A few days ago UK’s Professional Darts Corporation decided that they would discontinue the tradition of women escorting male players to the stage.
I did not know grown men playing darts competitively was a thing, I always thought of it as a glorified drinking game. However, it looks like someone in the management remained sober enough to accidentally realize the way they treated women kinda sucked. They made the unpopular decision to stop this stupidity, and there are already petitions with thousands of signatures to stop this stopping of stupidity.
I can’t claim to be a feminist, especially considering the string of sexist articles on this website. My brand of humor is completely dependent on silly jokes about blowjobs, prostitution, and fucking, jokes that are funny only if you agree with the basic assumption that women are things. But even an old-fashioned dickhead like me can see that the decision made by the darts boys is correct, and wonder why MotoGP hasn’t done the same thing.
I do not believe that the world is a fair place, I don’t think there’s such a thing as justice, and I keep my expectations from humanity lower than Sam’s expectations from Gollum, but even a cynic like me was surprised by the MeToo movement, and the extent of abuse against women. I am a man, I am biologically incapable of understanding what it’s like to be a woman, but I did not know I could be so blind.
Is there a direct relationship between abuse against women and a girl standing next to Marquez in a mini-skirt? Probably not. Is it weird that smushed tits, forced smiles, and high heels in a male-dominated sport are considered normal in 2018? Yes.
I’m not the first to say that there’s no need for MotoGP paddock girls, plenty of people have expressed their disgust about the concept. Every time such an opinion is expressed, the arguments against it are the same. In this article I would like to take a deeper look at what those arguments are, and if they make any sense.
Paddock girls add glamour to the sport
This is usually the first argument given against stopping grid girls, that they add another dimension to the sport. The idea seems to be that somehow watching a bunch of girls hold umbrellas over a bunch of guys makes the whole thing more interesting to watch.
I don’t really understand the concept of glamour, to me glamour is fashion’s only excuse for existence, and an excuse that doesn’t exist in reality. Nobody needs to spend hours making their face look like a candle ejaculated on it, but they do it because glamorous celebrities seem to as well. What makes those celebrities glamorous? The fandom of all those people who make their faces look like a candle ejaculated on it. It’s like a human centipede, the fashion industry shits in the mouth of celebrities, those celebrities add more spit to the shit before making the consumers eat it, and finally the consumers take a bite and actually believe that the deep brown color of their lips makes them more attractive.
The concept of glamour is sexist by design, a bikini is glamorous, a mankini is not. Maria Herrera, Moto3’s only female racer, does not have a man in a speedo hold her umbrella, if she did, most people would just go “ewww” and Dorna would have to cancel the race in embarrassment. Something is obviously wrong with a concept that applies only to women.
Saying that grid girls add glamour to the sport is like saying that punching your wife every week or so adds romance to your marriage.
Paddock girls are getting employed
This is another favorite, paddock girls are being provided jobs and money, so all is good. Anyone who doesn’t see the level of disrespect that follows from this argument is more ignorant than Joffrey Baratheon.
Look at the entire MotoGP ecosystem, the riders are men, the mechanics are men, the commentators are men, the owners are men. All the important, exciting, high-paying jobs are done by men. In the middle of all these men you squeeze a few women, and the “job” these women have is to look pretty, make sure the men don’t get sunburnt, and get showered with champagne to make their nipples visible.
Is that a job you would like to take? Or would you rather be somewhere else on the grid?
Imagine if you were sitting in a cinema, had paid for a ticket, and you were suddenly told you can’t sit in the back row. You try to move to the middle, but are told that’s not possible. You move to the front, but no luck there either. You finally sit by the stairs in a dark corner, a speaker hanging exactly behind your ear, with only half the screen visible.
If someone approached you and said “Aren’t you lucky to be getting to watch this movie?”, how would that make you feel? There are worse things you could do than be a paddock girl, but there far more better things to be doing as well.
Paddock girls are a tradition
Any argument that starts with the word “tradition” irritates me. Small pox traditionally killed thousands of people every year. Humans traditionally shit in the woods. The earth traditionally was a collection of dust and gas spiraling around an unborn sun. Traditions are pointless, emotional flashbacks of just how bad things used to be, they are things to be remembered and forgotten, not life goals. Isle of Man TT seems to have forgotten about paddock girls, why can’t MotoGP?
It is true that grid girls have been with racing from the start, using a woman’s body to attract attention to your business at a time when women did not even have the right to vote doesn’t seem all that unnatural. What’s unnatural is believing that in today’s time, when literally everything else has changed from those days of treating women like a walking uterus, it is acceptable to feel nostalgic about just how fucking depressing things used to be, to want to keep the way things used to happen, and to feel offended if someone tells you to pull your fist out your ass.
