Posted by: Loren Coleman on May 27th, 2007
Who is this woman? And what is she selling? Would you buy a copy of my book Bigfoot! The True Story of Apes in America from her?
This woman is more familiar. And what she is selling seems more obvious, right?
As it turns out, three of the five women shown here, from the left, Milka Duno, Sarah Fisher, Lyn St. James, Billie Jean King and Danica Patrick posing for a photo at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, will be racing at the Indy 500 on Sunday, May 27th.
Race driver Milka Duno of Venezuela. (AP Photo/Terry Renna, file)
Milka Duno smiles after she qualified on the third day of qualifications (May 19, 2007) for the Indianapolis 500 auto race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Duno is the third women to qualify for this year’s race. She averaged 219.288 mph. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Danica Patrick, the most famous female race driver in the world right now, will be in the Indy 500 too.
Congratulations to these three women and all the men racing today.
Again, what does any of this have to do with Bigfoot studies?
Stop and ask yourself: What does the Bigfoot field have to learn about marketing the newest researchers in hominology – who happen to be female – from other male-dominated fields? Are there things we don’t want to transfer from one to the other? How can women be supported and involved in the Bigfoot field?
How can we ask such questions without being called a sexist, or an open discussion occur without people being afraid they are going to be called “a bit chauvinistic”? Or even be misunderstood for demonstrating some realities of the marketing of women in racing via the images in the two blogs on this subject?
Joe Posnanski of The Kansas City Star wrote an article during this Indy 500 week about how his young daughter saw a photograph of one of the above three female race drivers. His daughter said that was cool, and wanted to grow up to be a race driver now, in addition to being a fossil hunter.
Posnanski writes: “A five-year-old girl, an eight-year-old boy, a 12-year-old girl, a 15-year-old boy — they aren’t reviewing resumes and seeking references to determine their role models. No, they are watching the world, and they are drawn to whatever it is that inspires them.”
So how has NASCAR dealt with the women in their field? How have the women used their obvious sex appeal to achieve their dreams – to race cars? To attract sponsors for their race cars? To have people come watch them? To have the media talk to them?
Are there things women wish to learn and reject from the marketing of these women Indy 500 racers?
Before we are too critical of these women for posing for sexually attractive photos to promote their own goals, let us recall a woman who changed the entire funding base of primatology. Appealing pictures of Jane Goodall (with attractiveness and sponsorships in mine) were taken by her professional photographer husband-of-the-time. These photos revolutionized how people viewed the field study of chimpanzees and brought money Goodall’s way, and still does. Name one male primatologist who made any great impact in great ape studies, before Goodall and Dian Fossey? Now, examine that man’s career and see if he was aware of marketing, the public forum, press releases, and the media, to support his future in the field.
How will women in Bigfoot studies reveal their future history? By protesting that they are not being acknowledged or calling people’s comments “a bit chauvinistic”? Or by promoting themselves, which, yes, via an accent on attractiveness, whether due to their intelligence, skills, or physical appeal that will have people then note their passion for fieldwork should be supported financially? It seems to work for the three women racing the Indy 500 on this “Smackdown Sunday,” (my own coined joke for today, for those that don’t understand) on May 27, 2007 – and Jane Goodall. But that is not to say I think it would be good for cryptozoology. I am merely bringing it to the fore as a thought and examination of what has happened with women getting a foothold in what has been viewed as the “boys’ club.” It is happening and I support it. How women decide to accomplish this is up to them, and I will support it. In the end, it is their choice.
If you are a woman, what do you think? How do you want it to come about?