Formula 1

(83 Posts)
HotBurrito1 Sun 30-Jun-13 11:51:08

Was just playing with my boys when I noticed that the telly had images of scantily clad women holding brollies over fully dressed male F1 competitors in the rain. When I say scantily clad, think leather mini skirt, bare midriff and leather halter bra -not standard wet weather clobber (at least I've never seen the like in the waterproofs section of Millets).

I never normally watch F1, so I don't know if this is usual, but I was annoyed to suddenly see this on the screen. Obviously, I can (and did) switch off. I really didn't want my boys to see the dubious message which was basically:'stand there in your bra, hold the brolly and look sexy love, whilst the men actually do something'. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

What are their talents? What do they do? Not a rhetorical question to express scorn for this statement, a desire to understand...

TheSmallClanger Wed 03-Jul-13 21:45:14

I expect it's the usual guff about one doing it to finance either a PhD, or her own competition career, and the other writing a screenplay, and another one having Grade 8 piano. /sarcasm

Whatever the talents these people have, they are not actually demonstrating them.

caroldecker Fri 05-Jul-13 01:10:30

Maybe they are demonstrating their talents? Maybe they are 'air headed bimbos' whose most lucrative career choice is being models/pit babes etc. Not all people can earn monry from their brain, so that leaves unskilled work. I would expect they earn more there than unskilled work where looks are irrelevant.
Should they not capitalise on thier best earning potential because it causes issues for us?
I 'compete' with other people for a job/promotion etc in the field I am best at and do not worry that someone else has 'suffered' because i have got the job and they are still unemployed - should we expand this to include them?

Should they not capitalise on thier best earning potential because it causes issues for us?

Therein lies the crux of many objectification debates.

TheSmallClanger Fri 05-Jul-13 11:38:07

Standing still, smiling and giving pecks on the cheek to sweaty men isn't really a talent. Anyone can do that if they want to.

libertarianj Fri 05-Jul-13 13:54:06

I expect it's the usual guff about one doing it to finance either a PhD, or her own competition career, and the other writing a screenplay, and another one having Grade 8 piano. /sarcasm

Whatever the talents these people have, they are not actually demonstrating them.

er but why should they?, maybe they enjoy modelling? For all you know they could be the next Adrian Newey or Ross Brawn if they wanted to be, but maybe they can't be arsed or don't want the commitment. I notice there are number of female mechanics/ engineers/ pit crew these days anyway. Like Gill Jones for example:

wtvbam.com/news/articles/2013/apr/21/red-bull-put-a-woman-on-the-podium-in-f1-first/

OK, I am open to the idea that this might be a silly thing to post. However...

<wibbly alternate reality music and visual effects>

In this reality libertarianj men (I have made the assumption that you are a man?) are judged primarily by their ability to play football. Not much else.

Magazines dedicated to famous football players, targeted at women, talk about their skills and achievements in football. Women find a strong left foot very attractive indeed and often discuss this with their mates. "Cor, look at the instep on that!" "I bet that boots it". Women shout at boys from their cars "gissa header!" "get your kit on!"

Female news readers read the news. Male newsreaders read the news, but at the same time must return headers. If they fail to do this very well, or if they get a bit slower over time, even if they can still read the news well, they are replaced with a better returner of headers, who will read the news from that point onwards.

At events where women demonstrate their skills in a wide range of other activities, Football Boys stand next to them doing keepy uppy. Who knows, they might even be able to do other stuff too? We don't care that much, because they're so great at keepy uppy! I mean, keepy uppy isn't all that hard. It's pretty ridiculous really, but they get paid and they're probably really happy about that.

There are even some boys who do things that aren't football. One or two of them are even almost as good as the women who do those things. Here's an article <link to no article that has ever said this ever> that makes much of the fact that they are a boy and their presence in this woman dominated profession is Very Unusual. They must be Very Special!

Oh, you're a man that is just ordinarily good at football? You're not bad, you even play for a local team on Saturdays? But you don't want to be judged just on your footballing abilities? You think you have more to offer the world? You're really quite good at your job as a teacher, you've written a novel, you say? But still, most of what you see around you, in the media, advertisements, even toy shops, is just about how good some men are at football. You think that this is unjust? It puts you into a pigeon hole you don't want to be shoved into, just because you are a male?

