There Is A Women-Only Metro Train Car In Delhi But It’d Be Nice If There Was One Everywhere
Delhi, India based commuter, Rhitu Chatterjee, recently wrote an article for NPR titled “Why I Love Riding On The Women-Only Car On Delhi’s Metro.” After reading her piece, I really wish NYC offered this option. In fact, I really wish everywhere offered this option.
Chatterjee explains that the women-only car didn’t always exist. The Delhi metro system has been in operation since 2002, but it wasn’t until 2010 that the car was added, in response to many sexual assault complaints. Chatterjee’s description of the car sounds like paradise for a gal traveling alone who is wearing her work uniform or her favorite party dress or whatever the fuck she wants to be wearing.
“The body language of women in this car feels different. They look carefree. Some listen to music on their headphones or read a book or newspaper, rarely looking up. They don’t have to worry about being groped or stared at by creepy men.”
This is obviously a controversial concept. The car receives a lot of criticism for reinforcing gender roles and I’m sure loads of misogynistic men have put up a fight about the idea, but I am definitely in support of this.
As a comedian, I would strictly go to female-only open mics when I first started and wasn’t yet comfortable on stage. There was a major difference in the room compared to other environments. Everyone was listening instead of ogling. No tasteless misogynistic jokes were made. If somebody spoke to me after my set, it was to genuinely compliment me and not to ask for my phone number. It was a safe space.
Germany is following India’s example by soon offering cars strictly for women and children. Cities in Mexico, Brazil, Indonesia and Egypt, also have these designated, separate car options for women. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t insist on riding in the female-only car each and every time I ride, but I would certainly like to have the option. Wouldn’t you?