Woman Attacks Manspreaders' Crotches With Bleach in Viral Video

Couple sitting, with man spreading legs and woman crossing legs. Manspreading illustration. A woman has launched a viral video campaign against the act of manspreading on the St. Petersburg underground. Getty Images

In an act of protest against manspreading on the underground, a woman has published a video of herself pouring water and bleach on offenders' crotches.

Anna Dovgalyuk, 20, a law student in Russia's city of St. Petersburg, posted the video showing her wreaking vengeance on men sitting with their legs far apart on public transport. In the clip uploaded to YouTube, Dovgalyuk claimed that she had targeted over 70 people with her personal brand of justice.

"What we needed for the protest was 30 liters of water, mixed with six liters of bleach," the clip, which Dovgalyuk called her video manifesto, stated. "This solution… changes the color of clothes in a matter of minutes, leaving an unwashable stain."

The woman, who also describes herself as an activist and a former pageant queen on Instagram, labeled manspreading "a disgusting phenomenon, which is being combated in many countries and which is still being hushed up in Russia."

"For me it is extremely important to draw people's attention to this problem, provoking discussion, because public disrespect for women is shameful for a society," Dovgalyuk wrote on social media. She credited "friends, fully sharing my position" for helping her with shooting the clip.

The video has almost a million views within a day of its uploading, however it has not come down well with many as just under 2,000 people clicked the like button, while an overwhelming 36,000 indicated they disliked it. The discussion in the comments and on Dovgalyuk's social media contains multiple calls from outraged men questioning her definition of manspreading as "gender aggression," arguing the targets of her protest were not actually infringing on anybody else's space and urging them to sue Dovgalyuk.

A representative for the St. Petersburg and Leningrad region police said officers had established Dovgalyuk's identity and "a check is underway," state news agency RIA Novosti confirmed. It is unclear if anybody drenched by the activist has launched an official complaint with the authorities yet.

This is not the first viral protest on Dovgalyuk's channel as she previously posted a similar protest on the St. Petersburg underground against upskirting. The clip featured a young woman flashing her underwear in a several of the city's underground stations, gathering almost four million views since it went online last October. The response to that video was more lukewarm, as it raked in around 16,000 dislikes to 10,000 likes at time of publication.