The other day I was on the metro at rush hour. This was a terrible idea. I hope to never do that again. As it was rush hour, and I did not want to be pressed up against a large group of primarily male strangers who would all be staring at me, I opted for the women’s car. Everyone was still staring, but it was more of a “what kind of idiot are you, güera, you are clearly foreign and don’t belong here. This is a much nicer kind of gaze to be subjected to.
Naturally there were the men on the women’s car. As I was leaving the train I swore at one of them: he was clearly not old, and definitely had no kind of disability. If he were questioning his gender identity, I would have expected him to look quite a bit different. He would also have been subject to harassment (a guess). The reason there were these men entering the women’s car is that on this line there were no transit police enforcing it. This is something I think about a lot in Mexico City. There are police everywhere, and, as per a previous post, I generally try and stay far, far away. I am a guest in their country, and so I try and only critique said country on my blog. (my readers, being friends and family, should know that by and large, I am happy here, if sometimes culturally confused.) I heard some girls a bit younger than I am complaining about the men who do this, perhaps hoping to shame the men. But, by and large, people on the metro are quiet in the evening. In the morning, they are all doing their make-up.
How can you apply eyeliner on a moving metro? What is this force that makes people unable to complain? What is this force that makes people obey transit police? Is it greater than fear? Can fear be transformed into something positive? Who organizes the people who sell stuff on the metro and interrupt this silence? Who lets them? How do they relate to the musicians on the metro? Does the same person organize them?