When I read in the paper about Indy drivers Danica Patrick and Milka Duno having a trackside argument, I rolled my eyes, because I could tell exactly what the media would brand it as: a bitch fight (or a cat fight, for the PG papers). Here’s the LA Times’ lamo description of the events (you can watch them here – and just a warning, don’t read the comments if you know what’s good for you):
It ain’t World Championship Wrestling, but it’s kinda fun to watch Danica Patrick confront Indy racing’s other female driver, Milka Duno, about being a slowpoke, old lady driver during Saturday’s Honda Indy 200 practice session.
According to reports, Patrick marched over to the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing pit stall after Saturday morning’s practice session to complain that Duno did not let faster cars – including Patrick’s – get past her.
Yeah, “kinda fun” – because gee whiz, aren’t those lady drivers a cute little novelty! And it’s not as though the LA Times was alone in their cringeworthy coverage of the two drivers having words; a sampling of headlines and blog titles includes “Cat fight in IndyCar pits“, “Danica Patrick fight with buxom Milka Duno” (yes, “buxom”), and “Who wants a Super Soaker fight between Danica Patrick and Milka Duno?”
This pisses me off for a number of reasons, but number one is because of the rampant sexism (duh).
As a motorsport fan, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen drivers have it out with each other on pit straight, or after a crash, or anywhere, really. V8 SuperCar driver Mark Skaife, in particular, is never shy when it comes to giving another driver a piece of his mind. Drivers chuck tanties when they end up in the gravel, they whinge if their pit team doesn’t work fast enough, they sook when they don’t end up at pole position, etc etc. There is no such thing, really, as a laid back motorsports driver, no matter what sex!
In other words, there is nothing special or extraordinary about this “fight” in motorsports terms – but because it’s two female drivers arguing with each other, it’s “news”.
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