Originally published on my other blog, firstfewlines, on July 9, 2014 when I spent the summer in South Korea, my second home.
Did you know there are specially designated parking spots for female shoppers at certain shopping centers in Korea? The lot is located in front of the entrance and has a security guard patrolling the area. I applauded whoever came up with the idea because he or she finally considered the well being of their female customers and the dangers of dark, empty parking garages at night.
Now picture my disgusted face when I learned the special parking lot has nothing to do with safety. Rather the spaces are larger to accommodate the supposedly poor parking skills of female drivers.
Are you kidding me? I would rather park in the darkest corner and walk by myself than park in a brightly painted pink spot. But what surprised me even more is that the lot was packed! There were no empty spots. In other words, female customers had no problem parking in the pink, spacious spots and even appreciated the “consideration”.
I beg of you, do not indirectly endorse sexism. Not all women are terrible drivers. Just as not all men are rapists. Not all women like sparkles. Just as not all men like beer.
In short, it is impossible to ever speak the truth when beginning a sentence with “All women/men/Americans/Koreans/White people/Black people/children/elderly, etc” because you have not met every single person on this planet.
I believe that South Korea needs female empowerment. A female president is not enough. A larger female to male population is not enough. I’m talking about getting rid of the need to showcase women as sex toys and start treating them as equals. To encourage natural beauty and boost the self-esteem of women so they don’t turn to plastic surgery as a quick fix. To respect the women who choose their careers over marriage instead of pitying them.
There is no “just for us”. Exceptions cannot exist in a fair world.