Are Women Really Bad Drivers?

07/18/2012 09:56 am ET

Triberg, Germany—a tiny town known for cascading waterfalls and a preponderance of cuckoo clocks—truly put itself on the map last week, as its mayor Gallus Strobel unveiled a new 220-spot parking lot, with narrow spaces reserved for men, and wider ones for women. In a blatant publicity stunt, Strobel enlisted one female and one male architect to designate 14 gender-specific parking spots according to "difficulty." In light of ladies' ostensible lack of finesse behind the wheel, 12 extra-wide, brightly lit spots near the exits were deemed "women only," demarcated by large painted "female" symbols. Accordingly, two nonrectangular spots, requiring a driver to reverse between pillars and walls, were designated "male only," graciously sparing the ladies a testosterone-demanding challenge. Phew.

As reported by the daily Süddeutsche Zeitung, Strobel unabashedly justified the design with the assertion that "men are, as a rule, a little better at such challenges" and called international criticism the "humourless reactions from the political correct." Hoping to swell the Triberg tourism coffer, the mayor goaded women to “come here and prove me wrong." And according to the Daily Mail, curious visitors eager to test their spatial skills in the parking challenge have already taken the bait.

Read more on Slate

Suggest a correction