Sports and Women

As a woman who has been working since I was in high school and participating in different sports since I was a young girl, when I saw the following quote, I paused to think about it for a minute then I felt the need to comment.

“Women shouldn’t have to deny their femininity just to conform with expectations. I’m a woman. I drive racing cars.” -Susie Wolff

Women around the world have fought for years to be treated normally and seriously in the workplace and not as feminine objects for men to look at.  Women in different professions have fought obtain meaningful positions in companies and organizations based on their skills and knowledge and not their femininity or appearance.

The skills and confidence that I learned as a member of a sorority at university have helped me excel in different male dominated work and athletic related situations through the years.  It hasn’t mattered that I’m a woman or that I’m feminine.  What has mattered has been that I had the skills and knowledge necessary to be there.

I am an athlete and I play on men’s teams. The fact that I’m a woman or my femininity has never been an issue.  I have proven that I can play with the men and that has always been the expectation.

If a woman or a female athlete has confidence in herself, puts the necessary time, effort, and commitment in every way possible, and shows that she belongs where she wants to be in the workplace, athletic field, etc., she will be welcomed and respected and she won’t have to deny her femininity to conform.

Yes, there might be a few at the beginning who question whether she belongs there in an attempt to get her to prove herself but the woman will not have to deny her femininity to conform to the expectations in the workplace or the athletic field..

The only way that a woman’s femininity might even become an issue is if the men sense that she’s not real serious, willing to do whatever it takes to be successful, or the skills or knowledge necessary to be there and be successful.

Women have been success at different times through the years in motorsports.  If a woman is viewed by her peers in motorsports as been serious, committed, and has the skills and necessary talent to compete and contribute in a positive way to the sport in her pursuit of a race seat, then her femininity isn’t questioned.

If I was in Susie’s position and was serious about getting a Formula 1 seat, I would be racing in every racing series that I could to get seat time to show that full commitment to racing instead of mainly posing for photo shoots.  The photo shoots make her femininity an issue when it really doesn’t need to be for her to have success.  The photo shoots and fashion magazine spread make men view her as a feminine object.

If she feels that she has to deny her femininity to conform to expectations, maybe that is an indication that she shouldn’t be driving race cars.

If a person is doing what they’re meant to do, they shouldn’t have to deny any part of who they are to achieve success.

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4 thoughts on “Sports and Women

  1. Ah yes but!!!
    I could well say that Susie gets an advantage over many worthy male drives simply because she is a woman. The team also get a PR advantage by employing her.
    And to be brutally honest she is very good looking, but if she were ugly or had no money behind her then she would not get the attention that she does. Obviously being your relative and Toto’s wife is another extra. We ask if she were not Toto’s wife would she have even had a test?

    While she and many other women drivers may be as good or better than the male contenders, they need to have worked their way up through the formulae from FF up to three and F3000 or F2 or whatever to achieve credibility they need to win all the junior series like men have to and not jump in because they know someone or are a PR asset. So you tell me, is Suzie ever going to be an F1 champion? I’m sorry but I don’t think so even if you gave her a full time seat.

    Maybe if it were twenty years ago when practise was free and she could drive all day every day like Shumacher did she could have a better chance, but now the driver has to arrive in F1 and be instantly good.

    I never liked Shumacher, but I had to respect his dedication to trying every single possible combination of tyre, suspension geometry, spring rating damper rating etc. He always went off in free practice two or three times just to see if he could get it back from going over the limit, then he moved the limit. It is a great pity drivers cannot get that experience today.

    Anyway I expect you to challenge me here about women drivers. I have to say I know nothing about football, I hate it and that’s an issue from my childhood.

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    1. Good comments. Women racing drivers are like Susie Wolff and Carmen Jorda are actually harming the progress that women athletes are making as far as being taking seriously as athletes and proving that there are women that have the skills to be able to play with men. This is happening because they are being viewed as a feminine object because they have the looks but haven’t proven that they belong on equal footing with men as far as their skills.

      If Susie Wolff and Carmen Jorda took racing seriously and wanted to have a real opportunity at possibly getting an Formula 1 seat, they would be racing in any series where they could get seat time.

      I’ve heard both of them compared to a Playboy bunny or an event model who is just the pretty face for the men to look at in hopes that they’ll buy the team’s merchandise or the sponsor’s products.

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  2. Oh dear! Susie has given up. As she said it is never going to happen. Like many other Friday morning test drivers there was no real chance of an F1 career. If she had beaten Massa’s time then maybe, but she would never get the chance because they are just testing items in a strict program that has no space for time trials.

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    1. Susie has actually made things difficult for women athletes like myself, who play our sports with men, as we maintain our equality of the athlete field. What she was trying to do ended up being viewed as a huge public relations stunt and putting things two steps back.

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