Jan 18

Danica Patrick GoDaddy Ads Reflect the Sad State of Women’s Athletics

It took almost fifteen years to finally figure out that there are men out there who like educated and powerful women. It’s something I still struggle with to this day. What is my role? Am I a future trophy wife or should I be running a marketing firm? Men are often expected to get a job and make money, but as a woman, being too engaged in my career (and risk being a bad parent if I have children) or too engaged in my family (and risk getting divorced and having outdated career skills) seems like a liability either way.

What I do know is that women are not empowered at all if they are merely sexual objects. Women are indeed sexual creatures, but not to the extent that our society portrays them. To be seen as merely an object for men’s jollies is frankly really boring and wasteful of all the talent women have to offer.

That is why I get really irritated with Danica Patrick’s decision to play into GoDaddy’s misogynistic marketing campaign. Here is a women who broke into a man’s sport, something that few women have ever done. She’s actually resented in the Indy car circuit because she has so many endorsements, but has actually only won one race. Indy racing is actually quite difficult as it requires extreme concentration and endurance. GoDaddy could be highlighting her training and story, but instead, they’d rather slap her in a shower with another woman.

Growing up as a tennis player, I admired Steffi Graf more than I did Anna Kournikova or Gabby Sabatini. Why? Because although Steffi wasn’t considered the most gorgeous person, she was a winner, over and over and over again. She won more singles Grand Slams than any other woman in history. Hate them if you want, but the Williams sisters worked their way out of Compton to be two of the most dominant tennis players alive. They will be able to look back and say they left a legacy behind.

On the other hand, will Danica Patrick be able to say this? Or will she say, “I would have won more races had I spent more time training and racing and less earning Bob Parsons money by objectifying myself”. Will she be able to say that she inspired generations of women to pursue careers in male dominated sports and career fields that interest them, or will she perpetuate the stereotype that there are certain things that women “just shouldn’t do”?

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  • http://christen.dybenko.net Christen Dybenko

    God, GoDaddy’s ads make me so angry. I can’t believe I’ve given them my money. Just looking at that creepy old dude grosses me out.

    GoDaddy called me about a month ago to ask how I like their service. (I still have a few domains registered through them for about 5 years now. )

    I told the customer service guy that I was disgusted. Their ads objectify women and angered me as a female developer . He gave me this big long explanation of how the super bowl ads had increased their sales yada yada.

    I also told him that he had just reminded me to cancel the domains I still had there.

    This just reminded me again. Thanks Michelle. :)

    Christen Dybenkos last blog post..4 WordPress Plugins that increased my PageRank

  • http://myacaiberryreviews.com Marnie

    It’s pretty clear that Bob Parsons is a bit of an idiot. However, it’s not like GoDaddy’s SuperBowl commercial will be the only one that goes a bit over the top.

  • Rob

    Danica’s legacy will be at least that she’s the first woman ever to win an indy car race,in fact, any major open wheel type race anywhere, ever. She did this by getting herself into a top car on a top team. It does not matter how good you are as a driver if you are not in a good car. To get into a good car you must sell yourself. Which today means you bring money or you bring the ability to attract attention and sponsors. Danica has done this without apology. You cannot compare auto racing to other sports. The best driver does not always, in fact quite often does not, win. The other drivers are pissed off becase they can’t compete with her racy image. Too bad. You should be congraluting her. She knows who her audience is – guys like me who like good looking cars and good looking women. It’s entertainment. Relax.

    • Anonymous

       She knows who her audience is – 12 year old guys like me who like good looking cars and good looking women. It’s entertainment. Relax.

      Fixed.

  • http://michellesblog.net Michelle

    Rob,

    Do you HONESTLY think Danica had to get into a shower with another woman to get a good car? Seriously? How many other endorsement deals does she close off by being affiliated with GoDaddy? Danica could get sponsored by anyone. She is a pioneer, which from a branding perspective, is just money. Watches, cars, electronics. Look at Sharipova. If she did that cheesy GoDaddy ad, do you think she’d get these huge endorsement deals from Canon and Nike?

    As Danica gets older, you will lose interest. And then she will regret hiring someone like me who sees the big picture enough to control her image better.

