This is the question I am referring to. It has several downvotes, so it appears to be "systematic" rather than incidental.

I believe that there were two "technical" issues involved with my question, both perhaps deriving from that the fact that I was born in 1957, which means that 1) I much less tech savvy than average and 2) I am not completely up to date on slang. At any rate, these were the basis of two critiques in the comment.

The first issue that came up is that while I linked a relevant film clip, I do not know how to embed the image or set the time on the page (it was about 3:50, out of 4:00). That has since between fixed.

The second was that I was criticized for the use of the term "manspreading." I realize that this is done mainly on public transportation. But in the "library" scene, Harold Hill, the Music Man, sat down on a bench with his legs maximally apart, and then closed and opened them (in the context of chasing the librarian). I believe that this is a "legally accurate" definition of manspreading, even though the context is a bit unusual.

I understand that questions are often downvoted for say, "lack of research." But I placed two links in the question. So while people can fault the quality of my research, it was not for lack of trying.

And maybe it's because I'm dyslectic, but I can barely tell the difference between what Harold Hill did in the film, and the example here that a poster cited.

Was the downvoting for the reasons listed in the comments? And why, given the circumstances? I don't see how the question is offensive, and while it may have been a bit weak, I did the best that I could. Is it reasonable for me to expect help or editing to fix the technical issues regarding the film clip, or the fact that I used the term "manspreading" in an unconventional way?

Under different circumstances, I would even have deleted the question but it drew a highly upvoted answer that I plan to accept.

  • 2
    I have seen the whole video, don't see (deliberate) manspreading anywhere.
    – ABcDexter
    Commented Dec 1, 2017 at 10:28
  • @ABcDexter: I would say it was "barely" there (3-5 seconds) at the very end (time: 3:55)..You basically have to "look for it" because it is easy to miss. Which may have been the point of the film clip.
    – Tom Au
    Commented Dec 1, 2017 at 10:33
  • 4
    I've added a complete video as part ot my answer which clearly shows you have completely miscontrued what is happening.
    – Paulie_D
    Commented Dec 1, 2017 at 10:55
  • @Paulie_D: Fair enough. But "misconstrued" is the whole point of asking a question.
    – Tom Au
    Commented Dec 1, 2017 at 10:57
  • 3
    No...your interpretation is the basis of the question. Since it''s clearly NOT manspreading...the whole question is moot.
    – Paulie_D
    Commented Dec 1, 2017 at 11:00
  • I was five years old when the film was made in 1962. That kind of behavior (by others) was considered shocking at the time (in the U.S.), which may be why the film abbreviated" it. That's true even though it is "tame" today. My "construction" is your "misconstruction."
    – Tom Au
    Commented Dec 1, 2017 at 11:06
  • 2
    I don't think its been down-voted for "technical reasons" .... to my mind its clearly been down-voted because the difference between the two scenes is so jarring that to ask for a deeper reason seems bizarre. That may be because (depending on the version of the movie you see) its at the very least heavily implied that you see her genitals in many of the versions shown in movie theatres in the west. Perhaps the versions you've seen are less explicit.
    – iandotkelly Mod
    Commented Dec 1, 2017 at 15:21
  • @landokelly: Thanks for your help. Part of the problem may have been, as I have explained in comments elsewhere, is that I am dyslectic and somewhat visually impaired. The other issue is that one was clothed and one was not. I raised that issue in the question as part of the decision tree, but have difficulty "getting" the difference at a visceral level. Intellectually I believe that on a scale of 1-10, Hill was a 1 and Stone was a 10, but to me, the difference was between zero and non-zero. I guess others didn't see it that way.
    – Tom Au
    Commented Dec 1, 2017 at 15:36

3 Answers 3


I didn't downvote, but I am not sure about the others.

However, the reasons I can think of are,

  1. Not a clear definition of what Manspreading is.
  2. Linking to Wiki page instead of a clip. You can more effectively express what you're trying to say with a video instead of Wikipedia.
  3. A bad example. There is a huge difference between manspreading in The Music Man and Basic Instinct which is nudity. You forgot to take this thing into account.

Though, the question is edited now and it looks fine to me. All the downvotes were cast before these edits were made.

The downvoters can add the comments clarifying what's wrong with the question, but it's not compulsory. Your question is neither offensive nor ill-researched, but it has/had the issue I mentioned above.

I don't know about the American culture at that time, but manspreading is not vulgar anyway if cloths are on.

  • @A.J.:"There is a huge difference between manspreading in The Music Man and Basic Instinct which is nudity." That was the whole point of the question. I did raise it as a "possibility," but I wasn't at all sure that was the case. So I didn't "forget." But maybe someone looked at the question and thought "duh."
    – Tom Au
    Commented Dec 1, 2017 at 10:39
  • My bad. I missed the unclothed legs part.
    – A J Mod
    Commented Dec 1, 2017 at 10:48

I downvoted it after you insulted the person who provided the correct answer - including a clip that demonstrated that you had selected an overly edited clip that removed the context explaining the action in question. Your response, combined with the strangeness of the question itself, made the whole thing seem like trolling.

Looking through your post history, I'm less convinced that the question was posted with ill-intent (and rescinded my downvote), but still baffled that it was asked in the first place. To paraphrase an apocryphal Freud: sometimes a dance move is just a dance move.

  • Fair enough. Maybe the problem is that I am dyslexic. And/or Freudian. But I honestly didn't see it as a "dance move."
    – Tom Au
    Commented Dec 1, 2017 at 15:14

Not everyone that votes add comments, so don't get too caught up on that. Also it's not heavily downvoted, as far as I see it's only 3 downvotes!

I can't speak for everyone but I suppose it's because the question is slightly confusing... It seems "manspreading" is not a popular word nowadays (at least not with the meaning you imply in your question).

  • I believe that it is fundamentally the same act in two different contexts. But I may have confused people by taking it out of its usual context. Thanks for your help.
    – Tom Au
    Commented Dec 1, 2017 at 11:17

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