China shopping centre builds "car park for women"

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China shopping centre builds "car park for women"

Postby Zorlin » Tue Dec 29, 2009 10:51 pm UTC

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8432887.stm
Spoiler:
A shopping centre in China's Hebei province has built a car park with wider spaces that it says is designed especially to suit women drivers.

The women-only car park in Shijiazhuang city is also painted in pink and light purple to appeal to female tastes.

Official Wang Zheng told AFP news agency the car park was meant to cater to women's "strong sense of colour and different sense of distance".

The parking bays are one metre (3ft) wider than normal spaces, he said.

The Wanxiang-Tiancheng shopping centre had also "installed signs and security monitoring equipment that corresponded more to women's needs", he said.

The Global Times website says female parking attendants have been trained to help guide women drivers into their parking spaces. The bays also have extra lighting.

Driving in China is a dangerous activity, with more than 200 deaths in road accidents each day last year, AFP reports, citing police statistics.


Discuss.
Last edited by Zorlin on Wed Dec 30, 2009 12:11 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: China shopping centre builds "car park for women"

Postby MikeBabaguh » Tue Dec 29, 2009 11:00 pm UTC

Asian women are such crappy drivers that China has built an entire parking lot just to accommodate their lousy parking skills.

This is pretty funny.



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Re: China shopping centre builds "car park for women"

Postby Box Boy » Tue Dec 29, 2009 11:20 pm UTC

MikeBabaguh wrote:Oh look everyone, I've made a joke about women AND race!
Isn't that hilarious!
Wait, what's that you say? It wasn't funny? Well guess what, it was a joke so you don't have the right to be offended.

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Re: China shopping centre builds "car park for women"

Postby Velict » Tue Dec 29, 2009 11:28 pm UTC

This is probably one of the strangest PR/marketing stunts I've ever seen.

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Re: China shopping centre builds "car park for women"

Postby Felstaff » Wed Dec 30, 2009 12:04 am UTC

I don't have particularly good spatial or temporal reasoning skills, (more so than this lady, I hasten to add). This car-park would be ideal for me! I dislike that it's marketed towards women. What about us non-women crappy parkers, eh?
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Re: China shopping centre builds "car park for women"

Postby Zorlin » Wed Dec 30, 2009 12:12 am UTC

Fixed the spoiler, sorry. Posted this in a hurry.
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Re: China shopping centre builds "car park for women"

Postby scikidus » Wed Dec 30, 2009 12:12 am UTC

I am trying very hard to figure out what "security monitoring equipment that correspond[s] more to women's needs" would look like.
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Re: China shopping centre builds "car park for women"

Postby PhoenixRider » Wed Dec 30, 2009 12:23 am UTC

Not only do they have a respectable public restroom, but now they have a hot looking parking lot to boot.

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Re: China shopping centre builds "car park for women"

Postby J the Ninja » Wed Dec 30, 2009 12:34 am UTC

scikidus wrote:I am trying very hard to figure out what "security monitoring equipment that correspond[s] more to women's needs" would look like.


Maybe...

"We can afford more/better cameras if we only have to buy them for one parking garage. There is some concern about this being a rapist/perv-magnet"
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Re: China shopping centre builds "car park for women"

Postby The Reaper » Wed Dec 30, 2009 12:38 am UTC

scikidus wrote:I am trying very hard to figure out what "security monitoring equipment that correspond[s] more to women's needs" would look like.

Robotic Men.

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Re: China shopping centre builds "car park for women"

Postby G.v.K » Wed Dec 30, 2009 2:39 am UTC

http://www.sirc.org/publik/driving.pdf

This supports the suggestion by Storie (1977) that men are
more at risk from accidents involving high speed while women are at more
likely to be involved in accidents resulting from perceptual judgement errors.


Further research is proposed to identify such factors more precisely and, in
particular, the report concludes:
“Research is needed to examine the potential benefits of gender and
age-differentiated policies for issuance of driving licences and related
issues.1 ”
The fact that this WHO report was prepared by the Department for Gender and
Women’s Health suggests that driving-related policies that differentiate between
genders are not seen as cutting across broad notions of equality in this context.


maybe China's onto something here.

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Re: China shopping centre builds "car park for women"

Postby Joeldi » Wed Dec 30, 2009 4:43 am UTC

No.

