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Very Smart German Men Think Women-Only Parking Spaces Are Sexist

Illustration for article titled Very Smart German Men Think Women-Only Parking Spaces Are Sexist

Did you know there are women-only parking spaces in this world? Some are even painted pink and measure one foot wider than other spaces. This is a thing! But in Germany, Men Are Upset About It. Reverse sexism! In parking spaces!


This women-only parking phenomenon is so hardcore over there that, in some German towns, the law states that at least 30 percent of a parking lot must have spaces designated for women alone. The lots are usually bigger—the better for silly ladies to drive their cars in?—which some Germans feel is offensive, because it implies that women can’t drive properly. But there’s another reason for the women-only lots: they were initially created as a protective measure to safe guard women against sexual attacks.

In the 1990s, German women voiced their concern about retrieving their cars from dimly-lit lots. So these women’s only parking spaces were created as a deterrent for sexual assaults, all of them placed in well-lit areas that were either close to public spaces or building entrances.


Now, German police data shows that the risks women face in parking lots were “exaggerated,” but the safety spaces are here to stay, much to the chagrin of some Men.

Last week, according to the Washington Post, a German website ran a debate called “‘Women-only’ parking: sensible or Sexist?”

Why wasn’t “sensible” capitalized? Anyway.

“Today, nobody needs women’s parking lots anymore — especially not in the modern, lucid and well-lit shopping malls,” reporter Werner Mathes argued in an op-ed for German weekly Stern. “In some Swiss cities, such as Zurich or Luzern, one has gotten rid of those spaces years ago, because parking lots are much brighter and better lit than in the past.”


Besides, my parking space is so small and dim! screamed Mathes, probably, at his laptop, alone in his home.

Does this sound like the “teen pregnancy is down so we should get rid of birth control measures” argument to anyone else? Perhaps women are safer in countries like Germany, China and elsewhere because they’re leaving and entering their vehicles in well-lit spaces? Why would anyone want to change that?


Ironically, a mayor of a southern German town said this about creating men-only parking:

“We found that two places were not rectangular, at an angle to the road and placed between walls and pillars,” he told German magazine Der Spiegel in a translation by The Local. “This makes parking difficult so we decided to allocate them to men.”



Are difficult, badly shaped parking spaces really helping The Men?

None of this makes any sense.

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Image via Shutterstock.

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SadeVEVO ✓ official

There is no “reverse sexism”. There’s just one kind of sexism. A bright pink parking space for women is just the regular kind of sexism, which ultimately doesn’t solve the problem it purports to. It is paternal protectionism; it keeps women powerless—presumably for their own good.