This is definitely the oddest exchange I’ve seen on the UnHerd comments section.

Maurice Austin
Maurice Austin
10 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

And yet, I hope, compelling and strangely instructive.
I’m your seventh Like, by the way.

Last edited 10 months ago by Maurice Austin
Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
10 months ago
Reply to  Maurice Austin

Goodness, yes! Learning about the dimensions of Richard’s testicles has been both enriching and enlightening. Intellect well and truly boosted 😉

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
10 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

We haven’t learnt anything until he defines the term.
Gigantic olives? Small Plums?

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
8 months ago
Reply to  Ted Ditchburn

Save your breath, every man lies anyway, mate.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
8 months ago
Reply to  Ted Ditchburn

Save your breath, every man lies anyway, mate.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
10 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

We haven’t learnt anything until he defines the term.
Gigantic olives? Small Plums?

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
10 months ago
Reply to  Maurice Austin

Goodness, yes! Learning about the dimensions of Richard’s testicles has been both enriching and enlightening. Intellect well and truly boosted 😉

Jack Martin Leith
Jack Martin Leith
10 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

It’s very much in keeping with the title of the piece.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago

See you in the Bellend tomorrow perhaps?

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

I use the Islamic pub.. The Severed Arms… a good head in a pint there…

james goater
james goater
10 months ago

Definitely worth repeating — and, er, spreading.

Michael Cavanaugh
Michael Cavanaugh
10 months ago

Oh, Jasus & Mo . . . !

james goater
james goater
10 months ago

I seem to recall that you’re also a patron of the Allahu AkBAR, correct?

james goater
james goater
10 months ago

Definitely worth repeating — and, er, spreading.

Michael Cavanaugh
Michael Cavanaugh
10 months ago

Oh, Jasus & Mo . . . !

james goater
james goater
10 months ago

I seem to recall that you’re also a patron of the Allahu AkBAR, correct?

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

I use the Islamic pub.. The Severed Arms… a good head in a pint there…

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago

See you in the Bellend tomorrow perhaps?

Gill Holway
Gill Holway
10 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Katherine, its mens attachements they’re discussing here, or rather its the men who are discussing it…fancy a coffee till its all over?

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

I choose not to resent the fact that your response got more upvotes than my comment.

Maurice Austin
Maurice Austin
10 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

And yet, I hope, compelling and strangely instructive.
I’m your seventh Like, by the way.

Last edited 10 months ago by Maurice Austin
Jack Martin Leith
Jack Martin Leith
10 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

It’s very much in keeping with the title of the piece.

Gill Holway
Gill Holway
10 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Katherine, its mens attachements they’re discussing here, or rather its the men who are discussing it…fancy a coffee till its all over?

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

I choose not to resent the fact that your response got more upvotes than my comment.

MJ Reid
MJ Reid
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Simply stand to accommodate other people’s, desire to sit comfortably without parts of your anatomy in their spaces. Or buy a hammock for them!

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago
Reply to  MJ Reid

Wheelbarrow.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago
Reply to  MJ Reid

Wheelbarrow.

Jack Martin Leith
Jack Martin Leith
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

I’ll spread the word, Richard.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago

Very much obliged to you, Jack. Bellend tomorrow?

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago

Very much obliged to you, Jack. Bellend tomorrow?

David Morley
David Morley
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

You could try wearing a dress in public. Apparently the freedom this affords removes the problem entirely.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

UGH! Women aren’t interested in big “nads” It’s the other thing that counts. Personally I could do with never having to deal with those puppies.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

This is definitely the oddest exchange I’ve seen on the UnHerd comments section.

MJ Reid
MJ Reid
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Simply stand to accommodate other people’s, desire to sit comfortably without parts of your anatomy in their spaces. Or buy a hammock for them!

Jack Martin Leith
Jack Martin Leith
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

I’ll spread the word, Richard.

David Morley
David Morley
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

You could try wearing a dress in public. Apparently the freedom this affords removes the problem entirely.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

UGH! Women aren’t interested in big “nads” It’s the other thing that counts. Personally I could do with never having to deal with those puppies.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew D

Beta male, then. It’s nothing to boast about.

David Morley
David Morley
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew D

I would say that it is markedly uncomfortable, but not so much that I would prefer to stand.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew D

Funny!

