Recently, I read in a MailOnline.com article that Seoul, South Korea has created women only parking spaces dubbed “she-spots”. They are wider and longer than normal parking spots with good lighting and conveniently located near shopping center elevators and escalators. However, they are outlined in a pink color reminiscent of Pepto-Bismol® with a skirted female logo painted in the spot for further clarification. I’m unclear if men are ticketed (or just ridiculed) if they park in a “she-spot” instead of a “he-spot” outlined in blue.
Officials claim that this is part of a plan to make the capital more female-friendly and not a reflection on the way females drive. (Hmmm) They are also adding 7,000 female only toilets (presumably not in the parking spaces) and resurfacing pedestrian walkways with spongy material to make it easier to walk in heels.
In 2012, the German town of Triberg designated easy parking spots for women. The mayor said that it wasn’t sexist because women are free to park in the trickier “man-spots” some of which are next to pillars and can only be backed into at an angle. (I’m curious what the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, thinks about this.)
China, Kuwait, Malaysia, Indonesia, Austria and Italy also have some women-only parking spots.
A university in British Columbia offers women-only parking spaces near its main doors during evening hours to help keep female students safe. Do male students think that’s sexist? Well, I did find comments indicating that at least a few males consider this a discriminatory policy.
My first thought was that the use of pink plus wider parking spaces is patronizing and harkens back to old stereotypes of the weaker sex. But perhaps other women don’t view this issue the same way I do. Maybe they see it as a sign of respect or a convenience that makes their lives a little easier.
In the U.S. I’ve seen spaces designated for pregnant women or parents with children but nothing just for women. What do you think of women-only parking spaces? Would any of your female characters park in one?
Photo courtesy of MailOnline.com