The Androcentric Nature of Motoring Culture

The California T brought female customers to Ferrari.

Even today in 2017 you will hear and read comments from the motoring world made in mainstream media that are androcentric in nature. The comments may be harmless enough, but continue to reinforce the male dominance in the world of motorsport and motoring in general.

For example, referring to all supercar owners as ‘he’ or insinuating that having ‘balls’ makes a male a better racing car driving. I hate to break it to you guys, but ‘balls’ have little to do with a racing driver’s ability, it comes down to brain not brawn.

Even I played on this stereotype with the tongue-in-cheek nature of my original blog ‘You Drive Like a Woman’. Because women are not bad drivers and can be just as ambitious in the arena of motorsport as any man is.

Have a look at the marketing information for high-end cars; I challenge you to find images that depict a woman driving with the man in the passenger seat. It’s not the car companies fault for doing this, they just assume that this is the message people want to see.

But considering that sales direct to women of high-end cars are around 10% from my research, it may be advantageous to car companies if they mixed this up a bit.

Women purchase 45% of all new cars on Australian roads and are involved in 82% of the decisions made on new car purchases. Their input matters and I’ve heard many anecdotes of women who have had a bad experience when buying a  car and vowing never to consider the brand they had the bad experience with again.

Car companies and dealerships simply can’t afford not to have women at the front and centre of their marketing campaigns.

There has never been a period in history where more women are breaking into male dominated areas, whether it is in business or sport. The professionalisation of women’s cricket, soccer, AFL and rugby league to name just a few, shows this to be the case.

In Australian motorsport, the current Australian Rally champion is Molly Taylor driving a Subaru. Molly is the first woman to win the championship and also the youngest ever winner. Molly is currently leading the Australian Rally Championship with one round to go.

In 2017 we have seen the first fulltime female driver in Supercars in Australia, Simona de Silvestro, who drives for Nissan. All across the world more women are driving in professional motorsport series. In the United Kingdom Susie Wolff’s ‘Dare to be Different’ campaign is actively encouraging more girls and women to be involved in motorsport.

The push for young girls and women to consider a career in the male dominated STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) industries has never been greater too. Even Vogue Magazine is promoting women in STEM via their ‘Vogue Codes’ events earlier this year partnered with BMW.

This wider trend in society is just one reason why Driven Women Magazine has been created. We want to highlight those women already prominent in motoring culture to excite more women about the world of cars and motorbikes.

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