John Riordan
John Riordan
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew D

It’s not just the testicle crush thing, it’s also that men’s hip bone and muscle geometry is different to women’s. When most women are seated, the relaxed and comfortable position is with legs together at the knee. For most men, it takes constant muscular effort to maintain that position; the relaxed position is with the knees spread apart. If you can sit with knees together without muscular effort, that’s somewhat unusual and not true of most men.

Nancy G
Nancy G
10 months ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Is this why some men claim to have been ‘born in the wrong body’?

John Riordan
John Riordan
10 months ago
Reply to  Nancy G

No. They only say that when they’re either mad or don’t want to go into a male prison.

John Riordan
John Riordan
10 months ago
Reply to  Nancy G

No. They only say that when they’re either mad or don’t want to go into a male prison.

David Hewett
David Hewett
10 months ago
Reply to  John Riordan

But crossing the legs at the ankle will negate that discomfort without laying everything open at the crotch.

Paul T
Paul T
10 months ago
Reply to  David Hewett

That does not stop knees falling open.

Paul T
Paul T
10 months ago
Reply to  David Hewett

That does not stop knees falling open.

Nancy G
Nancy G
10 months ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Is this why some men claim to have been ‘born in the wrong body’?

David Hewett
David Hewett
10 months ago
Reply to  John Riordan

But crossing the legs at the ankle will negate that discomfort without laying everything open at the crotch.

Daniel P
Daniel P
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew D

Andrew, then you are lucky.

BTW….for my male compatriots, whether you wear briefs or boxers makes a difference. Boxers and loose pants make life a little easier.

One solution but one that will likely aggravate women too, is to grab your balls and lift them up when you sit down. Just a quick upward adjustment so you are not sitting on them or driving them into your butt crack

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew D

My nads are gigantic, and I don’t care who knows it!

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew D

Beta male, then. It’s nothing to boast about.

David Morley
David Morley
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew D

I would say that it is markedly uncomfortable, but not so much that I would prefer to stand.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew D

Funny!

John Riordan
John Riordan
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew D

It’s not just the testicle crush thing, it’s also that men’s hip bone and muscle geometry is different to women’s. When most women are seated, the relaxed and comfortable position is with legs together at the knee. For most men, it takes constant muscular effort to maintain that position; the relaxed position is with the knees spread apart. If you can sit with knees together without muscular effort, that’s somewhat unusual and not true of most men.

Daniel P
Daniel P
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew D

Andrew, then you are lucky.

BTW….for my male compatriots, whether you wear briefs or boxers makes a difference. Boxers and loose pants make life a little easier.

One solution but one that will likely aggravate women too, is to grab your balls and lift them up when you sit down. Just a quick upward adjustment so you are not sitting on them or driving them into your butt crack

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

True, but we women then tend to be squashed into the corner (and let’s not forget the massively overweight people who plonk themselves down next to you and practically suffocate you). The seats of most public transport and theatres are also too high for many women, myself included, and our legs are just left dangling painfully.

jane baker
jane baker
10 months ago

Ha ha ha. Nobody puts Baby in a corner. But they do you eh! You’re waiting for Patrick Swayze to sweep up and show em all. Sock it to em Patrick! Even though you’re dead.

Last edited 10 months ago by jane baker
MJ Reid
MJ Reid
10 months ago

I have extra long legs for a, woman and find public transport seating, especially on buses and trains f ont have enough knee room. Men, in the main,, tend to tell me to sit properly so they can man spread! They don’t usually like my answer, but tough. I have as much right to sit comfortably as they do.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago

I do sympathise, but I can’t be squashing my coconuts.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Why not? Bike riders seem to do ok.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
10 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Good grief, Clare, let’s not go down that road. We’ll be talking about how to Vaseline a perineum before you know it.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
8 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Fairly obvious reason for that, isn’t there.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
10 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Good grief, Clare, let’s not go down that road. We’ll be talking about how to Vaseline a perineum before you know it.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
8 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Fairly obvious reason for that, isn’t there.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Why not? Bike riders seem to do ok.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
10 months ago

Built-up shoes will solve this problem

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
10 months ago

Hate the dangling legs thing. Kills my lower back.

jane baker
jane baker
10 months ago

Ha ha ha. Nobody puts Baby in a corner. But they do you eh! You’re waiting for Patrick Swayze to sweep up and show em all. Sock it to em Patrick! Even though you’re dead.

Last edited 10 months ago by jane baker
MJ Reid
MJ Reid
10 months ago

I have extra long legs for a, woman and find public transport seating, especially on buses and trains f ont have enough knee room. Men, in the main,, tend to tell me to sit properly so they can man spread! They don’t usually like my answer, but tough. I have as much right to sit comfortably as they do.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago

I do sympathise, but I can’t be squashing my coconuts.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
10 months ago

Built-up shoes will solve this problem

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
10 months ago

Hate the dangling legs thing. Kills my lower back.

