The Dawn Chorus

Fresh Australian Feminism

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.

3 Responses to “And They Wonder Why Female Attendance At Motorsport Events Is Down”

  1. Meils said

    “when we’re trying to read the actual news.”

    Clem, you’ve missed the point. “Reading” the news is beyond the scope of many Territorians, with some communities having 95% of their members functionally illiterate. What use would the paper be if it wasn’t filled with slapper shots?

  2. Clem Bastow said

    Well, they could have photos of the news instead of “BOOIIIINNNG!” photos of V8 Supergirls’ cleavages. That’s much better; everyone can enjoy that.

  3. Meils said

    You picked a bad day. Most of the time there’s at least a couple of pictures of news like a croc being caught in someone’s swimming pool, some idiot rolling their ute but not smashing the slabs of MB stubbies in the tray, or the spoils of the Pine Creek Pig and Pussy Hunt.

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