tiistaina, syyskuuta 19, 2006

TIE: Yep, it's a woman

So here we go: I'll write a weekly English article in bewilderment of this beautiful new home-country of mine, Germany. We'll call it TIE, Tuesday in English. So check back. I hope we get to enjoy the explaining commenting of the natives and this way even learn something. Following the example of Osakeyhtiö Huovinen, my first TIE is going to raise sexual equality to the topics.

A very sweet and caring phenomenon in the German strict and rule-obiding autobahn-world is the Frauenparkplatz.

Yes, you see them everywhere, parking spots that are reserved for women. These spots are always nearby the entrances, well lighted and basically the best there is. The first time I saw a sign as the above, I thought it was a speciality of the store-holder. A bit of a well-meant gesture to play the gentleman.

But no, that wasn't the case. For some reason the Germans see that women are a special group that need their own parking places. Gentlemanlike? Or just plain sexist?

The point should be to increase the safety of our ladies: according to Wikipedia, these parking spots help avoid violence and robbery, but strangely enough, they are also bigger than normal ones. Wikipedia goes on to explain, that this way it is easier to get up with children and babycarriages. Now there's a comment that would earn a Finnish Wikipedia-writer loads of angry feedback!

Luckily for the supporters of equal rights, since 1990s Germany has also seen special parking spots for PARENTS with children. Actually these parking places you also find in Finland. They are called family parking spots, and can be found in front of supermarkets that hope to get large families to spend money on dipers.

However, in Germany the Frauenparkplatz -culture goes on anywhere from autobahn -rest areas to the downtown ten story garages. So a woman driver certainly has a better chance of finding a parking spot on the first floor. Come to think of it, this gentlemanlike safety for ladies could just be a smart cover for the real reason: a plot of the insurance companies. Think of all the bumbs and bends saved in those garages!

4 kommenttia:

Juho kirjoitti...

I'll add the smiley here, since I "forgot" it at the end of the article...
"Think of all the bumbs and bends saved in those garages :)"

Juho kirjoitti...

Oh, and one more comment due to some late night fact-checking...

I did find a Frauenparkplatz in Finland as well! Or another blogger found it... The topic of the blog entry (in Finnish) is "Sexist and chauvinist 'equality' in Vaasa."

Ralf kirjoitti...

When i first heard the word "Frauenparkplatz" (many, many years ago), I thought it was a place, where you can park your wife/girlfriend and go relaxed to the next pub and have a nice evening! :-D

Osakeyhtiö Huovinen kirjoitti...

Ralf, I've just been discussing about parking places for men and women with my readers this week - unfortunately in Finnish.

It was Karstadt, which inspired me to this. I saw one in Hamburg and I just loved to see that someone actually thinks us men while shopping with our women. I was shopping for myself but I just had to take a beer and a bratwurst and sit there watching football.

There are _too few_ menparks in Finland and actually non womenparks.