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Women-Only Parking Spots in Iksan

Well ladies, have at it.

The city of Iksan in Jeollabuk-do has created “pink line parking” for women drivers in public parking lots.

Iksan, chosen by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family (여성부) as the first woman-friendly city, has 25 public parking lots, including at City Hall and the Madong City Library, where the spots are installed, and by the end of the year another 670 spots will go in 21 parking lots throughout the metropolitan area.

The “pink lines”, painted pink, are 2.5 meters wide rather than the standard 2.3, offering aid to women drivers unskilled at parking. The city will also install 34 street lights and 194 guard lamps in high-crime areas to create safer streets.

You know, that actually sounds pretty sexist. Unskilled women drivers?

31 Comments

  1. The Real Peter P wrote:

    I think maybe Jeollabuk-do (inparticularly the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family)should think more about eliminating sexism and improving men’s attitidue toward women in their province before creating parking spaces for women.
    And since when to Korean drivers actually park within the lines anyway???

    Saturday, April 11, 2009 at 8:37 am | Permalink
  2. Brian wrote:

    lol that’s horrible.

    Did they also expand the sidewalks, too, to help unskilled women drivers navigate around pedestrians?

    Saturday, April 11, 2009 at 8:51 am | Permalink
  3. Korea Beat wrote:

    I don’t know what’s worse, if that’s actually the city’s reasoning or if a sexist reporter merely came up with it on his own and reported it as fact.

    Saturday, April 11, 2009 at 8:57 am | Permalink
  4. Gumi_teacher wrote:

    While they’re at it, they should install calculators at public markets since women suck at math.

    Also, they should public isolation rooms where women can be alone to cry or have a tantrum if they need to. Since females are all so emotional.

    But couldn’t the driving problem be solved if, like in Arab countries, women were not allowed to drive in the first place!

    Saturday, April 11, 2009 at 9:24 am | Permalink
  5. Jim wrote:

    I know when I was still back in Florida they had parking for pregnant women. They just had a mirror hanger like the handicap one from the state and you get up front parking at most places. If they had done something like that instead of the blanket “Woman only” style I would tend to think it would go over better

    Saturday, April 11, 2009 at 9:35 am | Permalink
  6. Steve wrote:

    LOL…that’s some funny shit. Especially considering male korean drivers tend to be a lot worse than the females…In my experience anyway. They should just make a bunch of Korean-Only parking spaces…..lol

    Saturday, April 11, 2009 at 10:17 am | Permalink
  7. kushibo wrote:

    The “pink lines”, painted pink, are 2.5 meters wide rather than the standard 2.3, offering aid to unskilled women drivers.

    분홍색으로 그려진 핑크라인은 일반 주차선의 폭 2.3m보다 더 넓은 2.5m로 돼 있어 주차에 능숙하지 못한 여성 운전자에게 도움을 줄 수 있도록 했다.

    Isn’t it saying that the wider spaces are “offering aid to women drivers who lack parking skills“?

    Maybe that’s a minor quibble, but I don’t think it’s saying women in general are worse drivers than men (though some men probably think so and I’ve heard a number of Korean women tell me that), but many do have less skill at parking.

    With women in Korea having a shorter average history of being a licensed driver and a shorter average number of total miles driven, non-PC Koreans would probably see nothing wrong with assuming less 능숙 among women with less driving experience. Since I’m not so certain the article meant to say ALL women have less parking 능숙, I don’t think this is necessarily all that sexist.

    At any rate, my experience is like Steve’s, where it is the more dangerous situations I encounter in Korea are due to male drivers. And I have yet to be hit by a drunk-driving female in any country.

    I live and work between Seoul Station and Yongsan Garrison, where the WORST drivers in that area (measured by who is driving when I am nearly hit as a pedestrian or while driving) are “foreign” drivers, especially 미8군 POV drivers who seem hell-bent on out-Koreaning the Korean drivers.

    Saturday, April 11, 2009 at 11:05 am | Permalink
  8. Jesus wrote:

    @Kushibo

    It’s most certainly saying women are worse drivers than men. I can’t believe you’d argue otherwise. If it was painted, I don’t know, green, or something, and was for ALL “drivers who lack parking skills,” then that would make sense. However, the fact that only women get these special parking gives a very clear answer to the “is this sexist” question.

    Saturday, April 11, 2009 at 11:39 am | Permalink
  9. Kelly wrote:

    That’s true, what about the men who lack parking skills?

    I find it rather amusing that it’s a bid to make a more-female-friendly city from the Ministry of Gender EQUALITY and family.

    Saturday, April 11, 2009 at 1:36 pm | Permalink
  10. kushibo wrote:

    So, Jesus, can you show me where my interpretation of “주차에 능숙하지 못한 여성 운전자에게 도움을 줄 수 있도록 했다” is wrong?

    Saturday, April 11, 2009 at 1:47 pm | Permalink
  11. kushibo wrote:

    Kelly wrote:
    I find it rather amusing that it’s a bid to make a more-female-friendly city from the Ministry of Gender EQUALITY and family.