Peter Kwasi-Modo
Peter Kwasi-Modo
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

The female pelvis is larger and broader than the male pelvis. The male pelvis is narrower and more compact, due to the smaller distance betweenthe ischium bones. I am sure that Dr. Stock is perfectly well aware that her justification of manspreading is just balls.

John James
John James
10 months ago

She didn’t say the male pelvis was bigger. Just that they’re different shapes…

Peter Kwasi-Modo
Peter Kwasi-Modo
10 months ago
Reply to  John James

Yes, but the shape of the male one is narrower and more compact. Hence, not a good justification for manspreading.

Maurice Austin
Maurice Austin
10 months ago

That does not explain anything. The narrowness of the pelvis says nothing about the way the femurs join to the pelvis or the angles that are more comfortable. Narrow hands – splayed fingers; narrow nasal bridge – flaring nostrils; narrow head – ears like Concorde; the examples are endless. And the truth is, narrow hips or no narrow hips, the centrally-located engineering and gantries and block and tackle do indeed make a difference in comfort in – ahem – restricted spaces.

Maurice Austin
Maurice Austin
10 months ago

That does not explain anything. The narrowness of the pelvis says nothing about the way the femurs join to the pelvis or the angles that are more comfortable. Narrow hands – splayed fingers; narrow nasal bridge – flaring nostrils; narrow head – ears like Concorde; the examples are endless. And the truth is, narrow hips or no narrow hips, the centrally-located engineering and gantries and block and tackle do indeed make a difference in comfort in – ahem – restricted spaces.

Peter Kwasi-Modo
Peter Kwasi-Modo
10 months ago
Reply to  John James

Yes, but the shape of the male one is narrower and more compact. Hence, not a good justification for manspreading.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago

Really you and your innuendo! Appalling fellow. Have another upvote.

John James
John James
10 months ago

She didn’t say the male pelvis was bigger. Just that they’re different shapes…

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago

Really you and your innuendo! Appalling fellow. Have another upvote.

Dominic A
Dominic A
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Ever noticed ‘womanspreading’ – women placing their bags on the seat next to them? Or the relative lack of complaints about it?

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago
Reply to  Dominic A

Yes indeed.

jane baker
jane baker
10 months ago
Reply to  Dominic A

Nobody ever says a word to ME. I think it’s my hairdo,all those writhing snakes that deters them.

Dominic A
Dominic A
10 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

Look away gents!

Maurice Austin
Maurice Austin
10 months ago
Reply to  Dominic A

You’ll be fine – whip out the powder compact and look in the mirror.

Maurice Austin
Maurice Austin
10 months ago
Reply to  Dominic A

You’ll be fine – whip out the powder compact and look in the mirror.

Dominic A
Dominic A
10 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

Look away gents!

Samantha Stevens
Samantha Stevens
10 months ago
Reply to  Dominic A

Well, we have to shop for you fellas, that’s why 🙂

J Marsh
J Marsh
10 months ago
Reply to  Dominic A

I would also add women putting multipal bags under their legs (ignoring over head racks) so forcing feet into the middle of the area on trains with apposing seats . Men, when sitting opposite each other, generally work out were they can put their feet without a discussion so that they can be comfortable. Once the area opposite has been “occupied” this becomes impossible and everyone in uncomfortable but being British keeps quiet.

Jacquie 0
Jacquie 0
10 months ago
Reply to  J Marsh

We put our bags under our legs so that we don’t have to stand, arms akimbo with our backs turned to potential predators. That position leaves us exposed. The one time I did it on the tube I had a pervert shove his hand between my legs from behind. And we get up-skirted all the time. Sorry that our fear of sexual assault makes you wonder where to put your feet. Clearly your problem is more important than mine.

Jacquie 0
Jacquie 0
10 months ago
Reply to  J Marsh

We put our bags under our legs so that we don’t have to stand, arms akimbo with our backs turned to potential predators. That position leaves us exposed. The one time I did it on the tube I had a pervert shove his hand between my legs from behind. And we get up-skirted all the time. Sorry that our fear of sexual assault makes you wonder where to put your feet. Clearly your problem is more important than mine.

