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People Are Fighting Because A City Is Getting "Gender Equal" Pedestrian Crossing Lights

"Oooooh now deal with violence against women and workplace discrimination."

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The Committee for Melbourne, a non-profit organisation in Victoria, Australia, kicked off its "Equal Crossings" campaign today, with the aim of installing an equal number of male and female walking signals throughout the state.

In a 12 month trial approved by VicRoads, 10 crossing lights with female figures will be installed in the city.

The decision to take the gender equality battle to pedestrian crossings has been met with criticism and confusion. And applause.

Equality minister Martin Foley said the male/female symbols present the next generation with an opportunity to avoid unconscious bias, and that although he had not thought about the pedestrian crossing symbols before, it didn't mean it was not an important issue.

Committee for Melbourne chief executive Martine Letts told ABC Radio the goal is to have equal representation across the state.

"We know Melbourne is the world's most livable city," she said, "and we would really like to see Melbourne also known as the world's most equal city."

Twitter, of course, was on edge.

Incredibly awful that Melbourne has officially BANNED all women not dressed as Mary Poppins from crossing the road.

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Why the woman on the Melbourne pedestrian crossings look like she about to drop the most fire Mary Poppins tribute… https://t.co/6YWyBLdVui

Now we've dealt with the evil man crossing lights we are free to solve the final issue facing women everywhere, men holding the door 4 you:

@theheraldsun Did the Committee for Melbourne just assume the gender of the crossing silhouette? 😱😱😂

Finally, Melbourne is repealing their outdated law that forbids women from crossing the street without a permit between 8am and 5 pm

These two dudes proudly holding up their feminism light is killing me https://t.co/8NXKuf7wZL

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Oooooh now deal with violence against women and workplace discrimination. https://t.co/mTjNXMi4LZ

What is this stupid shit in Melbourne of changing the crossing men to women? How does that accommodate gender equality??

Aren't the new fem bot pedestrian crossings actually promoting walking all over women? #vicpol #Tuesday Hilarious!

Melbourne hurtles Australia into the 21st century by putting 19th century women at pedestrian crossings.

No taxpayer money went into the equality initiative.



Brad Esposito is a news reporter for BuzzFeed and is based in Sydney, Australia.

Contact Brad Esposito at bradley.esposito@buzzfeed.com.

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