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Old 07-11-2004, 01:13   #1 (permalink)
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Women in Motorsport

I used your search engine on the above mentioned title topic and found that the fiesta is the most likeable car for women, ha! ha!ha! You guys have no idea what women are doing in motorsport

Past experiences have taught me, when it comes to women + cars some vehicle industry leaders have failed to met the needs and priorities of female consumers or even tried to address marketplace issues as they are related to fair trading policy, not to mention good business practice and an untouched valued avenue for real growth

There is a culture of women consumers experiencing discrimination in relation to the purchase of goods and services in the motorcar industry. Both areas need to be sustained and encouraged.

Not only do women have to pay more than men, they receive less in return. Especially when it comes to on-going services, new innovative changes, technical improvements, undates, recalls, public papers, communicating with the customer and even coming out from behind the counter can work wonders! The salesperson expects to see a partner, a husband or a boyfriend

Women are responsible for 70 per cent of small and small-medium vehicle car purchases, and influence at least 80 per cent of the decisions of new car purchases, yet we have no apparent idea, according to some dealerships and their technical staff

The continuing male dominated nature of the industry guarantees that women experience a sense of exclusion and isolation when dealing only with men when they are not offered the same trust building techniques or service offered to male customers.

Outdated stereotypes and negative attitudes towards women still exist throughout the industry and this creates tension between women consumers and eventually a breakdown in communication and potenial/future business loss is evident.

It is well accepted that karting is a strong road into motor sports participation. Consider these figures then. Of British kart license holders between the ages of 8 and 14, 40% are girls. Yet beyond karting the number of female competitive license holders drops to 2%. This is a massive drop and Dr Eaton's initial study highlighted a number of possible reasons:

*Peer pressure: in the intensive teenage years, social acceptance is a large part of adolescent life and many young karters expressed they felt pressurised by peers out of what is not 'a girl's sport'.

*Physical Changes: the onset of puberty can often leave girls at a physical disadvantage in their earlier to mid teens that is not balanced until their later teens, by which time many have given up.

*Over-scrutinizing: a number of young, female karters expressed the view that they were, or certainly perceived being, 'over-scrutinized'. This was especially evident by girls who had achieved good results and were then, sometimes openly, accused of cheating.

*Finance & Support: without doubt financial support is the greatest factor in any young driver's career and for many female youngsters this has proved especially binding. It has been noted that family/guardian support for young females is lacking as it is seen as too risky with little chance of a positive outcome.

... a number of young, female karters expressed the view that they were, or certainly perceived being, 'over-scrutinised'
For those women who remain in the sport these factors remain with them at some degree or another with the issue of finance dominating which is well documented on this very site so I will move onto other factors starting with physical ability.

Whilst there are undoubtedly differences between male and female competitors I believe it is incorrect to suggest that women are physically incapable and would urge those who are of this belief to look further into physiological experiments and research into female sport. Whilst certain aspects of strength are cited as women's weakness little is ever mentioned of women's strengths noted in recent studies which show how well suited female physiology is to endurance and G-force tolerance, essential in racing.

On the grounds of physical ability I believe the resounding hindrance to women is not physiological but social. Studies have shown that for athletes the difference within a sex is greater than that between the sexes. That is to say, there is a lot less difference between a top flight female athlete and her male counterpart than between her and say, well me! For a comparable sport, the top female will often be within a 5% performance bracket of her male counterpart, perhaps even lower. For those who read that and think, 'a-ha, proves women are 5% less able', think carefully. This is comparing a top female with a top male, now think in terms of say Formula One. Do you think every driver on the grid is (physically) within 5% of Michael Schumacher? Studies have shown they are not.

In many cases this dismissal of women's physical and mental abilties to compete is firmly rooted in perceptions of femininity and masculinity.

An aspect of this gender separation is seen in how many people use it to cast aspersions on a male driver, what greater insult than to say he drives like a wimp, sissy, or girl?

So for many the idea of female racing drivers is uncomfortable as they see it as women taking on a masculine role and thereby diminishing their femininity, becoming a 'freak of nature'

Motorsport, as another area of life, simply reflects society and the great thing about society is its fluidity. It is not rigid but takes a little coaxing and a lot of time to change and that is why women, competitive, able and determined, will continue to turn the race wheels but not in the name of some underlying feminist cause or to change the world but in the name of sport and challenge, it really is that simple.

Just a brief outline of what is happening out there with the British gals, they set the records, Go Girls...!!!

