Not everyone has heard of the term ‘manslamming’ so I’ll explain; it refers to the men who, when walking down a path, will make absolutely no attempt to move out of another person’s way and instead slam right into anyone who doesn’t move.
It’s widely known (and expected) that women are generally more polite when it comes to a crowded path and will be the ones who leap out of the way to save anyone getting bashed. We will weave our way through, ducking and diving, obligingly keeping one eye open for those who – we know – will show no ounce of thought at moving out of our way.
We are generally the smaller sex (I am 5’2″ – 5’3″ at a push), so if we don’t move, we are the ones likely to be hurt by a collision. So of course, we move.
Recently I have been hearing more and more about this subject and so a few weeks ago decided to do my own experiment.
I would walk like a man and not give a fuck who was in my way.
Jeez did I find it difficult! To walk and actively know that you are about to get slammed, is simply – not nice. It was hard, and I did falter on a couple of occasions by at the last minute moving a shoulder out of the way, it’s ingrained in me and is a hard habit to break. Especially when a 6ft tall wall in a suit is charging at you.
I will say that I didn’t go full on – get out of my way as I’m not moving for you – with everyone. If someone made a good indication that they were going to move out of my way I showed them the same courtesy and would gladly sway or move my shoulder; but if they didn’t, I tried my best to let whatever was going to happen, happen.
And I was not pleased by my findings. I would also like to point out that I did not discriminate in my experiment, this was whoever was coming my way, male or female, I would walk with determination in my stride and wait for the result.
Throughout the week, I did this for a week by the way, I bashed into one woman. One. And that was because she was walking with her face glued to her phone screen, and my god was she apologetic afterwards. There were a few further minor incidences with other females but only the one proper bashing.
Men, I lost count if truth be told. But it was well into double figures. There, of course, were some men who moved out of the way and I showed them the same courtesy but they were few and far between.
I didn’t write about it at the time because it was more of an experiment for myself, but I now feel compelled to write about it as I just can’t get an incident from yesterday out of my head and which made me realise I had simply gone straight back to my old ways after my experiment. Moving out of everyone else’s way just to avoid a collision.
Well. I was out walking yesterday lunchtime talking with Dan on the phone and I went to cross a road, I waited until it was safe – road safety first – and then began crossing. The sun was in my eyes so I couldn’t see what was in front of me when all of a sudden I was full-on shouldered out of the way/slammed into by – you guessed it – a man. I turned to look at him expecting the obligatory ‘sorry’ from both sides to take place, and he just kept on walking. Like it hadn’t happened. There was no way he couldn’t have noticed it had happened, my arm was throbbing from it.
What fucking day and age are we living in when a woman is still expected to move out of a man’s way!
Very sadly, in these small acts, it shows that women are still seen as the lesser of the two sexes.
So to those men who charge down the street, moving only for a bigger man charging down upon them, I say this:
Put yourselves into the shoes of a woman that you love. Your mother maybe, your wife, girlfriend, daughter, sister, or your grandmother perhaps, cousin, best friend, anyone, just as long as they are female. Then picture that woman that you love walking down a street. Now imagine a man walking straight at her. What would you want her to do? Move out of his way so she doesn’t get hurt? Keep walking her path – she doesn’t have to move for him? Or would you want him to move?
How about they both move? Surely that would be the most amicable answer. You know that thing women have been calling for and making vast strides towards – so much so that many are convinced we already have it: Equality. Well does it sound to you like we have achieved equality, when even a small thing like walking a straight line down a path is the privilege of men? The tip of the iceberg, my friend.
The next time you are out walking, I urge you all to do your own experiment. If you don’t normally move out of the way for others, give it a go, and if you’re someone who always moves out of the way, try not to for a while.
For me, I’m going to go back to moving for those that are willing to move for me and letting whatever happens happen with those who are not. Let the manslamming commence!
Have you tried your own experiment like this? What did you find?
Until next time x.
Photo by David Marcu via Unsplash