There is a sense of naivety with the introduction of these female exclusive trains. It is understood that there is an idea of good nature to protect women from sexual harassment and the danger of pickpockets. But seriously, is this really the best solution for these issues?
From the Star
PETALING JAYA: KTM Bhd will introduce its first women-only coach for the commuter train service operating from Sentul to Port Klang today.
The railway said in a statement that the move would be implemented as statistics showed that 60% of KTM Komuter passengers were women.
It said the special coach would provide more comfort and security to women and protect them from “sexual harassment and jostling with male passengers.”
KTM said boys under the age of 12 were permitted to ride in the “women-only” coach with their female companions or relatives.
The railway said it was not mandatory for women passengers to use the coach but they were encouraged to use it.
Named “Ladies Only At All Times”, the coach is located in the middle among the three coaches of every commuter train. The coaches at the front and back are for all sexes.
A pink “women-only” coach sticker will be placed on the window, doorway and in the coach area to differentiate the coach from the rest.
Passengers at stations can identify the special coach via a pink banner at the platform and pole.
It is sexist. In an age where we are heralding equality and a changing perception of gender, this is a step back.
It is discriminatory to the male public who have to forfeit their limited time, amassed by the hectic KL lifestyle, to step aside for these exclusive pink coloured trains and wait for a mixed gender train because he lacks a vagina. The introduction of this gender discriminatory coaches undermine the perception of Malaysian men, as the world looks in and views the male population as criminal brutes and throbbing perverts.
It is offensive to women too. That the perception that the females in the country need to be sheltered away from the masculine gaze as they are too weak to comprehend, or take action, against the ‘infatuated’ male who ‘cannot’ resist the temptations of the allure of the charms of a woman’s appearance. By introducing these trains, the status of women in the country are reduced to be seen as feeble, and helpless to resist the approaches of men.
The practicality comes as allowing woman to travel in comfort and safety. Its still a fresh idea, untested to any future occurrences to extreme and unexpected outcomes. What if sexual harassment rises on the female coaches? The concept would be left in ruin, and Malaysia, (Islamic authorities specifically) would be in stringent investigation on the hoard of lesbianism. These coaches would leave the women vulnerable, compacted in one location, if say there was an armed robbery. Have these situations been imagined or considered? It is unsound to demote these ideas as unconventional, it can happen.
As the world looks in at our Muslim majority nation, we strive to accommodate a modern, forward thinking image. But with these small occurrences, It is forgivable if a foreigner mistakes us as a Middle Eastern nation. Segregation of gender is a perception of the past, even if it is taken a ‘positive’ view, the modern world revolves around the notion of equality.