The United Nations and Mexico City‘s government have banded together to launch a novel campaign against the sexual harassment of women on the sprawling capital’s congested public transport network, by installing a penis mould on a train seat.
U.N. Women Mexico filmed the reaction of passengers on the metro who tried to sit on the train seat with the mould of a male torso and an erect penis. The results of the social experiment were uploaded to YouTube under the name Seat Experiment. The video is now creeping towards 1,000,000 views.
For U.N. Women, the campaign seeks to generate debate in society over the harassment many women in Mexico City receive, to put men in the shoes of women.
In 2014, a YouGov poll ranked Mexico City’s metro as the worst for verbal and physical harassment. A reported 9 out of 10 women have been victims of some type of sexual violence in their daily transfers in the Mexican capital.
Those behind the campaign #noesdehombres, or “#itsnotmanly” in English, hope the viral success of the penis seat will prompt society to re-consider common perceptions of machismo.
A second video launched by the U.N. on Mexico City’s metro involved the bottoms of male passengers being broadcast onto television monitors on train platforms.
But critics of these campaign argue the shock value of the strategy does not do enough to address the root causes of violence against women in Mexico.
Machismo is often blamed for sexist attitudes in Mexico City, with the patriarchal role of men still heavy set in Latin American society.