    Well, that lovely disconnect is from the fact that the English-language name of the “Ministry of Gender Equality” is quite different from the original Korean name, 여성부 (女性部), which essentially is the Ministry of Females.

    In its current form, it exists to create gender equality only so far as it is correcting the inequality suffered by women in Korea, which so far has involved a bit of reverse discrimination.

    Maybe when things have reached parity of some sort, there will actually be emphasis on true gender equality (like some people’s push to have women do mandatory military or government service). They’d have to change the name of the Yŏsŏngbu, though.

    Saturday, April 11, 2009 at 1:54 pm | Permalink
  12. Oliver Cromwell wrote:

    I think we can all agree these parking spaces are ridiculous. They aren’t saying that all women drivers are bad, but they are saying that the number of bad women drivers is so numerous and awful that women need special bright pink parking sports for themselves. It’s inconsiderate to men while being condescending to women.

    *sigh*

    Saturday, April 11, 2009 at 2:42 pm | Permalink
  13. kushibo wrote:

    I think we can all agree these parking spaces are ridiculous.

    For places of business where female employees or consumers would expect to walk to/from the building when it is dark, I don’t think women-only spaces close to the building are a ridiculous idea.

    The article doesn’t clearly state whether that’s why these pink spaces (that doesn’t sound like a double-entendre) are designed that way, but it does say they’re adding street lights to enhance safety, so it could be.

    My mother is a nurse and when she worked the evening shift in California, ending at 11 p.m., midnight, or 1 a.m., the security staff would have to leave their post to escort the female staff to their cars.

    With a different parking setup that included female-only parking spots, they might have been able to better utilize their workforce AND they wouldn’t have had assaults in the parking lot in the first place which necessitated the escorts.

    Nevertheless, the ham-handed way Iksan is dealing with this — if it wasn’t the reporter’s own speculation about the size of the spots — is kinda dumb.

    Saturday, April 11, 2009 at 3:04 pm | Permalink
  14. Arghaeri wrote:

    “In its current form, it exists to create gender equality only so far as it is correcting the inequality suffered by women in Korea, which so far has involved a bit of reverse discrimination.”

    And what exactly do parking spaces that are (or were) gender neutral have to do with that aim?

    Saturday, April 11, 2009 at 3:39 pm | Permalink
  15. kushibo wrote:

    And what exactly do parking spaces that are (or were) gender neutral have to do with that aim?

    Like with entire floors of female-only parking in department stores, the idea is to have a safe place for female employees or customers to park.

    IOW, reverse discrimination (blocking oppressive men in order to provide safety to vulnerable women) to provide (try to) eliminate unequal levels of personal safety.

    Ditto with the female-only cars on the subways and commuter trains: men weren’t being felt up by women, but women were being felt up by men, hence arguably discriminatory solution.

    Saturday, April 11, 2009 at 4:38 pm | Permalink
  16. Seth Gecko wrote:

    “You know, that actually sounds pretty sexist. Unskilled women drivers?”

    I don’t know about sexist, but it certainly sounds like a redundancy :)

    Saturday, April 11, 2009 at 6:32 pm | Permalink
  17. Eddie P wrote:

    Wider is okay for pregnant women, so I wouldn’t mind it so much if the wider spots were for pregnant women only. But wider spots for all women is sexist, without any evidence that I know of supporting this need for the general population of women drivers. Having well lit areas specially designated for women drivers in order to increase parking lot safety is a good idea which I’m confident can be supported with statistical evidence.

    Saturday, April 11, 2009 at 8:05 pm | Permalink
  18. Korea Beat wrote:

    Kushibo is right about the translation. It’s been tweaked.

    Sunday, April 12, 2009 at 12:32 am | Permalink
  19. Jesus wrote:

    @Korea Beat

    So how does it feel to have a real live troll on your website, now?

    @Kushibo

    You seem to be confused. The fact that you can’t see any issue with the fact that only women get these special huge pink parking spaces means you’re either a) incredibly dim, or b) a troll. Personally, I’d say it’s a combination of the two.

    Sunday, April 12, 2009 at 1:20 am | Permalink
  20. hmmm wrote:

    wow wider lots just for women that can’t park…what an insult.

    Sunday, April 12, 2009 at 1:45 am | Permalink
  21. Korea Beat wrote:

    Jesus, I don’t think anybody’s been trolling. I’m not perfect, Kushibo spotted a mistake… case closed.

    Sunday, April 12, 2009 at 3:26 am | Permalink
  22. Chris wrote:

    the only trolls here are the five or six guys who post ‘i’d stick my balls in HER mouth!’ or whatever any time a picture of a woman is posted

    Sunday, April 12, 2009 at 3:44 am | Permalink
  23. kushibo wrote:

    I’m not perfect, Kushibo spotted a mistake… case closed.

