Nowadays, many private or public locations feature “women-only” areas to create a safe space for the women who go there, such as gyms.
With this in mind, a city in Australia implemented “female-only” parking spaces in a parking garage to help women feel safer, but now a recent TikTok is shedding light on whether this practice is fostering a safer environment for women, or is actually enabling predators.
Looking Over Our Shoulders
Social media is filled with stories of the lengths women must go to in order to feel safe when they’re out in public. From taking self-defense classes to holding keys in our hands as weapons, to being constantly aware of our surroundings, these are a few of the things women do when out in public that men might not realize.
Female-only gyms now exist in order to prevent sexual harassment, but what about female-only parking spaces?
In 2016, the city of Perth in Western Australia implemented “female-only parking bays” in a car park located in the central business district. Out of 700 spots, 28 of them were dedicated to women.
These parking spots are “located close to the entrance and exits and the area includes upgraded lighting and additional CCTV cameras,” according to local news media. The trial period was slated to run for three months and appears to be permanently implemented.
Despite the trial and implementation of the “female-only” parking spots occurring in 2016, only now has this story garnered mass attention on social media due to a recent TikTok user and Perth resident Natasha Gallier shared.
The TikTok has received over 580,000 views, 86,000 likes, and hundreds of comments from people who are debating whether this idea is actually doing more harm than good.
Inside The Parking Garage
In the TikTok, Natasha walks through a multi-story parking garage in Perth on Pier Street. The female-only parking spots are labeled with pink columns, and small to large pink signage that directs women where to find their parking spots, how to ask for assistance, and that requests drivers save that area of the parking garage for women.
“Don’t know if we should be happy or scared there’s a female only parking with security,” the caption on her video reads.
A Step In The Right Direction
The TikTok quickly grabbed the attention of social media users who debated whether the female-only parking spots were actually doing more harm than good. One user said that she came across a similar idea when she was in Thailand, and another pointed out that she’d like to see this implemented at gas stations, airports, and other locations.
Other users said that the City of Perth had the right intentions with their female-only parking spots, but the idea was lacking in execution and has the potential to backfire.
A Creep-Friendly Road Map
Most users, however, did not see this progressive gesture by the City of Perth as a win for women. Instead, users viewed it as a blueprint that allows predators to know exactly where women are so they can stalk and attack them.
“So now they know which exact cars to hide under or around to kidnap women…where’s the security cause it looks even more unsafe than regular parks,” one user commented.