Tricky one this. One that as a man, I don’t feel I am qualified to do justice to, but I’ll try to talk about it all the same. By now, a number of sporting institutions have decided that having ‘grid girls’ is sexist and they’re scrapping the idea. Progressive? Or is it a fail?
From the perspective of this Formula 1 fan, I’m not bothered. F1 is one of the sports changing its stance this year, however I watch the sport for the fast cars and dramatic racing, not for the women. I’m not oblivious to them, but they flicker briefly onto the radar and then it’s back to the sport itself. The removal of a means of objectifying women should surely be seen as a good thing – these women are there for the sole purpose of standing there and looking pretty – yet there are schools of thought – from women as well as men – that these changes go too far, even denying these women – who might even enjoy what they see as modelling – a job opportunity.
So it becomes a tricky matter. Is it sexist to expect these women to stand there for male satisfaction? Is it even more sexist to deny them a potential career path or opportunity? As I said, it’s not a question I am qualified to answer, but I would like to hear the perspective of women on this one.