The Glad Game > 2009年11月のアーカイブ

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Ladies Only Train Cars

Ladies only train cars enjoy high popularity among Japanese women. They date back to 1912 when women and men were not supposed to be in the same place in public. However the ladies only train cars were abolished after a short period. 

The ladies only train cars were then reintroduced in 2001 to protect women from molestation. Although there is controversy as to whether it is discrimination against men or not, 78% of people approve of it. I think ladies only cars is a good idea for several reasons.

I once lived in Tokyo and had to commute by Yamanote line during rush-hour. It was horrible. There were far too many people in too small a space. Passengers are packed, squeezed, and squashed in by new passengers flooding into the train at every next station. It was inevitable to be touched by others. I felt uncomfortable standing so close to men. There is the molestation problem too. Japanese women tend to endure molestation without calling for help, becausee they are ashamed of themselves being molested, or don’t want to be considered overreacted by calling help. The ladies only train car would protect these women from molesters.

Ladies only train cars are good for men too. Many men are afraid of being misunderstood for a molester. Punishment for molesters is up to six months of imprisonment or 500,000 yen in penalty. It is difficult to exonerate the wrongfully accused person.These days, men raise their hands in crowded commute trains to avoid being misunderstood for a molester. Ladies only car trains save men from this tiring self-protection from women.

However, after ladies only train cars were introduced, molester cases shot up threefold. Is it because men are encouraged to molest women in unisex train cars? It is unlikely. In any case, the number of women who report molestation cases to police are increasing. 

In conclusion, ladies only train cars are helpful for both men and women. It protects women from being molested and men from being wrongly accused of molesting. This system did not thrive in the past for some reason, but it should survive this time.

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