You all remember the scourge of manspreading, i.e., men sitting with their legs wide apart in public areas, notably on subways and buses, and supposedly taking up more space than they deserve (in other words, acting privileged).
If it seems like that topic has been put on the back burner, there is a good reason. Let’s call it femspreading – but it’s neither a matter of female empowerment nor the result of a feminist think tank. Rather, femspreading is being promoted by a female orthopedic surgeon who began pondering the pain in her own aging joints.
Dr. Barbara Bergin, one of the founders of Texas Orthopedic Sports and Rehabilitation Associates in Austin, encourages women to sit like a man. To that end, she has coined the acronym S.L.A.M. (Sit Like a Man). In fact, the acronym has been trademarked, so technically it is S.L.A.M.TM
When a man sits with his legs together the potential discomfort to the genitalia is obvious. That’s why you don’t see it very often. Unfortunately, rowers and weightlifters have to contend with it. I seem to recall Pee Wee Herman usually sitting with his knees together, but that’s hardly a recommendation.
Since the female genitalia are mostly internal, sitting with her legs together shouldn’t be a problem for a woman…but it is because her pelvis is wider than a man’s. Consequently, a woman who habitually sits with her legs together is more likely to be knock-kneed than a man. Contemporary fashions and female seating habits assure problems, though crossing the ankles may alleviate the discomfort somewhat.
When women cross their legs or sit with their knees together, their femurs/thighbones have to revolve inwardly – more so than men’s femurs/thighbones. Men who are given to sitting with their knees together or their legs crossed will be less likely to suffer from long-term damage because they have narrower hips and their legs don’t rotate inwardly as much.
Pointing out any sort of sexual difference, even the most obvious, is discouraged these days. I don’t want to resurrect the old phrase “anatomy is destiny” (first uttered by Freud in 1912), but I certainly believe that “anatomy is reality” – the bleatings of the gender-fluid crowd notwithstanding.
Over time, the hip and knee joints bear the brunt of sitting with one’s knees together or legs crossed. Given the higher participation rate of females in athletics today, increased hip and knee problems can be expected, but who knew you could damage those joints just by sitting? Yet the problem isn’t new. In fact, it goes back a century.
The loosening of manners and mores in the 1920s resulted in more women “spreading their legs” before marriage, but the short skirts of the flappers dictated that women sit modestly, i.e., with their legs together. The miniskirts of the 1960s, not to mention micro-miniskirts, dictated a knees-together posture when sitting to avoid putting on free shows. Exhibit A: Sharon Stone in the famous interrogation scene in the movie Basic Instinct (1992).
Spreading one’s legs has long been a euphemism for yielding to sex; conversely, keeping one’s legs together means refusing sex. Famously, in 2017 Canadian judge Robin Camp was forced to resign after the uproar concerning his comments during a rape trial, when he asked why the complainant didn’t keep her knees together.
Short skirts occupy a bipolar place in the women’s movement. One faction asserts that they turn women into sex objects; another asserts that such attire is symbolic of female emancipation, empowerment, and sexuality. No question that they offered young women with great gams (a nifty but probably outdated slang term for legs) to strut their stuff. Unfortunately, there is a price to be paid for this later in life when aches and pains start to appear. Does this mean that young women will get the message and convert to maxiskirts? Don’t count on it.
It’s long been a popular economic theory that hemlines rise when the economy heats up, and they fall when the economy goes south. I once had a professor who asserted that hemlines rose or fell according to the difficulty of finding a husband. Well, given all the lamentations about where all the good men have gone, if the professor’s theory is correct, there’s no chance short skirts will disappear any time soon. In the long run, a Muslim takeover would surely be a game-changer fashion-wise. Of course, the fashion mavens could decide that the Amish look is all the rage. Stranger fads have happened.
That may sound far-fetched, but fashion trends are irrational; health, functionality, and comfort always take a back seat. As a corollary, no fashion trend is so ridiculous (e.g., ripped blue jeans), ugly (spiky dykey hairdos), or uncomfortable (stiletto heels) that women will reject it. So short skirts are not going away. They allow a woman to have it both ways: by wearing a miniskirt she advertises herself as a Thoroughly Modern Millie; by crossing her legs or keeping her knees together, she signals to all present that she is still a lady…at least in public.
By promoting S.L.A.M.TM, Dr. Bergin is not recommending that women sit like a Hustler centerfold. Rather, she recommends sitting with legs in the 11 and 1 o’clock
positions – the way most men sit most of the time. This allows the outer thigh to relax and lessens the chance for hip and knee problems down the line.
I suppose, as with every other woe women complain of, they will find a way to blame it on men. After all, if there was no such thing as the male gaze, would short skirts have become so popular? If it wasn’t for the male libido, would women have to sit with their legs together?
In the meantime, it may well be that male cucks may start a movement to show solidarity with women by sitting like them. There are many possible acronyms here:
S.L.A.B. (Sit Like a Bitch)
S.L.A.G. (Sit Like a Girl)
S.L.A.P. (Sit Like a Pussy)
S.L.A.V. (Sit Like a Virgin)
S.L.A.W. (Sit Like a Woman)
My aging testicles ache just thinking about it.