Melbourne, Australia has just done something revolutionary: city officials changed out the pedestrian crosswalk signal so that the human stick figure is wearing a dress. Now women know it’s okay to cross the street, too. (Serious question: Was there a pileup of females at the city’s intersections unsure of what to do when the walking man lit up?)
At the average cost of over $8,000 for six lights, Melbourne is battling the “unconscious bias” of the “male”-only signals which apparently prioritized one gender over the other when it comes to foot traffic.
But no one is ever satisfied in the liberal utopia and enquiring liberal minds want to know, why do women have to be depicted in dresses?
“Better equality PR would be if Melbourne left pedestrian light signals the same and said ‘See, it doesn't matter what women choose to wear!’” someone said on Twitter.
Another said, “Standard symbol can be woman in pants, no? With short hair or hair tied back. What's with ‘skirt denotes woman?’”
Still, others called this “#Melbourne madness” and said the money could have been used in smarter ways for the city.
National Review’s Katherine Timpf took this lunacy to its maximum end in her commentary:
These people make great points. I mean, why weren’t we assuming that some of the pants-wearing traffic signals were women all along? Is Melbourne saying that you’re not a real woman if you don’t wear a dress? Oh, and by the way, why are all of these dress-wearing ones being declared “female”? Don’t these people know that not all people who wear dresses are women? Don’t they know that not all people who have vaginas are women?
Now, I’m not saying that the pants-wearing signals aren’t problematic. They certainly are, for several reasons. For example: The signals have all of their limbs, and they appear to be walking. Isn’t that a little ablist? Why no one-legged and/or wheelchair-using signals? Why no dress-wearing, male-to-female-transgender, wheelchair-using signals? Why no signals that alternate between pants and skirts to represent gender fluidity?
The real question is: Do we really want the people who are losing sleep over an electronic representation of a generic human to be out in public?