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Sexist Parking? A German Mayor Tests it Out

Sexist Parking? A German Mayor Tests it Out

Have you ever felt frustrated by a particularly challenging parking spot? Did you ever wish someone would allocate a parking spot for you based on your gender? You might never have heard of the small town of Triberg in Germany’s Black Forest region until now, but the town’s mayor, Gallus Strobel, has served the town for over 10 years and recently made headlines with his sex-specific parking ploy.

The mayor opened a new parking lot in the town of 5,000 people early in June. The parking lot boasted two “male” parking spots and 10 “female” parking spots with male and female symbols painted on the spots to direct drivers in the right direction, ABC News reports.

The parking spots and their sex-specific markings were applied as a reflection of the common stereotype that women are terrible at parking and men have a natural talent for parking in tight spaces. The “easy” or “female” parking spots were apparently quick to maneuver into while the “male” spots were:

…not rectangular, at an angle to the road and placed between walls and pillars; that makes parking difficult so we decided to allocate them to men.

Perhaps the most surprising twist in the whole story is that the mayor claims he has used the sexist parking ploy to attract attention to the town and increase tourism. The Telegraph quotes him:

I never expected this reaction… I’ve been on the phone all day, the TV will come. I am happy, and it looks like we’ve hit a raw nerve in society. It’s been a great marketing gimmick.

Women can come here and prove me wrong, and while they’re at it they can see the town’s attractions.

While the parking spots have no legal standing and anyone can try parking in them, the mayor’s statements about the parking seem to suggest he finds some truth in the conviction that women are worse at parking. He states in an interview for Spiegel Magazine, “But many [women] also cannot park; Like my secretary. Five times she tried and no success.”

The mayor also pointed out that this new “humorous” parking attraction couldn’t be sexist because there were a whole 10 parking spots allotted to women, and men only received two.

Admittedly, he hit a raw nerve in society and perhaps a few people will drop by the town to revel in the sexism an elected official can get away with. This story might also work against rural Germany by drawing negative attention to the Black Forest area.

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Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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78 comments

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5:03AM PST on Nov 20, 2012

Hello dear
My name is Mis Rama, i saw you profile,i decided to contact you base on your searching, if you wouldn't mind,i will be so happy for you to contact me so we can discuss according to your details to what you are searching,so get back to me directly to my email address here ,(ramabarkani@yahoo.com)
Mis Rama

10:06PM PDT on Jul 21, 2012

Amazing. This guy managed to discriminate against both sexes in one fell swoop!

2:47AM PDT on Jul 17, 2012

thanks

6:11AM PDT on Jul 16, 2012

This is absolutely hilarious! Well done, Mayor Strobel!
People need to lighten up, it's supposed to be a silly way to attract tourism.

5:24AM PDT on Jul 16, 2012

Madelaine C. If you would read the article you would see that it is not a law or any amendment to parking. It was done with tongue in cheek. You don't do much for the woman by posting something that is not there. There is nothing to repeal. And if you want to know I am for the woman 100% but there are times when you go off the deep end.

4:36AM PDT on Jul 16, 2012

This article provided great talking points in the UK with many indignant women giving this man some grief !

4:27AM PDT on Jul 16, 2012

Thanks for article.

1:47AM PDT on Jul 16, 2012

Stereotype much! OK, maybe my mother isn't the best Parker in the UK,but I certainly don't think this can be applied to half the world's skill at driving! This man is clearly an idiot doing this for attention. I give this a month until it's repeal at the most.

8:38PM PDT on Jul 15, 2012

This is just stupid.

6:05PM PDT on Jul 15, 2012

Very silly, thanks for your post.

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