Macho in the public transport system is a standard critical action group. We were created to draw attention to a normalized and often invisible and unconscious power of expression in a casual and communal area. The trains, buses, commuter trains and subways take more space than you physically have, by example, by spreading your legs or falling down on the seat is a concrete example of how power and masculinity co-create. Taking over someone else's site is a symbolic and active recreation, not only of power but also of a stereotypical masculinity.
We believe in a world where gender does not play a part in the opportunities, rights and responsibilities we have. Male, female, power and non power is created by social structures. Who can and will power is not a biological fact but a natural occurrence and re-created all of us.
It may not sound like a much problem when there is rape, starvation, beatings, sexual harassment and unequal pay for equal work. That's not true. In a world that is so clearly marked by a gender power structure all the little details are important.
Guys are taking more space in many situations, particularly in public transport. We want to highlight and problematize why girls and boys are different. Why does the stereotypical macho man sit more widely? How does the way one sits in public areas recreate a structural advantage for men?
The google translation may not be perfect, but it gives you an idea of what the group is about. They believe in the standard left-liberal idea that society has been constructed to enact male power over women and that therefore both masculinity and sex distinctions ought to be deconstructed in order to bring about equal rights.
They seem to take this left-liberal idea so earnestly that they believe that a man sitting on a train with his legs a little apart is an expression of male power over women. Here's the kind of photo they take to demonstrate their cause:
|Naughty Swedish male|
The first comment placed by a Swedish woman, Jenny, under the photo above reads:
My guy usually sits cross-legged because it is so easy! Just like me...and he is super manly! Cheer him!
Unless I've missed some irony in this comment, Jenny seems to think we should applaud her boyfriend for sitting with his legs crossed just like she does.
The reaction from Swedish men? Some seem to have reacted too defensively, arguing they have to sit with their legs apart for the sake of comfort or health. That's giving these feminists way too much ground.
But to give Swedish men some credit, someone went to the trouble of setting up a spoof site - see here.