The rad way women in France are fighting sexual harassment
Sexual harassment on public transportation is a global problem for women. For this very reason, a group of truly kickass women in France decided to organize Take Back the Metro, a campaign to reclaim public space in the Parisian train system.
The campaign, organized by Osez le Feminisme (a.k.a. Dare Feminism) involved a group of women in costume covering the train system with posters about subway conduct. The messages include edicts like, “Spreading your legs is not necessary,” and “Do not rub yourself against your neighbor.”
Others read: “In case of sexual harassing or sexual touches: shout, ask help, strike.”
And: “Warning! Do not put you hand on my a** or you could get slapped very hard!”
Osez le Feminism launched the campaign last Friday in order to raise awareness about sexual harassment on the trains, a problem they are disheartened that the government has done very little about. Anne-Cecile Mailfert, a member of the group, told Radio France Internationale that the group was inspired by the 1970s feminist movement Take Back The Night.
“When you are a woman on the subway in Paris, you are often the victim of different types of sexual aggression,” Mailfert told the blog. “We have done a study in the Métro this summer in Paris, and the study showed that three out of four women were adapting their behavior or their clothes and their way of dressing when they were going to take the Métro.”
The campaign took off on social media, where participants (some from other organizations like Stop Harcèlement de Rue) tagged photos of the signs and their distributors with #takebackthemetro:
Go ladies, go!