There is a certain happiness sighted when your bus comes along. It is of course a small specialized form of happiness and will never be a great thing.

-Richard Brautigan, The Old Bus

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Farting around with the guys

The guy who chases co-eds isn't going to like this news from the Associated Press:

MEXICO CITY - Groping and verbal harassment is an exasperating reality for women using public transportation in this sprawling capital, where 22 million passengers cram onto subways and buses each day. Some men treat women so badly that the subway system has long had ladies-only cars during rush hour, with police segregating the sexes on the platforms.

But that hasn't helped women forced to rely on packed buses, by far the city's most-used form of public transportation — until this week.

Acting on complaints from women's groups, the city rolled out "ladies only" buses, complete with pink signs in the windshields to wave off the men. ...

On Thursday, passengers on one of the female-only buses spent most of their trip down the capital's tree-lined Reforma Avenue chatting or putting on makeup, instead of fighting off unwanted male attention. ...

Women-only buses or subways have been rolling for years in India, Brazil, Japan and other countries. Mexico City finally took the action as part of a growing responsiveness to complaints about discrimination against women, Montiel said. ...

Some women, like Maria Elena Sanchez, have learned to take matters into their own hands. A 47-year-old office messenger who uses public transportation all day, said she carries a sewing pin for protection.

"I always carry the pin so I can defend myself from abusive men," she said — adding that she's had to use it twice this month alone.

Traveling only with women, she said, makes her feel more secure and allows her to relax a bit on the way to work.

"I don't think I will use the pin on these buses," she said, giggling.
Having watched the way the guy who chases co-eds annoys women, I can sympathize with the idea. But I'm wondering about the other buses.

"Chatting or putting on makeup, instead of fighting off unwanted male attention" is how the reporter describes the women-only bus scene. What does the guys-only bus look like?

Are the guys horsing around, snapping towels at each other? Are they singing their favorite soccer team's song? Is there a lot of farting and belching?

Can there be any civilization without women on the bus?

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