A video of a woman on the St Petersburg metro pouring bleach onto the laps of manspreading men has gone viral. Identified as Anna Dovgalyuk, a 20-year-old Russian woman, she calls it the ‘identification spot’.
As detailed in the video, she claims she uses a mixture of six litres bleach to 30 litres of water, a concoction that is ensured to leave a permanent stain on any item of clothing. “It eats colours in the fabric in a matter of minutes,” Dovgalyuk said, adding that the stains create “identification spots” to show “which body part controls the behaviour of these men”.
The clip is titled Spread your legs? Here you go. Dovgalyuk defends her actions in the video, which has now been viewed more than a million times, as a fight against “an act of gender aggression”.
“Men demonstrating their alpha-manhood in the subway with women and children around deserve contempt,” she added.
In a message to the leg-spreading assailants, Dovgalyuk said she was standing up for “everyone who has to endure the manifestations of you declaring your macho qualities on public transportation” and warned the men to, “cool off and stop!”
The video has ignited a fierce debate online, with some calling for her to face prosecution, warning that freely spraying high concentrate bleach could cause a serious risk to her targets and bystanders. Others have suspected that the video is fake, a Russian news outlet claimed she had used actors but Dovgalyuk denies the accusation.
This is not the only instance of Dovgalyuk's guerilla activism on Russia’s public transport, as last year, to draw attention to upskirting laws, she flashed her underwear to commuters.