Well, HARD CHEESE mate, that's just HOW IT IS. These football boys get well paid, you don't hear them complaining that they're "objectified" and only important because of their football. What's it got to do with you anyway, it's none of your business how they live their lives. You're probably just jealous because they're better at football than you.

<wibbly alternate reality music and visual effects>

I don't know if that helps at all?

Even if it doesn't, damn I enjoyed writing it grin

DISCLAIMER: of course, I do realise that a very small number of men do indeed do very well out of being good at football. But not in the way that the alternate reality depicts.

Frettchen Fri 05-Jul-13 15:00:53

The problem, as I see it, is not the sport so much as the men who run the sport. Yes, Bernie Ecclestone, I'm looking at you.

I was at Silverstone last weekend. There were women there, but we were far outnumbered by the men (which did mean the queues for the loos/showers were shorter...) but I do think the female fanbase is rising.

The thing is there ARE female F1 engineers, drivers and even a Team Principle. The women are there, it's just that breaking in to F1 is a lifelong thing; to be a driver you have to be karting from the age of 5 (ish) and it helps to have an F1 driver for a parent. It's an expensive hobby and young girls don't generally get put into toy cars when their brothers do. (Which is wrong; girls should be able to play in cars and boys in toy kitchens if they want... but that's another rant.) To be an engineer you have to have made the right education/training choices, and again the vast majority of young girls either don't want to study engineering, or are convinced not to because it's not a 'girly' thing to do. (As before with the toy cars; this is a thing in need of change.)

I think F1 will get there, but I think it's going to take another generation to edge out the old-fashioned men at the top and to allow a more free-thinking group of people to take the reins and to realise that women can match the men both physically and mentally. I'm not excusing or forgiving Bernie and his chums, just picking my battles.

Then we'll see what happens to the air hostess-esque podium girls. Either they'll be joined by young men in zazzy costumes, or they'll disappear completely. <crosses fingers for the second option>

libertarianj Sat 06-Jul-13 00:09:05

Thank you Buffy for replying back in depth...... however you have not addressed any of the points i have made and instead just tried to force through some incredibly lame analogy assumption. And why do you need to hide behind an analogy and not tell it how it is?

Maybe you should write to Gill and ask her if she was hard done to or if she was just a token female engineer who was pushed up the ranks to meet the equal opps criteria? I often refute objectification theory but i think some real objectification is being done by you guys, as you regard yourselves as some superior beings, who know what's best for those other 'stupid women' who choose to do modelling instead of using their full potential to be F1 engineers. That is real objectification, not some bloke being attracted to a pretty girl posing on page 3. That's human instinct at the end of the day and our race would become extinct if it wasn't for this basic mechanism. But you regarding other women as lesser individuals is objectification and is pure jealousy.

And unlike yourself i did not get some sadistic pleasure out of writing this piece. Also maybe you should stop trying to speak for womankind and speak for yourself. You claim you are a reasonable feminist? blush

angry

EduCated Sat 06-Jul-13 02:15:50

Isn't Formula 1 one

EduCated Sat 06-Jul-13 02:17:47

*of the few sports that has no gender divisions and men and women can compete equally? Yet despite this there's only been about 3 female F1 drivers, which is really quite sad when it's a sport with a lot of potential for talented women to compete in.

It's a shame you thought my analogy was lame, I rather liked it. Well, allow me to respond to some of the points in your last post:

I didn't suggest Gill was a token female engineer. In fact, I'm sure that she is an excellent engineer. She must be in order to succeed in a male dominated area.

I have noticed a couple of your "refutations" of objectification theory. They appear to consist of statements that it is "bollocks"? But then you go on to accuse me of objectifying women by pointing out that their choices may contribute to a culture of objectification. I think that this shows that rather than refuting the theory, you may not understand it. Certianly, you are not showing any understanding of the theory in your posts. Further, some people might well regard themselves as superior to Podium Girls. I don't think you'll find such a statement in my posts.

The pleasure I got from writing it wasn't sadistic* it was the pleasure one gets from creativity and from exploring an idea in a relatively novel way. Aaaaaaand finally, I am very careful to speak for nobody but myself. Unlike your good self, who appears to wish to speak for me and all those you identify as being women like me. Oh, and the reasonable feminist thing? A tribute to a range of intelligent women on here who were good enough to engage in decent and respectful discussion about our respective opinions.

