Manslamming. I had no idea such a word existed until my teen introduced the term to me during one of daily car trips to pick up and drop off campers. We spend a lot of time in the car, and sometimes the conversations are insightful. Below is a snippet of my car conversation with my teen after he tells me about the manslamming study.
In early November of last year, 25-year-old labor organizer Beth Breslaw decided to confront male entitlement one sidewalk stranger at a time. Having heard that men were less likely than women to make room on a crowded sidewalk, she wanted to test the theory herself while commuting to and from her job in the Financial District. The result? Frequent collisions with men. The term manslamming was coined by New York magazine’s Jessica Roy. Read More here
Teen: Why is this even an issue? Who thinks up this stuff?
Me: The point is that women shouldn’t always have to move out of the way of men when walking down a sidewalk. Men should move out of the way at least some of the time.
Teen: But if a women notices the man before he notices her, it makes sense that she should move over to avoid the collision.
Me: It’s nice manners to be aware of other people. Women shouldn’t be put in the position of having to move first.
Teen: A guy just walks down the sidewalk. He’s not thinking, who can I push out of the way today? The woman notices that he is walking towards her and steps over. What’s the problem?
Me: Perhaps he should notice her and step aside. Nobody likes to be pushed around.
Teen: Nobody will be pushed, and collisions will be avoid if the first person who notices the other moves out of the way. Women usually notice and step aside first. What is the big deal?
Me: Men barreling down sidewalks at breakneck speeds, manslamming into women is the big deal.
Teen: Only to women. A man would just be briefly confused about why the women ran into him. I bet he wouldn’t even mention it to his friends. It’s stupid.
Me: WAIT ONE MINUTE! Women insisting on sidewalk-stepping-aside equality is not stupid. I’ll have you know bras were burned over this very issue—sort of. Women have every right to tell men to stop being oblivious to women’s right to their piece of sidewalk and to move over. Women conduct these studies because they know how important it is that feminism is taken seriously!
Teen: (sideways smile) Is this a serious issue for you?
Ok. I kind of see the teen’s point. Thinking back, I don’t ever remember a time that I was a victim of manslamming. I guess I’ve just walked down the sidewalks of life moving over and moseying on.
What do you think? Is manslamming a first-world feminist problem? Should we paint posters, hold rallies, and chant “I won’t be mowed over no more.” Or should women move over and fuhgeddaboudit.
Odd Loves Company
One last thing, (El Morno friend Cynthia would want me to offer this reminder) regardless of your sex—male, female, neutral, or undecided— In America, one must always walk on the right and pass on the left. Thank you.
13 thoughts on “Manslamming First World Feminist Issue”
I remember years ago thinking I must be invisible because I was ALWAYS the one that moved over to let people walk by. In malls, on sidewalks, everywhere. It wasn’t only men that were oblivious. Now with Iphones I suppose it’s worse. For some reason I don’t notice so much now though.
Nana always said – You can get use to hanging if you hang long enough. :-D. Lucky for the other people that you were observant.
The KEY WORDS you mentioned in your conversation with the teen: “It’s nice manners to be aware of other people.” With everyone craning their necks, texting on a cell phone and oblivious to anything around them, I’m surprised there isn’t MORE of ANY kind of “Slamming”..Male OR Female. I’ve seen a mother crossing the street against the light with her baby in the stroller..Texting!
Sheesh, that Mom must not be very attached to that baby and/or she doesn’t have a lick of common sense. It does seem that these days with all the distractions that more people would be at risk for slamming.
Be aware of your surroundings. If not………..
Be pushed into traffic? 😀
Oh, my goodness, your teen sounds just like Domer!! What is it about young men these days? Despite our having “raised them right,” they persist in odd ideas about what’s “supposed” to happen! On what planet is it ever acceptable to MOW another person over?? Being otherwise occupied, traveling in one’s own world, all that is NO excuse! Good job, pointing out the obvious, Kb — but seriously, I can’t believe that woman went to such extremes to make a point, ha!
Me either – I think the men are pointing out the extremes we’ll go to in order to find a way to make them wrong. When in reality I have never been mowed over by a man. I don’t even really know who veered first. As we all know I am not the most observant crayon in the box ( I know, makes no sense but you get the point) so maybe men have been falling off curbs to avoid me all these years. And YES–suppose to happen and being reasonable and logically according to HIS way of thinking is a trademark of my son.
A little late on this one. We don’t walk much and crowding isn’t as issue when I live. I would yield the right away if I noticed someone walking directly towards me and wonder why they heck they just didn’t move to the other side of the sidewalk. My opinion is gender does not matter, the general goal is to reach your final destination without a collision. Interesting read.
Excellent Goal. I’ve been pulled out of traffic a few times by a strong pair of hands – let’s just say crossing the street has always been a trial for me. So I can live with having to veer to the right or left as needed.
A man should always yield to a woman, in terms of not walking into each other, of course
Ha. As long as I am not mowed over I am content.
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