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Tour de France to Drop Podium Girls
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We travel to France regularly. I have followed the Tour since my first trip to Europe in 1973. I am from Cuba. We kiss females on the cheek when greeting them and when saying good-bye. It is just our culture just like it is in many other countries. I even kiss my father, other male relatives, and even close friends (just ask Slowman).

Now listen, normally when people kiss cheek to cheek it is CHEEK TO CHEEK, it is not on the lips or even lips to cheek. In fact, in some cultures women will find it offensive if a man kisses them on the cheek using their lips. It is sort of an unspoken sign of disrespect or ignorance. Perhaps this is the reason I have always thought this tradition in the Tour was awkward, especially with it happening 4 times after each stage. Two women kissing one man, sweaty from riding all day long, on his cheeks, with their lips, cheesy smile on his face.

I believe you place your lips only on your spouse, wife, and children.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/...s-formula-one-darts/

My opinion only.....go ahead, tell me yours.

Emilio De Soto II
Maker of triathlon clothing, wetsuits and accessories since 1990
emilio@desotosport.com http://www.desotosport.com
Last edited by: Emilio: Mar 6, 18 14:38
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Re: Tour de France to Drop Podium Girls [Emilio] [ In reply to ]
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I can't believe no one has replied to this yet.

Emilio, on one hand, I agree with you. On the other hand, it's sad to see such a deep tradition of cycling go away.

I think if having podium girls adds to objectifying women, and perpetuates a culture of sexism, then it's fine to go away. And it's a tradition worth abandoning. So I applaud them for doing the right thing.
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Re: Tour de France to Drop Podium Girls [Emilio] [ In reply to ]
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I must not have been paying attention because I thought the cheek to cheek kisses on the podium at the Tour were as you described - cheek top cheek. Again I will admit I was not watching too closely. Personally I like the the podium girl tradition and don't wish to see it end.

BTW, I really enjoy my De Soto products.

“…don’t lump me in the athlete category. I am in the lifestyle exerciser grouping…” - Dev
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Re: Tour de France to Drop Podium Girls [Dinsky11] [ In reply to ]
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It's funny all the people objecting don't listen to all the podium girls who have a great life experience and get to meet a lot of people they may never have. Society too PC in my opinion but that's just me.
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Re: Tour de France to Drop Podium Girls [Shambolic] [ In reply to ]
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Shambolic wrote:
It's funny all the people objecting don't listen to all the podium girls who have a great life experience and get to meet a lot of people they may never have. Society too PC in my opinion but that's just me.


I'd prefer if the people mingling with big wigs are male and women athletes who get the access because of athletic performance. The models, they can get their access to important people at fashion shows, and we'll all tune into the eye candy at fashion shows, or hollywoood, or elsewhere on instagram....I'd prefer is the athletic venue is for athletic performance. It was hard enough to coach teenage girls and keep them engaged in sport when they are being pulled a bunch of different ways. At least if there were better opportunities for women in sport where they can be on the podium for 21 evenings in July because of athletic performance vs modeling beside men athletes, I think it would send a nicer message to girls in sport.

Until the removal of the TdF podium girls, the message from the premium bike race was, "we don't really want women athletes here, but you're welcome if you want to compete for a modeling side gig slot". Now it's just, "OK this is a boy's only club for skinny bean poles who can TT or underweight midgets who can climb on bikes"....hopefully they can get to including some more women's racing on more days now. They did it in the 80's, 90's and 00's

I was in the Canadian Armed Forces when front line combat positions in the infantry and as pilots became open to women. That was in the 80's and remember Joan Benoit running 2:25 at the 84 Olympics, PNF going sub 9 at Kona and top 20 in 1989....so all of this really feels way behind some of those sporting advancements. Jeannie Longo and Maria Canins were fighting it out in the TdF Feminine back in 1985-89 swapping the top spot in the race all through those years. I believe the women's TdF has 15 stages in those years and they had a similar length women's Giro. At least the women's Giro is still there.

Dev
Last edited by: devashish_paul: Mar 2, 18 20:58
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Re: Tour de France to Drop Podium Girls [Emilio] [ In reply to ]
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Women are not simply ornaments. Podium girls are really outdated.
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Re: Tour de France to Drop Podium Girls [Emilio] [ In reply to ]
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Now perhaps they can offer a proper Women's Tour, with proper stages and proper money.

It's time that cycling dragged itself from the dark ages.