David Morley
David Morley
10 months ago
Reply to  Dominic A

Yes – ever noticed how annoyed they get if you mention it.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
10 months ago
Reply to  Dominic A

I just march right up to them and ask rather pointedly whether THAT seat is free. Or I just start to lower my bottom and leave them to clear their luggage away in a hurry.
Mostly women, yes. Although men can be guilt of the same thing with rucksacks.

Douglas McNeish
Douglas McNeish
10 months ago
Reply to  Dominic A

Their sense of entitlement. Their facial expression of annoyance at being asked to remove their bag. Invasion of their “private space.”

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago
Reply to  Dominic A

Yes indeed.

jane baker
jane baker
10 months ago
Reply to  Dominic A

Nobody ever says a word to ME. I think it’s my hairdo,all those writhing snakes that deters them.

Samantha Stevens
Samantha Stevens
10 months ago
Reply to  Dominic A

Well, we have to shop for you fellas, that’s why 🙂

J Marsh
J Marsh
10 months ago
Reply to  Dominic A

I would also add women putting multipal bags under their legs (ignoring over head racks) so forcing feet into the middle of the area on trains with apposing seats . Men, when sitting opposite each other, generally work out were they can put their feet without a discussion so that they can be comfortable. Once the area opposite has been “occupied” this becomes impossible and everyone in uncomfortable but being British keeps quiet.

David Morley
David Morley
10 months ago
Reply to  Dominic A

Yes – ever noticed how annoyed they get if you mention it.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
10 months ago
Reply to  Dominic A

I just march right up to them and ask rather pointedly whether THAT seat is free. Or I just start to lower my bottom and leave them to clear their luggage away in a hurry.
Mostly women, yes. Although men can be guilt of the same thing with rucksacks.

Douglas McNeish
Douglas McNeish
10 months ago
Reply to  Dominic A

Their sense of entitlement. Their facial expression of annoyance at being asked to remove their bag. Invasion of their “private space.”

Nuala Rosher
Nuala Rosher
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

I saw the first “woman” manspreading on the tube this week.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago
Reply to  Nuala Rosher

A tranny? A they/them?

Last edited 10 months ago by Richard Craven
Nuala Rosher
Nuala Rosher
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Thats what I wondered

Nuala Rosher
Nuala Rosher
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Thats what I wondered

Nikki Hayes
Nikki Hayes
10 months ago
Reply to  Nuala Rosher

Now, I actually am a woman and I manspread often as I always wear trousers and its a comfortable way to sit, albeit not to the degree shown in the photo at the top. I wouldn’t take up somone else’s space though on public transport, that is just bad manners.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago
Reply to  Nuala Rosher

A tranny? A they/them?

Last edited 10 months ago by Richard Craven
Nikki Hayes
Nikki Hayes
10 months ago
Reply to  Nuala Rosher

Now, I actually am a woman and I manspread often as I always wear trousers and its a comfortable way to sit, albeit not to the degree shown in the photo at the top. I wouldn’t take up somone else’s space though on public transport, that is just bad manners.

Harry Phillips
Harry Phillips
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Incidentaly, the photo at the top of the article looks as if it may have been taken on the Tokyo Metro which is notorious for the number of white arseholes thereon.

james goater
james goater
10 months ago
Reply to  Harry Phillips

Yes, absolutely right (or the Nagoya subway?). The “salaryman” on the right seems to be having no trouble sitting comfortably. Incidentally, in polite Japanese society only members of the gangster fraternity, the “yakuza”, would sit in a manspreading position on the subway — possibly to demonstrate their derision for “normal” law-abiding society.

Michael Cavanaugh
Michael Cavanaugh
10 months ago
Reply to  james goater

I find it amusing that this discussion of manspreading is taking place on a British forum. Among the many Ugly Americanisms about which I was warned before my first trip to Britain is that Americans (& toffs) tend to sit spread out whereas the righteous (apparently, both men & women) sit all compacted.

Michael Cavanaugh
Michael Cavanaugh
10 months ago

Oh, yes, and always apologize when they are wronged . . .

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago

‘Aint that the truth!

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago

‘Aint that the truth!

Michael Cavanaugh
Michael Cavanaugh
10 months ago

Oh, yes, and always apologize when they are wronged . . .

Jonathan Smith
Jonathan Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  james goater

Wouldn’t it be a bit infra dig for a yakuza to take the subway?

james goater
james goater
10 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan Smith

True, but it does happen. On late-night trains they’ll occasionally lie down, across 3 or 4 seats!! No-one will disturb them, and they know it!

james goater
james goater
10 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan Smith

True, but it does happen. On late-night trains they’ll occasionally lie down, across 3 or 4 seats!! No-one will disturb them, and they know it!