Women are capable drivers whether there are minor differences in perception or not.
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Re: China shopping centre builds "car park for women"

Postby Gears » Wed Dec 30, 2009 4:57 am UTC

Capable drivers sure. Capable parkers? Maybe not.
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Re: China shopping centre builds "car park for women"

Postby Le1bn1z » Wed Dec 30, 2009 5:02 am UTC

It occurs to me that this is less a question of rights and dignity than of marketing.

If you're trying to appeal to the female market in X province of China, and the women there happen to like wider parking spaces, then why not?

In Canada, the USA and Europe we have special female-only and female-specific clubs, gyms and other facilities, because there's a market for it. There's no law requiring them, but women with money want them. So they exist.

So why not parking lots? Would anyone, man or woman, complain about having an easier time parking? Or nice colours? If the women with money in China like the idea, they'll be voting with their yuan.

Much ado about nothing, I think.
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Re: China shopping centre builds "car park for women"

Postby Lumpy » Wed Dec 30, 2009 5:05 am UTC

Because the sexist language they use makes it sound like women will stab their eyes out with forks unless each prong has a safety cork on it?

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Re: China shopping centre builds "car park for women"

Postby Zorlin » Wed Dec 30, 2009 6:00 am UTC

Box Boy wrote:Disclaimer: This post contains sarcasm. If you do not find this post funny your sense of humor is probably broken.

Some of my best friends are women, so if ANYONE has the right to-
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Re: China shopping centre builds "car park for women"

Postby podbaydoor » Wed Dec 30, 2009 6:18 am UTC

Le1bn1z wrote:It occurs to me that this is less a question of rights and dignity than of marketing.

If you're trying to appeal to the female market in X province of China, and the women there happen to like wider parking spaces, then why not?

In Canada, the USA and Europe we have special female-only and female-specific clubs, gyms and other facilities, because there's a market for it. There's no law requiring them, but women with money want them. So they exist.

So why not parking lots? Would anyone, man or woman, complain about having an easier time parking? Or nice colours? If the women with money in China like the idea, they'll be voting with their yuan.

Much ado about nothing, I think.

Hmmmm. I think I see both sides here. I'm put in mind of the women-only taxi services that were recently started in Dubai. Some feminist groups argued it was reinforcing the gender divide, while others argued that if there was a need in the market for a woman-only taxi service (in this case for women tired of being groped and abused on public transit), then women would ride on it, and they do. In principle, I don't like the concept of the woman-only parking lot and I certainly don't like some of the sexist underpinnings of the language promoting it (and as an Asian woman driver, the jokes get old very fast). But it's not that big of a deal. The women will vote for it with their money.
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Re: China shopping centre builds "car park for women"

Postby smw543 » Wed Dec 30, 2009 7:19 am UTC

podbaydoor wrote:
Le1bn1z wrote:It occurs to me that this is less a question of rights and dignity than of marketing.

If you're trying to appeal to the female market in X province of China, and the women there happen to like wider parking spaces, then why not?

In Canada, the USA and Europe we have special female-only and female-specific clubs, gyms and other facilities, because there's a market for it. There's no law requiring them, but women with money want them. So they exist.

So why not parking lots? Would anyone, man or woman, complain about having an easier time parking? Or nice colours? If the women with money in China like the idea, they'll be voting with their yuan.

Much ado about nothing, I think.

Hmmmm. I think I see both sides here. I'm put in mind of the women-only taxi services that were recently started in Dubai. Some feminist groups argued it was reinforcing the gender divide, while others argued that if there was a need in the market for a woman-only taxi service (in this case for women tired of being groped and abused on public transit), then women would ride on it, and they do. In principle, I don't like the concept of the woman-only parking lot and I certainly don't like some of the sexist underpinnings of the language promoting it (and as an Asian woman driver, the jokes get old very fast). But it's not that big of a deal. The women will vote for it with their money.