'It never gets easier, you just get crazier.'
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Re: Tour de France to Drop Podium Girls [georged] [ In reply to ]
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With the money coming from where? Races I'm afraid are a capitalist venture and public interest generates sponsors which in turn generates bigger races and prize purses. If no one stands to make money from a race it won't be run and unfortunately that seems to be the case.
Last edited by: Shambolic: Mar 2, 18 23:53
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Re: Tour de France to Drop Podium Girls [Shambolic] [ In reply to ]
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Shambolic wrote:
With the money coming from where? Races I'm afraid are a capitalist venture and public interest generates sponsors which in turn generates bigger races and prize purses. If no one stands to make money from a race it won't be run and unfortunately that seems to be the case.

Fortunately in triathlon where no one cares about pros we can use all the age grouper entries to cross subsidize both mens and women's racing (there was a time when triathletes actually cared about pros). I would generally agree with you that there are more men than women following sport in general, so the advertising eyeballs generally come from men. I am watching Premier League Football right now and there is no women's soccer to watch on TV EVER aside from the Olympics. So cycling is not the only sport with this challenge.

But, why is it any more interesting watching a men's cycling race than a women's race. The reality is that none of us can visually tell how much faster the men are going. I can visually watch women's soccer and men's soccer and see a big gap in ability level. In cycling, I can't see anything. In XC skiing, I can't see any difference. In swimming I can't see any difference. So really the only diff between men's and women's cycling is just how the racing is presented to the audience. This requires some level of effort by the media and race organizers to actually present the sport. This is a chicken and egg argument. As I said earlier, the battles between Jeannie Longo and Maria Canins in the 80's in the women's tour and giro were pretty legendary if you got to watch, and read about it (I am a French speaker, so got to follow it all in the print publication L'Equipe).

There is "no interest" in women's cycling, because WE (I use that collectively as it is generally men in their 40's to 60's) controlling media and race organization don't have a will to present women's racing. There is no good reason why men cycling fans can't get equally excited by watching women's racing vs men's racing. The Rio Olympics road race on the women's side, was one of the most interesting bike races of 2016 and women's track is just as interesting as men's.

The no interest is due to lack of will by media and organizers, it has nothing to do with the actual sports competition. The only way to change this is media and organizations. Triathlon generally got it right out of the gate. In XC skiing, the women stars are the racing is generally well received by media and organizers have to have the women's races, so it's not even an option to cut their racing out of the loop.

Most of the sports where there is "no interest" in women's racing are older established pro sports where the media is locked into showing men's racing and competition only (think big 4 in North America, Soccer, Cycling)
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Re: Tour de France to Drop Podium Girls [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
and women's track is just as interesting as men's.

And since this forum is U.S.-centric, I'll bring up that the U.S. women just won the team pursuit again, and Jen Valente is looking like she's going to step right into Sarah Hammer's shoes as a top omnium rider.
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Re: Tour de France to Drop Podium Girls [Shambolic] [ In reply to ]
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Shambolic wrote:
It's funny all the people objecting don't listen to all the podium girls who have a great life experience and get to meet a lot of people they may never have. Society too PC in my opinion but that's just me.


While this may be true for the few individuals who become podium girls, most people (myself included) feel that these small benefits are outweighed by the archaic perception of women as objects (sorry, "models." Which, it turns out, is just another word for objects) that harms women as a whole. If the experience is so great, why don't we have podium guys this year?
Last edited by: Vman455: Mar 3, 18 7:41
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Re: Tour de France to Drop Podium Girls [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
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Dev, I agree it is unfortunate women's sports are not more popular and I think some of this is indeed on the supply side. Yes the media plays what consumers demand, but if ESPN were to spend half as much time covering women's sports as they spend covering the NFL draft/combine, I think it would make a difference. That said, in the U.S., cycling is not the platform for this. In Europe that may be different, but in the U.S. we are lucky they even show the TdF.
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Re: Tour de France to Drop Podium Girls [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
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You clearly value top performing women athletes over TdF podium girls.* Are you sure that one path is better for all women? Is being a lawyer better than being a business woman? Is being a singer better than being an actress?

Why can't women choose their own path without the interference of you and your ideas about what is a good role for women?

Each career path has it's dark side. Instead of being judgey about women and the paths they choose, why not work to shine light on doping, eating disorders, and other measurable problems?

I don't see a good underlying principle to support eliminating the TdF podium girls. My position is that women should have the opportunity to freely pursue whatever career they want.

