The St. Petersburg Metro is Where Men Get Doused With Bleach For Manspreading

If you’re in St. Petersburg or have any plans to travel to Russia soon, be on the lookout for a group of activists who believe they’re fighting something called “manspreading” by pouring water with bleach on the crotches of men who sit with their legs spread out.
"Social activist" pours bleach and water on man's crotch on Russian train 7 photos
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“Manspreading” is a thing on busy trains and was first identified in the US. It implies a man sits on a seat with his legs spread out, thus occupying more space than he would if he sat cross-legged or with his legs together. Apparently, manspreading is seen as “gender aggression” in that it’s meant to establish the territory of a male alpha. It’s also meant to put women in their place, as they’re almost always forced to sit with their legs crossed.

Well, one law student from Russia is looking to set this wrong right. Her name is Anna Dovgalyuk and she’s 20 years old. With help from friends, she’s been dousing men on the St. Petersburg metro with a concoction made of water and actual bleach, with the sole goal of shaming manspreaders and permanently stain their clothes.

Video of her stunt is included at the bottom of the page, courtesy of Metro. She claims her act isn’t staged and that she successfully “marked” 70 manspreaders in just one day. Surprisingly, not one of the friends who helped her do this got roughed up by the men they assaulted.

Describing manspreading as “a disgusting act that is being fought around the world - but hushed up here,” Anna says she has no plans to back down. If anything, now that she’s getting started bringing justice on the trains of the St. Petersburg Metro, she plans to go bigger for her next stunts.

“We not only cooled the manspreading down but also marked them with identification spots!” Anna brags. “So everyone can immediately understand which body part controls the behavior of these men.”

She plans on doing the same in Moscow.

For a law student, she seems blissfully unaware that what she’s doing is assault - with a chemical substance no less. If the solution she’s pouring on men’s crotches is really 30 times more concentrated than the bleach you can find at the store to do the laundry, then it can probably cause burns on the skin as well, not just spots on fabrics.

To recap: if you’re in Russia this time of the year and are a man who hates sitting cross-legged, it’s probably best to avoid the metro for a while. Social “activism” is underway.

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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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