But that (the Dubai taxis) a very different issue; as you said, there was a legitimate need for it. Discrimination aside (men have enough advantages in China that making them park in ugly garages isn't anything to have a fit over), it's pretty blatant sexism—assuming, of course, that there isn't a significant difference in parking ability between sexes (there have been studies that supposedly show that women aren't as good at certain types of spatial reasoning, but it's a highly contentious issue, and even then it wouldn't necessarily be enough to have a significant effect on one's ability to park a car—worse comes to worst, you can always just do it very slowly and adjust four or five times). Or should we have opt-in schools where (only) minorities can get better education, 'cause they're dumber (this study totally says so!)? I think the fact that this idea even made it past the most preliminary stages speaks to the fact that they... have some room for improvement regarding sexism (something that they've shown a willingness to work on in the past).

I don't mean to sound like an arrogant American, but you'd get laughed out of the room if you suggested something like this here, and with good reason. "Women can't drive because they have poor spatial perception" is a form of "Women can't do X because of sexist stereotype Y," which can have some worrisome manifestations ("Women can't do [long list of good, well-paying jobs] because they can't restrain their emotions").

And for the record, my experience is that Japanese people are better drivers than Americans; I've never been to China (I was recently run over by a Chinese delivery man, but I'd still rate him as an above-average driver compared to other Floridians).[/anecdotal]
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Re: China shopping centre builds "car park for women"

Postby Hawknc » Wed Dec 30, 2009 7:59 am UTC

smw543 wrote:And for the record, my experience is that Japanese people are better drivers than Americans; I've never been to China (I was recently run over by a Chinese delivery man, but I'd still rate him as an above-average driver compared to other Floridians).[/anecdotal]

Japan, as a culture, has been driving for much longer than China. Thirteen million cars are sold in China each year but only about 14 percent of the population has a licence. It's quite possible that this is a symptom of a society that simply doesn't have the collective level of driving experience that we're used to. Of course, that's no excuse for sexism. I predict a lot of male drivers donning wigs and their wife's Sunday finest to get the good parking spots.
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Re: China shopping centre builds "car park for women"

Postby smw543 » Wed Dec 30, 2009 10:17 am UTC

Oh, yeah, that was just a joking aside. I thought about going into detail about why Chinese drivers, on average, probably aren't very good (200 deaths a day seems rather high; it was apparently ~116 per day in the US in 2004, and much lower if you normalize for our higher alcohol consumption) but got lazy.

But that does bring up another point—there could be some other form of sexism occurring that actually has resulted in Chinese women being poor drivers (though I may be stretching here). One that comes to mind is that it may be harder for women to get a license, leading to many unlicensed (and hence, on average, more likely to cause accidents) female drivers. I'd be curious to know if there are any oddities in the statistics that really stick out, like the average ages to start driving or the average pass rate on the driving test for men and women.
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Re: China shopping centre builds "car park for women"

Postby Zorlin » Wed Dec 30, 2009 6:15 pm UTC

smw543 wrote:Oh, yeah, that was just a joking aside. I thought about going into detail about why Chinese drivers, on average, probably aren't very good (200 deaths a day seems rather high; it was apparently ~116 per day in the US in 2004

Do these figures scale with population? China is kinda more populated. :|
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Re: China shopping centre builds "car park for women"

Postby smw543 » Wed Dec 30, 2009 6:50 pm UTC

Zorlin wrote:
smw543 wrote:Oh, yeah, that was just a joking aside. I thought about going into detail about why Chinese drivers, on average, probably aren't very good (200 deaths a day seems rather high; it was apparently ~116 per day in the US in 2004

Do these figures scale with population? China is kinda more populated. :|

Oops, didn't think of that. It's hard to find current statistics, but even at the absurd rate at which the number of vehicles and drivers is increasing in China (the more relevant statistics; I'm finding something like 160 million vehicles and 164 million drivers for 2007), it's still far fewer than the United States (196 million vehicles and 231 million drivers as of 2003). So they certainly have a higher rate of deaths per vehicle and per driver, not that it's particularly important.
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Re: China shopping centre builds "car park for women"

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Thu Dec 31, 2009 2:05 am UTC

Joeldi wrote:No.

Women are capable drivers whether there are minor differences in perception or not.


Clearly many individual women are cabable drivers in their own right; as one large statisical group however, women are demonstrated to have a significantly higher rate of minor accidents, bumps and scrapes. Predominantly during low speed manuvering; the Insurance firms and Loss adjusters are quite certain about that much.

