Flashing women

Dubious subbing, and the article has rather too many double-entendres, but what do you think of actual event?

Flashing women to be a traffic stopper

The “green man” on traffic lights is going to be turned into a “green woman”, at intersections around New Zealand’s parliament, to mark New Zealand being the first country in the world to give women the vote (‘though of course, women in Wyoming got the vote earlier, and as a self-governing colony / territory / wev, their political organisation was about the same as New Zealand’s at the time – but why let the facts get in the way of a good story).

I would far rather that the government concentrated its gender equity efforts on something of real substance, like say, pay equity. On the other hand, I’m rather bored with the constant positioning of maleness as the “real” gender, and everyone else being “other”. This is a tiny, tiny change in the direction of maleness not being normative.

If they can do it for a few sets of traffic lights, why not for lots of them. Like say, about half.


12 responses to “Flashing women

  1. My first reaction was that I quite like the idea. A small, everyday, visible reminder that, as you say, maleness is not normative.

  2. My first thought was that it was really cool. I feel kind of guilty now that I didn’t think of the ‘cost’ of it in terms of the gender-equity battle. Thinking about that I think more effort/money/resources etc should go into the really important issues like pay-equity.

    Hmmm but it is cool.

  3. Oh, I love it! Don’t underestimate the suggestive power of these things. I found it very revealing of the Austrian national psyche that in Vienna, for example (or at least this was the case the last time I was there, which was years ago), the little traffic-light stick(ish) figures are all wearing hats of the kind one associates with the young Frank Sinatra, presumably just in case any Austrian woman gets uppity enough to want to cross the road. I love Vienna, but were we surprised by the Fritzl revelations? No we were not.

  4. How will you tell the difference? Do they wear a skirt? In which case maybe they’re just cross dressing flashing men?

  5. Oh God, now I want the little light people in Australia to wear hats too.

  6. >How will you tell the difference?>

    TimT, do you ever have trouble finding the men’s bathrooms?

  7. How did you know? Is it because I’m a Virgo?

  8. I would never get to cross the street ‘cos I don’t have a dress to wear.
    Is it a miniskirt? Then again, I might just be induced to follow behind a nice pair of thighs.

  9. “TimT, do you ever have trouble finding the men’s bathrooms?”

    Bathroom, do’s TimT need a bath?

  10. I appreciate the sentiment, but frankly I think this is a step backward. I have always assumed the completely androgynous stick figure applied to both men and women. By making abundantly clear I was being excluded by the flashing signs and I was just deluding myself that the walker could be either gender, I now have to be insulted that there are fewer “female” signs than “male” signs.

  11. I kind of liked the idea as a visual representation – especially as it’s in the area around Kate Shepphard place.

    And then the comments on that stuff article got me all riled up, and now I think they should do it on every single damn crossing.

  12. I’m with Adelle here.

    I think the men’s bathrooms should have stick figures with hats. This would imply that only men wear hats, which is problematic, but it would neutralise the rest of the images.

    Although the default sex is male, sexing symbols reinforces this, rather than allowing it to die an eventual death.