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This week, Formula 1 released a statement announcing that they will no longer be featuring “grid girls” at their races. Those are the women who can most often be seen in spandex outfits that are low-cut and high-cut in all the right places holding flags, signs and the like. In the wake of the Me Too movement and, you know, just the general idea that we shouldn’t objectify 50 per cent of the population, the company has decided that the grid girls are not “in tune with [their] vision for this great sport.”

“While the practice of employing grid girls has been a staple of Formula 1 Grands Prix for decades, we feel this custom does not resonate with our brand values and clearly is at odds with modern day societal norms, ” communications director Sean Bratches said in the statement, “We don’t believe the practice is appropriate or relevant to Formula 1 and its fans, old and new, across the world.”

With workplace sexual harassment (and worse) in the spotlight as of late, it seems counterproductive to our social progress to employ women just to be ogled at by the male spectators at races. Many women applauded F1 for their decision to basically allow women some common decency. Women are so often belittled, objectified and made to feel inferior in sports even when they are the ones competing. The degradation becomes that much worse when the women are put there for the sole purpose of being a sex object.

There’s been quite a bit of backlash to the decision, and not just from who you might think. Yes, there was the classic “look at those crazy feminists taking away our fun” response from some men, but a lot of the girls themselves don’t want to lose their jobs. Many came out to say that they actually enjoy the work and to push back against the idea that grid girls are always “scantily clad.” The decision does beg the question: what happens to all the women who are currently employed as grid girls? Are they going to be losing their jobs? The idea of eliminating this sexist practice is great, but should it be done at the expense of women’s employment?

This brings us back to a common debate among feminists: is it okay to be sexualized if you’ve chosen to be viewed that way? For some it is empowering and not problematic as long as they hold the power themselves. For others, sexualization is always degrading because men will always hold the power, but that view is restrictive in its own way. The problem with Formula 1 is that the employers and spectators (therefore, the people in power) are predominantly male, making an unfair power structure where the women may make the choice to participate, but not the choice of what they wear.

Unfortunately, like everything else, it looks like this one doesn’t have an easy answer.