Hamilton’s war on women

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According to the mobocracy on social media, Lewis Hamilton has his own war on women going. Spraying champagne on the podium of a Formula 1 race is par for the course and a tradition. The drivers spray each other with the fizzy drink and sometimes they spray team bosses and the host girls that are standing near for the podium presentation ceremony.

That’s been a part of F1 for decades but now the world has deemed the spraying of any of the host women on the podium as sexism and in poor form. Hamilton took it upon himself to once again spray the girls on the podium in China and the young lady didn’t seem to enjoy it which prompted a flurry of comments on Twitter. It even garnered comments from a group that is determined to obliterate sexism around the world as the Mail reported:

Roz Hardie, chief executive of Object, a campaign on media sexism and ‘sex object culture’, said: ‘The photographs appear to show that the woman is not just being splashed, but that the champagne is being very specifically directed into her face, which does not look like a voluntary piece of horseplay on her part. ‘If this if the case we think Lewis Hamilton should apologise for his actions and think carefully about how he behaves in the future. For most people, it would be apparent that she is not enjoying it. ‘It is surely a very difficult position to be a grid girl and she would have had little option but to stand there and take it. That is something of which he should be aware. But instead, he appears to have abused her position. ‘It’s unfortunate that a great victory has been marred by what appears to be selfish and inconsiderate behaviour.’

He’s been called a “bully” and a “gold-plated arse” for his efforts. This is on the heels of F1’s suggestion that a women-only series might be a good idea and that was met with disdain—except Lotus’s Carmen Jorda thought it was a good idea.

Lewis had to fight his own social injustice to get to the podium because many folks feel the two-time champion has faced incendiary racism in his meteoric climb from a couch in Stevenage to a private jet and home in Monaco.

Now the world has turned its eyes on racing as a sexist sport with the WEC eliminating its grid girls and calls for F1 to do the same. What better way to call for that action than to point out the injustice of spraying a woman with champagne on the podium. Is it sexist when Lewis sprayed his teammate, Nico Rosberg, just prior to spraying the woman? Lewis may have a war on women and a war on men going on top of his war on Nico Rosberg.

I don’t mean to be obtuse here but if the idea of spraying a woman with champagne is some sort of sexual symbolism, then I guess I am stumped as to why, in a world where LGBT causes are championed, the symbolism isn’t just as relevant when Lewis sprays another man?

The world needs to pull its head out of its own arse and lighten up a bit. I think it’s taking itself way too seriously and starting to sound more petulant and childish than Nico Rosberg did during the post-race interviews in China. To the world obsessed with sex, life happens above the waist too you know.

When social justice starts to eventually turn upon itself and the causes overlap, the humor is in watching people try to champion their causes over other causes they’ve championed. The pretzel logic of youth can be perplexing. Spray away Lewis…uninterested podium models need not apply.

Hat Tip: Daily Mail

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MichaelB

Spraying the women could be considered a jerk move from the standpoint that he’s spraying them… But as for it being sexist, or objectifying anyone – not seeing that at all… I could almost see it if only the women up there got sprayed – but it’s not, the drivers are just as likely (if not more likely) to spray each other, in the face… than anybody else… The bottom line is that the spraying of champagne is part of the celebration. It’s not offensive, and I’ve never seen it done it poor taste. Any of the models who can’t… Read more »

runnah

I think they only really get upset when it goes in their hair.

Johnpierre Rivera

finally someone with the obvious… Well said…

runnah

The good thing about social media is that stupid stories like this have the life span of a mayfly.

Negative Camber

If that.

Samouri

There is another story, which seemed to have been missed by this website, but covered extensively by many others, regarding the outburst by Nico at the conclusion of the race in China. The outburst and rant that he made was bizarre, and the only thing that he achieved with fans worldwide, is to consider him to be a complete fool.

Negative Camber

Hmmmm. I think we covered that on the podcast for this site.

Samouri

What did you do try and hide it over their?

Godiego

spraying each other to celebrate shouldn’t be a problem, but why spray those who aren’t celebrating.

Johnpierre Rivera

good point…

Declan Brennan

Spraying generally in the direction of the podium girls is fine, especially if they are allowed run for cover, it has been going on for ever. Spraying directly into anyone’s ear, particularly if they are ordered not to move, is absolutely disgraceful and displays an astonishing amount of disrespect on behalf of the sprayer.

The dismissal of this incident is fan-boyism of the very worst kind.

Negative Camber

Spraying anything into someone’s ear is bad, regardless of gender. My history of hate mail may prove that I’m no fanboy of Lewis’s, I call it like I see it and to me, spraying champers is fine. Spraying into Nico’s ear is a bad shot, spraying into a podium hostess’ ear is not good. Making this a gender war against Lewis is nonsensical.

Declan Brennan

The broader issue is one of the lack of respect and use of girls as “scenery enhancers” (a horrific phrase used by somebody on my FB page about grid girls). Clearly the girl was simply a piece of the furniture for Lewis and he felt it was okay to do that. It makes him look like a dick but it underlines how institutionally sexist F1 and racing still is.

runnah

I disagree with the scope and scale you are bringing to the conversation.

worldwidewilli

Eloquently stated, runnah.