It's just like many individual young men are safe drivers, but statisically their group is most likely to die, kill others, have a high speed collision, and write a vehicle off (or all of the above); they pay for this through their noses, you could claim it to be some kind of unfair bias, but that's pointless at best and stupid at worst as it's based on exactly the same firm evidence that says women are more likely to be involved in low speed bumps.

There, now the thread has a better devils advocate.

Of course they could have tried not to be quite so sexist in their promotional information, but China clearly isn't wired for that level of tact yet.
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Re: China shopping centre builds "car park for women"

Postby G.v.K » Thu Dec 31, 2009 2:31 am UTC

TheKrikkitWars wrote:Of course they could have tried not to be quite so sexist in their promotional information, but China clearly isn't wired for that level of tact yet.


maybe that 'tact' is simply not required in China because they do not share our default assumption that all sexism is unfair. in other words, it might still be possible in China to allow that there are valid differences between the sexes which could motivate this decision. would be interesting to hear about this from someone who knows.

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Re: China shopping centre builds "car park for women"

Postby Vaniver » Thu Dec 31, 2009 2:39 am UTC

I get really tired of people being offended by voluntary interactions. If there are women who are nervous about their parking ability, want more space, or want the added security of additional cameras in a dangerous place, which is also colored in a color combination that many of them find appealing, what does it matter that people on the other side of the world think it's sexist? Of course it's sexist- that's why they like it. They have different preferences that are correlated to sex, and those preferences are being responded to. The test of whether or not there should be more or less of these things is the profit associated with them.
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Re: China shopping centre builds "car park for women"

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Thu Dec 31, 2009 2:48 am UTC

G.v.K wrote:
TheKrikkitWars wrote:Of course they could have tried not to be quite so sexist in their promotional information, but China clearly isn't wired for that level of tact yet.


maybe that 'tact' is simply not required in China because they do not share our default assumption that all sexism is unfair. in other words, it might still be possible in China to allow that there are valid differences between the sexes which could motivate this decision. would be interesting to hear about this from someone who knows.


According to some family friends who live in bejing, it's fundimentally accepted that sexism *is* wrong; but nobody has actually bothered to go so far as to take action on that point; Tact was the only word I could think of for that, but it's a pretty poor choice of word.
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Re: China shopping centre builds "car park for women"

Postby Walter.Horvath » Thu Dec 31, 2009 3:47 am UTC

Vaniver wrote:I get really tired of people being offended by voluntary interactions. If there are women who are nervous about their parking ability, want more space, or want the added security of additional cameras in a dangerous place, which is also colored in a color combination that many of them find appealing, what does it matter that people on the other side of the world think it's sexist? Of course it's sexist- that's why they like it. They have different preferences that are correlated to sex, and those preferences are being responded to. The test of whether or not there should be more or less of these things is the profit associated with them.

We can only hope that some census was taken, and this is not based on a generalization. That being said, the best and worst driver I know are both womenfolk.

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Re: China shopping centre builds "car park for women"

Postby Rinsaikeru » Thu Dec 31, 2009 3:56 am UTC

That's pretty normal statistically I think, that is within the range of women and within the range of men--most fall somewhere in the middle. The stats from insurance companies do illustrate that it's more likely for women to get into fender benders in a parking lot--as yet I don't think it can be determined that this is because they are in fact women and not because they don't develop as much gross motor skill at a young age as boys do. Be that as it may, it's still something statistically proven (and used by insurance companies to gouge young male drivers).

I don't see a a real problem with the lot itself, though the advertising for it is quite bothersome. More cameras and a designated lot with female attendants sounds safer even to me. Parking garages at night are very intimidating places.
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Re: China shopping centre builds "car park for women"

Postby Osha » Thu Dec 31, 2009 4:17 am UTC

It might be that women are worse drivers on average, but there are plenty of guys terrible at driving and plenty of women who are awesome at driving.
So I don't have problems with a more accessible parking lot, but I do have a problem with an arbitrary divide between the gender legal sexes of the drivers.
I mean, a safer car park for women is one thing, but if the goal is foremost a car park for bad drivers, it would make more sense to let in bad drivers of either sex.

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Re: China shopping centre builds "car park for women"

Postby Rinsaikeru » Thu Dec 31, 2009 4:29 am UTC

I think this one is sort of a bundle deal:

Bigger spots because we think your parking sucks cuz you're female.
More cameras and security so you won't get physically assaulted.
Pretty colours, so we can charge more money.