What sort of backward thinking illiteracy is this? What kind of a person looks back at a time when people thought fevers were caused by witches, and says to himself “Ah, we should do more of that today.” Tradition is the weapon used by religion to convince people to make fools of themselves, drink this cow piss because a 1000 year old book says it’s awesome, go stick this bomb up your rectum and fire it on a plane because so many before you have done so. When did it become a fashion statement?
Saying that paddock girls should be kept because that’s how things started is like saying MotoGP riders should ride without any protective gear because that’s how things used to be.
Paddock girls choose to be paddock girls
This is one of more evil arguments against paddock girls, and one that’s rather hard to refute. Everyone is free to do what they choose to do, if a girl wants to hold an umbrella, so be it. The problem with this argument is that it assumes a level playing field.
This argument assumes that women could be a rider, a mechanic, or a commentator, but for some unknown reason all of them choose to be paddock girls. Nobody is stopping them from doing what they want to do, they want to put on makeup and look uncomfortable, hence proved all is well.
Woman in Saudi Arabia cover their faces and body with a veil. If they don’t do it, men look at them funny, their family gets angry with them, and occasionally they get arrested. If a woman in Saudi Arabia cover her face and body with a veil, does she choose to do it or is that her only option?
You create a system of which women are not a part, by design. You strategically leave just one area of the system where women can be employed. Do those women have a choice?
The argument can be made that there are not a lot of women MotoGP riders because parents don’t gift dirtbikes to their daughters. Because you don’t have a lot of women MotoGP riders, there aren’t any experienced women to comment on the race. Being a grease monkey isn’t exactly what parents dream their daughter to be either, although that strangely seems to be one of the most important characteristic of a hot chick.
However, if your argument is that women are only used as cheerleaders in this sport because they are not encouraged to do anything else by society, you really need to think a bit more.
Paddock girls are hated by snowflakes
Someone reading this article will at some point say that I’m a “snowflake”. Political correctness, or PC as it’s called by people who use it so much they need an abbreviation for 2 words, would also be mentioned to have gone crazy. I don’t know what political correctness means, it feels like something a politician would orgasm to. I like snowflakes, they are beautiful and complex.
The argument seems to be that telling grid girls to go is an unnecessary interference, undue moral policing, done by people who think they always know what’s right. It’s like capitalism applied to a human level, with cries for less government, less rules, and an unhealthy obsession with freedom.
The trick here is that these people who seem to hate rules help create a society where women are constantly told what to do and what not. After they push the women into a corner with their subtle agenda, anyone who tells them to stop is accused of being a PC Nazi. They tell others what to do, someone tells them not to tell others what to do, they tell that someone not to tell them to not tell others what to do. Magic.
Most of the arguments against paddock girls depend on changing the subject, distraction. They don’t mean anything by themselves, it’s just a bunch of catch phrases that people shout and then claim victory. The people who make these arguments are usually one of two types, those who genuinely think bad ideas are good ideas, and those who are too lazy to give up bad ideas.
Will it make a difference?
What would happen if MotoGP decided to stop paddock girls in 2018? Probably not much. Nothing would change as far as the race goes. The girls would be unemployed, but I’m sure they will find something better. Will it magically make more girls interested in racing? No. Will there be an all-girl team of mechanics? No. Will there be more female commentators? No. But it would be a symbol for change.
I hate symbols, but this is one of those few situations where they might be useful. A little girl watching a MotoGP race without grid girls may get the impression that she could be a racer too. If she makes it on a bike, other girls looking on will get more encouragement. With more girls on bikes it might feel natural to have more female mechanics, and then the commentators might follow.
It’s all about perception. Dorna can’t suddenly find female racers, even if it really wants to promote them. But the least it can do is destroy a symbol of the past, a symbol of idiocy, a symbol of male dominance. It would make financial sense, MotoGP has a male majority audience, it wouldn’t hurt to add a few million females to the party as well, right now it’s kind of a sausage fest.
I do realize that there’s a certain level of hypocrisy in this article, I’m telling people to stop telling girls to do a particular thing, by forcing those girls to be unable to do it. I obviously don’t have a right to tell anyone what to do, and from a philosophical standpoint it is rather difficult to justify banning something. The idea of this article is to show that the usual arguments given in favor of grid girls do not have any value, however I don’t really have a convincing reason against this tradition. I think part of the problem is that I am a man.
MotoGP is one of the most interesting sports on the planet at the moment. They have a field filled with incredible talent, bikes that are better and faster than ever, and a huge fan following. They don’t need these cheap tricks, they can take this risk. Dorna should instead spend its money getting girls into racing.
Imagine a girl winning in Mugello, imagine the podium celebrations with a pink trophy, imagine the post-race interview where the girl won’t stop talking. MotoGP has an incredible opportunity to make fun of stereotypes, rather than be one. What will it do?