Jealousy, eh? that's one point that appears proven

*no kittens, puppies or angry male mumsnet posters wanting to set us silly ladies straight were harmed during the writing of the analogy, and any pain caused to your argument was not found sexually arousing.

libertarianj Mon 08-Jul-13 12:58:59

sorry i think i was being a bit harsh, reading my response back. You have been very reasonable and think i was maybe getting at some of the other posters.

However with regards to my refutation of objectification theory, i have explained numerous times on various threads on here be that page 3, lads mags, lap dancing clubs or formula 1 it's always been the same and i haven't just said it's bollocks, i have said it is flawed.
Why is that?, well it assumes what people are thinking, with no regard to individuality. It's an attempt to make physical attraction something sinister and bad. What is so wrong about being attracted/ being turned on by images of the opposite sex (same sex for some people) in a magazine, tv, video, real life etc clothed or unclothed? It's a perfectly natural response and not something that i believe should ever be suppressed. Of course there will be some idiots out there who do objectify women and vice versa but to say the majority of society will somehow be warped, influenced is basically saying people can't be trusted, which is basically censorship.

I've not read much literature on objectification theory. Perhaps I should read more...

I've read enough to have developed the understanding that it isn't about people finding other people sexually attractive or about saying sexual attraction is a good or a bad thing. Personally, I think it's a good thing. Peace and love, la la la.

Objectification happens when the sexual attraction is based upon a collection of pleasingly arranged body parts without recognising that a person, with thoughts, feelings, funny jokes, annoying habits, lives inside those body parts.

It's the without recognising that's the crux, I think. Of course, when men think about it for a second, they know that the women-parts they're looking at contain a person. But because the presentation of woman-parts is so mainstream, so normalised, they are invited not to think about it. To just react to those images as woman-parts, not woman.

But actually, the problem isn't with individuals objectifying other individuals, it is with a culture in which pictures of women-as-body-parts seem very prevalent in a way that men-as-body-parts (while they exist) seem less prevalent. But even if the quantities were equal, I still perceive a problem in that women seem so much more likely to be judged upon their looks (ref Marion whatserface) than men.

scallopsrgreat Mon 08-Jul-13 21:09:02

Hear, hear Buffy.

libertarianj Tue 09-Jul-13 00:31:55

Objectification happens when the sexual attraction is based upon a collection of pleasingly arranged body parts without recognising that a person, with thoughts, feelings, funny jokes, annoying habits, lives inside those body parts.

yeah that's kind of the theory but how many people do you know who actually think like this? i can't say i know of anyone who display that kind of behaviour other than normal physical attraction. I mean come on who actually thinks 'ah yeah she's a nice collection of pleasingly arranged body parts'? I think anyone who does is quickly escorted back to the asylum.

But actually, the problem isn't with individuals objectifying other individuals, it is with a culture in which pictures of women-as-body-parts seem very prevalent in a way that men-as-body-parts (while they exist) seem less prevalent. But even if the quantities were equal, I still perceive a problem in that women seem so much more likely to be judged upon their looks (ref Marion whatserface) than men.

Why is it not a problem with individuals? Why blame the majority? This goes back to the nanny state way of thinking where a few people misbehave, so the majority have to penalised. As i said before objectification is saying people can't be trusted to see attractive images of the opposite/ same sex, be that podium girls, boy bands, page 3 or naked blokes in the Gay Times or Heat. Objectification is trying to put words in peoples mouths, it's telling them how they should think and behave, where at the end of the day it's just one massive assumption.

It seems that our different interpretations of how useful this theory is are down to a different understanding of how people think and behave then.

You see individuals with full agency who make rational decisions regardless of the culture they find themselves in?

I see individuals who feel as though they have full agency and make rational decisions, and who do to some extent, but who are also influenced all the time by other things (like prevailing social norms for example) in ways that don't always happen consciously. It is subconscious. As an added complication, I think that it is impossible to tell how much influence each of these influences has at any particular time for any given person.

