Woman dresses up as men's bag to earn seat on subway
TORONTO, ON—Meg Sheridan, 38, a local advertising executive, isn't the first woman to become frustrated with what has become a fixture of contemporary public transit: manspreading.
After years of infuriating commutes and frustrating experiences, Sheridan says she reached her breaking point after one particularly troubling incident in which a man on the subway took over an entire row of seats during rush hour in order to give his backpack, testicles, and burrito plenty of breathing room.
After asking him repeatedly if he could move his bag so she could sit down, her request was met with a dramatic eye roll and a heavy sigh. The man then began yelling, "Where would you like me to put it? On the ground?! My bag has had a very long, hard day at work!"
Eventually, the man acquiesced and moved over enough to allow Sheridan enough space to perch on the edge of his lap. Later that day, Sheridan had a realization: a man's personal effects are more entitled to a subway seat than a human woman. In order to reclaim prime seat real estate from the droves of men with what must be watermelon-sized balls, she would need to get creative.
The results were swift and surprisingly effective.
"Occasionally, I will have to ask someone to move their feet so I can safely wheel myself past, or ask a fellow commuter to unzip me if I get stuck, but overall, riding the subway as a men's bag has been a real treat compared to my experiences riding it as a woman," Sheridan reports.
Of course, there was some trial and error at first. "In terms of materials, I've learned that I prefer waterproof polyester versus leather for comfort, and Velcro versus snaps for functionality."
When asked if she ever feels physically uncomfortable fitting herself into her costumes and travelling in such an unorthodox manner, Sheridan says without hesitation, "At times it can be a struggle. I am more prone to my legs falling asleep and people leaving their trash on me, but it is so worth it to be able to have my own seat."