Mexico’s Penis Seat Combats Sexual Harassment on Subways

Mexico’s Penis Seat Combats Sexual Harassment on Subways

Yes, there’s a penis on it – well, a mold of one. Why? Because harassment on the subway is way more common than you’d think.

In an effort to bring attention to the problem of men groping women without their permission on the subway, Mexico City has created a special, controversial seat.

It’s not a permanent fixture, but it displays a man’s chest on the back and a molded penis on the seat, protruding exactly where passengers need to sit.

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The curious design was launched by UN Women and the Mexico City authorities called #NoEsDeHombres, and it has a sign above it indicating that the spot is just for men.

It’s accompanied by a note telling passengers that if they think it’s uncomfortable to sit there, imagine being a woman who is harassed each day as she travels.

(video credit: www.youtube.com)

Safety in Other Cities

Will it be effective? Who knows. The campaign is one of many that Mexico City has undertaken to try and address the problem of men sexually harassing women. Some people are happy that the efforts are bringing the issues to light, but many feel it isn’t quite enough.

Simply putting a gross, uncomfortable seat on public trains or handing out emergency whistles doesn’t do much to change what’s going, women say.

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It’s not the first time a city has tried to take on the issue of women’s safety.

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(photo credit: www.pixabay.com)

Canada’s city of Edmonton took on the issue of sexual harassment in 2016 with advertising posters aimed at dissuading perpetrators. Boston, New York City, Washington, Vancouver and London, England have all made efforts at some point to tackle the issue of harassment on public transit, hopefully with some success.

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A community organization in Vancouver called Hollaback! even invented an app that allowed victims of harassment to mark where their incident took place, highlighting dangerous hotspots for women, across the city.

Tips

What do experts advise, when it comes to staying safe while out and about?

Pay attention to your surroundings- don’t be checking your email on your cell phone while walking to your car. Walk confidently, listen to your gut, yell and scream if you need to-it can save your life- and fight back.

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(photo credit: www.pixabay.com)

While an embarrassing seat on a subway, like that found in Mexico, may not prevent the harassment from happening, it’s starting a conversation. As Holly Kearl, founder of the website

website Stop Street Harassment commented about to BBC.com about the campaign, it’s nice to see the public focus shift.

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“Too often initiatives around women’s safety focus on what women should or should not do, so it is refreshing to see a creative campaign aimed at men,” she said.

Sometimes change happens step by step. For a list of personal safety apps, click here. For 10 safety tips for women, check out powertochange.com.

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