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Hi, I'm not sure if this has been discussed here before, but it's been something I've been thinking about a lot lately and I'd like to hear what other people think about it. The TTC routinely announces in the subway that women travelling alone at night can request that a bus driver to drop her off at location along the route that isn't a usual stop if it's closer to where she's going.
I think it's a nice idea, but I wonder why it's only explicitly extended to women. When I lived in Ottawa they had a similar service but I don't recall it was gender-specific, and a couple of times I (a man) requested a different stop if I was in an isolated area at night. When the TTC specifically states this is a service for women it does two things in my opinion: 1) Reinforces the idea that women as a group are somehow in need of protection while men are not, and 2) Prevents men who also feel vulnerable from using this service.
I've been considering writing a letter to the TTC about this, but I wonder if there are things I'm not considering that might change my mind. I'm also interested to know how this policy applies to transgendered people (F to M, M to F and intersex). I've never requested a different stop on a Toronto bus, so maybe the bus drivers will also do this for men, but if they do it isn't advertised that I can see.
I've actually wondered that too. Seems to me that even if I were a guy, I might want to be dropped off between stops if it's 3:30 a.m. Not to minimize violence against women in any way. But I think they should probably offer it to anyone who asks, just in case there might be the occasional guy who doesn't feel safe walking home at night. A guy could be mugged as easily as a woman.
And contrary to popular belief, most women who are assaulted are not assaulted by a stranger jumping out of the bushes at them while they're walking home at night. They are assaulted by people who know them, and generally at home or familiar surroundings.
P.S. This really isn't about feminism, so I'm going to move this to the regional forum that includes Ontario.