There are many battles currently being fought by feminists around the globe, determined to fight for those who may not be in a position to fight for themselves. However, recent efforts by a woman in Russia has sparked a serious debate – when is it ‘going too far’ to make a point?
Russian law student and activist Anna Dovgalyuk is no stranger to the feminist agenda. In fact, just last year she was making headlines for flashing her underwear in a busy train station to make a statement about the trend of ‘upskirting’, the practice of taking pictures under women’s skirts when on a busy train or bus. While her video didn’t quite get the response she was looking for, instead, drawing in comments about her ‘great ass’, she hasn’t let it stop her from taking a stand.
Her most recent efforts have been focused on ending the practice of ‘manspreading’. For those that are unfamiliar with the term, it refers to when men sit in such a way that their legs are wide apart, occupying not only the space designated by their own seat but also that of the seats next to them. While some may argue it’s a mere inconvenience, feminists like Dovgalyuk see the action as part of a bigger statement – with men believing themselves to be more important, entitled to take up the additional space while women should quietly accept it.
So, what is she going to do about it? In a viral YouTube video, Dovgalyuk can be seen pouring a bleach solution into the laps of men as they are seated on a train. “This solution is 30 times more concentrated than the mixture used by housewives when doing the laundry,” she stated in the video. “It eats colors in the fabric in a matter of minutes – leaving indelible stains.”
The purpose of the bleach, according to Dovgalyuk, is to serve as an identifier. “So, everyone can immediately understand which body part controls the behavior of these men,” she goes on to explain. In the video, she claims to have poured bleach in the laps of over 60 unsuspecting men.
Sharing her efforts on Instagram, Dovgalyuk writes: “This is my new video manifesto, dedicated to the problem of manspreading. The disgusting act that is being fought with around the world and it is hushed up in us. Men demonstrating their alpha-manhood in the subway with women and children around, deserve contempt. If you publicly show what kind of macho you are, we will publicly cool you off!”
Once again, however, her efforts have not been met with the support that she had hoped for. While the video was reportedly viewed over 1.3 million times just in the first day, YouTube has since removed it for violating their policy on ‘harassment and bullying’. Meanwhile, responses from around the world are largely that of outrage and disgust, with some even going as far as referring to her actions as assault. Dovgalyuk assures reporters, however, that no one has sued her to date nor does she believe that people will file a report with the police ‘over a pair of jeans’.