Goodbye Grid Girls

Last week the Professional Darts Association got rid of the ‘walk on girls’ that accompany the players onto the Oche. Today the F1 are getting rid of the ‘grid girls’ that have become an integral feature of F1 racing for as long as I can remember.

As somebody who does not really follow sports I have always thought things like ‘walk on girls’ was a little bit silly. there is something quite sad about people who need to see a half-naked women in order to pay attention to an event.

But there is something serious at stake here. This is because these changes are indicative of a serious cultural shift. Is this a nasty ‘neo-puritanism’ or the dawn of an age of maturity?

On the one hand, the idea that perfectly willing women being stopped from pursuing a job opportunity is repellent. Yet it is easy to see that market forces are at work here. These are private institutions who have acted on their own impetus. There is something quite natural about these sports trying to ditch the macho image and present a more family-friendly facade.

There has been an initial outcry against these decisions as ‘feminism gone too far’. Yet, as is often the case, the truth is more complicated. Clearly, new attitudes to how women are portrayed are influencing these decisions. But it is debatable whether we really live in an age of renewed prudishness.

Whether this really is the ‘feminazi’ at work or an attempt to rebrand these sports I will leave you to decide. I will certainly not be mourning the loss of the walk-on girls.

  8 comments for “Goodbye Grid Girls

  1. Tamiris Loureiro
    Feb 1, 2018 at 12:12 pm

    I don’t mind people’s choices for debauchery and exhibitionism as much as I don’t mind their choices in life, until it’s forced upon me. As a child who used to watch F1 with my father, I felt a fair amount of discomfort watching women parading their bodies as the only good thing they could offer the sport, not ever a driver, or anything else really. Most sports seemed to do that when I was a kid, and the ads “surrounding” them too, this didn’t help my interest for sport.
    I believe a fair chunk of feminazis nowadays are a reaction to this vision of objectified women being sold as “normal” on TV and movies. I find the objectification of men just as disturbing, and also believe it to be “revenge” from women who felt unfairly portrayed. There is a time and place for such content, and I am absolutely fine with dancers and prostitutes as long as there’s adequate product placement. I don’t buy McDonald’s in a shoe shop and vice-versa, sport shouldn’t rely on scantly dressed PEOPLE to sell on open TV.

    • Feb 1, 2018 at 7:51 pm

      Agreed- This decision reminds me of a similar issue here in the UK. From the 1960s to until the 1990s football had a terrible reputation here. Football games were sometimes places of horrible violence and most football matches were covered with riot police trying to stop fights from breaking out.

      Although football isn’t totally free from violence, the sport has made billions from becoming a more ‘respectable’ pass time. It is now possible to take your family along to a football game.

      Lots of people have claimed that grid girls are an ‘integral’ part of the sport. But like football, I seriously doubt this decision is going to deter people from watching F1.

  2. Nico Metten
    Feb 1, 2018 at 1:16 pm

    This is clearly very reactionary puritanism. It is nothing new. Societies on the whole planet, throughout history, have bullied women into not showcasing their bodies. We still have many societies in which women have to veil themselves. This, of course, was also a very common practice in christian countries as well, until not very long ago. The fact of the matter is that men have a very visual sexuality, they like to look at beautiful women. And some women enjoy being looked at. I don’t know why beautiful women are being used in sport. I have never been even remotely interested in sports. But my guess is that people who are, will continue to be so even if the women disappear. But this is not just about women in sports. What we are seeing right now is an all out war on male sexuality. The fact that men desire women’s bodies and women might enjoy that, is presented as unacceptable. So both sides are bullied into not participating in it. It is about controlling men and unwanted female competition. The result will be that both men and women will be more miserable.

    • Feb 1, 2018 at 7:44 pm

      It does indeed bother me that male sexuality is becoming an almost totally negative thing in the eyes of many people. This is already having terrible psychological consequences on people.

      I think that many people have overreacted to this issue though- people forget that this is a private institution that has done this on it’s own, not by government writ. Like you I have very little interest in sports-But I seriously doubt people will stop watching the F1 or Darts because of these decisions.

      • Nico Metten
        Feb 1, 2018 at 8:10 pm

        Oh, I am not questioning the legality of firing all these women. They can do that. But there is a battle of ideas out there, and currently very bad ones seem to have the upper hand in that battle. That is what this is about. It bothers me that some companies fire women, just because some feminist pressure groups ordered them to.

        BTW, that is quite ironic that it is feminists who demand that these women were fired. I saw some of the models complaining about that. For them, these were easy job which paid quite well, and now they have lost that income, without really having an equally good alternative. Modern Feminism really hates women.

  3. Paul Marks
    Feb 1, 2018 at 10:10 pm

    It is not market forces as classically understood – it is the Social Justice Warriors, a tiny minority of people who scream-scream-and-scream till they get their way.

    Political activists forcing companies to do their bidding – look up “GamerGate” Jordan. Perry over on Samizdata will telly you about it.

    • Paul Marks
      Feb 3, 2018 at 8:35 am

      That should be “will tell you about it” (Gamer Gate) not “telly” you about it.

  4. Ken Ferguson
    Feb 4, 2018 at 12:02 pm

    Yes it’s nature’s fault.

    The fact is that the male libido works quite differently from that of the female- if you don’t believe this is true you will have to explain why almost all pornography (both heterosexual and homosexual) is created for and consumed by men and the you will need to point me to the nearest male pole dancing club.The use of depictions of women’s bodies to promote products to men is age old and remains ubiquitous.

    As with all other political correctness the neo-puritan feminists are attempting to deny our essential human nature and have created a climate in which male sexuality is viewed as an abomination and in which a centuries old painting depicting female nudity was recently withdrawn from show in an art gallery.

    In fact the grid girls have been sacked by the people in charge of F1 so there has been no element of direct compulsion but the fact that they have done so is an indication of the febrile atmosphere that has been created.

    Of course they cannot win.

    They can no more outlaw the male sexual response than Canute could stop the tide but they WILL try to use the state and the media to impose prohibitions and to encourage the creation of laws designed, ultimately, to prevent the erections they find so offensive.

Comments are closed.