The lack of women in sports that are considered ‘manly sports’ is surprising considering the idea of equality.
I have always been a huge lover of sport, and not just typically female loving sports (if indeed they are categorised in this way) but i enjoy those sports that are considered ‘Manly’. Not the sort of interested as in, i love football , boys love me kind of way (which in itself is controversial).
Specifically, I am a huge fan of Formula 1 and have been ever since I can remember and as I have got older I realise more and more of the patriarchal nature of sport. When i was just 10 years old, I remember writing a letter to Ron Dennis about how i wanted to be the very first women pit crew member and how angry I was that there wasn’t a female representative for the sport. As you are probably thinking, I never got a reply and to this day still haven’t seen my wish granted.
Why is this though? Is it that girls just aren’t interested in doing these jobs and therefore aren’t training in the right degrees? Are men considered to know more about the subject therefore are hired over women?
The women that are helping the cause is Susie Wolff and Suzi Perry (Something to do with the name susie?) but they both have completely revolutionised the idea of women in this sport. Susie (Wolff) not just works for Williams but has also driven the car around in practise sessions and in her own words states that ‘Formula one is not a man’s world’. Also, Suzi Perry, formally working with super bikes, has made the show more welcoming for women as the host of the BBC coverage and actually know what she is talking about rather than getting an unknowledgeable talent.
Yes, i understand that over the years with people such as Maria Teresa de Filippis in the late 1950’s to even a Brit of Divina Galica there is a HUGE number difference between male Formula 1 drivers than women so to put this into perspective, In the 62 years the World Championship has existed, five women have entered a grand prix compared to 822 men in the same period. Now I am not suggesting that we create a whole league for women because in all honesty, women team sports just aren’t as widely watched or marketed as male leagues. Take football and Rugby for example: in most cases the women teams are far more successful than the men’s team yet don’t get half the money or half the credit.
I am not slating the talent and absolute pleasure to watch the men in Formula 1 and am in no way saying that the sport would be better with women involved. It would just be nice to see women interested and accepted in a patriarchal sport such as this.
So therefore, this is just a thanks to women such as Claire Williams, Suzi Perry, Susie wolff and Monisha Kaltenborn for creating more awareness for the idea that WOMEN CAN LIKE SPORT TOO!
Lets hope that other sports such as Football and Rugby start to merge genders and for women to be equally considered.