And They Wonder Why Female Attendance At Motorsport Events Is Down
Posted by Clem Bastow on July 9, 2008
If you read today’s online edition of The Northern Territory News, you could be forgiven for thinking the entire newspaper was being sponsored by a tits-and-arse-blast – this gallery ad for the V8 Supergirls appears on the front page, the news page, the sports page, the entertainment page and the ‘Travel NT’ page:
In my “let’s explore third wave feminism” phase I entered the V8 Supergirls contest and wrote an article on my experiences, and the potted highlights include getting hives from excess fake tanner use, having to keep that sunny smile going while standing under the flight path of an F1-11 going down pit-straight (and not being allowed to wear ear-plugs), and getting changed in a flimsy Porta-Cabin in the middle of a field full of race-fans. Apart from meeting some genuinely interesting women and getting to watch the race for free, it was a pretty awful experience all ’round, the nadir being ushered into the private boxes to circulate like concubines. I distinctly recall the surprised look on the face of the Grid crew of “my” driver (i.e. the driver whose name and number I held on my ‘lollipop’) when I was actually able to discuss motorsport.
Really, stuff like this is hugely alienating to female motorsport fans. Not only that, it perpetuates the idea that the only role for women at the track is as voiceless sex object, when there are in fact women really kicking goals both in the pit crews and behind the wheel (witness Indy 300 winner Danica Patrick).
And, really, NT News, we don’t need to be alerted to your “phwooarr, cop a load of her machinery!” gallery five times when we’re trying to read the actual news.