Formula One has just announced they won’t be using so-called “grid girls” anymore, and all I can think is: about bloody time.
These young women are employed to wear skimpy clothes and parade around with signs and such at the races, and then get doused in champagne on the podium at the end.
As the (male) BBC journalist put it:
‘Society is living through a defining moment in sexual politics. It is the time of #MeToo, and revelations of sexual harassment and worse by powerful men.
Some will see this decision as tokenistic and unnecessary. But the likelihood is that the vast majority of those people will be men.
In that context, it feels like an appropriate decision for the times, and one that F1 had to make.’
I have attended countless Formula One races – my father used to be heavily involved in motorsport – and I sat in some expensive seats.
And, you know what? The men around me, who were willing to fork out thousands of dollars to attend the races – men with a bit of grey at the temples and with children under ten beside them, and fully grey men with their wives in the next seat – turned into animals when the young women were paraded out onto the track.
Every time I sat in those stands, surrounded by reasonably affluent, allegedly classy men, I felt sick. They’d break out into wolf whistles and lewd comments and just generally be repulsive. It didn’t matter they had daughters and wives with them.
Good riddance to this horrendous practice.
These days Formula One has female team managers, and female drivers are making inroads (actually, the first female drivers were generations ago).
This is also the case with MotoGP, which is essentially the motorbike version of Formula One. Over there they have teenage girls riding, and yet they still parade the grid girls around the track. And, over in MotoGP, some of the young women are essentially dressed in fetish wear!
I know many men are going to be very upset about this. But, guess what? They’ll get used to it.