*I'm no historian, but it seems to me that not long ago women were shamed for choosing athletics over being pretty. Now we shame them for choosing to be pretty over athletics. We've come a long way.
Last edited by: CalamityJane88: Mar 3, 18 11:38
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Re: Tour de France to Drop Podium Girls [Emilio] [ In reply to ]
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I'm indifferent on the podium girl debate but I do hate when people (of any culture or background) try to greet me with a kiss on the cheek. Cheek to cheek or lips to cheek I hate it.
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Re: Tour de France to Drop Podium Girls [SwimBikeChase] [ In reply to ]
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I really enjoy everyone talking about how mistreated and offended these girls should be, yet someone forgot to tell them. All the quotes Ive seen from the girls are sheer disappointment that they're out of a job they enjoy. Lets keep being offended by literally everything and nothing all at the same time
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Re: Tour de France to Drop Podium Girls [Emilio] [ In reply to ]
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Chalk up another pseudo victory for the PC crowd ... and one more reason not to watch the TDF.
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Re: Tour de France to Drop Podium Girls [Hammer Down] [ In reply to ]
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Is it possible you've missed the point or skipped ahead because you assumed you already knew what the objection was? Imagine a well paid Hollywood actor plays a part that is a bit behind the times and offends some people. Do we ask the actor how they enjoyed the pay and being part of the film or do we ask the people who are offended?

The point I see people making is what does having women in this sort of role say about how women's roles in wider society? Particularly when the TDF has an obvious inequality in the opportunities for male and female cyclists.

Personally I think it looks a bit out dated but there are worse offenders in the world of sports. I do think you have to view it in the context of current attitudes to women, particularly in that part of Europe.

https://www.theguardian.com/...ssment-sofie-peeters
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/...-bise-73-colleagues/
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Re: Tour de France to Drop Podium Girls [CalamityJane88] [ In reply to ]
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CalamityJane88 wrote:

Each career path has it's dark side. Instead of being judgey about women and the paths they choose,



No one is more "judgey" about women and the paths they choose then...women. I'm on the "let the podium girl job disappear into the mists of time with the rim brake" side because something like ~90% of the pro and amateur women I know, and whose opinions I respect, are pretty firm on this one. They tend to be in the Rousey camp. Also it has nothing to do with shaming "looks" - that's a total red herring. It's the "job."
Last edited by: trail: Mar 3, 18 12:45
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Re: Tour de France to Drop Podium Girls [CalamityJane88] [ In reply to ]
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CalamityJane88 wrote:
You clearly value top performing women athletes over TdF podium girls.* Are you sure that one path is better for all women? Is being a lawyer better than being a business woman? Is being a singer better than being an actress?

Why can't women choose their own path without the interference of you and your ideas about what is a good role for women?

Each career path has it's dark side. Instead of being judgey about women and the paths they choose, why not work to shine light on doping, eating disorders, and other measurable problems?

I don't see a good underlying principle to support eliminating the TdF podium girls. My position is that women should have the opportunity to freely pursue whatever career they want.

*I'm no historian, but it seems to me that not long ago women were shamed for choosing athletics over being pretty. Now we shame them for choosing to be pretty over athletics. We've come a long way.

I am shaking my head because you are not seeing the forest from the trees. There are only so many avenues for women athletes to showcase their excellence. There are an infinite number of avenues of beautiful women to showcase their beauty (or for beautiful guys to do the same). I have no beef with people leveraging their God given talents (you can't be a protour male or female rider without winning the genetic lottery too).....can we just devote cycling for cycling and beauty contests and catwalks for that?

If I said, that we can have women in the Silicon Valley or Wall street board room as accessories to the real business showcasing their beauty but not their brain power (just shut up and hand out pats on the back to top performing employees invited to the monthly exec meeting for a performance award), how stupid would that sound? Yet it's OK in the Wall Street or Silicon Valley equivalent for cycling?

I don't know if you are a man or a woman, but I think you're missing the big picture. No one is asking beautiful women to not seek out gainful employment. It's just that in a strategic corporate move, the company decided that they no longer need those positions (thank you Amory Sports) for their business and associated strategies. Companies cut positions all the time and pivot strategies in a different direction. There are casualties when this happens....the Paris runway, Hollywood, Madison Ave etc etc are all open for business where showcasing beauty is core to the business strategy.
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Re: Tour de France to Drop Podium Girls [trail] [ In reply to ]
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I respectfuly disagree-- I think men judge as often as women, and men can be just as harsh in their judgments as women.

What's up with the "Don't be a DNB"? Is that anything beyond one example of a woman being judgey? You're right, though. That's pretty judgey.

You're also right that the issue is not about looks. It's about jobs.

I'm sorry I'm not replying and linking the posts up correctly. I need to review how to do that. Or get an intern and have him do it!
Last edited by: CalamityJane88: Mar 3, 18 13:00
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Re: Tour de France to Drop Podium Girls [CalamityJane88] [ In reply to ]
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CalamityJane88 wrote:
...Are you sure that one path is better for all women? Is being a lawyer better than being a business woman? Is being a singer better than being an actress?

