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Ladies Only Want to Chat Footwear in This Casually Sexist Public Transit Ad

Photo: Courtesy of Lucy Westcott

Two women were walking together in an advertisement for the DC Metro. One of them was holding a clipboard, so you know what that means. And while one woman was trying to break out of gender stereotypes and talk about transportation planning and numbers, the other femme-bot just kept muttering things like: So good to see you! A bite of chocolate. Lifestyle blog. Periods. Underwear line? Hair ties. Crop top. But he was just like. Can’t even. Spin class.

These were the women represented by the DC Metro in a casually sexist ad caught by Capital News Service correspondent Lucy Westcott and published by DCist. One woman mentions a fact about buses; another says, “Can we just talk about shoes?” A Metro spokesperson told 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.”

To be fair to all humans everywhere, talking about bus mileage is not exactly compelling. To be fair to women, women never say “Can we just talk about shoes?” And, aside from the implication that women would always rather be chatting footwear, this woman is being rude. It’s common courtesy, when faced with an accurate piece of trivia, to acknowledge your friend’s effort to include you in her journey of knowledge. You don’t say, Oh, cool for you that you know so much about public transportation, but TOO BAD because it’s MY DAMN TURN TO DISCUSS ABOUT MY DAMN TOPIC OF CHOICE.

Sexist Transit Ad: Ladies Want to Chat Shoes