In a somewhat strange but undeniably powerful PSA campaign, United Nations Women and Mexico City authorities have installed “penis seats” on the Mexico City subway to highlight sexual harassment faced by women in public spaces and, more specifically, while riding the train. The seats, which are labelled “exclusively for men,” were designed with a strong protruding male chest and penis.
On the floor beneath the seat, there is a sign prompting men to think critically about what women experience in public places. It reads:
“It is annoying to travel this way, but not compared to the sexual violence women suffer in their daily commutes.”
The Mexican government has reported that 65% of women in Mexico Cityhave been sexually harassed on the city’s metro system, according to AdWeek. A video for the #NoEsDeHombres penis seat campaign, below, also states, “9 out of 10 women in Mexico City have been victims of some form of sexual violence,” generally.
We’re applauding the efforts of all involved. Too often, women are filled with dread at the idea of having to leave their safe spaces to navigate the outside world. And women who regularly commute on public transit are intimately familiar with the sexual harassment experienced by female passengers.
Though the #NoEsDeHombres campaign has been met with mixed responses, we think it’s refreshing to see a campaign that is not focused on what women should or should not do, wear or should not but is instead aimed at making men a little bit more aware of the “discomfort” women face every day.
What do you think about these “penis seats”?