Dumb Talk

Rush Limbaugh still doesn't believe women can drive: Danica Patrick takes sexist fire

Rush Limbaugh still doesn't believe women can drive: Danica Patrick takes sexist fire

Danica Patrick faced wrecks to finish 38th in a frustrating first Daytona 500 for her on Monday night. Now, the auto racer faces sexist attacks from commentators. 

Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh is condemning Patrick for her support of President Obama's contraception rule: "She said, 'I leave it up to the government to make good decisions for America.' …," Limbaugh mocked. "What do you expect from a woman driver? I don't know why everybody is so shocked."

 With a little bit of reflection, one could find better words to describe Patrick. How about talented? What about pioneering? Or brave? 

This sexist comment is nothing out of the ordinary for Limbaugh, but it seems ridiculous for him to dismiss Patrick as a "woman driver" — just as it seems unfair to simply sum her up as "sexy."

Patrick recently commented on the objectification of women in the sports industry. "I don't quite understand why when you're referring to a girl, a female athlete in particular, that you have to use the word 'sexy,' " she said. "Is there any other word you could use to describe me?"

Yes, Patrick is young and pretty, and sure, she also plays up her sex appeal for monetary benefit. At the same time, Patrick is causing a stir within the racing industry for, fittingly, her racing. In the male-dominated fields of both IndyCar and NASCAR, Patrick is holding her own while breaking boundaries for other women. 

So I think, with a little bit of reflection, one could find better words to describe Patrick. How about talented? What about pioneering? Or brave?

But Fox 5 San Diego sports anchor Ross Shimabuku joked that he had one that "starts with a 'B,' and it's not 'beautiful,' " complaining that Patrick's comment proves that she "always has a chip on her shoulder, trying to prove something." 

Shimabuku has since apologized for the remark, and his station suspended him for a week without pay. 

One might think that sports commentators would have learned by now that it pays — literally — to err on the politically correct side when speaking on the air.

News_Danica Patrick_race car driver
Danica Patrick has enough on her mind just keeping her race car on the track.  NASCAR
News_Rush Limbaugh_head shot
Rush Limbaugh is condemning Patrick for her support of President Obama's contraception rule."What do you expect from a woman driver? I don't know why everybody is so shocked," he said.
News_Danica Patrick_race car driver_Fox San Diego sports anchor Ross Shimabuku
Fox San Diego sports anchor Ross Shimabuku finds it unattractive that Patrick knows that she's sexy. What? Women's Media Center/YouTube