A shopping mall in Shanghai recently sparked controversy with its special, super-sized parking spaces for female drivers. The pink-colored spots are six meters long by three meters wide, making them half a meter larger than normal parking spaces. Although mall staff insist that they are intended to make parking safer and more convenient for women, plenty of netizens have deemed the move sexist.
The four pink-colored spaces on the B1 level of Wandu Center, on Xingyi Road, feature the image of a woman, similar to the ones used to designate restroom doors, on the floor and the walls behind them are to be painted pink for easy identification. Men are obviously not allowed to use these spots, but strict action won’t be taken against those who do, at least not at first. “Whether the ladies-only spaces will be properly used still depends on public awareness,” said mall employee Li Ming.
Interestingly, this isn’t the first mall to incorporate ladies-only parking spots. Similar spots are already in use in some malls in South Korea, Germany, and China’s Hebei Province. The existence of these parking has raised a very pertinent question: Do these spots suggest that women are worse drivers than men?
“Isn’t it a kind of discrimination against female drivers,” a netizen asked on Xinmin.cn. “Some men may be less skilled at parking than women.” Some people have suggested that wider parking spaces should be made available to amateur drivers of both sexes.
“We have noticed these online comments, and we want to emphasize that this is not a kind of discrimination against men or women drivers, but rather a way to show kindness and respect to women,” Li Ming insisted.