Can someone please stop the planet? I’d like to get off now.
Local officials in Melbourne, Australia, are spending thousands of dollars to change out a bunch of traffic sign because they now believe the old signs are sexist.
The non-profit Committee for Melbourne, a local community group, has taken offense to the area’s current red and green traffic lights that tell pedestrians when it’s ok to cross the street. As of now, the little electronic human figures on the current signs are apparently male -- a fact that I, for one, have never bothered to notice or be offended by.
But the Committee for Melbourne decided these signs just aren’t inclusive enough of women. Therefore, traffic signs throughout one of the city's main intersections are now being replaced with lights that display dress-clad female figures.
ABC Australia reports:
Chief executive Martine Letts said having only green or red silhouettes of men discriminated against women.
"The idea is to install traffic lights with female representation, as well as male representation, to help reduce unconscious bias," she said.
Ms. Letts said the group wanted to see female and male representation on all pedestrian crossings.
"The aim is to move towards one-to-one male and female representation across the state of Victoria."
(Of course, it clearly never dawned on Letts that these new traffic lights perpetuate the offensive stereotype that all women wear dresses. I plan on writing an angry letter.)
Letts added the new feminist traffic lights "are a practical and meaningful way to demonstrate that in fact 50 per cent of our population is female and should therefore also be represented at traffic lights."
According to local estimates, it’ll cost about $8,400 to change six traffic lights and ensure women feel included when they step onto a crosswalk.
Luckily, Melbourne's Perpetually Offended stopped short of forcing taxpayers to fund their little empowerment initiative – the project is being jointly funded by the committee and Camlex Electrical.