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The New Uber Competitor for Women Only

There’s a new app in town: Chariot for Women.

chariot

Ok, so it’s not really in town…yet. The app launched on April 19th, primarily in the Boston area. It’s only a matter of time before it hits New York and San Francisco. What’s different?

This rideshare app is like Uber or Lyft, but with exclusively female drivers and female (plus boys under 13) passengers. At a time when Uber has to pay $25 million because they lied about their background checks and apparently has a customer complaint list containing thousands of sexual assault tickets, it’s unsurprising they’d start to feel some competition–and from one of their own former drivers no less.

And really, what’s more depressing? The high number of sexual assault tickets or how unsurprised I was at the numbers?
chariot woman taxi

I took a ride in a Lyft the other night with a brand-new female driver. I was her third ride of her first night driving, and we talked about the dangers that might affect female drivers and passengers. Interestingly, she had heard more stories about female drivers being assaulted and I had heard more stories about female passengers being assaulted. And when I say “interestingly”, I mean “equally horrifyingly”. She expressed interest in buying a taser, which led me to explain the different kinds of tasers she might want to buy for her own safety. A fun, light-heard conversation basically.

The number of preventive measures out there on the market to keep women safer are growing. You can download an app that alerts friends when you might be in danger. You can wear nail polish that tells you if your drink was drugged. And please, never forget the anti-rape razor condom.

And yes, I know what some of you are thinking: these kinds of measures and tools breed paranoia that shouldn’t exist.

I agree, no one should feel scared about the possibility of assault. I also feel that teachers should be paid triple their salaries. I think that Donald Trump should be unveiled as a lobster alien wearing a human suit. I think Game of Thrones should have zero rape scenes. Oh, what’s that? Rape was a common element of warring medieval times? It’s a goddamn fantasy series with dragons, zombies and magical birds. But no, somehow a universe where rape doesn’t exist is too far-fetched. We’d all like a lot of things in life to happen, but we need to open our eyes to what we have and if that’s not good enough (hint: it’s not good enough), then we take measures to change them.

At the end of the day, we can all agree that rape prevention should not be a victim’s responsibility. Unfortunately, the world we live in currently doesn’t always allow us to take the high horse on matters of safety. So, you should at least know what your options are, ladies.

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Candace Cui - Actual Unicorn

Candace Cui - Actual Unicorn

At age 2, I was getting run over by a bike in an alley in China. At age 8, I was avoiding man-o-wars on Tybee Island. At age 14, I was overdrinking sweet tea while running through the woods barefoot. At age 20, I was learning Art History and how to drop it low. At age 25, I was making fun of drum circles at Dolores. At every age, I am charming the fuck out of you. Just wait, it'll happen.