Michael Cavanaugh
Michael Cavanaugh
10 months ago
Reply to  james goater

I find it amusing that this discussion of manspreading is taking place on a British forum. Among the many Ugly Americanisms about which I was warned before my first trip to Britain is that Americans (& toffs) tend to sit spread out whereas the righteous (apparently, both men & women) sit all compacted.

Jonathan Smith
Jonathan Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  james goater

Wouldn’t it be a bit infra dig for a yakuza to take the subway?

james goater
james goater
10 months ago
Reply to  Harry Phillips

Yes, absolutely right (or the Nagoya subway?). The “salaryman” on the right seems to be having no trouble sitting comfortably. Incidentally, in polite Japanese society only members of the gangster fraternity, the “yakuza”, would sit in a manspreading position on the subway — possibly to demonstrate their derision for “normal” law-abiding society.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Possible the best thread on Unherd to date.

Go Nads

polidori redux
polidori redux
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Maybe I have disappointing nuts, but this is not an adequate explanation for manspreading.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  polidori redux

Exactly. I see them squished the whole time. They’re made to be squished.

Last edited 10 months ago by Clare Knight
Mark Phillips
Mark Phillips
10 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

My eyes just watered.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Mark Phillips

Don’t you ever cross your legs?

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Mark Phillips

Don’t you ever cross your legs?

Mark Phillips
Mark Phillips
10 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

My eyes just watered.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  polidori redux

Exactly. I see them squished the whole time. They’re made to be squished.

Last edited 10 months ago by Clare Knight
Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

For many years I’ve watched manspreading on tv and experienced it personally. I’ve found it fascinating as it says so much about the man. There’s heads of state sitting in very different positions, some with legs far apart because they’re alpha males or perhaps wanna be one. Putin, interestingly, slouches in a chair like he couldn’t care less.
When I lived in San Francisco and rode the buses, sitting next to males meant I was always squashed because they would splay their legs and take up more than half the seat. They were oblivious to this, and it seemed like a second- nature territorial position. I would ask them to move their leg which, was usually, greeted with not even acknowleging my existence and perhaps a slight movement of the offending leg.

Last edited 10 months ago by Clare Knight
Jonathan Smith
Jonathan Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Bad etiquette that’s all. It’s San Fransicko. I’ll leave you to guess why that might be. Here it would be like comparing behaviour inside the M25 with say Saffron Walden and environs to pluck a town randomly from the air.

Stock’s explanation is resonant with the reality and humane.

Douglas McNeish
Douglas McNeish
10 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

There are cultural differences within the U.S.

Jonathan Smith
Jonathan Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Bad etiquette that’s all. It’s San Fransicko. I’ll leave you to guess why that might be. Here it would be like comparing behaviour inside the M25 with say Saffron Walden and environs to pluck a town randomly from the air.

Stock’s explanation is resonant with the reality and humane.

Douglas McNeish
Douglas McNeish
10 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

There are cultural differences within the U.S.

Fafa Fafa
Fafa Fafa
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

I crossed my legs thousands of times during my lifetime as a male and my testicles never got crushed. In my experience, they simply wiggle out of the way. So that argument in the OP, which I have heard many times, is bogus. OTOH, a few times I did crush my testicles, when, after spending some time in a hot bathtub, I popped my butt down on the tub’s rim, with overloosened cremasters ill-timedly swinging the two bad boys into an unlucky position.

I present this information as public service, hoping to further the common knowledge of humankind.

Last edited 10 months ago by Fafa Fafa
Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Fafa Fafa

Exactly. I see men cross their legs the whole time without flinching. But, Fafa Fafa, your juicy story is about mankind not humankind.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Fafa Fafa

Exactly. I see men cross their legs the whole time without flinching. But, Fafa Fafa, your juicy story is about mankind not humankind.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

And, what’s not mentioned is that most seats allow too little legroom for tall men. However, men being men, just adjust and manage without believing it to be a conspiracy against all males.

Andrew D
Andrew D
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

At the risk of being personal, how big are your testicles Richard? Maybe I shouldn’t be admitting it, but I find I can sit in non-spreading comfort without being crushed.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

True, but we women then tend to be squashed into the corner (and let’s not forget the massively overweight people who plonk themselves down next to you and practically suffocate you). The seats of most public transport and theatres are also too high for many women, myself included, and our legs are just left dangling painfully.