Having ridden on the women only cars in the subway in Japan, I really felt conflicted. It was nice not to be shoved in a car with a bunch of strange men, but it was also othering and pointed to a society that couldn't get men to behave respectably in public when women were around. This kind of evokes a similar sentiment.
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Re: China shopping centre builds "car park for women"

Postby Zorlin » Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:09 pm UTC

Osha wrote:I mean, a safer car park for women is one thing, but if the goal is foremost a car park for bad drivers, it would make more sense to let in bad drivers of either sex.

Well, for this to work you'd need bad parkers/drivers (of both sexes) to know that they're not good at it.
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Re: China shopping centre builds "car park for women"

Postby Le1bn1z » Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:43 pm UTC

smw543 wrote:
podbaydoor wrote:
Le1bn1z wrote:It occurs to me that this is less a question of rights and dignity than of marketing.

If you're trying to appeal to the female market in X province of China, and the women there happen to like wider parking spaces, then why not?

In Canada, the USA and Europe we have special female-only and female-specific clubs, gyms and other facilities, because there's a market for it. There's no law requiring them, but women with money want them. So they exist.

So why not parking lots? Would anyone, man or woman, complain about having an easier time parking? Or nice colours? If the women with money in China like the idea, they'll be voting with their yuan.

Much ado about nothing, I think.

Hmmmm. I think I see both sides here. I'm put in mind of the women-only taxi services that were recently started in Dubai. Some feminist groups argued it was reinforcing the gender divide, while others argued that if there was a need in the market for a woman-only taxi service (in this case for women tired of being groped and abused on public transit), then women would ride on it, and they do. In principle, I don't like the concept of the woman-only parking lot and I certainly don't like some of the sexist underpinnings of the language promoting it (and as an Asian woman driver, the jokes get old very fast). But it's not that big of a deal. The women will vote for it with their money.

But that (the Dubai taxis) a very different issue; as you said, there was a legitimate need for it. Discrimination aside (men have enough advantages in China that making them park in ugly garages isn't anything to have a fit over), it's pretty blatant sexism—assuming, of course, that there isn't a significant difference in parking ability between sexes (there have been studies that supposedly show that women aren't as good at certain types of spatial reasoning, but it's a highly contentious issue, and even then it wouldn't necessarily be enough to have a significant effect on one's ability to park a car—worse comes to worst, you can always just do it very slowly and adjust four or five times). Or should we have opt-in schools where (only) minorities can get better education, 'cause they're dumber (this study totally says so!)? I think the fact that this idea even made it past the most preliminary stages speaks to the fact that they... have some room for improvement regarding sexism (something that they've shown a willingness to work on in the past).

I don't mean to sound like an arrogant American, but you'd get laughed out of the room if you suggested something like this here, and with good reason. "Women can't drive because they have poor spatial perception" is a form of "Women can't do X because of sexist stereotype Y," which can have some worrisome manifestations ("Women can't do [long list of good, well-paying jobs] because they can't restrain their emotions").

And for the record, my experience is that Japanese people are better drivers than Americans; I've never been to China (I was recently run over by a Chinese delivery man, but I'd still rate him as an above-average driver compared to other Floridians).[/anecdotal]


Who said anything about "need"? This is a mall. The cathederal of conspicuous consumption. It isn't about what you "need". It's about what you want.

If Chinese women prefer to feel pampered and "special" by having their own exclusive parking, then, well, that's what they want.

Its the same principle as women only gyms or clubs or bars found here in the West. Women want what they want. Capitalism gives it to them.

There's no policy saying women can't park in the other lot if they so choose. There's certainly no law segregating parking. This isn't a sexist campaign. It's an opportunistic bit of capitalist venture. If women like the special treatment, they'll have it.
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Re: China shopping centre builds "car park for women"

Postby Diadem » Fri Jan 01, 2010 3:16 am UTC

Zorlin wrote:Driving in China is a dangerous activity, with more than 200 deaths in road accidents each day last year, AFP reports, citing police statistics.

That doesn't sound like a lot. 200 deaths a day on population of over 1.3 billion.

