Apparently as the result of pressure from feminist groups, the Formula 1 professional racing circuit has announced that it will no longer feature promotional models called “grid girls” when the new F1 season starts on March 25, 2018. In a statement, the organization claimed that the longtime grid girl contingent no longer resonates with its brand values or current social norms, which may be another way of saying that it is sexist or a form of objectification of women.
Grid girls are roughly equivalent to ring girls/card girls in boxing or MMA, or perhaps cheerleaders in football or basketball.
The pro-choice philosophy of the feminist cohort should extend to grid girls, however, in the context of selecting a career path, a female professional race car driver in the U.K. maintains.
“Real feminism is about women choosing what we want to do without judgment or barrier,” Rebecca Jackson, who is also a TV host, explained in a video uploaded to social media that is gaining a lot of attention.
Jackson went on to say that true equality would include both grid guys and girls, but equality at its essence means the ability for individuals to make their own decisions as to who or what they want to be.
“I am in favor of grid girls…a modern woman should have a choice…the reason I think this is a backwards step is because we are taking away the choice from these women…really, the idea of feminism, if you want to call it that, is that women have the choice who or what they want to be without judgment — least of all judgment from other women. And yes, it is a glamorous sport, and therefore glamorous women are involved.”
Jackson also observed that as a society, we are drawn to beautiful men and women, and it’s hardly a new phenomenon that attractive people are put forward to sell products. She also insisted that grid girls don’t feel objectified in their Formula 1 roles.
In an appearance on Good Morning Britain, supermodel Naomi Campbell remarked that she never found grid girls offensive and that they should get their jobs back.
Supermodel Naomi Campbell defends #GridGirls and is shocked to hear they have lost their jobs.
“There’s been a debate about women using their looks as a way of earning money.”
Campbell: “You could say that about me.” pic.twitter.com/j32XZdUYPd
— LALO DAGACH (@LaloDagach) February 7, 2018
Several grid girls, including Giorgia Davies, have weighed in on social media to criticize feminists for interfering with their livelihood, which is often a stepping stone to better opportunities.
Said Michelle Westby, who herself went on to become a professional driver, “I’m now retired from it all but to think girls have now lost a lot of important income because feminists think they know best when they haven’t a clue is really frustrating.”
In additional clips from Good Morning Britain, models who work as grid girls, ring girls, or what the U.K. refers to generically as walk-on girls claim that feminists are not empowering women by seemingly trying to dictate what constitutes acceptable employment.
Watch professional driver Rebecca Jackson address the Formula 1 grid girl ban in the clip below and draw your own conclusions.