On the Pulse: Should half of all South West London traffic lights feature women?

The UK women’s rights movement has made great strides in the last hundred years with women able to exercise their right to vote, own their own home and have free access to birth control.

Despite these achievements there are still those who claim that women have yet to achieve complete equality.

The gender pay gap still leaves a nasty taste in hard-working women’s mouths and the Everyday Sexism project catalogues the rampant sexism that exists in society.

The suggestion by feminist campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez that Jane Austen should feature on a £10 note resulted in her receiving hundreds of rape and death threats via Twitter.

And when Mary Brandon deigned to tell the man who groped her at this year’s Notting Hill Carnival to leave her alone she was punched in the face.

Now a campaign has been shared by Future Wimbledon to replace half of the green men on pedestrian crossing lights with green women in an attempt to gain equality at the roadside.

With the issue of gender equality rarely out of the news, the war of the sexes has now reached the famous green man.

We took to the streets of South West London to find out your opinions.

Should half of all South West London traffic lights feature women?

25% 75%

Many people seemed sceptical that the idea was up for consideration at all with the general view being that providing the lights did the job it didn’t matter whether the person displayed was male or female.

Patricia Fletcher, 84, retired, said: “It doesn’t bother me, but I don’t see why it needs changing.”

Lee Walker, 44, a banker from Putney, said : “No it’s a waste of money. Council funds would be better spent on more prominent issues.”

Carina Casu, 32, a restaurateur, said: “It’s not really needed but I don’t really mind which way it goes.”

Beth Figgins, 22, who works in a Wimbledon launderette pointed out there might be a health and safety flaw in the plan.

She said: “It is far clearer to see the man’s legs on the light. A skirt shape would make it unclear whether it was safe to cross or not.”

Despite the lack of enthusiasm for the initiative, some people seemed more open to the idea.

Mark Dines, 22, a Wimbledon restaurant manager,  said: “Why not? I don’t see it as a problem.”

Ross Walker,  a 19-year-old waiter, argued it is definitely a possibility. He said: “I’d support it but it’s only been raised by people looking to cause an argument over an issue that doesn’t really need the attention.”

Bar tender Gina Cooper, 22, was enthusiastic about the possibility of female traffic crossing lights. She said: “Why the fuck not?!”

Gemma Foley, 31, a housewife from Wimbledon village, questioned the motive behind the proposed change.

She said: “They are the standard lights we are all used to.”

The online petition needs 1000 votes to reach the authorities with the power to change the appearance of the lights, but so far the petition is stuck with a dwindling 23 backers.

It appears that the bright green and red men who inhabit our traffic lights are safe for now.

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