It isn’t news that women are penalised in our society, simply for being women.
I write about this all the time.
A young woman of my acquaintance went for an evening out, about a month ago. She paid to park her car in a facility close to where she was heading, and met up with her friends. This was an urban carpark, so the maximum time allowed for parking was three hours.
This is a sensible young woman, who is aware of her own safety. She chose the carpark, because it was very close to her destination, and it was well-lit and felt safe.
Three hours later, the woman left to go home. She had to wait for a friend to accompany her back to the car, because it was late, and she didn’t want to risk the walk on her own, even though it was a relatively short distance. It’s exactly what I would have done. It’s exactly what women should do, and have to do, because of the society we live in.
|Solutions?! I don't think so.
A few days later, this young woman got a parking fine charge notice in the post. She was over her allotted, paid for parking time by a matter of a few minutes. She was late, because she had waited for her friend.
Rules are rules, of course they are, but there’s also good, old-fashioned, common sense.
Men, for the most part, don’t worry about walking around at night, or how close to park their cars to a venue. Women do think about those things.
This young woman is a student. She's grateful to have her little car, and she budgets her money, carefully. The parking charge was £54.
I suggested that she appeal the charge, explaining how she came to be late back to her car. I thought there was a chance that some leniency might be shown.
Perhaps that was naive of me… Of course the company didn’t waive her fine. It’s in the business of making money, after all.
My problem is that this has now set a precedent.
What happens the next time this young woman is stuck with a choice of waiting for someone to walk her back to her car and incurring a fine, or taking the risk of leaving alone, and walking around late at night without the security of company?
She can’t afford £54 for a parking fine, so I doubt she’ll risk getting another one.
In this particular instance, she couldn’t have paid for more parking, because the allowed stay was capped.
So… this young woman will have to make different choices. She’ll have to park where stay-times aren’t capped. She’ll have to walk around alone at night, or, perhaps, she’ll have to choose not to go out.
Life shouldn’t be like this for anyone, but it’s precisely like this for more than half the population… Go figure.