Women of Indy

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Did you watch the Indianapolis 500 this weekend? Three women competed in the Indianapolis 500 for the first time in the 91-year history of the event. Danica Patrick finished eigth, Sarah Fisher finished eighteenth, and Milka Duno had a minor crash that took her out of the race.

To catch you up on the significance of the women’s competition, check out the Sports Illustrated photo gallery of the women and the history of the event.

I can’t say I’m a NASCAR fan. I grew up in the South, and never understood it. Boiled peanuts and sweet tea, I understand. Racing around in circles in a track, I don’t.

I do admit the women dressed in firesuits give me pause for reflection.

Milka Duno:

Makes me want to dig up my “Beers. Chicks. Trucks” t-shirt. Is it okay to want to come back in another life as a steering wheel?

Sarah Fisher is my favorite, with those bookish glasses. She looks like a librarian gone bad.

The Indy 500 does bring up an interesting topic: women competing with men. Because, after looking at those photos, I’m sure you guys are all totally thinking about men right now. Men, men, men.

Sally Jenkins, the Sports Illustrated and Wall Street Journal reporter, wrote an article about Danica’s finish, her career, and the complicated issues that come up when women compete with men. Jenkins comments:

“But Patrick is not just a woman. She’s an unapologetically pretty one who sports film-star sunglasses and diamonds in her ears and who once posed on the cover of FHM magazine in a leather get-up spread-eagled on a 1957 Chevy.

“It’s precisely Patrick’s arch-femaleness that makes her such a compelling draw. Patrick is playing out some basic questions at 220 mph: Are we heading toward a kind of competitive androgyny, or recognition of fundamental difference? Do we believe that men and women have genetic inequalities in their aptitudes, or not? We still haven’t decided.”

I like arch-femaleness. What do you think? Are you a part of the 40% of the NASCAR fans that are women?

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