I really don't understand how it's relevant that it's statistically more likely for women to be assaulted by someone they know. It makes as much sense to say "don't bother addressing bullying in schools, most children who are harmed are harmed by adults". So what? Address the problems you can address. It doesn't have to solve every problem, just this one.
And you know what? Maybe, just maybe, this kind of initiative shows certain men that society values women's safety. Maybe if enough people demonstrate this level of intolerance... maybe we start to educate certain men despite themselves.
I think that it just reinforces the idea that women are vulnerable and that men are dangerous. An educational program to change the industry as well as a campaign for women to report these cases would be more successful in the long term to change this culture
If male taxi drivers are now becoming a problem, address the PROBLEM itself- stricter supervision, compulsory training for all drivers, easier avenues for customers to report inappropriate drivers, maybe even audio or visual monitoring if needs be and certainly stronger consequences for inappropriate behaviour. Saying "ok, we will just give them women taxi drivers" doesn't address the problem at its core. And how might it impact taxi drivers who aren't doing anything wrong? Didn't the article say something like 58% of their clientele is female? So now male drivers will only be catering to 42% of the market, in theory, plus the 'overflow'. How is that fair to decent men who've done nothing wrong except, yanno, be male? This has wider implications that I don't see addressed in the article. So no, sorry, I don't think this is the right way to address the problem because it doesn't solve it and may negatively impact others.
*waits for flaming*
Last edited by Atropos; 14-11-2013 at 20:35.
As a regular taxi user in Melbourne I fully support this incentive. I agree wholeheartedly that women are more likely to be assaulted by people they know, but I have also seen the change in demographic in taxi drivers over the past 5 years or so. Many of them have little respect for women. Not all, not most. But many. It is a cultural issue. It's a difficult thing to talk about without being perceived as racist, but these young men come from cultures where women don't drink and travel late at night by themselves. Many of them do believe that these women are 'fair game'. Absolutely they need to be educated, but who will educate them and why would they bother listening? This idea hits them and their colleagues in the hip pocket, and may be the driving force in the industry looking at how they can make women feel safer traveling with a male driver.
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