Melbourne makes pedestrian crossings gender sensitive, Twitter trolls it hard

Maybe Melbourne is not too fond of Mary Poppins on pedestrian crossings.

Gender equality has been at the centre of several discussions for a long while, and this city in Australia has now taken it to traffic lights. Notice how at pedestrian traffic lights, you might not have seen many in India, always features a man’s silhouette? Well Melbourne did, and they are out to change this.

A lobby group called the Committee of Melbourne has pushed a move to ensure half the pedestrian lights in the city feature a female silhouette. Part of an initiative called Equal Crossings, its aim is to reduce unconscious bias and ensure gender equality in a public setting. They do make sense because it’s not really like only men cross streets and it’s such forms of innate bias that often pose a hurdle to the gender equality debate.

The Flinders and Swanston Streets intersection has already gotten itself their first set of gender positive lights. In the short term this initiative aims at establishing a 1:1 ratio so far as crossing lights are concerned. If this gets taken up by the road authorities however, the initiative could spread out a lot more.

Not everyone is happy with it though, some because they think this makes no sense and others are busy poking fun at how the silhouette is of a woman straight out of the 19th century. No prizes for guessing, Twitterati had something to say.

We do not know if the Mary Poppins figure caused people to disagree or some simply did not like gender equality being stretched to pedestrian crossings, but reactions sure have been mixed. But then again, Twitter must troll no matter what!