Imagine walking into the subway train and finding your way through the crowd. You’re finally ready to sit on an empty seat when you notice something strange.
There’s a moulded penis on the seat.
How would you feel? Uncomfortable? Embarrassed?
Probably, but that’s exactly the effect campaigners for women were aiming for.
A video showing people’s reactions to the stunt has been on YouTube since March 20 and viewed by more than 800,000 people. But only recently UN Women claimed responsibility for the bold initiative, announcing more videos in the next weeks.
The explanation next to the men-only label reads: “It is uncomfortable to sit here, but that is nothing compared to the sexual violence that women suffer on their daily journeys.”
According to UN Women, nine of every 10 women in the Mexican capital have been subjected to some type of sexual abuse riding the subway.
According to a YouGov survey about harassment on public transportation worldwide, Mexico City ranks as the second most dangerous city for women.
Trains have had separate carriages for women for years. Last year, the mayor came under fire for offering women “rape whistles” they could use when threatened.
However, the video caused mixed reactions with some YouTube commentators calling it “sexist” and unfair.
In the second video in the #NoEsDeHombres campaign, entitled “Screen Experiment,” men waiting for the subway see close-ups of their buttocks screened on the subway monitors. Women smile as some of the men cover up their butts, embarrassed.