12/30/2014 01:25 EST | Updated 03/01/2015 05:59 EST

Is 'manspreading' a Toronto transit problem too?

Transit users in major cities are targeting a breach of transit-riding etiquette known as "manspreading", which happens when male passengers sit with their legs spread in a way that occupies more than one seat, encroaching on the passengers beside him.

Critics claim men spreading their legs while seated on transit is invasive, rude and entitled.

The worst manspreaders sprawl across adjacent seats, oblivious to passengers around them forced to stand.  

New York's transit authority launched a campaign to do away with it and a tumblr page has cropped up with photos of men draped over multiple transit seats.

The TTC has so far not taken an aggressive approach to man-spreading, though they did release this funny YouTube video on April Fool's Day 2013 aimed at combating all types of bad transit etiquette, everything from eating on board, to nail clipping and occupying vacant seats with luggage. 

CBC's Metro Morning ventured out on the transit system and spoke to riders, many who said man-spreading is indeed a problem in Toronto.

"Guys just take up a lot more room and they don't think about how it's kind of invasive for people, particularly females," said one woman.

Metro Morning also spoke to Michael Inzlicht, a psychology professor at the University of Toronto where he's part of the university's social personality research group.

Inzlicht said man spreading and other forms of poor transit etiquette stem from riders being wrapped up in their own world, unaware of how their actions affect others.

"I think part of it is that people aren't aware of other people around them, which seems odd in a crowded streetcar or subway," he said. 

So why not complain? Often because we're too polite, even when dealing with behaviour that is clearly rude.

"We live in a polite culture ... people are very afraid to speak their mind," he said.

Not everyone sees the problem the same way. A petition urges the TTC against taking a gender-based approach to improving transit behaviour.

"It doesn't have to be all about men," the petition reads. "Everyone hogs seats."