Women in Drag Racing
Last week was International Women’s Day, and the topic has really been weighing on my heart lately. There are a million and one ‘International Days” and honestly, I think 95% of them are dumb …but this year, for some reason, I find myself dwelling on this International Day for Women.
When I first became interested in drag racing, the only reason I knew it was possible for me to become a racer was because I saw a Disney Movie about two sisters who started drag racing. It just so happened that they were exactly the same age as me and my sister in the movie, and their dad drag raced just like mine did! The movie is called Right on Track and it’s the true story of Erica & Courtney Enders … if for some reason you have no idea what I’m talking about, lol. But I digress.
The idea that drag racing is a male dominated sport, isn’t new. It’s seriously a fact. There are far more men in the sport than women. And I know you think I’m going to jump into the whole ‘gender-divide’ issue, but I’m actually arguing the opposite. I think our sport does an excellent job of treating all racers equally, regardless of their gender. I’m so thankful for not only the women who came before me in the sport, but for how the sport has welcomed women.
During International Women’s Day, I heard a lot of women talk about the biases and inequality they face in their life, industry, sport, etc. (and I’m not saying that stuff doesn’t happen, because it most certainly does). But when I sat back and thought about what it was like in drag racing specifically, I realized a few things.
In drag racing, we as racers are not split up into categories based on gender (or age for that matter). Because of this, I think that brings a REALLY unique aspect to our sport. AND because our sport only categorizes us by speed, engine size, car, etc. it allows everyone an equal opportunity to compete against each other if they choose. In drag racing, we don’t have a ‘female super pro champion’ and a ‘male super pro champion’ we have ONE super pro champion, and we ALL compete for that one spot. This is what makes our community so solid. Because we are all competing for that one championship or winner spot, men and women.
In a lot of other sports, women stay in their own group and so do men. But in drag racing, we all stick together, learn together, race together and win + lose together. Are there more men in our community? Yes. But that doesn’t change the fact that women are still considered serious competitors and treated as such. We are all judged the same when it comes to our skills and talent, and there is no proof that gender is a part of this equation. We see successful men just as much as we see successful women in this sport.
Overall, I love how unique our sport is when it comes to the topic of gender. Of course, this is a very controversial opinion with a lot of different layers to account for. But from a generalized standpoint, I think we can be proud of how encouraging our sport is for women to be a part of.
Thank you to the men and women for what you contribute to the sport. To the women who show up unapologetically and never shy back from their true capabilities as a competitor. And to the men, who also bring their best to the table and never lower their expectations when it comes to competing against a woman. It says a lot about us as individuals, but also as a community.
Thanks for reading. I’d love to hear your opinion on this topic!
Catch you next-next week,