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Julia Landauer's Female Sports Talk Asks if Nice Girls Can Win

By: Vasiliki Marapas - May 21, 2014
References: youtube
In her female sports talk, Julia Landauer answers what it's like to be a woman race car driver with an unapologetic "awesome."

Landauer found that the woman society told her to be was fundamentally at odds with the race car driver she wanted to be. She identifies three stereotypes in particular that cause this dichotomy, and which she has experienced firsthand throughout her racing career. Firstly, society dictates that women aren't supposed to be aggressive; if they are, it's deemed a bad thing. However, Landauer first began to excel at her sport when she gave herself the permission to break free of this expectation. The second stereotype she encountered was that women are expected to play the "victim." Instead of succumbing to this role, Landauer learned to take responsibility for her performances, a lesson that improved her overall practice.

The last stereotype is the one that hits closest to home for Landauer. Women are routinely portrayed as emotionally and physically "fragile." From the moment they are born, women are encouraged to take fewer risks and push themselves less, directly affecting how people interact with them. Landauer suggests that we challenge these social and cultural norms to decrease the resistance women face in male-dominated fields.