Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Small Blessings

A little more headway here:


I am sorry that the issues you have raised have not been addressed to your satisfaction. I can also assure you that we do take your views extremely seriously and that we will endeavour to find appropriate solutions.

We are equally sorry that you have had this experience and understand that you found this distressing and intimidating. We can also appreciate your point that many other women may feel equally uncomfortable in similar circumstances. However, as my colleagues have already repeated in previous responses; to date this is not a matter about which we have received many complaints and it is therefore difficult to assess the true extent of the situation.

The Mayor’s initiative of banning alcohol on public transport has addressed some anti-social behaviour and via Transport for London’s recent campaign, Considerate Travel, we are trying to address more anti social behaviour, as you correctly state in your letter.

Since this matter has been brought to our attention, we have contacted the department which is responsible for the Considerate Travel Campaign, with a view to extending their current campaign, to include being responsible and sensitive to other passengers for reading material whilst on public transport, as you have suggested. I have been informed that this matter will be taken into consideration when the next phase of messaging is being agreed. This will take place at the end of this year, as the messaging for 2008 has already been planned and agreed.

I will also be contacting the relevant department responsible for undertaking passenger research on Transport for London’s services, with a view to exploring the possibility of a user survey to ascertain the extent to which women and men find the sort of pornographic images to which you have referred unacceptable on public transport. We will then be in a more informed position regarding the overall views of the travelling public and be in a better position to address them long term.

I would like to thank you again for contacting Transport for London with such interesting and valuable comments.

Yours sincerely,

Clive Saunders
Equality & Inclusion Delivery Manager


sammisal said...

This is a really important campaign. Thank you so much for starting it! I had often felt uncomfortable by what I have to see, but didn't ever feel able to say anything to the people in question.

The thing is, I never know what to say to women who I see reading the Sun. It's pretty irrelevant at the moment, as I've never confronted a man about it either.

Jackart said...


On your sidebar, you say

3. It is intimidating to female passengers

You don't speak for all women any more than I speak for all men. Perhaps the addition of the word "some" might make that statement more accurate?

Laura said...

Jackart - bug doesn't say intimidating for ALL female passengers,

It says it is intimidating for female passengers.

This implies some.

This is true. It is fact.

What is your beef?

Do you have shares in disgusting magazines or are you just a dogmatic upholder of selfish liberties for a few at the expense of the feeling of security for many?

You are not privvy or even capable it seems of imagining anything from anyones perspective but your own.

The freedom of the individual is not as important as the wellbeing of the society. Standards of conduct on public transport is a prime example of this thinking. But wider than that I think the extent of what is acceptable to publish should be considered also. Where safety from terrorism is concerned, the publication of material deemed incitement of violence is subject to fair scrutiny. Why not the same for spreading lies about the sexual availability of women at a time when a woman is far more likely to encounter rape, sexual violence and harassment than harm from terrorism?

Jackart said...

"Do you have shares in disgusting magazines or are you just a dogmatic upholder of selfish liberties for a few at the expense of the feeling of security for many?"

He (or she) who would trade liberty for security deserves neither.

Laura said...

easy to say when you're not the one in the weaker position.

I will reiterate - the freedom of the individual is not as important as the effect that exercised freedom has on society. It is not just women who are adversely effected by the harmful attitudes expressed in lads mags it is children and men as well.

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