Peter Kwasi-Modo
Peter Kwasi-Modo
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

The female pelvis is larger and broader than the male pelvis. The male pelvis is narrower and more compact, due to the smaller distance betweenthe ischium bones. I am sure that Dr. Stock is perfectly well aware that her justification of manspreading is just balls.

Dominic A
Dominic A
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Ever noticed ‘womanspreading’ – women placing their bags on the seat next to them? Or the relative lack of complaints about it?

Nuala Rosher
Nuala Rosher
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

I saw the first “woman” manspreading on the tube this week.

Harry Phillips
Harry Phillips
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Incidentaly, the photo at the top of the article looks as if it may have been taken on the Tokyo Metro which is notorious for the number of white arseholes thereon.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Possible the best thread on Unherd to date.

Go Nads

polidori redux
polidori redux
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Maybe I have disappointing nuts, but this is not an adequate explanation for manspreading.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

For many years I’ve watched manspreading on tv and experienced it personally. I’ve found it fascinating as it says so much about the man. There’s heads of state sitting in very different positions, some with legs far apart because they’re alpha males or perhaps wanna be one. Putin, interestingly, slouches in a chair like he couldn’t care less.
When I lived in San Francisco and rode the buses, sitting next to males meant I was always squashed because they would splay their legs and take up more than half the seat. They were oblivious to this, and it seemed like a second- nature territorial position. I would ask them to move their leg which, was usually, greeted with not even acknowleging my existence and perhaps a slight movement of the offending leg.

Last edited 10 months ago by Clare Knight
Fafa Fafa
Fafa Fafa
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

I crossed my legs thousands of times during my lifetime as a male and my testicles never got crushed. In my experience, they simply wiggle out of the way. So that argument in the OP, which I have heard many times, is bogus. OTOH, a few times I did crush my testicles, when, after spending some time in a hot bathtub, I popped my butt down on the tub’s rim, with overloosened cremasters ill-timedly swinging the two bad boys into an unlucky position.

I present this information as public service, hoping to further the common knowledge of humankind.

Last edited 10 months ago by Fafa Fafa
Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago

“Manspreading is accommodating the shape of the male pelvis, and avoiding crushing your testicles when sitting down.”
At last, a woman gets it.

Right-Wing Hippie
Right-Wing Hippie
10 months ago

What’s startling and depressing to me is the spread of the attitude that it is acceptable to treat someone else badly if you don’t like them. Regardless of how I feel about someone, my distaste for them never justifies my unethical, immoral, or ill-mannered treatment of them. A few years ago, my accountant suggested a few, shall we say, “exaggerations”, that would save me a few hundred bucks on my taxes. There was no way for the government to find out about them. However, as much as I in general consider any monies I send to the revenue service to be squandered, I nonetheless refused, because doing so would make me a tax cheat. No matter how much I resent my tax dollars being wasted, I am not a tax cheat. Similarly, no matter how much I may dislike someone, treating them badly makes me a jerk, and I don’t want to be a jerk.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago

I’m afraid it’s reached the stage where we simply have to treat the woke badly.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven


or just ignore them? In this day and age of attention-seeking people can’t stand to be not-seen.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
10 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Unfortunately they’re not going to ignore us. We have to be re-educated.

Stephen Quilley
Stephen Quilley
10 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Happening right now

RM Parker
RM Parker
10 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

They can’t teach me nuffin


Stephen Quilley
Stephen Quilley
10 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Happening right now

RM Parker
RM Parker
10 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

They can’t teach me nuffin


Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

I’m afraid I have to agree with Hugh.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Don’t be afraid.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

You’re right, I won’t.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

You’re right, I won’t.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Don’t be afraid.

Stephen Quilley
Stephen Quilley
10 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Impossible to ignore if you work in a university school or hospital

RM Parker
RM Parker
10 months ago

Sadly true: full time in hospital, part time at University, double dose of w⚓s


RM Parker
RM Parker
10 months ago

Sadly true: full time in hospital, part time at University, double dose of w⚓s


Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

That’s just the extroverts. Not everyone is an exhibitionist.

Last edited 10 months ago by Clare Knight
Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
10 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Unfortunately they’re not going to ignore us. We have to be re-educated.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

I’m afraid I have to agree with Hugh.

Stephen Quilley
Stephen Quilley
10 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Impossible to ignore if you work in a university school or hospital

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

That’s just the extroverts. Not everyone is an exhibitionist.

