Formula 1 announced that it would no longer have ‘grid girls’ on the grand prix circuit. Every red blooded American man shouted in protest. English conservatives complained that grid girls were part of F1’s glamour. Even the grid girls complained that women who were supposedly fighting for women’s rights are trying to tell them what to do, stopping them from doing a job they love. Political correctness gone mad.
As the father of a 14 year old son and an 8 year old daughter, I see things a little differently.
Why should the only women in racing be ‘bikini girls’? Why shouldn’t our daughters have heroes that race the cars…not just stand beside cars looking pretty?
Look at the NHRA. The number of women in top level drag racing puts other racing series to shame. Sure, Brittney & Courtney Force are the daughters of 16 time Funny Car Champion John Force, and that gave them an advantage on their competitors, but they still had the need for speed.
IndyCar has seen the feminine driving prowess of Danica Patrick, Sarah Fisher, Simona Di Silvestro, Anna Beatriz, Pippa Mann and Gabby Chavez competing in Greatest Spectacle in Racing.
But F1 and women? Well, just look at this fool Lewis Hamilton in the picture below. See how much this grid girl loves her job?
F1 test driver Susie Wolff runs a program called DareToBeDfferent.org which helps promote karting to young girls and women. While her efforts are admirable, the very name of the organization implies that women don’t belong in motorsports. They’re different. Even being behind the wheel of a car is ….different. America laughs at the fact that women in Saud Arabia only got the right to drive last year, yet only 30 years ago, car ads targeting women drivers treated them like simpletons.
Personally, I just want to take my daughter to a race and not be embarrassed when she asks me why the girls are in their underwear. I want my Michelle to enjoy karting without feeling that she is ‘different’. I want both my kids to have an equal chance at pursuing their dreams, whatever they are.
Written by: Chris Demaras