Anna Dobler: Left-green mobility policy is essentially misogynistic
The cultural war against the car, propagated especially in big cities by the left and green side, compels commuters to switch to bicycles or public transport through driving bans and the elimination of parking spaces. But this is an enormous challenge, especially for women.
eXXpress columnist Anna Dobler
Hardly any other means of transport has seen such an image change in the past 100 years as the bicycle. Once upon a time, penniless artists who could afford neither a driver’s license nor a car body used it to curve through the streets. Today, the wheel is a status symbol, which in special designs such as an electric drive or cargo bike can quickly scratch the price of a small car. In metropolises such as Munich, in truth, only privileged people can use the bicycle in everyday life who can also afford living space in inner-city areas. On the other hand, those who live in the outskirts or the surrounding area, such as single parents who work part-time, cannot possibly cycle dozens of kilometers to work in wind and weather without appearing completely battered, exhausted and chilled.
Women are not safe at night
Even if the expansion of public transport is being pushed, it is by no means all regions that have been satisfactorily developed. At a late hour, many public transport systems often stop running at all, which can be an insoluble problem, especially for people who work shifts. To make matters worse, the public space is not a safe place for women late at night. Long distances alone in the dark are not worth striving for, nor is the situation in subways and subway stations. In plain language: For women in particular, the car in large cities means not only freedom, but above all security. Security that is gradually being taken away from them by the left-wing green transport policy.
Who will save Maria?
The Greens in particular, who always present themselves as a feminist party, have not been able to take the needs of women with an economically less secure background into account in their eco-projects for years. While every identity-political nonsense and every small minority has its own committees, statutes and positions, the bottom line is the white cis woman from the lower classes who falls by the wayside when it comes to green thinking. Let’s call her Maria. Maria has two school-age children and is living in a divorce. Because the ex-husband hardly pays alimony, she also has to work at the cash desk of a fast food restaurant in the city center. Sometimes Maria starts work at dawn, sometimes the shift ends late at night. The bus that connects the last few kilometers from the subway to the apartment has stopped running for a long time. So Maria drives this section by car. Maria is safe there, even at night. Otherwise she still uses her car to go shopping, take the children to do gymnastics or to her mother, who lives 20 kilometers away, when she needs a babysitter. How is someone like Maria supposed to cope with everyday life with a bicycle? It is simply impossible! And yet it must be a slap in the face for women like Maria when the Greens proudly announce that petrol is becoming more expensive or that parking spaces have to give way to a “meeting zone”. Everyday life is made difficult for her without need in order to save the climate. But who will save Maria? Probably not the Greens.
Anna Dobler is a multi-award-winning, trained and studied journalist and columnist. After working in Berlin, Munich, Italy and Salzburg, she now lives and works in Vienna. @Doblerin advocates free markets and free opinion on Twitter.