In October of 2017, after the scandal of Hollywood film producer Harvey Wenstein, hashtags #MeToo, #Yo también and #AMiTambién circled throughout the world, allowing millions of both woman and men to speak out against their experiences of abuse. Sexual harassment in public spaces like the streets, public transportation, and schools were the most common situations between those who spoke out.
Who hasn’t experienced this? Who could feel safe after living through these situations? The descriptions of every single post are raw and disgusting, just like the facts they are telling. It is without a doubt that this fear and disgust has continued to encourage more and more people to share their stories to this day.
In Mexico, over 76% of passengers have reported abuse while using public transportation. It is one of the hardest realities to face for millions of commuters every day. It is an unfortunate reality that passengers must live with not only the malfunction, overcapacity, but also the crime and harassment that takes place on an hourly basis.
While this problem continues to affect millions of daily commuters, there has been very little action to eradicate any kind of solution. According to a survey about the the perception of the mexican citizens published in 2017, the level of insecurity in public transport was 84%, mainly because one out of four crimes that happen in the city, happen on public transit.
Since 2008, Mexico city public transit introduced a system called 'Atenea' which implemented special areas exclusive for women, children, and people with disabilities within their network of subway and metrobus. The purpose of these initiatives is to decrease the sexual assault against women, unfortunately, those measures haven’t been effective because they only motivate the exclusion and division between women and men instead of fighting the problem together.
Aside from the poor efforts of the government to find a solution, in 2017 the campaign #NoEsDeHombres ( English: not for men), founded by the Office of the United Nations for Women, conducted a social experiment in the the subway of Mexico city. Their goal was to creatively put men in the shoes of women, especially when it comes to harassment. You can watch the videos below.
In addition, posters flood the streets and walls around the city showing the faces of men before they approach women. The images are non-comforting, but aim to make people aware of the intolerance women, and everyone should have for this kind of behavior.
Although the campaign #NoEsDeHombres hasn’t solved our problem, it has, however, sparked thoughts and ideas into the people of Mexico, and around the world. Sexual harassment is still a cruel reality of millions of women everyday, however, as more and more women come out of silence and join the movement against sexual abuse, less people will be able to ignore our demands.