I can't say i know of anyone who display that kind of behaviour other than normal physical attraction

Me neither, but then how do we agree upon a definition of what is 'normal'? What evidence do we have about what men are thinking to allow us know whether they see women in a 'normal' way or not? And vice versa, of course. How often have you heard a man say something like "look at the tits on that"? Or "I'd smash that" or some other distasteful way of indicating that they think a woman (or a picture of one) is a woman they find attractive physically? When they are looking at an attractive woman, they may not think of what they are doing and saying as objectification, but it might be objectification nonetheless.

Acknowledging that many people seem to think in this way isn't blaming them or penalising them for it, it's just acknowledging that many people seem to think this way.

So in my mind, challenging the culture of objectification that seems to be created by Podium Girls and Page 3 isn't punishing everyone so that the deviant minority can be punished, it's trying to bring those unconscious assumptions to light, so that as a society was can say: No! Hang on! We wish to enjoy sexual attraction, but we do not want women reduced to attractive body parts that are implicitly mocked for being nothing but attractive body parts (this isn't in the mind of the viewer, this is the fault of how they are presented, but it becomes a part of those factors that influence us subconsciously).

It's not saying that men will never be allowed to look at pictures of attractive women ever again because some prudish feminists object. It's saying why do those images have to present women in the way that they do? In the example of Page 3 and Podium Girls, they're presented as pretty things to be looked down upon because pretty is all they are. And sadly, that bleeds into our culture.

And finally, if you've got this far without falling asleep, you ask Why is it not a problem with individuals? Why blame the majority? This goes back to the nanny state way of thinking where a few people misbehave, so the majority have to penalised.

We do this all the time in society! Car insurance being an example. Everyone has to have it, because some people are reckless or make a mistake. Seems to me that this is a similar thing, yet most of us accept car insurance as a necessary evil for the greater good, because we or someone we car about might need it. And because it's the law!

These two examples might be different. If you think so, perhaps you could explain? My explanation for why it's fine to punish the majority by making them have car insurance so that the minority who crash are protected financially is partly that the idea has been around for longer, so it's accepted. And partly, that protecting the integrity of money and property is valued much more highly by our society than protecting women sad

*care about, not car about

scallopsrgreat Tue 09-Jul-13 12:32:46

I can't say i know of anyone who display that kind of behaviour other than normal physical attraction

The Everday Sexism Project are being inundated with examples of this type of behaviour. Here is a taster from Bartoli winning Wimbledon:

https://twitter.com/EverydaySexism/status/353537169354276865/photo/1 And that was just the tip of the iceberg.

scallopsrgreat Tue 09-Jul-13 12:35:17

Every time a bloke cat calls a woman on the street, that is objectification. He feels entitled to impose his thoughts and feelings on a woman without thinking or caring about her thoughts or feelings. That isn't "physical attraction" it is objectification. The woman is an object there for the man's pleasure (or displeasure depending on the nature of the harrassment).

grimbletart Tue 09-Jul-13 12:37:17

Steady on there Buffy - you are bringing logic and objectivity into the debate...grin

I do not believe that there is such a thing as objectivity grimbletart grin

libertarianj Tue 09-Jul-13 13:51:44

I think that it is impossible to tell how much influence each of these influences has at any particular time for any given person.

exactly which is why the objectification assumption falls down.

Also of those idiots in that twitter link, how do you know it is down to societies influence that has led them to make those comments? There could be all manner of reasons to why they are acting like they do.

It's not saying that men will never be allowed to look at pictures of attractive women ever again because some prudish feminists object. It's saying why do those images have to present women in the way that they do? In the example of Page 3 and Podium Girls, they're presented as pretty things to be looked down upon because pretty is all they are. And sadly, that bleeds into our culture.
Looked down upon? by who? how do you know this? Sorry but this is just one assumption after another.
I notice that you conveniently choose to omit the boy bands and Heat magazine models i mentioned earlier. Not wanting to talk about those?

With your example of car insurance, well there is a clear defined link that driving cars will inevitably result in accidents, however banning page 3 or podium girls for example is different matter as there is no reliable evidence to say that it would reduce sexism or objectification.

scallopsrgreat Tue 09-Jul-13 14:05:34

Also of those idiots in that twitter link, how do you know it is down to societies influence that has led them to make those comments? There could be all manner of reasons to why they are acting like they do. Ok give us a few then?

exactly which is why the objectification assumption falls down. No it doesn't. Why do you think it does?

Objectifying men isn't going to stop the objectification of women and nor does it negate it.

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