Susie Stoddart out in the lead of the Goodwin Racing Trophy after her great performances in Formula Renault.
Fiona Leggate is second, in her MG ZR Judd with some equally great performances. Ilsa Cox in third at the moment in her Peugeot 206 GTi. In the Susan TP-Jamieson Fastest Lap Award, Susie Stoddart is again in the lead with a magnificent 116.73 mph at Thruxton. Fiona Leggate is second with Mira Feyerbend, third, in her Tiga SC79. The Single Seater Trophy is also led by Susie Stoddard, with Sue Spence in her Formula Junior Elva 200 in second, and Lorina Mclaughlin in her ex-James Hunt McLaren M23. The Hillwood Winners Award for Wins and Lap Records is led by Fiona Leggate with Kelly Anne Mercer in her MG Midget. Kelly Anne Mercer leads the Jean Denton Newcomers Award with Sue Spence in second place. Jane Farthing leads the Duckhams Sprint Trophy in her Force with Sue Griffiths second in her Chevron B47 and Nicola Coghill, third, in her Westfield SE1. The Hillclimb Shell Trophy is led by Jo Hodgeson in a Lotus Elan, with Lynn Owen in second (OMS 2000) and Tricia Davies third (TDK 903). Sue Griffiths leads the BWRDC National Speed Trophy. Jane Farthing is second and Lynn Owen is in third place. In the Louise Aitken-Walker Rally trophy we have Clare Rix in the lead (Ford Ka) with Angela Ohren-Bird in second place. Karters have been very busy - Amanda Lassu leads the Kartsport Trophy with Carla Latcham in second place and Hannah Sedden in third

Cheers EmmCee
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Old 07-11-2004, 02:28   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Women in Motorsport

you raise some good points, but what is it that you are trying to say?
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Old 07-11-2004, 02:32   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Women in Motorsport

how did you type all that from the kitchen ??? :)
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Old 07-11-2004, 02:33   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Women in Motorsport

aaah, yea ok, cool
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Old 07-11-2004, 02:38   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Women in Motorsport

Quote:
Originally Posted by E Mutant
how did you type all that from the kitchen ??? :)
hahahahahaha rofl!
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Old 07-11-2004, 02:41   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Women in Motorsport

Women in motorsport is ok, hell who else would make the scones.

If women can compete at the same level good on them, go for it.

But if the ladies win there is no way we will condone Jamie Dury like pit boys and trophy lads on the poduim.
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Old 07-11-2004, 03:05   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Women in Motorsport

Quote:
Originally Posted by E Mutant
how did you type all that from the kitchen ??? :)
Thats just dumb
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Old 07-11-2004, 04:46   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Women in Motorsport

We have had the odd woman who has succeeded in one form of Motor Sport or other, including Rachelle Splatt who made a good name for herself in drag racing.

The problem isn't one of sponsors willing to come on board; undoubtedly Leanne Ferrier had a longer career than her talent merited due to the novelty value she had.

Nascar has had a couple running around at the ass end of the field for a few years now - in fact the women outnumber the African Americans in the series - both of which are surprising given that it started in the South West corner of that country.

Michelle Mouton was (and still is) an awesome rally driver and as far as I know the only woamn to win a round of the WRC - a feat she achieved 4 times.

Rachael Muldowney made a huge career for herself (only retiring recently) in Top Fuel dragsters and was an awesome and well liked competitor.
Likewise Sarah Jane Head is currently the fastest woman on two wheels in drag bike racing - an event that usually requires LARGE balls.

The most popular driver in IRL for the last several years has been Sarah Fisher who has had a couple of good races but mostly crashes or runs at the back of the pack.

It comes down to talent and we've just not seen all that many with enough talent, drive and determination to make it to the top of the racing tree. Sad maybe, but true.

In Australia it is also a numbers game. The top of our sporting tree in motor sports is V8 Supercar which has all of 32 vacant seats. When there are 10 times more men than women who hold Karting licences the statistical probability of a woman making it through to one of those 32 seats is small - as we can see from the current grids.

The last regular appearance by a woman in our premier division would have been Christine Gibson back in the Group C days and after the 1981 race I am prepared to bet she wished she'd stayed in the kitchen as someone so kindly put it above.

Cheers
Russ

Last edited by russellw; 07-11-2004 at 04:57.
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Old 07-11-2004, 05:23   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Women in Motorsport

Quote:
Originally Posted by russellw
The problem isn't one of sponsors willing to come on board; undoubtedly Leanne Ferrier had a longer career than her talent merited due to the novelty value she had.

Nascar has had a couple running around at the ass end of the field for a few years now - in fact the women outnumber the African Americans in the series - both of which are surprising given that it started in the South West corner of that country.

Rachael Muldowney made a huge career for herself (only retiring recently) in Top Fuel dragsters and was an awesome and well liked competitor.
Likewise Sarah Jane Head is currently the fastest woman on two wheels in drag bike racing - an event that usually requires LARGE balls.

The most popular driver in IRL for the last several years has been Sarah Fisher who has had a couple of good races but mostly crashes or runs at the back of the pack.

It comes down to talent and we've just not seen all that many with enough talent, drive and determination to make it to the top of the racing tree. Sad maybe, but true.

The last regular appearance by a woman in our premier division would have been Christine Gibson back in the Group C days and after the 1981 race I am prepared to bet she wished she'd stayed in the kitchen as someone so kindly put it above.

Cheers
Russ
Typically these comments only confirm my pointbitter sweet!

Cheers EmmCee
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Old 07-11-2004, 05:56   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Women in Motorsport

Women in motorsport is fine and all, I encourage it. I'd love to have a girlfriend who likes cars as much as I do. Just don't expect us to replace grid girls with grid guys, and everything will be ok
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