Australia is trying to combat sexism by making its traffic lights more progressive. Officials from Down Under announced the change on International Women’s Day, stating that it was an attempt at combating “unconscious bias.”
What have they done? They’ve installed pedestrian traffic lights exhibiting female figures rather than the old, fuddy-duddy male ones, in an attempt to redress a social “stereotype that we may have about certain groups of people, which we don’t even realize we hold,” according to Fox News.
The land of emus and outbacks hopes to achieve an equal number of “male” and “female” traffic lights, but I, for one, think they’ve gone about it in a hopelessly conservative- if not reactionary- way. These female figures are depicted in a dress. The Patriarchy always wants to place women in dresses or skirts in order to objectify them. How about portraying them in a nice pantsuit for once, alá Hillary Clinton?! Nobody, even her husband Bill, objectifies her. And, speaking of Hillary, what about lesbians and the gender-fluid? Can’t they be portrayed on these traffic lights with strap-ons or with the half-dress, half-pants transgendered symbol?
I mean, technology is such that we should easily be able to clearly depict symbols for other traditionally under-represented groups like the poly-amorous, pedophiles, and those into bestiality…just for starters. We haven’t even scratched the surface of tolerance and inclusivity as it pertains to traffic lights. Certainly the “Walk,” and “Don’t Walk” directional verbiage on semaphores could be broader, more inclusive and more exciting. Perhaps commands like “Prance,” “Don’t Prance,” and “Pedestrians Choice” would be more fun and inclusive!