Japan’s Anti-Groping Women-Only Train Cars

Groping on public transportation is an international problem, but Japanese railway companies have found an effective way to stop it by introducing women-only train and subway cars.

It’s a known fact that Tokyo is overcrowded and that is most obvious during rush hour, when professional pushers shove people into train cars so the doors can close properly. Unfortunately this is the kind of environment where perverts thrive. Usually most people mind their own business, reading a magazine, checking their email or talking on the phone, but some men prefer to talk dirty to the women next to them and groping them. This kind of molestation or “chikan” as the Japanese call it, happens every day in Japanese major cities, and lost of women choose to be quiet and bear it, because of the way male-dominated Japanese society functions. But ever since Japanese railway stations introduced the women-only train cars, they don’t have to, anymore.

With groping being so popular, the first female-only cars were apparently first introduced in 1912 on the present Chuo Mine Line to prevent men from Looking at the beautiful faces of young female students, but it was discontinued in 1973. Modern-day women-only train cars were introduced in December 2000 in response to complaints about drunk men groping women during the “bonekai”party season. It proved effective to some extent and other companies followed the example introducing their own special cars. Some operate throughout the day, some just during rush hour and are generally found on rapid service trains with longer distance between stops. Unfortunately, not all women fit in the crowded train car during busy intervals, and some have to ride in the normal ones, where the threat of groping still looms. Apparently the best way to handle a groping situation is to grab the pervert’s wrist, jerk his hand and scream “chikan” since this kind of embarrassment tactic is very effective in Japanese society. However, gropers know most Japanese women are too ashamed to react in public. Small children, senior citizens and men with disabilities are the only ones allowed on the women-only cars.

Thousands of Japanese men are arrested on groping  charges every year, and in recent years, those who have falsely been accused and those who are afraid of being charged with molestation have requested men-only train cars be introduced in the spirit of gender equality.

After they were introduced in Japan, countries like Indonesia, India and Philippines introduced their own female-only train cars.


Sources: 1, 2, 3

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