I get onto the 422 to Newtown at 5pm, and take a seat next to this skinny little hipster guy. He had a bad case of massive-balls, so his legs were spread pretty wide, but I figured my big, wide feminist load practicing land-and-expand would ensure an equal distribution of seat. So I pull out my book and start reading.
But skinny hipster bro was resisting land-and-expand, and my wide load was falling into the aisle. So part of the way down King Street, I say (politely, because it’s never a good idea to pick a fight on public transport), “Would you mind moving over a bit please? I can’t quite fit on the seat.”
Now hipster bro had obviously been boiling away in silent rage all that time, and I hadn’t noticed. He says “No! I can’t move over any further!”
I smile and wait.
He leaps to his feet and shouts “Well, alright, if you’re going to TAKE OVER anyway!” and he waits for me to move so he can leave the seat.
This is where I allow myself a little smile. Poor little hipster bro, frothing in impotent rage, thwarted by my wide load, trapped against the bus window. And then I get up and out of his way, and sit back down.
He’s still boiling, because, as he backs away, he yells something about there being “Lots of other seats!” and as he lowers his (skinny) arse into one “See? Here’s one!” and I smile, because my wide load and me now have a seat to ourselves.
I did think to myself, as I walked up King street later, that he’d missed a prime opportunity to throw a fat-shaming “Your arse is too big for this seat and I!” comment. And I was also surprised by just how unthreatening or undisturbing I’d found him. He was too little, too skinny, too fashionable to frighten me. I knew I could probably take him in a fight if it came to it, and I definitely knew I could bring the verbal smack down. But I’d just used my most politest request, and my least threatening smile.