Are One Town's Women-Only Parking Spots a Kind Gesture or a Pointed Insult?Meredith Carroll
Not once when I was pregnant did I ever think I deserved something because I was pregnant. You know, except for maybe a seat when I was really pregnant and really tired, or I asked my husband to hunt down a very specific kind of olive from a favorite local restaurant (which he never did, but I’m sure I’ll get over it sometime before the kid I was pregnant with when he failed to get me the olives graduates from college).
I never felt as if I deserved a good parking space, but I sure appreciate the few supermarkets I’ve seen that designate special parking spots close to the store entrance for expectant moms or anyone schlepping around little babies. It’s not like stores have an obligation to do that, but when they recognize that extra human loads can be a literal burden, it warms my heart and makes me want to give them my business.
One town in Germany has designated some women-only parking spots, which would be nice, except the reason they did it was hardly a benign gesture (although it does seem to be another kind of gesture).
Gallus Strobel, who is the mayor of a small town in Germany named Triberg, has designated 12 spaces in the city’s new parking garage for women only because they are well-lit and easily accessible, according to Yahoo News. There are also two men-only spots in the garage, which are deemed as “difficult” spots, because apparently men are just better, more capable drivers than women.
Mayor Strobel says he’s “no anti-woman crusader,” and the idea was to “kick off a little conversation.” The “male” spaces are angle-only parking with tight clearances and “men are just a little keener on rising to the task than moving to a difference space.”
Of course the whole thing is a somewhat of a PR stunt — and it’s working, apparently, because people are driving to Triberg just to test their parking skills on the “male” spaces. And then, you know, eating and shopping, which is good for business.
And while women can still have the last laugh, as Yahoo News points to a study that shows women are actually better drivers than men, it just feels groan-worthy that men like Mayor Strobel exist to generate stories like this — perpetuating tired stereotypes painting women as weaker and dumb due to the lack of a penis and a set of testicles.
Although maybe we deserve better parking spaces as a consolation for having to co-exist on the same planet as people like Mayor Strobel?
Do you think the parking spots are insulting, or will you taken ’em however you can get ’em?
Photo credit: iStock