Last edited 10 months ago by Clare Knight
Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven


or just ignore them? In this day and age of attention-seeking people can’t stand to be not-seen.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
10 months ago

Wrong thread

Last edited 10 months ago by Martin Bollis
Bret Larson
Bret Larson
10 months ago

I agree, perhaps the government wouldn’t know, but you would.
Thats the important part because having a good opinion of your behaviour is the important thing for your sense of wellbeing.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago

You sound a bit self-righteous.

RM Parker
RM Parker
10 months ago

Thank God someone finally said it: essentially, just don’t participate in the circle-w**k. Some things need to be risen above with the appropriate disdain.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago

I’m afraid it’s reached the stage where we simply have to treat the woke badly.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
10 months ago

Wrong thread

Last edited 10 months ago by Martin Bollis
Bret Larson
Bret Larson
10 months ago

I agree, perhaps the government wouldn’t know, but you would.
Thats the important part because having a good opinion of your behaviour is the important thing for your sense of wellbeing.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago

You sound a bit self-righteous.

RM Parker
RM Parker
10 months ago

Thank God someone finally said it: essentially, just don’t participate in the circle-w**k. Some things need to be risen above with the appropriate disdain.

Right-Wing Hippie
Right-Wing Hippie
10 months ago

What’s startling and depressing to me is the spread of the attitude that it is acceptable to treat someone else badly if you don’t like them. Regardless of how I feel about someone, my distaste for them never justifies my unethical, immoral, or ill-mannered treatment of them. A few years ago, my accountant suggested a few, shall we say, “exaggerations”, that would save me a few hundred bucks on my taxes. There was no way for the government to find out about them. However, as much as I in general consider any monies I send to the revenue service to be squandered, I nonetheless refused, because doing so would make me a tax cheat. No matter how much I resent my tax dollars being wasted, I am not a tax cheat. Similarly, no matter how much I may dislike someone, treating them badly makes me a jerk, and I don’t want to be a jerk.

Peter Kwasi-Modo
Peter Kwasi-Modo
10 months ago

Dr. Stock says “Looking at AITA on its own, it’s tricky to pin down a systematic profile for the modern-day asshole.”. But you don’t have to because Artificial Intelligence has done that for you. Researchers at the Australian National University (“ANU”) have developed algorithms that have analysed 100,000 AITA threads. The result is that we can now determine who is the asshole with ANU’s bot.

Last edited 10 months ago by Peter Kwasi-Modo
Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago

“ANU’s bot”
I saw what you did there, you bad man. Have an upvote.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

I didn’t get it staight away, must be my innocent mind, you’re hint made me look again.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

I didn’t get it staight away, must be my innocent mind, you’re hint made me look again.

jane baker
jane baker
10 months ago

AI you mean “Farty Cat”. Turns out some french people have found that saying “chatgpt” in their accent makes it sound like the french for “a farting cat”. I love that. I’m calling in Farty Cat in future,that is all AI. Look at it like this. AI = artificial intelligence; that sounds so intellectual and scientific,it sounds important and pretentious. And telling us it’s scary,scary (which it is) but doesn’t that give power to the ones who are telling us it’s scary,scary.
So if we all start calling it Farty Cat that will p***k the pompous pretentiousness of its promoters and piss off the scientists big time.

Peter Kwasi-Modo
Peter Kwasi-Modo
10 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

The promoters of AI have been making more or less the same promises for decades now. An ex-colleague, a Professor of AI, in a moment of honesty told me that the problem is that we only call it AI when we don’t really know what we are doing. Once we do know what we are doing, it is just software development.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago

This comment is far too subtle. The innuendo is too well hidden. No upvote for you this time.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago

This comment is far too subtle. The innuendo is too well hidden. No upvote for you this time.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

Indeed – subfluent French speaker here – “peter” with an acute accent on the first “e” means “to fart”.

Last edited 10 months ago by Richard Craven
Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

You’re way off topic.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

You’re way off topic.

Peter Kwasi-Modo
Peter Kwasi-Modo
10 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

The promoters of AI have been making more or less the same promises for decades now. An ex-colleague, a Professor of AI, in a moment of honesty told me that the problem is that we only call it AI when we don’t really know what we are doing. Once we do know what we are doing, it is just software development.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

Indeed – subfluent French speaker here – “peter” with an acute accent on the first “e” means “to fart”.

