Friday, February 24, 2012
Danica Patrick. Racing as Female.
In this video Fox5 San Diego sports anchor Ross Shimabuku seems to be calling the racer Danica Patrick a bitch:
Or some other b-word. Bastard? Probably a bitch, yeah. Shimabuku later sorta apologized.
But he didn't apologize for the gist of his evaluation of Patrick which boils down to "she is sexy and knows it." What he might really means is that Patrick's sexiness is used commercially to her advantage and that this is unfair to male racing drivers. Though of course nothing would stop any racing driver from using his sexiness or good looks in promotions.
Shimabuku is probably a sexist. I'm leaving in that "probably" because I don't know his utterances well enough. It may be that he always calls racing drivers bastards or idiots or bitches and complains about how they use their looks or their personal lives or whatever to get publicity.
Still, it's pretty hilarious for him to make those statements while working for Fox News. Fox is famous for demanding Barbie-doll standards from the women on screen while the guys can look like anything from your worst nightmares and still be acceptable.
This double-standard exists to draw the maximum number of viewers, with the understanding that Republican men want to see tit-and-leg if they have to endure wimmin in their television news.
But that double-standard is pretty bad from a feminist point of view, not only because it means that women will have short careers in television. As the Barbie looks fade so does the career. And not only because requiring exquisite looks (on top of all the other qualifications) from only women is clearly discrimination, but largely because demanding that women are eye-candy so very easily turns into assuming that this is all the women on television are.
I don't know enough about Danica Patrick's publicity campaigns in general but I suspect that her looks are used in those campaigns, for the same reasons Fox News does that sort of thing. It would be better if this was not the case, especially in a field where women are still rare.
Because generalizations to the whole gender are most likely to happen in such circumstances. But then, of course, getting any kind of attention in traditionally male sports (or perhaps traditionally male music) may appear to require that selling-of-the-looks approach for women. That's a real Catch-22.