Friday, April 08, 2016

Drag Illustrated racing magazine still can't treat women as equals. "The 2016 edition of our annual issue spotlighting the Hottest Women in Drag Racing "

on the cover the editor or layout person, had the sense to not make a sexist remark with the words "Hottest", and should have stuck with Drag Racing's Leading Women, at best, but online was a different and clearly moronic slip up

60 years of women drag racing... and the magazines still refer to and view them as sex objects, as clearly, referring to competitors in terms other than physical attraction only is reserved for men. Pathetic

When women can be in the magazine without the posing, the cleavage, the bare legs or skirts, and are referred to the same way as the men, then the magazines will finally be doing them a service, and not a slight.

All 3 of these are from this issue. The woman's issue. When DI has the gall to photograph men in these same stupid ridiculous poses, in a tux, see through shirt, or dance club clothes while posing with car parts, then I'll believe that these 3 examples, all from this one issue, aren't sexist, stupid, and ridiculous. Until then? I'll be over there, supporting whatever racer is hard at work to compete on the track, not used to sell an annual issue of a magazine as if it were Sports Illustrated (coincidence of title with "Illustrated" having a single annual issue using women to sell copies?)

Yes, the sexist annual issue isn't having a positive benefit to the sport, or a magazine. To include a woman for sex appeal and not talent (Go-Daddy and Danica Patrick) is similar in not making the sport better. Rather, it detracts from the competitors and the talent afield. Instead of being cool, and focusing on accomplishments and talent of the drivers, they instead went lazy sexist and negative. Competition improves the sport (Joan Cuneo for example!), and opening the door to any and all worthy (By stats, comparative and contrasting) drivers, the sport improves, and the drivers get the best to compete with. (See Toyota in Nascar, Americans in F1, etc) instead of tokenism and the inevitable fall off in fans, effort, and talent motivated to join.


  1. Drivers who make money (not many) are paid based on their ability to bring attention to their sponsors. Sometimes they do this by winning. Just as often they do that in other ways: charisma, creating controversy, or having a social media following. I would wager that these ladies were not forced to pose this way, but rather they recognized that it could help their brand.

    Danica Patrick is a first rate example. What has she won? On the flip side, I am not aware that Katherine Legge has ever posed for photos like this. Sometimes she wins, and she gets drives, but likely has not had the financial success of Ms. Patrick.

    Additionally, the most ignorant implication you made in your entry is that drivers get rides based on talent. Most often it takes a lot of money to get into a position where you are paid as a driver. I know of a few exceptions, but generally it's the case.

    Most drivers will do anything to get and keep a good ride. If posing for a few pictures would get that result for the guys I think they would happily volunteer.

    1. "the most ignorant implication you made in your entry is that drivers get rides based on talent" And you suppose they risk wasting time, money, and smashed race cars based on anything but paying to sponsor the best talent they can afford? Seriously? You tell the rest of us who is paying a mediocre driver to race a straight up race car wit a 10,000 engine, 50thou of engineering and development, and another 50 thou of design and fabrication. Every joy riding dumb ass out here in the real world wants to know where to sign up for race track time on some rich idiots blank check. Go ahead, my website has all the space you need to list the companies and billionaires that are funding talentless hacks and wanna bees. I'm waiting to share this info with a couple 100,000 other people that love to race on a track in any and every venue, circuit, racing league, and track the world over. You're right about something, most driver would pose for photos... but men are not asked to, required to, or even considered to pose like these women - in order to get magazine publicity. That, sir, is clear sexist policy and business op by DI and SI. Men only get the on the cover by talent or dying. They have to make the news headlines, not wear sexually provocative clothing in pin up poses. Further, I also used Danica as an example, and your use of her as an example isn't clear if you are agreeing, or disagreeing, or both - with my example of her mediocrity not warranting her sponsorship, but her oversexed ads for Go-Daddy during the super bowl did

    2. OK, first off I am sorry for trolling your blog. I didn’t mean to. It’s just that the ladder to the top of motorsports is not as “equal” as it is for other sports. Allow me to explain.
      You called out some numbers for what it takes to develop a race car. Simply put, they are low. $110k would hardly get you a competitive car in low level pro-am sports car racing. Sticking with sports car racing (because I’m familiar with numbers in that arena), let’s use the Porsche Cayman GT4 factory racer as a benchmark because it has a known price of ~$165k. That is the basis by which I claim $110k is low. The GT4, or a 911 GT3 cup car, or any cars in a series where one of these would run, will have teams running the cars and selling seats in the cars. I have heard numbers of $15-50k/weekend to get a seat in such a car. The lower price is for a guy with enough talent to have a shot at winning, and the higher number is for a guy who doesn’t and also has to pay for a professional teammate or co-driver. On the high end, then, it costs $500k/season for a driver to drive this car. That’s a lot of money, but when one considers that people own private jets it doesn’t seem like such a stretch.
      Two good examples of guys who probably wouldn’t be at the level they are at on talent alone are Ken Block and Patrick Dempsey. They are both fine drivers, but neither has a lot of wins at a high level. A quick look at Mr. Dempsey’s Wikipedia page shows very few career wins. I am not aware that Mr. Block has won much outside of Rally America which (while awesome) isn’t a professional series. Both of these guys built huge brands, and sell themselves like crazy. Good for them.
      Even in F1 the drivers often secure some kind of funding that they bring to the team in order to have a contract. Even the revered Michael Schumacher had to have Mercedes pay Jordan to put him into his first F1 seat. With this type of thing going on I don’t feel comfortable saying that drivers are selected on talent alone as I understood you to be claiming.
      I am also personally aware of several drivers who have made it into the world of paid professional driver without spending mountains of their own money. There are a lot less of these.
      In the end it’s a system that rewards people not solely on talent, but that’s OK. I found a little niche for myself, and I get paid to be at races a few times a year.

  2. There are and has been, too many mediocre sons of famous NASCAR drivers at the top level of the sport to believe that any driver can reach that level with talent alone.

    If you subtract the number of women that are race fans only because their husbands/boyfriends are, the percentage of male race fans is 90% or more. If I had a financial interest in promoting auto racing, I would cater to that 90 + %, anyway I knew how, regardless of whatever single digit percentage of fans I may offend.

    I don't know the backstory of any of the women you mentioned here, but if it begins with "My boyfriend/husband raced..." it's a good argument for leaving the status quo the way it is. If however, they truly made it on their own, they deserve all the credit any and all of us can give them.

    Does it really matter if auto racing is a sexist sport anyway? It could barely exist during good financial times. Look at all of the short tracks and drag strips that closed down in the '60's and '70's.

    Today, we are experiencing anything but good financial times. Our country is $20 trillion in debt, the stock market is 70% overvalued, the Fed is printing millions of dollars per day to buy our own bonds, and the U.S. dollar is in danger of collapse.

    In a shorter period of time than the vast majority of people are willing to even consider, most of auto racing (along with other non-necessities) will disappear anyway.

  3. The thing that always gets me is the titles they give to them. The example is the bit on Alex "Well-rounded racer" and there she is in a tight dress. If it was a guy and that title we right away think career, not appearance. I don't think this mentality will go away for a LONG time yet.

    1. It most certainly will not go away. Especially when Alex is posting the pictures on her own website. It is up to the women to want to be recognized as drivers rather than spokesperson/model/athlete/brand ambassador/etc.