Yesterday F1 announced they were going to stop using grid girls, in his statement Sean Bratches, Managing Director Commercial Operations at Formula One, said
“While the practice of employing grid girls has been a staple of Formula 1 Grands Prix for decades, we feel this custom does not resonate with our brand values and clearly is at odds with modern day societal norms. We don’t believe the practice is appropriate or relevant to Formula 1 and its fans, old and new, across the world.”
I was really excited, it was my mum that had spotted the news on Twitter and we discussed at length that this was a fabulous move by F1, others will no doubt follow. Times are changing.
My excitement was fairly short-lived however, as not long afterwards the raft of complaints began from including *shock horror* women.
This morning I woke up to a status from a very good (female) friend along the lines of that the women choose to do the job, they wear sponsored clothing, and that we like being looked at and like to look and that is human nature. She also said we should be concerning ourselves with the gender pay gap among other things. A lot of people “liked” her comment, mostly women, and several agreed with her. I think they might have missed the point and I am in no way part of the “PC Brigade” that I hear so much about.
Now I responded thusly (this was before 8am and pre coffee just so you know):
Let’s you and me have a little chat….
I have attracted the wrong type of attention since my early teens purely because of the size of my tits. Is that OK? No, it’s not.
Why do men think it’s OK? Because the media portray women with big tits or dressed a certain way as sex objects (rather like the F1 girls). Do I like to make myself look nice? Yes I do. Do I do it for myself? Yes I do. Do I, at the age of 40 tell unwanted people to bugger off, yes, yes! Could I do that at 14? Not so easily. I had counselling as a teenager because of it. Probably why I got tattoos and piercings tbh in a “don’t mess with me” way.
So. For every bit of skirt who’s only purpose is to look nice (they can advertise on the side of the car or a billboard btw not use a human) is a teenage girl getting it in the neck (or her tits groped) because most people aren’t making the same distinction as you.
All the time women are portrayed as dolly birds who’s only purpose is to look pretty and hold an umbrella you won’t get equal pay because we are not seen as equal. It all goes hand in hand and this is a step in the right direction.
I don’t believe I am overly attractive. I scrub up alright. I do have incredibly large boobs though and they have been the bane of my life (I have written previously about this here), I also believe that that is on the whole due to the way large breasted women are portrayed in the media. In fact I recall at school a bloke telling me that he had heard I was a virgin but “you can’t be, not with tits like that” I was incidentally. Having big boobs meant I must have a lot of sex, with lots of people. Not that there is anything wrong with the deed it was the assumption that, well, gripped my tits
When a woman is only good enough to wear sponsored clothing, look nice and hold an umbrella over a man what message are we sending out? Am I jealous? Good god no! I wouldn’t mind their figure but imagine how much your arms would ache holding up that bleeding umbrella – not for me sunshine.
There are people claiming we are taking away their career choices. What kind of career is standing around looking pretty? The Oxford English dictionary describes career as such
An occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life and with opportunities for progress
What opportunities are there for progress? Where do you go after you’ve held the brolly? Once you get a little bit older and maybe considered not as attractive as you once were? Melinda Messenger called The Wright Stuff this morning, she used to be a F1 girl and, although she earned good money and had a nice time, she thinks it’s a good thing. Times are changing. Kelly Brook disagrees but hey ho. We are allowed our own opinions and that’s grand.
Don’t get me wrong. The thing is, we won’t get equal pay, better rights for working mothers (and stay at home mothers for that matter) and so on if we are not seen as equals. All the time the likes of F1 girls are seen as the norm we won’t get that. I think the statement says it all “it is at odds with modern day societal norms”. It is a small step in the right direction but the inference is huge. Let’s hope this is a new chapter for future generations. They deserve better.
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