Just when you thought the London Underground couldn’t be beaten in the excitement stakes (that was sarcasm, by the way), the Mexico City Metro steals the crown by installing a rather bizarre new chair.
The “penis seat” has been specially moulded into the shape of a man’s groin and chest so as to echo when sat on the uncomfortable feeling female passengers get when a fellow commuter leans in a little too closely.
It sounds like a joke, but the “penis seat” actually has a very important point to make. Its part of a new campaign against sexual harassment on public transport: a problem that has caused discomfort to many commuters in Mexico City recently.
A video has been shot showing people’s reactions as they sit on the chair. Some do so without noticing, before leaping in fright at the sight of the plastic member between their legs. Others attempt to cover the embarrassment with their jackets. And then there are those who simply turn away in disgust at the sheer idea of the “penis seat”.
“It’s uncomfortable to sit here but it doesn’t compare with the sexual violence that women suffer in their everyday lives,” a sign about it reads. “9 out of 10 women in Mexico City have been victims of some form of sexual violence.”
That’s an astounding statistic worthy of a big statement – but is the “penis seat” really enough to tackle the underlying problem? It’s certainly a start. Now for one on the DLR…
WATCH: ‘PENIS’ SEAT VIDEO