Why can't women choose their own path without the interference of you and your ideas about what is a good role for women?

Each career path has it's dark side. Instead of being judgey about women and the paths they choose...

I don't see a good underlying principle to support eliminating the TdF podium girls. My position is that women should have the opportunity to freely pursue whatever career they want.

Sure, but you're looking at it in terms of what one individual wants to do: why should someone say that a woman can't be a TdF podium girl if she wants to. This is a sort of libertarian view that tends to do away with the underlying principle you're not seeing, but at some point there would probably be a woman who chooses a career path that is too much for you (maybe not until a law is broken -- like why can't a woman choose a career selling drugs? -- but even then, who are we to make laws that keep someone from making money if they're okay with it).

People who are in favor of doing away with things like podium girls look at from the perspective that it is the kind of thing that actually stands in the way of women being able to have more access to a variety of roles/careers.
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Re: Tour de France to Drop Podium Girls [CalamityJane88] [ In reply to ]
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CalamityJane88 wrote:
I respectfuly disagree-- I think men judge as often as women, and men can be just as harsh in their judgments as women.

What's up with the "Don't be a DNB"? Is that anything beyond one example of a woman being judgey? You're right, though. That's pretty judgey.

You're also right that the issue is not about looks. It's about jobs.

I'm sorry I'm not replying and linking the posts up correctly. I need to review how to do that. Or get an intern and have him do it!

I agree with you that humans are judgy of other humans....does not matter which gender. Can we also agree that corporations are allowed to have changes of strategy and cut whatever jobs they want or grow whatever jobs they want in support of the company strategies. So the people who just got laid off because their positions were downsized can go find another employer that values their market skills. It could be another sporting event organizer (I really hope not, but that's my choice), or it could be film, modeling, media etc.

PS. I've had the same view of cheerleaders, even when I played high school football. I thought it was rather dumb that some of my classmates only had the option of coming out to cheer, rather than play, because on the track team, I ran with my female classmates and in soccer we had a parallel women's team....and that was back when I was 16-18 with hormones bouncing off the wall, and I still thought it was dumb that my female classmates were out with pompoms...I guess I valued the girls on the track team and soccer team more (there, I was being judgy of the cheerleader girls....sorry).
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Re: Tour de France to Drop Podium Girls [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
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Dev,

I tend to think that athletes and models probably face similar challenges in their careers. For both, it's very competitive. Making an actual living during and after an athletic or modelling career is difficult. Both rely on the cooperation of their bodies to perform. Both might be tempted by doping/drug use to gain an advantage. Both probably have a high incidence of eating disorders. Both can be exploited and mistreated. Parents and guardians beware!! I'm just guessing about these challenges because I don't have any personal knowledge about either career.

Edit: both professional athletes and models are representatives of companies. I think their opportunities to earn money might be similar and, in fact, merging together.

What I hear you say is that you want women in the office to businessy. And women at sport events to be sporty. And fashionable women need to limit themselves to Fashion Week and fashion magazines.

There might be an underlying principle that I like there! You would like an appropriate display of sexuality in the various spheres of public life. I agree. It's not good to have strippers causing a distraction in a classroom or courtroom. That's a glaring example of what would obviously be considered not appropriate.

Public opinion appears to agree with you that podium girls are not appropriate. But I'm not a prude like the rest you. So, I guess I can only agree to disagree. : )
Last edited by: CalamityJane88: Mar 3, 18 14:57
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Re: Tour de France to Drop Podium Girls [CalamityJane88] [ In reply to ]
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Heck I am not prude....my head will spin in circles when a beautiful woman passes by just like most guys. I'll end up focusing on the podium girls way more than Nairo Quintana and Froome at the evening awards after watching them all stage....but see the problem there? They are distracting from the main show, and I find it hard to take that they are at the evening podium and women cyclists are not (this comes back to my higher respect for my female track teammate vs my classmate cheerleading beside my football team....sure I checked out the cheerleaders, but that's beside the point).

I also get podium girls loving their job, I get it. Who would not love a job kissing champions and smiling for the camera and hanging out with bigwigs every evening and getting paid. If I could sign up to be a podium guy at a women's fashion show (or at a women's bike race), and get paid for that, heck, I'd drop my tech startup in a heartbeat LOL, but just cause I want it does not mean this job should really exist. We all like attention. The swimmer mom checking out my six pack on the pool deck made me feel good today. We all like some attention from the other side....getting paid for that is even better!!!
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Re: Tour de France to Drop Podium Girls [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
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As a female TDF watcher/fan, I'm all for the discontinuing of podium girls. I found the whole thing pretty lame.
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