Opinion, World

Anti-“Manspreading” Chair Is The Height Of Hypocrisy

Image Source: Instagram/@lailapoppylaurel

If you’ve been following the news lately, you are sure to have come across this story about a feminist who won an award for a chair that stops “manspreading.”

This design is the absolute height of hypocrisy and demonstrates the flaws of the modern-feminist movement of today.

Manspreading, of course, is a term used to describe men who sit with their legs apart and who take up “more space than they need.” The idea is that men will naturally sit in a manner that prohibits someone from taking the seat next to them. It’s almost, and don’t call us sexist for pointing this out, as if there is some physical biological feature that exists between men’s legs that would make manspreading feel a bit more comfortable than locking the knees together.

Laila Laurel is the university student from England who designed the award-winning chair that would put a stop to this phenomenon.

Her chair design features two strips of wood that would guide the sitter and physically prevent them from spreading their legs.

She told The Daily Mail about her inspiration,

“It came from my own experiences of men infringing on my space in public.” 

The artist does not address the fact that women are guilty of taking up more space than they need as well when they place their bags and/or purse on the seat next to them, but let’s not digress.

Laurel included an accompanying chair for women that encouraged the fairer sex to spread their legs further apart.

Image Source: Instagram/@lailapoppylaurel

While feminists might be cheering the concept of using carpentry to strike a blow at the male patriarchy that intrudes upon the physical space of others in public, there is a glaring flaw in their argument that seems to have been lost on them.

A major issue among feminism is abortion, up to and including birth. It seems to be the hill that they are willing to die on as they dress up in Handmade’s Tale costumes and protest judges who might seek to overturn Roe V Wade.

Though feminists argue against the notion that an unborn human is afforded human rights, they will also scoff at the idea that, if they would just keep their knees together, the issue doesn’t come up. That’s right. One of the tenants of modern feminism is to have sex with anyone and everyone that a feminist wants with no regard for the consequences. This is empowering to them. But telling them to keep their knees together is a transgression that you cannot imagine. How dare you!

Yet what are we to presume Laurel is doing here?

Aren’t these chairs specifically designed to FORCE men to keep their knees together?

In addition, the accompanying piece forces a woman to spread her legs apart, which merely takes one problem attributed to one of the sexes and transfers it to the other (or ‘one of the others’ if you are in California and believe there are 1000+ genders).

This chair design gets to the very heart of feminism where it demonstrates the argument is not about fairness or equality, but is entirely about women working towards gaining the upper hand over men. It’s not about equal rights, it’s about a special class that feels it deserves superior rights.

Laurel’s website contains an explanation of the artist’s views on “third dimension feminism.”

“In my design practice, I am curious to explore how I can employ my perspectives as a young female designer in order to identify, highlight, and challenge sexist issues experienced by myself and other women in our culture.

Despite social progression regarding gender equality, sexist prejudices regarding gender-specific stereotypes and appropriate tasks still exist; the ramifications of which are still a pertinent and integral issue in contemporary society and subsequently design, necessitating feminist intervention to challenge and change these conceptions.

Examining the physical spaces delineated by the patriarchy for women to inhabit is important to discern how it has shaped the stereotypical image of woman. In patriarchal ideology, perhaps one of the most prominent and pervasive of the conceptions of women’s rightful role, is their encumbering with all things ‘domestic,’ – this in physical terms manifesting as the home. Sexism has engendered a sexual division of labour, which describes the delegation of different tasks between males and females. This division is evident within women’s experiences or practices of design in many different ways.

Due to gender inequality and the subjugation of women in society being such a mammoth topic, I felt it would be pertinent to set some parameters regarding my contextualisation within feminist theory. Although I have employed both past and present feminist literature and theory such as Made in Patriarchy: Towards a Feminist Analysis of Women in Design by Professor Cheryl Buckley, I have situated my project within Fourth-wave feminism. This is a phase of feminism regarded to have begun in 2012, and is characterised largely by its utilisation of the internet as a tool for social mobility in order to further it’s feminist agenda.”

Don’t be alarmed if you didn’t understand any of that. It’s just important to know that this is the type of stuff that colleges are filling the heads of their students with.


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