Nick Ferrari is just being sexist when he says mums don’t need parking spots at supermarkets

Never mind that leaving the house is hard enough with children (Picture: Sarah Whiteley)

‘I never, ever park in disabled bays – ever! Even if I have to park in a mother and baby [bay], which I’m happy to do because it’s good… Mother and baby bays should be as far away from the supermarket as possible because it gets them all fit again and it’s good for the baby. But disabled bays – never.’

These are the words of Nick Ferrari, radio presenter at LBC, on his show last week.

Yes, I had to listen to it a few times too – I couldn’t quite believe that someone living in 2022 could actually say them without bursting into appalled laughter at the absolute cheek before the end of it.

The charity Pregnant Then Screwed actually tweeted the clip of his show, spreading his words to their enraged audience.

‘This is so infuriating someone needs to correct this man on the uses of mother and baby! Nick are you serious?’ tweeted one woman. 

‘This has wound me up so much, now when I’m out with my 4 month old and there’s no free parent and child places and going to make my own by parking across two spaces! They exist so that we don’t need to leave baby/pram in the road whilst loading the car!’ posted another. 

And I’m not surprised by the anger they caused. 

Let’s start with the sexism, which is quite frankly mind-blowing. The idea that new mums should immediately be forced into walking as far as possible just to ensure they’re ‘fit’ again as soon as possible.

Never mind the fact that they may have a C-section wound or stitches that are refusing to heal or a four-degree tear. Never mind that they may be struggling with postnatal depression but have dragged themselves to the shops for nappies or formula. 

I’m not surprised by the anger Ferrari’s words caused (Picture: David M. Benett/Getty Images)

Never mind that it might be their first time taking the baby out in the car and they’re terrified to get behind the wheel with their little one in the back. Never mind that leaving the house is hard enough with children, let alone having to take them to a busy supermarket.

But no, we shouldn’t worry about those minor, trivial inconsequential matters, just as long as we’re getting rid of our baby weight – that’s what we should be focusing on.

Then, let’s move onto the fact that good old Nick admitted in the clip that, while he would ‘never, ever’ park in a disabled bay, he is ‘happy’ to use the spaces designated for parents with their children.

Can he not see the double-standard he is operating there? Both of these spaces have been designated for a particular set of people – why should one be adhered to, and not the other? 

The spaces have a few inches of extra space that make it slightly easier to open the doors just wide enough to remove a child, then put them back in, without clipping the car on either side of you. Oh, and the minor detail of being able to put your child into a pram safely, rather than in front of oncoming traffic.

Of course, he isn’t alone in this. More than a third of parents have noticed someone misusing a parent and child parking space and in summer 2020, an eighth of respondents to a survey admitted using them, according to Confused.

I mean, come on. They are only a few feet closer to the shops than the other spaces, do you really need to save that extra time? Can you really not walk those extra few seconds? No? But you’ll force mums or dads with children to. Slow hand clap to you…

Then let’s move onto the fact that these spaces are not even actually ‘mother and baby bays’, as Nick calls them. They’re parent and child spaces.

Surely this clip is just a bad joke? (Picture: Geography Photos/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Firstly, they are there for both mums and dads, because you know, taking the kids out isn’t just something mums do. Secondly, they are there for children of all ages – the positioning is not just there to make life that tiny bit easier for parents, but also to increase the safety of… well, everyone in the car park.

Anyone who has ever been to a supermarket car park knows just what a nightmare they can be, how busy they can get, with one-way systems and tight corners.

And anyone who has ever tried to walk anywhere with a child knows just what a nightmare they can be, running off, not looking where they’re going.

Put the two of them together, then add in a frazzled parent, pushing a full trolley… Well, it doesn’t take a genius to see it’s a disaster waiting to happen.

That is why parent and child parking bays are so much closer to the shops. Not because all of us lazy mums are desperate to cling to our baby weight and are only leaving the house to stock up on more chocolate to loll about on the sofa with later on.

But because, thankfully, supermarkets and shopping malls and the like have realised that it is far safer for children to have fewer busy lanes to cross and less cars to avoid on their way indoors.

And, in a final point of indignation, in what way can it be ‘good for the baby’? What, to breathe in more petrol fumes?

Surely this clip is just a bad joke? Admittedly an extremely unfunny one, said in an off-moment, in terrible taste, an attempt to be deliberately controversial.

Because surely no-one can truly believe such ill-informed, unempathetic drivel.

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