  • Nancy

    I am in complete agreement-she sold out and I am so disappointed in this choice she made for money over respect. Sad, sad, sad!

  • http://www.wealthyhealthywise.info/blog Cie

    I will agree with Rob when I see ads showing the male race car drivers getting into a shower with another man.

  • http://www.wealthyhealthywise.info/blog Cie

    I also looked at the Bob Parsons website. The guy is a total sleaze who thinks that women have only one purpose. I think there are porn filmmakers out there who have a higher view of women than this slimeball!

  • Jared

    @Rob: You missed the point.

    I don’t mind seeing sexy women, the problem that I have is that there is NO other substance to them. They think that merely having suggestive themes in their ads will get my money, but half of them don’t even make sense. I find it insulting that they think that they win me over with such a half-ass effort. I don’t blame Danica for taking their money but I doubt she’s very proud of the spots. Any dude who actually gets excited by these ads ain’t too bright.

  • CJ

    I have been slamming my head on that “Glass Ceiling” for 30 years now as an Electronics Specialist/IT/Programmer/Geek/Computer Repair Tech. I didn’t get into a frickin shower with another woman, pose nude or screw the boss. I was told that “SEX SELLS” and that these cheesy, stupid and moronic, intellectually devoid GoDaddy ads were successful and not “targeted” for me, so I should just STFU (shut up). Well, not only am I NOT going to shut up, I will tell you this; you don’t get thrown into a pack of testosterone soaked beings and not stroll on out unscathed. 30 years and 400 bazillion bruises later, I am lean, mean and determined to point my teenaged daughter in the RIGHT direction. Not all men are pigs, but they certainly want to be. The ones with wealth and power can make or break you if you play their game. Well, this girl didn’t play. I will probably die working, never being able to retire. I have NEVER been fired, but I sure as hell have WALKED AWAY and proudly burned some bridges, hell I nuked them. It is very clear to me that there is a intellect deficit in this woman. If I followed her career, I would be ashamed that she is the same gender, but on I go, working my ass off and walking away because I REFUSE to PLAY. Rob, you are clearly a moron, but you can’t help it. You are a male. Enjoy. The rest of us can go back to watching Indy Car racing without tossing our cookies and patiently wait for one of those hot young drivers to hop in the shower with another hot young thing. Yes?

  • Mysty

    Hey there,
    I saw a GODaddy commercial on the TV right now and went to the website to see the full version, curious as to where it was going. It was the new speeding commercial. I am not specifically knocking Danica Patrick…but let me just say this; I am an eighteen almost nineteen year old female who has struggled time and again with her image, as most teenage females do. The media has vastly become much worse in the way it portrays women, as sexual objects with no other purpose. Especially the type of women; THEY ALL LOOK THE SAME! That makes us average, petite girls feel terrible about ourselves and even think into aspects of surgery or if not have to find a way to deal with thoughts of not being good enough for the male population because they’re all drooling over things like these damned commercials. I hope the world comes to its senses someday soon and sees how much things like this are completely battering already bruised persons like young girls. Do you see where the media is steering us towards? To just shut up and be treated like objects. Well, at least I’m aware that they’re doing this so I can avoid it but what of those who aren’t?

  • http://VegasBikeRacing.com Mike Olsen

    HHmm.. i may not agree with your views, but could use your talents?

  • http://foundright.com Scott

    Bob Parsons makes every man that thinks a woman is a lady not an object mad as hell. He is the reason young girls are so confused.

    • Xani

       You should kill yourself.

  • Mark

    @ CJ

    Ouch. Your opinion of men seems pretty skewed. There are *plenty* of men out there that think Bob Parsons and the like are misogynistic morons and feel sick seeing such idiotic marketing campaigns. Perhaps it’s my age or background, but I’ve never really spent any time with men who view women as being any different to themselves as human beings. I’d like to think we could be the future of the male side of the species, but I think the boneheads will always be around hogging the limelight and in the majority…

  • Xani

    I’m a software engineer: when I went to their website to apply for jobs, I saw  this disgusting campaign, hatred and misogyny: i’d NEVER WORK FOR SUCH EMPLOYER.