Tuesday, 20 April 2010

time to cancel my subscription, again.

i pretty much hate the waikato times just at the moment. what has let to this depth of feeling is monday's issue, which i only managed to look at this afternoon. it has back to front coverage of the v8s, which is annoying in and of itself when there is so much happening in the world right now. but it is the nature of the v8 coverage that is particularly puke inducing.

two thirds of the front page is covered by an article, which features 2 photographs. there is a small one of the crowd at the pit area, and a much larger one of the winner & some other dude. this is the main business of the v8s, the serious stuff as it were. there were 8 people quoted in the article, one of whom was a female police officer quoted right at the end on good crowd behaviour. the rest were blokes, a couple of whom were joking about the fact that "they had left their wives at home for the second year in a row and were having a 'fantastic time'". habloodyha.

page 3 then has big picture of miss v8 and a couple of contestants behind her, accompanied by a small piece about how she's a mum, and basically all about being sexy. note that the three women are white, young and slim. there are 3 other articles around this piece: one about annoyed frankton business owners where we have two female business owners quoted; another about the crowds at the city pubs, where the only women involved in the story are this quote from a bar owner "usually it's very male-oriented but this year we had a good mix"; and the third one about the annoyance caused by someone with a laser light, where we get the same female police officer quoted in the last paragraph.

page 4 is half advertisement. the other half has a big photo of a male driver who one the second race with article about him. next to that a similar sized photo of a "grid girl" in her sexy attire (white, young & slim of course), and a small piece about grid girls.

page 5 is again half ad. we also have an op-ed by a male writer about what a let-down the kiwi drivers were. below that is an article about melanoma awareness stand at the v8, and yippee, we actually get to see a woman in the driver's seat not being supersexy (though still white, young and slim, of course) in the photo accompanying the story. she has no mention in the story though. and next to that is a story about a couple who won $20,000 at the v8s. the accompanying photograph has the couple surrounded by 6 "jim beam girls" in their super sexy clothing, and you'll never guess. they're all white, young and slim.

but this is not all. wait, there's more. on the business page (yup, the business page) we have a big article about the success of a talent agency. and can you guess what the two photos accompanying the article show? i won't leave you in suspense. at the top is a large one of 4 "hood street hotties", all looking super sexy, and sitting or leaning on a red, red holden. the second is a smaller shot of two "in demand" women, also with the sexy poses. and are they all white, young and slim? you betcha!

what the F**K??? i mean, really, this is what v8s are about? a couple of whiny businesswomen (because that's how the article makes them sound) who don't even get their photo in the paper, and the rest of the coverage of women is as eye-candy, fitting narrow stereotypes of beauty. their achievements are pretty much limited to their physical appearance - except that miss v8 was apparently also judged on her personality (along with her "stage presence", her walk, and how she "looked in the little blue dress").

to be fair, page 7 has an almost full page piece about the outgoing chief executive of gracelands trust, with accompanying photograph of her and a maori woman - two average yet lovely women, though not fitting into any definition of hot. and the back page of the first section has a big article on geena davis urging strong roles for women in film (ironic, much?).

but really, i'm sick of the v8 coverage around women and the very limited public role they are allowed to have.


Bel said...

The Waikato Times recently printed this long, detailed article on the 50th anniversary of the contraceptive pill, interviewing Hamilton women on its impact and influence:


I think it appeared in the Metro section on the weekend. No comment on the V8s (I'm not keen on them either) but this is worth a read as an alternative.

Anonymous said...

Nothing wrong with white women......

stargazer said...

and where did i say there was? but perhaps you'll tell me what's wrong with non-white, not young, not slim women that they don't deserve any kind of inclusion?

Anonymous said...


Grid girls are selected for their looks.

None of us - men or women - are young and beautiful for very long.

So what if you have to be a slim and attractive blond to be a grid girl. They are beautiful to behold, and let's not be haters because we can't all be as beautiful as they are.

lets try not to over-complicate things, not everything has to be about something serious. This is just attractive young women enjoying being attractive, young and the centre of male attention.

stargazer said...

totally and completely missing the point anonymous. show me anywhere in the post that i've shown hatred for any of these women. what i've shown hatred for is the almost total portrayal of women being judged solely on their appearance, in relation to the v8s coverage. no coverage of women as mechanics, no coverage of women who might aspire to be v8 drivers, nothing of the sort.

how about offering something else besides just women being attractive, young and the centre of male attention. unless that's all you think women are useful for.

and the "it's a joke" or "it's all harmless fun" is really the saddest and oldest argument around. all it means is that the person making that excuse is too lazy to deal with the issues.

Brett Dale said...

Never been a motor sport fan, but Im guessing they are appealing to their demographic.

Every sport uses young pretty white woman for some reason.

Take a look at the rugby sevens in wellington, while fans of the code (im not) struggle to get tickets the NZRFU pays model agencies to send their models to the games all dressed up, and act as members of the crowd to give the event a glamarous look, and then sky tv is told to focus their crowd shots on these paid actors.

Take a look at any rock concert on Tv the front rows are always pretty young white girls, for the same reason as the rugby seasons, the record labels want to give their artist a look of glamour and for some reason if there are young prettyn white girls, your sport event/show will be known as cool.

I have never figured out why.

A Nonny Moose said...

Wow Anon, I think you hit every space on the Bingo card.

Looks are fleeting/woman's usefulness to society is fleeting - check

So what/who cares? - check

Ur just hatin' cuz ur ugly - check

Why worry ur pretty lil' woman brain - check

These gurls WANT to be looked at! - check

Thanks for the Mansplain Anon! Maybe if we didn't have to go back to Feminism 101 Every. Single. Time. we might get somewhere in forwarding these issues.

Anonymous said...

if everybody is "missing" your point Stargazer - maybe it's because your original point was not clear enough.
Im the 3rd anon person to think you are hating on white women.

stargazer said...

well then, lucky you've read the comments, so that you know it's not true.