Officials in an Australian city worried that pants-wearing traffic signals were perpetuating ‘unconscious bias.’
The city of Melbourne, Australia, has started installing dress-wearing, “female” traffic signals in the name of gender equality, and now they’re being hit for perpetuating the sexist idea that women should wear dresses.
According to an article in the local news source ABC, the city started installing the new lights on Tuesday as part of a campaign to eliminate “unconscious bias.” In other words, the city was concerned that seeing only “male” traffic signals was causing its residents to subconsciously develop the idea that male people mattered more than female people.
“The idea is to install traffic lights with female representation, as well as male representation, to help reduce unconscious bias,” chief executive Martine Letts told ABC. “The aim is to move towards one-to-one male and female representation across the state of Victoria.”
Although the total cost of reaching this one-to-one goal isn’t clear, ABC reports that it costs an average of $8,400 to change six lights. Now, you might be tempted to say that no price is too high when it comes to something that will so clearly reduce gender bias, but it turns out that this seemingly heroic initiative might not have been worth the money after all — especially considering that some people find it to be biased in itself.
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