    You’re like the guy who built a whole house from the foundation up, and I’m like the guy standing off to the side and checking out your paint job going, “Hey, what’s wrong with you? You missed a spot.”

    Sunday, April 12, 2009 at 4:56 am | Permalink
  24. Yu Bumsuk wrote:

    75% of North American women who drive SUVs need parking spaces with an extra two metres. People who couldn’t back up using mirrors to save their lives just shouldn’t be allowed to buy them.

    Sunday, April 12, 2009 at 12:07 pm | Permalink
  25. cjlatina wrote:

    Only 25 parking lots? That’s not good enough. hehehehe

    Wow those parking spaces look real big…..are they saying women in Korea are too fat?

    Sunday, April 12, 2009 at 12:16 pm | Permalink
  26. The Professor wrote:

    I was thinking that the biggest problem here isn’t any perceived sexism, or real sexism, but the fact that the spaces are pink.

    I don’t know about you, but I see more men wearing pink then women in this country, and so I’m foreseeing a whole lot of confused men thinking the spots are actually for them.

    Sunday, April 12, 2009 at 12:37 pm | Permalink
  27. kushibo wrote:

    The Professor wrote:
    I don’t know about you, but I see more men wearing pink then women in this country, and so I’m foreseeing a whole lot of confused men thinking the spots are actually for them.

    I’m not so sure. The parking spot is clearly marked with a clitoris-and-labia icon.

    Sunday, April 12, 2009 at 2:27 pm | Permalink
  28. cjlatina wrote:

    I would like to know if guys can use those parking spots if they are driving with their girlfriends? You know like a handicap placard. lol

    Sunday, April 12, 2009 at 5:16 pm | Permalink
  29. Jiugae wrote:

    The news report apparently made some koreans(apparently male chauvinists) annoyed also. I translated the first 5 comments out of 22 comments in total on the news report.

    Comment 1 (speedwagen) : I think It’s rather good (sarcasm)- From now, we will see much less Ms Kims who pretend to be innocent, having scratched other’s car.

    – reply1 (victor_kmk) : Let’s think about it positively, but this news report sucks.
    – reply2 : Hm…well, you got my full sympathy.

    Comment 2 (cookie_nala) : Please, live apart from us. You, ministry of gender equality feminists and Democratic party Jeolladians should live apart from us there in Jeolla province. Everytime I see Democratic party, it reminds me of these feminist swindlers. You trash feminists and Democrats, Please go and live there in Jeolla province.

    — reply 1 (nukedata) : cookie_nala has been reported on the charge of ‘causing social confilct’.
    — reply 2 (iy777) : Don’t you think your comment is somehow crude and offensive? I hope you may restrain youself for better online culture.
    — reply 3 (levopil) : it’s a little crude expressions. But I see your sincerity. I’m all for you.
    — reply 4 (gurgo) : I really wish the Ministry of Gender Equality exists only in Jeolla province, which made the Ministry. The provinice was definitely against MB when he tried to close the Ministry of Gender Eqaulity. Then, Permit it to promote female chauvinism only in the province.

    Comment 3 (kosw2090) : Wow, Even parking lot for a fire engine would be narrower than that !

    Comment 4 (leejb2000) : Just build a city for only women.

    Comment 5 (88puregirl) : Ah, this is really what should have been done. In fact, I have wanted there would been parking lots for ladies only, And it has been made very timely~ ^^. I’d like to award a prize to the one who came up with the idea. By the way, Why only in Iksan?? I wish our mayor of Seoul city will adopt the policy soon too following Iksan. Maybe, I have to address a civil apeal?

    — reply 1 (sky_sports) : This comment doesn’t make any sense…. when are you going to stop the reqest of the red-carpet treatment?
    — reply 2 (godnr123) : Check other comments she wrote. She is such a moron.
    — reply 3 (victor_kmk) : Korean women are requesting gender equality and looking for special favors of treatment all together.
    — reply 4 (raky90) : See her other comments. Amazing -_-
    — reply 5 (fzc2000) : This bitch is a typical feminist.

    Sunday, April 12, 2009 at 9:01 pm | Permalink
  30. Eddie P wrote:

    Thanks Jiugae!

    Monday, April 13, 2009 at 9:12 am | Permalink
  31. John wrote:

    Something tells me the reporter didn’t get the whole story.

    I think the parking space’s main purpose is for safety - parking in a more secure area of the parking lot.

    Also perhaps there is the consideration that getting kids into and out of cars - especially if the kid needs to go in a baby seat - means you need a wider parking spot.

    The parking spot shouldn’t be gender specific in that case, or it should be marked as dual-purpose, so that men with kids in baby seats would also be able to take advantage of the spots.

    Wednesday, April 15, 2009 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

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  1. What Next - Women’s Only Driving Lanes? | The Marmot's Hole on Saturday, April 11, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    [...] Beat has translated a story about the city of Iksan, Korea’s first “woman-friendly city,” installing [...]

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