06.30.16 - Hangzhou Skyline

There are plenty of sexist remarks that each gender makes back and forth to each other that have developed into a wide variety of stereotypes. One of the stereotypes that has been talked about for ages is the assumption that female drivers are not as skilled at driving as male drivers. While most of us have heard that said from time to time, typically in jest, most of us realize the reality is that gender has nothing to do with the actual skill of a driver. What does lead to the skill is the experience the person has behind the wheel.

Even so, it seems a city in China has caught the attention of social media and regular media alike by painting several parking spots along highway service areas pink and designating them for women only. While there is nothing wrong with a chivalrous move and offering spaces that are reserved for women drivers, these spaces were painted at 1.5 times the size of regular parking spaces, which leads anyone who sees them to believe the city of Hangzhou doesn’t feel women drivers are able to park as skillfully as their male counterparts. This is what has stirred up the conversation and made it so the various media sources have taken notice of this egregious act.

While the city service center spokesman stated that this is a “humane measure” and that the women drivers are not as skilled as men, the conversation has quickly changed to the fact that these spaces should have been designated for novice drivers, regardless of gender. This, of course, is only due to the size of the spaces, not their location, which certainly women would enjoy and consider a nice benefit. In fact, it’s been reported that each of these pink spaces receives around fifteen visitors on a daily basis to take advantage of the fact that the city chose to give some priority parking to women.

Hangzhou is hardly the first city to ever do anything like this. In fact Seoul had 5,000 extra wide parking spaces painted pink in 2014 and reserved them for female drivers. Germany has some local guidelines that require nearly thirty percent of the spaces to be designated as female-only. It seems the only real issue is the fact these spaces are so large, and the city leaders seem to be under the impression its acceptable to be sexist as long as it’s a humane gesture. Thankfully the 1.5 times the size spaces in Hangzhou only make up eight of the spaces at the service center which has 361 spaces overall.

Of course it does seem a bit odd to be concerned about pink parking spaces, even the kind that are obscenely large when China has over 200,000 automobile deaths each year. This is where their media really needs to pay attention and not be as concerned about the parking that is reserved for female drivers, who obviously are taking advantage of them if they are all being used as much each day as has been reported.

Written by Kerry Marasco

Call me old fashioned by I just got into social media recently. Yes, I'm that gal you see at the real coffee shop (aka not Starbucks) with an actual book.

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