Pink Taxis in Puebla!

21 Oct

Pink Taxi Mexico In Puebla, Mexico, Pink Taxi de Puebla

Each of these rides comes fitted with a GPS, alarm button, and beauty kit! The Mexican city of Puebla has unleashed a fleet of 35 bubble gum pink taxis, which cater ONLY to women wary of unwanted attention from male taxi drivers.

Apparently, women’s rights groups in Puebla are “aghast” at the appearance of the bubble gum pink taxis, saying that equipping women with beauty kits doesn’t address the root of the problem. That’s true, sure. But as a proponent of all things pink, and bodily safety for women & gender non-conforming folk, I can dig these pink taxis.

[Question #1: I wonder if these pink taxis can be used by gay men or trans people? If not, then this should be considered.]

I agree that the root problem of patriarchal violence and misogyny isn’t eradicated by the Pink Taxi service, just as the creation of the anti-rape device, Rape-aXe doesn’t eradicate the incidence of rape. I say, plaster these pink taxis with an ad campaign that addresses violence & chauvinist practices that are oppressive to women. Subtlety is key. We live in a world where stating the obvious–yes, patriarchy/misogyny exist–incurs violent reactions. Perhaps, the pink taxi is non-threatening enough, charming and feminine enough, that there won’t be backlash, for a simple fact: the pink taxi service provides an additional employment opportunity for women in a traditionally male-dominated workforce.  Women drivers getting business from women riders means a shift in the taxi business as it stands. Perhaps this will breed discontent amongst male drivers; time will tell.

I’ve been stuck in many a shady taxi/autorickshaw, and would’ve appreciated a female driver who would ensure I get to my destination without any harassment. While harassment from a male driver may happen 3 out of every 10 rides, for many women, the inappropriate comments and pervy solicitations can be scary or uncomfortable.

[Question #2: I wonder if hetero-couples are allowed to ride in Pink Taxis together? But then again, I suppose if you’ve got a man with you, you need not worry about the male taxi driver’s advances…]

There are women-only train cars in India, and taxi services for women in cities like Dubai, Beirut, Moscow, Pink Ladies in UK (a community transport service available to Pink Ladies club members, and yes, the cars are Pepto-pink!) The trend didn’t catch on in Mexico City, although there are buses for women-only during rush hour. Perhaps a city like Las Vegas can use a taxi service that caters to women on the move…

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