Hey cycling, what’s wrong with this picture?
Great news, girls and young women of Australia. You too can aspire to be a podium bimbo who wears figure-hugging, delectable smoked salmon-coloured dresses just like these hotties.
It’s true! Road cycling may have a blind spot the size of Belgium when it comes to drugs, but the sport is at the forefront of the fight against sexism.
While the men do all that silly riding, you gals can do the much more meaningful cheering. The men are forced to wear lycra, but you can experience true empowerment by dressing like a maid at a strip club. And while the men grimace in pain, you have the wonderful opportunity to practise your air smooching and general perkiness.
In all seriousness, what’s with podium girls? Yeah, yeah, I get that the Tour Down Under girls are our version of the Tour de France ladies in their tasteful yellow dresses which mirror the race leader’s maillot jaune.
This stuff’s been going forever in Europe, and there’s a certain elegance to it all.
But is this 2013 or 1913? I mean, I know the Tour Down Under takes place around Adelaide, but still.
If you break it down, the chick-as-ornament thing seems an incongruous fit for an Australian cycling race for two pretty obvious reasons.
Firstly, cycling is not a boofhead sport. Indeed, it is the very opposite of sports like motor racing where a dose of T&A, rightly or wrongly, has long been part of the deal.
Secondly, women race bikes too. And they do it extremely well. When Anna Meares wins a gold medal, you don’t see two blokes pecking her cheeks on the dais.
There are bigger issues in the world. There are countless more graphic and serious examples of sexism. But when I showed the family this pic today, my wife and nine year daughter thought it sent an old school kind of message and so do I.
A final thought. The AFL has no cheerleaders. Anyone ever wonder why it boasts the highest attendance – not to mention the largest female attendance – of any Australian sport?
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