A Danica Patrick Win at Daytona Won’t Make Her a Role Model

Rant 6

Danica PatrickHave you heard? Danica Patrick is the first female NASCAR driver with a snowball's chance in you-know-where to actually win the Daytona 500. What a fabulous day for womankind! Not.

Listen, y'all, I respect Danica Patrick's skills as a driver. No matter what the haters say, NASCAR is much more than driving in circles or making left turns all day. It takes true talent to maneuver a car at extreme speeds around other vehicles without killing yourself or others. But when my NASCAR-obsessed father-in-law told me he was going to give my daughter a birthday present emblazoned with Danica's number 10, I politely declined (props to my mother-in-law for taking my side).

My problem with Danica isn't her talent. It's the way she comports herself. Her Go Daddy commercials with their boob flashing and the sexual innuendo give me a bad case of the "I want to barfs." She's more or less raised a giant middle finger to the women willing to throw her some major girl power support for breaking the glass ceiling and going where no uterus has gone before. Society loves to sexually exploit women, and she's bought in.

I know that she has every right to make her money where she can. And I'm well aware that the companies that sponsor a NASCAR driver can be putting up hundreds of thousands of dollars that go into improving a car and giving that driver the big chance to take the lead in a big-time race like Daytona. Danica has every right to do what she's done.

And I have every right to decide she's not a good role model for my little girl, and refuse to root for her this weekend at Daytona. I'd rather throw my support behind a guy like Tony Stewart who -- besides his winning record -- happens to spend a lot of the money he makes on the track on charitable efforts (USA Today once named him the Most Caring Athlete). That's the kind of thing I can actually put in front of my kid and say "here's someone worth looking up to." 

A win for Danica Patrick at Daytona would be nice ... for Danica. But it wouldn't be a win for womankind.

Are you a Danica fan? Why?


Image via Watermarked Photography/Flickr

athletes, car racing


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navyw... navywife0204

not even a NASCAR fan... I think it's a waste of gasoline...  However, good for her on winning the biggest race in a male dominated sport (?)

Autumn Scott

I am not a Danica fan, and honestly couldn't give a reason as to why, I mean it is great that she is an official NASCAR driver but still... It how she behaves off the track that throws me off I think.

small... smallfryes

I think her accomplishment is to be applauded.  Role model for young impressionable girls?  Only in that you could use her to show that girls can still compete in a field that has been primarily male-dominated.  But yes, that would be where you would have to end it.  Maybe use it as an example to your older daughters that you can still hold an imperfect person up as a role model but for their accomplishments only - teaching them that the world is not so black and white and how to distinguish these things.

On a different note though, you bring up a great point.  Why is it on a site like Cafemom, namely the Stir, you don't show more positive role models for our sons and daughters to emulate.  Why is there only a handful of stories, with quite valid points brought in, sprinkled in amongst the constant stream, and I do mean constant, of stories about the Kardashians, Jennifer Aniston, Lindsay Lohan, etc.  How about you talk about the accomplishments of role model-worthy actresses.  Mayim Bialik, for example.  Here is a girl who did not let Hollywood drag her through the gutter.  Instead she attended a university, received a PhD, married, had children and is now a recurring character in one of the hottest sitcoms.  Do we really need to hear how Jennifer Aniston might or might not be pregnant again?

jessi... jessicasmom1

Great :-) I am glad to see a girl win a male dominated sport 

nonmember avatar Grek K

Tony Stewart is not the greatest example--the guy has a Jeckyll and Hyde personality and is constantly getting in fist fights with other drivers.

Caela... CaelanOceanamom

I was a huge Danica fan! I watched her almost win the Indy 500, it was so exciting. And then that first Go Daddy ad came out and I was really confused and disgusted. I'm excited to see a woman racing; I would not consider her a role model for my daughter.

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