JASON RANTZ

Rantz: Seattle transit users cry sexism, get triggered after PA voice made male

Jan 13, 2020, 6:00 AM | Updated: 6:29 pm
Sound Transit...
Sound Transit changed the announcement voice to get riders' attention. (Sound Transit)
(Sound Transit)

There’s a new, temporary voice on Sound Transit light rail during the several weeks of construction but it’s already causing a stir with lunatics and Seattle’s woke brigade. The new voice is now a male voice, a change from the previous female voice and that’s apparently sexist to some, triggering to others.

Sound Transit made the change to coincide with construction to connect the service to the Eastside. Some transit users now have to switch trains at Pioneer Square Station. Because most frequent users don’t pay attention to the announcements anymore, since they always say the same thing, Sound Transit made the switch. The new voice, which happened to be male, is meant to grab frequent users’ attention so they know what to do. Some people weren’t ready for the change – or at least pretending not to be.

Some feigned annoyance at the change.

“I think it’s silly that they changed it in the first place,” commuter Arielle Farina-Williams cluelessly told KIRO TV.

Others, on Twitter, of course, were triggered by the new male voice and pretended it was an issue. A few tweets were flagged by KIRO TV.

Anonymous transit activist account @SeattleSubway tweeted “Is it possible to turn them off? It’s bad timing to add something that irritates passengers.” Another complained, “Can you turn that down or go back to the nice lady.”

My favorite one came from a man who was dubious that a man’s voice would get the attention of commuters, then asked Sound Transit “sexist much?”

This entire faux controversy is fueled by equal parts a desperate need to show how woke you are and people needing to fill Twitter or man-on-the-street audio with an opinion.

First, it’s obviously not sexist no matter how much some white dude wants to complain so that his female friends will consider him an ally and maybe finally invite him to brunch next week. The one man calling this sexist has a Twitter bio that reads in part: “Veteran living on unceded Duwamish land. Intersectional feminist.” Is this someone worth taking seriously? And by the way, what if the “male” voice isn’t even male and doesn’t identify as a cis gendered male, you bigot!

Second, no one actually cares if you think the change is silly or if it irritates you. Two people on Twitter and one random interview doesn’t mean their insufferable hot takes are reflective of a popular or even marginally popular opinion. Their voices are included in the KIRO piece so they can make a boring story (changes on light rail due to construction) into something slightly more interesting (hey, look at these lunatics complaining).

Third, if you actually seriously believe this to be sexist or problematic or even irritating, you have way bigger problems than a stupid public service announcement. You should talk to someone about it — though not a TV reporter who will enable your craziness. Perhaps a medical professional?

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Rantz: Seattle transit users cry sexism, get triggered after PA voice made male