Last edited 10 months ago by Richard Craven
Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago

“ANU’s bot”
I saw what you did there, you bad man. Have an upvote.

jane baker
jane baker
10 months ago

AI you mean “Farty Cat”. Turns out some french people have found that saying “chatgpt” in their accent makes it sound like the french for “a farting cat”. I love that. I’m calling in Farty Cat in future,that is all AI. Look at it like this. AI = artificial intelligence; that sounds so intellectual and scientific,it sounds important and pretentious. And telling us it’s scary,scary (which it is) but doesn’t that give power to the ones who are telling us it’s scary,scary.
So if we all start calling it Farty Cat that will p***k the pompous pretentiousness of its promoters and piss off the scientists big time.

Peter Kwasi-Modo
Peter Kwasi-Modo
10 months ago

Dr. Stock says “Looking at AITA on its own, it’s tricky to pin down a systematic profile for the modern-day asshole.”. But you don’t have to because Artificial Intelligence has done that for you. Researchers at the Australian National University (“ANU”) have developed algorithms that have analysed 100,000 AITA threads. The result is that we can now determine who is the asshole with ANU’s bot.

Last edited 10 months ago by Peter Kwasi-Modo
jane baker
jane baker
10 months ago

I’ve long thought(ever since I heard the term manspreading) that women or as I call my gender compatriots “girlies” who immediately think of penises on seeing a man’s crotch must be dirty minded cows. Probably had many a p***s up their alley. Probably the ones who whinge and moan about “the patriarchy” like a squeaky voiced 12 year old is doing on Radio 4 as I type this. We used to be told that if women governed there would be no wars,struggle,abuse and nastiness because all us girlies love hugging children and kissing babies,having orgasmic sex with our man,cooking oh so tasty food and generally nurturing in our Earth Mother robes,in our wild flower garden. Then we got Margaret Thatcher. Since then the metropolitan police went to the dogs under the moral leadership of the aptly named Miss d**k. The Post Office became a source of death and horror under a girlie lady,talktalk and then Track+Trace got thoroughly trashed by Lady Thingy Dido (I’ve got high placed relations) Harding,now I’ve heard the US navy have appointed a woman commander so that will go tits up soon. We females are NOT all Earth Mothers,we don’t all define ourselves by popping out sprogs,many of us are not ambitious and don’t actually want to sell our whole lives for the privilege of spending most of our time in a workplace alongside people we wouldn’t invite in our home or associate with in our leisure time. That squeaky voiced bimbo is still squeaking on she’s now actually saying “if women ran the world there’d be no war”. You have to laugh.

james goater
james goater
10 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

Excellent comment! Indeed, a gynocracy may not be all it’s cracked up to be!

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

Next time you’re listening to R4, allow me to suggest that you alleviate your distress by playing Skin or Genitals, a game for all the family based on betting on whether race or gender will be mentioned first and how soon.

Pat Rowles
Pat Rowles
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

There’s also fun to be had counting the minutes until some group or individual is described as ‘vulnerable’ (with apologies to Lionel Shriver).

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

My wife listens to the CBC – I no longer do. However I have a good track record when she turns it on of guessing what the guests will be saying. Last week I told her it would be some guy claiming the forest fires are caused by climate change. I nailed it. That is literally exactly what someone said the moment she turned it on. I think I may do up some CBC bingo cards we can use when listening.

Pat Rowles
Pat Rowles
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

There’s also fun to be had counting the minutes until some group or individual is described as ‘vulnerable’ (with apologies to Lionel Shriver).

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

My wife listens to the CBC – I no longer do. However I have a good track record when she turns it on of guessing what the guests will be saying. Last week I told her it would be some guy claiming the forest fires are caused by climate change. I nailed it. That is literally exactly what someone said the moment she turned it on. I think I may do up some CBC bingo cards we can use when listening.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

That’s very funny! I love your style. I speak as “a dirty minded cow”.

Last edited 10 months ago by Clare Knight
Jane Davis
Jane Davis
6 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

Wow I can only hope you never meet a violent man who hates you as much as you hate yourself and others of your own gender.
~As you call your gender compatriots ‘girlies’ – 39 upvotes for hating yourself If you were black you’d be singing mammy and gurning like crazy and sitting in a bath of bleach
and since you are female and therefore incompetent what are you doing commenting on a forum. Be a girlie and wash your husbands socks instead
Yes, shut up Jane – all women are weak inferior girlies who shouldn’t run anything cos they will mess it up. So just shut up – a lot of men on here don’t need your help to dislike women – they can do it own their own.

Truly amazing.

james goater
james goater
10 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

Excellent comment! Indeed, a gynocracy may not be all it’s cracked up to be!