Advertising

A subway car in Mexico City recently installed a "Male Only" subway seat. But there was a catch: you'd have to be comfortable—sorry there is no gentle way to say this—sitting on a penis. Not an actual penis—can you imagine? (I live in NYC, so yes, I can.) But a mold of a penis and male torso that looked like this:

That sign reads, "Men Only." Sorry, ladies!
That sign reads, "Men Only." Sorry, ladies!

This might seem like a cute prank by an art school graduate with too much free time on their hands, but it's not. The mold of a penis was put there by the United Nations as part of a campaign to raise awareness about sexual violence against women on public transportation, the UN revealed yesterday.

Advertising

Under the seat is this explanation: "It is uncomfortable to sit here, but that is nothing compared to the sexual violence that women suffer on their daily journeys."

A video of subway riders' horrified reactions to the penis-seat is going viral on YouTube:

According to UN Women, nine out of ten women in the Mexican capital have been subjected to some form of sexual harassment or abuse while riding the subway. NINE OUT OF TEN. That's horrifying but also, as a New Yorker, does not surprise me at all.

Advertising

Almost every woman I know who lives in a major city has a subway horror story involving a stranger exposing himself or harassing or fondling her on public transportation. It needs to stop. And if molds of penises on the subway will help—or at least force a few men to consider the discomfort many women go through on a daily basis—then I'm on board.

Sources: Reuters