A decent girl,” says bus driver Mukesh Singh, “won’t roam around at 9 o’clock at night. A girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy.”
Singh is one of four men sentenced to death for the rape and fatal assault of Jyoti Singh Pandey on a Delhi bus in 2013. His defence was that she shouldn’t have been on the bus in the first place. Presumably he’d have said the same if she’d been on a train. In the eyes of a rapist, all space is male-owned by default.
I find myself thinking of this in light of shadow fire minister Chris Williamson’s suggestionthat woman-only train carriages be introduced in order to combat sexual violence on public transport. It’s an idea originally proposed by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in 2015, only to be shelved following criticism from female MPs.