Formula One has officially canned their so-called "grid girls," the female models used in promotional tasks in the pit-lanes and starting grids before and after races.
The organization said they will no longer continue the practice because it is "at odds with modern-day societal norms" and doesn't reflect their "brand values."
"While the practice of employing grid girls has been a staple of Formula 1 Grands Prix for decades, we feel this custom does not resonate with our brand values and clearly is at odds with modern day societal norms," said Sean Bratches, managing director of commercial operations at Formula One. "We don't believe the practice is appropriate or relevant to Formula 1 and its fans, old and new, across the world."
Hmm. So why are these women really out of their jobs? A tale as old as time: Bitter feminists are going after the hot cheerleaders, so to speak.
According to the Evening Standard, campaigners, including "fans and broadcasters," have been pressuring groups to stop using grid girls and models during sporting events because the practice is said to be demeaning and sexist.
Mere days before the decision to ax the Formula One girls, the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) announced they would no longer be paying women, typically wearing bikinis, to escort male players on stage:
The PDC faced pressure from fans and broadcasters to stop the practice in a row over sexism.
Campaigners called on other sports including motor racing, boxing and cycling to follow the PDC in deciding to no longer use walk-on girls.
Feminist charity Women's Sport First applauded Formula One's move to can the grid girls:
But some of the women affected by the feminist campaign are fighting back, lashing out at the "PC campaigners."
Formula One flag girl Kelly Brook said the feminists were infantilizing women, trying to take away their "right to make decisions." She also insisted that the job in no way “demeaned women."
“It’s probably not even occurred to these PC campaigners that the women might actually like the work," Brook wrote in an opinion piece for The Sun.
“These walk-on girls are intelligent women — a lot are probably trying to pay for their college or university education," she added.
Grid girl Lauren-Jade Pope also fought back via Twitter. "Because of these feminists, they’ve have cost us our jobs!" she wrote. "I have been a grid girl for 8 years and I have Never felt uncomfortable! I love my job, if I didn’t I wouldn’t do it! Noone [sic] forces us to do this! This is our choice!"
"I've been doing this for over eight years now and it should be our choice what we do for work, whether it be this, whether it be hostessing, ring girl duties, we should have the choice," Pope told The Sun.
"What's annoying me more than anything is the so-called feminists, they are not even really feminists, are defending us without even asking us how we feel, and we've lost our jobs because of this," she continued.
"For me this was really just for the enjoyment. I have a passion for the motorsport anyway," added Pope. "I really enjoy the job and I get paid to watch the sport I love."
Hey, in the pursuit of True Feminist Equality, some women are just going to have to lose the careers they love. Or something.