This Car Service App for Women May Seem Sexist -- but It's Smart

Uber app

I remember learning about utopias in history class and thinking how that sounded like bulls**t. The world we live in is far from perfect -- and, to be honest, I don't envision a future of perfection any time soon. With that said, we must do the best we can with the resources we have when it comes to our safety -- and Chariot for Women, an Uber-esque app for those who identify as women, is well aware of this unfortunate reality. That's why the app and car service will launch in Boston on April 19, taking on the mission of "Driving women towards empowerment and safety."

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The service is only offered to women (whether cisgender, transgender, or genderqueer) and their children (with boys up to 12 allowed). Plus, it intends to work with a female-only staff of drivers. While some are concerned about the legal implications of turning away men for hire and/or rides (as this issue has come up before), owner Michael Pelletz is hopeful. A former Uber driver himself, Pelletz told ABC News that he has heard enough "stories about unsafe travel" that he begs to differ and wants to make peace of mind a priority. 

As if this isn't already enough to have me throwing up the praising hand emoji, the company also plans on giving proceeds to women's charities. 

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Sure, some may view the app as synonymous with telling women it's on them to avoid sexual assault, but I just think it's smart and a much-needed preventative measure -- you know, like not walking down an alley in the middle of the night. It's not asking you to conform -- it's asking you to be smart because the reality is that women are often the more vulnerable sex when it comes to being physically victimized. 

The awful reality is that there are minimal alternatives, especially for those who live in a city that thrives on public transportation. Whether you're waiting for said public transportation in unsecured stations or calling a paid service (may it be Uber, Lyft, or a taxi) -- each plan might leave you vulnerable somehow. Especially considering that most car service drivers are men

Being someone who tends to take naps in the backseat of my Uber, I love that this app gives you the comfort to do so every single time. It beats having to play the "what if" game the entire ride home -- panicking when it looks like your driver may have made a detour for any reason. 

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Frankly, we know this doesn't pertain to all male drivers and we could wait for society to come around -- but sadly, we'd be waiting a long time. Meanwhile, there are precautions that we can take to ensure a certain level of safety. They don't require or imply that you must change your outer appearance to do so -- it is, however, asking that you change your mindset and think proactively.

I don't think that's too much, I think it's common sense (even men take safety precautions). Simply put, this app isn't sexist, it's genius, and unfortunately there is a demand for it! 


Image via DANIEL IRUNGU/epa/Corbis

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