A man filmed himself entering a women-only train carriage in Japan, sparking backlash and a discourse about the difference between 'segregation' and safe spaces
14.09.2023 - 21:39
The internet is calling a TikToker "disrespectful" and "rude" after he filmed himself entering a women-only train carriage in Japan and compared it to gender-based segregation that countries like Saudi Arabia mandate.
On September 5, the Australian creator Turan Spidey, who has 354,000 followers on his vlog channel @shearingshedvlogs, shared the video with a caption saying a women-only space is the "last thing" he expected to see "in such a free country like Japan."
"Reminds me of something I would see in a country with strict segregation rules," he added, alluding in his video to the Arab country.
Users were quick to point out that these carriages in Japan are meant to serve as safe zones where women could feel more protected from harassment.
In Spidey's clip, which has been viewed over 2.4 million times, he filmed himself walking into the women-only carriage to seemingly snark at the idea. "I am the women inspector, checking there's only women on this carriage," he said, pointing his camera at the rows of women passengers.
His video has been flooded with negative comments. People are calling him "obnoxious" and saying he was doing the exact thing these carriages were designed to prevent: making women uncomfortable. "It's for women's safety," one comment with over 21,000 likes says. "You literally made the whole train uncomfortable by not following the rules written IN HUGE LETTERS."
Multiple top comments also noted that people like him are the reason these gendered trains exist.
Women-only carriages have been operating in Japan since 2005 (an early version of the concept dates as far back as 1912, but those were later replaced by priority seats). The idea was launched after women reported a record high number of touching and sexual harassment incidents on public transit the previous year, according to Jobs In Japan. However, only some of Japan's trains offer these specialized carriages; one of the busiest lines introduced them earlier this year, per Japan Today.
TikTok users said Spidey "embarrassed" himself by dismissing or being uninformed about these social implications. Some especially infuriated viewers urged him to leave the country or said they hoped he'd be deported. Spidey did not return Insider's request for comment.
In addition to comments, some TikTokers made their own videos stitching and responding to his in an effort to better educate the public about Japan's gendered trains.
"They're segregated because they're allowing there to be a space for women to be able to be away from men," the user @torigrier.4 said in a response video last week. "They created that space for their safety, and instead of respecting that, you decided to violate that."
The user added that he "scared" those