Women everywhere know the scene – they get onto the underground train, spot a seat and proceed to sit down. As they do so, they contort their arms and legs into an introverted position; men either side have taken the armrests while their legs are firmly positioned outwards, leaving no room to accommodate them.
A new global social media trend has emerged off the back of this in which women are encouraging one another to not sit cross-legged – in effect taking up as little space as possible – but to sit wide and proud. It goes by the name of 'womanspreading' and it's already a hashtag on Twitter and Instagram.
The pose is designed to empower women by reclaiming their space – something that feminist literature has discussed since the mid-twentieth century. In essence 'womanspreading' is challenging gender conditioning women have grown up with from birth.
Alongside the more serious undertones however is a tongue-in-cheek approach to manspreading and both celebrities and normal women have gotten involved. Some of the famous names who've shared their spread-out selfies include Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski and Kaia Gerber.
The word 'manspreading' is so universal that the New Oxford Dictionary of English added the word to its pages.
Not everyone has responded positively however. One male social media user said the trend was "laughably childish. No one of good breeding should spread their legs—man, woman, or animal." Another was simply confused at the definition and asked: "I'm on the Metro sitting opposite a woman with her legs wide open (and a plastic bag on the seat next to her). Is this WomanSpreading?"
Either way, one thing is clear – #womanspreading is only getting more popular.