Chinese Mall Rolls Out Special Bright Pink Parking Spaces for Women: ‘This Is Supposed to Respect Women, but Actually It’s An Insult’

A mall in China has rolled out a demeaning perk for ladies: special parking spots.

The 10 spots are marked out in bright pink and they’re nearly a foot wider than regular spots, Agence France-Presse reported.

They’re also accompanied by signs saying, “Respectfully reserved for women.”

In this photo taken on July 7, 2014 mall manager Yang Hongjun speaks in front of cars parked in pink marked out spaces during an interview in front of the Dashijiedaduhui, or World Metropolis centre, in the seaport city of Dalian, northeast China’s Liaoning province. The parking spaces outside a Chinese shopping mall are distinctive: marked out in pink, around 30 centimetres wider than normal, and signposted ‘Respectfully reserved for women’. (Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images)

“This is supposed to respect women, but actually it’s an insult,” one commenter on Chinese social media said.

The spots at the Dashijiedaduhui – or “World Metropolis — in the northern port city of Dalian were apparently established after female customers had issues parking in the normal spaces, management told the AFP.

“We just wanted to make things easier for women, who make up most of our customers,” said female manager Yang Hongjun. “It’s not an insult to women at all.”

Honguin did not seem to understand how super-sized lady parking spaces could come across as offensive.

“If their parking spaces are larger, it’s only for practical reasons,” she told the AFP. “It doesn’t mean that women drive less well than men.”

Some mall customers seemed to be pleased with the special spaces.

“I think this is very convenient,” said female shopper Yong Mei. “Other parking spaces are too narrow.”

She seemingly contradicted herself as she said, “It’s not gender biased — it’s just that women have a few issues with vision when parking.”

A man at the mall, on the other hand, came right out with a sexist accusation.

“Women don’t really know how to park a car,” said Wu Zhicun. “I’ve noticed they’re a bit rough at the wheel, they only look forwards, too often they ignore their mirrors.”

The mall’s special spots are only the latest example of traditional sexism underlying the officially egalitarian Chinese society; last year the Beijing police department made waves after taking to Weibo (a Chinese Twitter analogue) to offer driving advice for women.

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