In fact this wikipedia picture puts China around the middle of the world. Above Europe, but in the same ballpark as the US, and below Russia or most African nations.
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Re: China shopping centre builds "car park for women"

Postby smw543 » Fri Jan 01, 2010 3:47 am UTC

Diadem wrote:
Zorlin wrote:Driving in China is a dangerous activity, with more than 200 deaths in road accidents each day last year, AFP reports, citing police statistics.

That doesn't sound like a lot. 200 deaths a day on population of over 1.3 billion.

In fact this wikipedia picture puts China around the middle of the world. Above Europe, but in the same ballpark as the US, and below Russia or most African nations.

The actual article gives 11.2 deaths per 100,000 for the US and 16.5 for China, which I'd say is significant, especially when you consider that a huge portion of China's population doesn't drive at all—higher up the page I mentioned that the US actually has more cars and drivers than China, which should result in China having a lower number, not a higher one. Of course, it's hard to say how many is "good" or "bad;" I just reacted to the number being much higher than the US because I'm American and have an impression of Americans as being fairly crappy drivers on average.

Le1bn1z wrote:Who said anything about "need"? This is a mall. The cathederal of conspicuous consumption. It isn't about what you "need". It's about what you want.

Not I. I specifically acknowledged that as the reason why this case was different (though I didn't notice the part about cameras and the implications regarding safety, which changes things).

Le1bn1z wrote:There's no policy saying women can't park in the other lot if they so choose. There's certainly no law segregating parking. This isn't a sexist campaign. It's an opportunistic bit of capitalist venture. If women like the special treatment, they'll have it.

I'm not saying the place needs to be torn down, I just think it's significant when sexist thinking seems to (at least partially) underlie actions taken in a country with a troubling history regarding sexism. At the very least, I don't think we should let the market decide social issues.
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Re: China shopping centre builds "car park for women"

Postby Aetius » Fri Jan 01, 2010 4:44 am UTC

Rinsaikeru wrote: pointed to a society that couldn't get men to behave respectably in public when women were around.


Just like this parking lot points to a society that can't get women to drive respectably when painted lines are around.

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Re: China shopping centre builds "car park for women"

Postby wst » Fri Jan 01, 2010 10:25 am UTC

Bigger spaces? Pink markings?

Maybe China just wants people who drive these to feel loved -
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Re: China shopping centre builds "car park for women"

Postby Rinsaikeru » Fri Jan 01, 2010 7:23 pm UTC

Aetius wrote:
Rinsaikeru wrote: pointed to a society that couldn't get men to behave respectably in public when women were around.


Just like this parking lot points to a society that can't get women to drive respectably when painted lines are around.


Well the subway cars aren't a service you pay extra for, they're just part of the general subway system. These spaces are a paid for extra service for women nervous about parking--they're not obligated to park there, and considering the discussion about how bad driving is generally in China (for whatever reason), I don't think many people are driving respectably to begin with.
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Re: China shopping centre builds "car park for women"

Postby Philwelch » Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:29 am UTC

TheKrikkitWars wrote:Of course they could have tried not to be quite so sexist in their promotional information, but China clearly isn't wired for that level of tact yet.


Cultures are always more delicate about issues which are taboo to them. Sexism and racism are taboo to Americans, so we are really delicate about those issues. China has taboos of its own, and I'm sure they speak very, very delicately about them.

On aggregate, my impression is that the Chinese are far more tactful than we are. They're just tactful about different things.
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Re: China shopping centre builds "car park for women"

Postby hideki101 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 7:41 am UTC

I have a question. Is it explicitly pointed out that bad driving is the reason for the wider parking spaces, or could there be some other reason for it? The reason I ask is because that seems to be the sticking point for this discussion; that the reason people think this is sexist is because it implies that women are inferior drivers or something.
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Re: China shopping centre builds "car park for women"

Postby SlyReaper » Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:42 am UTC

hideki101 wrote:I have a question. Is it explicitly pointed out that bad driving is the reason for the wider parking spaces, or could there be some other reason for it? The reason I ask is because that seems to be the sticking point for this discussion; that the reason people think this is sexist is because it implies that women are inferior drivers or something.

As has already been discussed, it implies women are inferior parkers, not inferior drivers. I have no idea if this implication is true or not, I've not been able to look at the links people have posted (damn work filter).
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