While the #MeToo movement shows little sign of stopping, Kate Whitehead, a columnist writing in the South China Morning Post, says that the armrest is the latest battleground for gender equality. Whitehead says that she, “dreams of a future in which there are women-only seating sections on planes.”
The airplane armrest is the latest battleground for gender equality, states Hong Kong-based journalist Kate Whitehead.
Writing in the South China Morning Post, she equates some male passengers’ use of the armrest to a kind of man-spreading for those female passengers who are seated near them.
“Nine times out of 10 – based on my extensive experience flying “cattle class” – if a man is seated beside a woman he will claim the armrest. Not only that, but his elbow will protrude slightly into the woman’s seat space. Unless you are prepared to press your arm against the man’s – which will allow you to feel the rise and fall of his breath and is, I feel, too intimate a connection with a stranger – then you have lost two inches of your seat,” Whitehead writes.
She goes on to say that those women who are unlucky enough to find themselves placed between two men have given up a substantial proportion of their seat while “paying the same price as those space-invading men.”
“I dream of a future in which there are women-only seating sections on planes. Most women intuitively understand that the armrest is “neutral territory” and leave it as a slim buffer between them and their neighbor. I’d be prepared to campaign vocally for “pink rows”, but I suspect airlines wouldn’t be in favor because that would mean other rows full only of men – and that wouldn’t work. Men – and airlines – depend on encroachment onto women’s seats for comfortable travel,” Whitehead adds.