Perspective: A Woman's opinion of life in Motorsports
The worst offense I have ever suffered had nothing to do with my job, but more my inability to know what was going on in my car. You see, an underhanded mechanic told me I needed a new transmission, and – well – as you can imagine, it’s a very long, tragic story that cost me $1500 and ultimately forced me to take responsibility for knowing what was what on my Volkswagen.
Now, I do have a thick skin. Anywhere you work, where there is a large group of men who travel weekly, well, there’s going to be some shenanigans. Sure, there was the occasional “nice rack” in the NASCAR garage, but did I find it offensive?
I really didn’t.
These were old dudes who barely knew how to use a knife and fork let alone being educated enough as to what was appropriate to say to women. Now, it never really got any worse that that – and these weren’t people I worked FOR – these we’re just random people involved in the sport. Honestly, it never bothered me, it never gave me pause.
The other girls that worked back there and I would laugh about it. Talk about how un-evolved certain people were, but it never took away from any opportunity any of us were given. Some people just don’t get it. They SHOULD get it – but man, people are endlessly stupid and will endlessly say the wrong thing.
Forget the silly old rednecks ogling you like a plump spare rib, really the worst thing about working in the motorsports industry was the heat and the food. I challenge anyone to stomach an Americrown meal of BBQ mystery meat and really care about sexism as you beg people to make a run for Tums and Pepto.
I don’t do too much work in auto racing anymore, now I work for the Sports on Earth department at Major League Baseball advanced media, where I work on the icenetwork.com account.
You can’t get anymore polar opposite than from NASCAR to figure skating.
Needless to say, the only ‘ism’ in the world of figure skating is being looked down on for wearing cheap, unfashionable shoes.
At the end of the day, it’s all how you take it. Some people are going to get offended, some people are not. I am just not one of those people who will take every little comment made by people who aren’t very smart as an affront against my womanhood. I enjoy being one of the boys, I love cranky old sports writers – I love hearing old stories delivered with sheer unadulterated machismo. I’ve got quite a mouth on me myself – so, I am really not one to cast the first stone.
As long as they don’t touch me – or use the “C” word to my face – you know, I think I feel about this that boys will boys, you can either play with them or go sit on the other side of the sandbox.
It’s how I feel when people complain about what’s on the TV and radio – that’s why there’s an off button.
But I get some people really get upset, I get that some people endure a sexist culture that is so oppressive that I cannot even imagine it. For those people, I hope that they use whatever legal means is afforded to them to stop such injustice.
Again, I feel very lucky that I have never had to endure the hatred and bile
that these women have had to face. They are truly pioneers for pursuing every
legal means to facilitate change in this country.
Each day this week, AskPatty.com is presenting a different writer's perspective article on this
topic, and we hope our readers will come back to read each day's
installment. On Tuesday, Jody DeVere shares changing attitudes of women in the Auto Biz. On Wednesday, Brandy Schaffels discusses what it's
been like as a cargirl in the automotive publishing world, on Thursday Linda
Przygodski talks about what it has been like as a woman working in
sports, and on Friday Becky Scott shares her own challenges choosing between
career and motherhood. We hope you will read them all.