Of course, 2017 wasn’t some special year for people saying dumb things about women, particularly in cars. Women have put up with this for ages, including Cosmopolitan’s car for women, and the list below doesn’t even scratch the surface.
Jalopnik must apologize for our grave error last week, in asserting grid girls are not necessary—and even, possibly, harmful!—to racing. We were so very wrong because, as we recently learned from mediocre Formula One driver Nico Hulkenberg, male drivers need to see beautiful women in order to operate a car.
A few months ago, a race promoter contacted me about a new proposed series with an aggressive marketing platform, a GT spec program, and a promise that all expenses would be paid. The catch? The series was for women only, and I wouldn’t be allowed to continue to compete in IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge or…
Depending on others’ opinions, Formula One’s new bosses could get rid of “grid girls”—an outdated concept in which women line a male-dominated racing grid, for few other reasons than being something to look at. It should go without saying, but having grid girls encourages objectification and gender stereotypes.
On Saturday, a nearly 12-minute video went on YouTube claiming to investigate its title: “Where are the Car Girls?” But the answer to that question couldn’t be found in the video. Instead, it was in the comments section—where a wider, more telling representation of the car industry decided to show up.
The FIA, a motorsport governing body overseeing dozens of international series like Formula One, added a women’s commission in 2009—when the association was over a century old already—to talk about “girl stuff” like, oh, equality in racing. The commission just added Carmen Jorda, who is the antithesis of that.
When you’re one of few women in an industry full of men, it’s easy to want to blend in—to not get the looks and comments that go with being the girl. But, in a world where dudes need more education on feminine health, power to NASCAR driver Julia Landauer for wanting to slap a tampon ad on the side of her race car.