Women-only train cars in Brazil

Rio De Janeiro just started to run women-only subway cars this week…they’re pink striped.
How Brazilian women actually feel about the sex-segregated cars is something that remains to be seen. A Reuters headline screams Women applaud no-men, pink-striped metro cars, but another article says that women aren’t fans:

“Separation (of the sexes) is a throwback to my grandmother’s era. It’s a big step backward in the fight for women’s equality,” said Rogeria Peixoto, head of a Brazilian women’s group.

I know I’ve said this before, but whatever: while I understand the need for immediate safety concerns, putting the responsibility on women not to get harassed rather than on the men to stop harassing is really problematic.

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15 Comments

  1. Posted April 27, 2006 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    while i’d lovelovelove to deal less with stinky leering bus men twice a day (yay for ipods!), segregation could only intensify harrassment of women on desegregated cars.
    how can men unlearn harrassing behavior, i wonder. you could present it as a golden rule issue, but i suspect they’d love it if women leered at them and spoke to them inappropriately all the time.

  2. Posted April 27, 2006 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    but i suspect they’d love it if women leered at them and spoke to them inappropriately all the time
    I’m not sure about that. I think that if women stared at men’s “packages” as hard as some of them stare at our breasts, they’d become a little self-conscious about what they may be packing (or lacking).

  3. prairielily
    Posted April 27, 2006 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    I disagree. All the guys I know get cat-called while they’re out running, and they all like it. Keep in mind that it’s not as intimidating for them.

  4. geoduck2
    Posted April 28, 2006 at 2:17 am | Permalink

    America had “ladies” train cars in the 19th century. (There were also Ladies section in steamboats.)
    Barbara Welke, a legal historian, has written a brilliant article and book about the intersection between sex-segregation and legal race-segregation in 19th century America’s public transportation.
    After the Civil War African American women pressed a bunch of lawsuits for admittance into the ladies’ train car. Often times they initiated these suits after being forcibly removed from the car.

  5. Posted April 28, 2006 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Trains are already separated in the Mexico City subway system. It’s viewed as a good thing, overall, b/c there is alot of pickpocketing and fondling of women when the cars are mixed. Tourists are also invited to share the women’s cars b/c they are viewed as safer.

  6. Claire
    Posted April 28, 2006 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    What the leering men should be told to imagine is how it would feel for them to be leered at by another MAN (or someone whom the guy otherwise does not view as desireable)–THEN it would be made clear to them that this stuff is truly unwelcome, an imposition (to say nothing of threatening and criminal)–not a cute or desired come-on.

  7. Patriarch Verlch
    Posted April 29, 2006 at 2:58 am | Permalink

    You broads really are bored.

  8. Patriarch Verlch
    Posted April 29, 2006 at 2:59 am | Permalink

    I guess women are only suppose to be attractive to Lesbians fresh out of the Vagina Monologues!

  9. Patriarch Verlch
    Posted April 29, 2006 at 3:00 am | Permalink

    I guess women are only suppose to be attractive to Lesbians fresh out of the Vagina Monologues!

  10. Patriarch Verlch
    Posted April 30, 2006 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    I don’t have a problem with sex segragation.
    In fact we tried that years ago, it was feminists like you guys that didn’t like it.

  11. william r. delzell
    Posted May 14, 2006 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    While I am aware of the arguments used in favor of ladies´cars, I don´t buy it because it is unfair sex discrimination against men. Men pay the same fares as women but men don´t get their own rush-hour car. Either these ladies´cars should require an extra fare for any body who rides it or both sexes should have their own car set aside or, better yet, abolish sex segregation altogether. I believe in equal protection under the law regardless of one´s gender. That means opposing sex discrimination against men as well as against women. True feminists would never support reverse sex discrimination. Even though certain racial groups suffer discrimination, we don´t provide each racial group their own subway car to protect them from harassment. Any group, wheter gender or otherwise, who wants their own seperate subway car should pay an extra fare for the privilege. As a male, why should I have to subsidize with my subway fare a car that is off-limits to me soley because of my gender. Brazil is capable of better than this!

  12. Sue
    Posted May 30, 2006 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Some of you are taking this kind of stuff WAY too seriously! I ride the New York City subway from Queens to Manhattan every day. The cars are ridiculously overcrowded — probably WORSE than Brazil — and at least three times a week, some guy squeezes on behind me and deliberately crams his you-know-what into my butt crack. If the guy looks and smells gross, I turn and glare at him and he’ll ALWAYS stop. If he’s cute, smells nice and is better hung than my husband, I just push back with my derriere a bit and enjoy the cheap thrill! Most of my girlfriends do exactly the same thing. In fact, we’ll often compare notes on our morning “joy rides” over coffee before starting work. What’s the big deal?

  13. TheTruth
    Posted May 30, 2006 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Sue. The big deal is that sexual harrassment is not only inconvenient and demoralizing, but that it is UNNATURAL. You are a deservice to all of us true feminist. Calling your assaults “joy rides”!?!?! I can’t believe what I’m reading. I’m ashamed, and shocked. Shocked AND ashamed. :(

  14. Jessica
    Posted May 30, 2006 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    TheTruth, don’t be too upset. Something tells me Sue isn’t really a gal. Her comment reads like a bad Penthouse letter.

  15. TheTruth
    Posted May 30, 2006 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    And here I thought she sounded like a young Kim Gordon singing…
    “Shadow of a Doubt”.

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