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Washington D.C.’s Metro System Just Released A Really, Really Sexist Ad

“Can’t we just talk about shoes?”

1. Commuters in the DC area were faced with an unpleasant surprise on their commutes this morning, courtesy of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

The Washington area Metro’s PR campaign, and its redevelopment initiative “Metro Forward” were launched two years ago after a spate of delays and breakdowns.

2. Word of the sexist ad spread quickly online, calling forth several biting parodies.

5. In an email to WMATA and BuzzFeed, Metro user Shira Albagli summarized the issues with the ad as such (emphasis ours):


This poster is a misguided attempt to repair WMATA’s reputation at the expense of women. It reinforces the stereotype that women shouldn’t be intelligent. We shouldn’t be excited by facts or statistics. No, we are shallow and only interested in shoes. It devalues a woman’s voice and ability to contribute meaningfully to society – let alone a conversation… As a daily commuter, I can accept delays, but I cannot accept this advertisement and its message.

6. When asked for comment, a Metro spokesperson told the DCist:


“The point of the ad is to get people talking about Metro’s massive rebuilding effort by juxtaposing technical facts with a variety of light responses in conversation between friends.”

7. Here it is, one more time, for your viewing pleasure.

Shira Albagli

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