On: links between motor racing fandom and sexist vileness


In what I will poncily call “l’esprit d’escalier”, I coined the hashtag #clarksonettes a few days ago.

Having read of @salihughes‘ struggles with trolls, which started when she expressed an opinion about Formula 1, I had a think about the connection between petrolheads & trolling. Sali, for those not immersed in the fashion & beauty worlds like what I am, writes for the Guardian about soap & things like that. As a declaration of uninterest, I know little of soap, but I tweet rather too much about poor-quality football, so I understand niche interests, and it is true that If I go without football for a week or two nobody suffers, but if I go without soap for that long there are consequences. So she is addressing what is important, no matter how little respect I give it; I am not and am wrong.

The Clarksonettes, the BM-Wankers, do not like their dull sport to be criticised at all. (Sali Hughes set them off by claiming that Formula One is “dull”). I can’t see that any thinking person would dispute that, but it’s an opinion like any other. I have enjoyed motor racing myself, being like Brian Sewell only in having been a lover of  stock car racing in my time, but can’t abide the boring procession of tax exiles that is F1. It seems to be a fact though that a Twitter profile page containing a picture of a racing car will often be that of someone insecure enough to insult a woman on Twitter. I’ve got examples but I’m not putting them in here as they might enjoy the exposure.

I recognise and do not criticise the absolute impossibility of my contributing to feminist debate: to quote
 @CCriadoPerez , “we’ve got this”. My “manpinions” are not required. I actually had to unfollow @CCriadoPerez for a while, not from offence but from overload. She is right, repetitively & forcibly right and I wish her well.

Lucky me, I had (have) a mother who was a self-employed professional  woman. Lucky me, I’ve had woman bosses and woman friends, all of whom made it unlikely that I would grow up with an old-fashioned attitude to women. I’ve been married twice, and if my wives have anything in common it’s that they plough their furrow in disregard of received sexist “wisdom”, and lucky me, I’ve been able to recognise the merit of that.



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