Johnpierre Rivera

there might be some general truth to what you say, but in this particular instance I did not see Lewis behaving in this manner. Racing, boxing, basketball, american football, all have the ‘furniture’ element as you say. whether it is right or wrong, misogynistic or demeaning is worth further discussion. so lets make sure we are pointing out the real issue. its not Lewis, it is sport in general. and that is a conversation that i feel all of us are willing to have… this would seem to me an issue of intent [wanting to go out of one’s way… Read more »

Johnpierre Rivera

completely agree… bad shot nothing more… Lewis don’t spray in people ears anymore….

Daniel

Totally agreed! Though the use of this to judge him as being sexist is absolutely stupid. Judge him as an idiot? Yeah, probably.

Samouri

Who can you tell us has ordered these girls not to move…who?
I’ll bet you can’t

Declan Brennan

You saw the word ‘if’ didn’t you. It’s kind of important.

Samouri

I knew you couldn’t.

Declan Brennan

I’m glad you recognised that I couldn’t tell because the use of ‘if’ was specifically there to indicate that I did not posses any knowledge of whether or not the girls in question were made stay in their positions. I’m glad we are on the same page here. :)

Samouri

So why you do it, if you didn’t have a certain kind of agenda.

Declan Brennan

Let’s be clear here, EVERYONE has an agenda about everything. It’s the most overused phrase/accusation in common discourse. My agenda is pretty clear and stated. His behaviour was disrespectful to another human being. My agenda here is a desire to promote common decency. Spraying anyone in the earhole with champagne is a really dumb thing to do.

Negative Camber

I think Dex is pretty clear in his position, to be fair. I understand his point. I also understand his position on grid girls as I wrote and Editorial on that very thing. What I also think is that women will continue to be exploited as long as they continue to take jobs that exploit them. No matter how we feel about it, if there is someone trying to pay women to wear skimpy clothes and stand on a tarmac and there are women willing to take the modeling job, then we will have this. I walk right past the… Read more »

Declan Brennan

What the WEC has done is to be commended, there was no pressure on them to do so, but the series decided that progressive thinking in this area should match the progressive thinking by the Series rules makers. Women are absolutely free to take jobs in this area and the WEC is absolutely free to decide it doesn’t want to offer such positions.

Negative Camber

That’s ultimately the point. I think some folks could make the point that they would like to see F1 take a similar stance on grid girls in a singular fashion without the drama and mobocracy or name calling. The accusations that Vettel did it and Rossi did it only leads to more tweets about Lewis being attacked for his race and on it goes in circular fashion without end…well, at least for 15 minutes until everyone forgets about it. ;)

Johnpierre Rivera

This really should be the last word as it perfectly sums it all up…

Samouri

She must have a pretty high earhole, when you look at the picture more carefully…. It could be her hair that he’s spraying.

Declan Brennan

Yes, that is the important part here, his level of accuracy! To be honest, your lack of any real argument regarding my substantive speaks volumes.

Negative Camber

One can’t really feel this has been properly addressed until Mr. E weighs in on the matter. That should add clarity. :) Also, why didn’t the Mail quickly got to Susie for comment like they usually do when the topic of discussion goes below the belt? I would imagine Carmen has plenty to say too. BTW, there was a race this past weekend in China. Just FYI.

runnah

#champagnegate

worldwidewilli

Perhaps we could solve this by drinking the champagne, as intended. I´m an admirer of Mr. Gurney, who started this, but I´ve always found his twist more than a bit tacky, and I´m considerably embarrassed as an American when I observe it. I think we could take a cue from the Monaco GP, where our boys are politely ushered to the street for this fiasco.

MIE

I was about to blame the whole thin on Dan Gurney, but you beat me to it.
If Max Verstappen gets on the podium this year will he be allowed to drink the champagne?

Alianora La Canta

I don’t see that Lewis spraying the grid girls was a problem. The problem was that he was spraying someone who didn’t want to be sprayed.

Drivers cannot be expected to know who does and doesn’t want spraying when they are in the midst of elation. Rather, people who do not wish to be sprayed should have the chance to not be in the area when the almost-inevitable happens. As such, the organisers should have found out the grid girls’ preferences and ensured those who objected to being sprayed were a reasonably safe distance from the traditional bottle battle.

Johnpierre Rivera

make good sense to me…

Lionprince

I saw and said he could get in trouble with the feminists and dikes because those girls aren’t there to be showered but rather just for looks which in a sense is sexist too…the irony though.

mac888

When those girls are hired they should know that they’re going to be sprayed with champagne so cmon now

Matthew

I think there IS as an element of sexism with the grid girls being used as props (in official FOM photographs, we get the names of everyone BUT the grid girls. It’s like theyre non-people, which is mildly offensive) but how can the champagne spraying be sexist if men on the podium get sprayed too? At best its insensitive behaviour. Back to the grid girls though, its not the concept itself that is sexist, its the execution of it. I’ve seen grid girls that tastefully represent the culture of the country they represent. And Ive seen grid girls that wouldnt… Read more »

Profpalm

I really don’t think sexism is involved at all, a couple of years ago F1 drivers voted Nico as the prettiest girl in the paddock and Lewis has sprayed him with champagne too.