What’s Sex Have To Do with… Race Car Driving?


Racecar driving is a popularly watched sport in the United States among a variety of age groups. One very talented racecar driver out of many is Danica Patrick. However, she does not have the same experience being a woman competing in a male dominated sport. Being a woman, Danica is not taken as seriously as the other men whom she is competing against because she is different and not seen as the ideal gender for this sport seen normative for men. It is noticeable that in order for her to establish herself in this sporting realm amongst many men, she incorporates the ideals of Marxism and must use her sexuality as a selling point. Marxism makes the claim that the best way to sell a product is by incorporating sex with the idea that sex sells. Danica is a female athlete among many that has had to capitalize on her body and her looks in order to obtain a fan base and to be known as a real competitor in the racecar-driving world. It seems in today’s world that if a female athlete wants to succeed in an endorsement game, she should be willing to trade on her body and looks first and her athletic talent second. There is a clear gender dynamic present here between female and male athletes in the sporting realm, especially in racecar driving, a sport most commonly associated with men. This gender dynamic that exists creates a sexual difference between them forcing females to sell their looks sexually in order to be considered in the sport.


Chodorow incorporates the idea that there is an assumption that women have a caring role in a family where they are the housewives and are not goal oriented. This thought that is being engrained in peoples minds contributes to the reason why women are not seen as real competitors in sport like men are. Women are portrayed as being the caretakers and not being driven with goals, making it hard to see them as competitive and goal oriented athletes. It is easy to see a women on tv in these sporting races and automatically assume she will not win or does not have a chance against the men. Is this because society has given women a role that is hard to associate with winning and being dominant over men? Or do you think it is because women have to sell themselves sexually which could make them less credible?


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