Thursday, December 06, 2018

Women-only plane seating needed to combat sexual assault and midair 'manspread'

Airlines are under pressure to provide separate women's seating to combat the lecherous spread of male passengers over the dividing armrests, amid a surge in midair sexual assaults.
Writing for the South China Morning Post, columnist Kate Whitehead described her experiences with "manspreading" and urged airlines to introduce women-only rows.
"Nine times out of 10 – based on my extensive experience flying 'cattle class' – if a man is seated beside a woman he will claim the armrest. Not only that, but his elbow will protrude slightly into the woman's seat space.
"Unless you are prepared to press your arm against the man's – which will allow you to feel the rise and fall of his breath and is, I feel, too inti­mate a connection with a stranger – then you have lost two inches of your seat."
"I hope that in the wake of the #MeToo movement, people will come to realise that the airline armrest is a gender political issue. The first airline to establish "pink rows" will have my custom."
In response to disturbing incidents where women were groped on planes, two Indian airlines have introduced policies to keep female passengers safe.
Air India, India's national carrier, introduced female-only rows in 2017, following two incidents in a month of men allegedly groping cabin staff or other passengers.
In December of that year, a business class passenger flying from Mumbai to Newark moved to an empty seat next to a woman in economy and allegedly groped her as she slept.
Another Indian carrier, Vistara introduced a "Woman Flyer" service, which promised preferred seating to female passengers travelling alone. Even if a woman hasn't pre-selected a seat before her flight, the airline says it will ensure only a window or aisle seat is assigned at check-in.
06/12/18 NZ Herald