Chinese Mall Swears Pink, Oversized, Women-Only Parking Spots Aren’t Sexist

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".
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

Thank goodness. Women in China now have access to larger parking spaces that are pink and are labeled “respectfully reserved for women.”

How nice.

The shopping mall where the spots are located, the World Metropolis Center in the northeastern Chinese city of Dalian, has received some heavy backlash with accusations of sexism, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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“It’s not an insult to women at all,” mall manager Yang Hongjun told AFP in a report carried by the Shanghai Daily, The Wall Street Journal reported. “If their parking spaces are larger, it’s only for practical reasons. It doesn’t mean that women drive less well than men.”

The Telegraph reported, “Unusually, though, the 10 spaces outside the main entrance were provided after women had trouble parking in the standard basement slots, managers said.”

Chinese social media reacted fairly negatively toward these new parking spots, according to The Telegraph, making comments such as “This is supposed to respect women, but actually it’s an insult.”

But, it also lead to people making comments on women driving.

The Telegraph said one online user wrote: “The two most dangerous things in the world are men who cook and women who drive.”

The Daily Mail reported that despite the stereotype that women are worse drivers than men, a recent study shows something different:

“A study titled ‘Basic Characteristics of Road Traffic Deaths in China’ published last January, revealed there were more than 67,000 people killed in road traffic crashes, including parking incidents, in 2009. One of the significant risk factors was gender. But contrary to the apparent belief of the shopping mall planners, men have a far higher risk of crashing then women. In the study, fatal crashes by male drivers were more than three times than that of female drivers.”

The Daily Mail also said similar spaces were created in Seoul, South Korea a few months ago.