Many people think that being in the cars and motorsports industry is cool and exciting, but while it may seem like it is, it actually is a lot tougher. It’s not always the fast and expensive Continental cars that we get; we have the Asian budget cars as well. These economical cars are more challenging to write; I mean, the more expensive a car is, what can get more worse than not being able to afford it?!
From time to time, I get queries from friends asking me if I can introduce them some ‘lobangs’ (a Singlish term to mean ‘good deals’) so they can start writing for car magazines as well. While it makes me happy to know more like-minded enthusiasts, it also irks me greatly that they think it is so simple to just get into the picture like that. I even had girlfriends approaching me and asking to write so they can earn extra pocket money.
Now that annoys me further; first, if they had any idea what’s in store for them then they might think twice about asking this. Next, it’s not just about writing a story or two; it’s not a modeling event where you dress up prettily for those few hours and then move on to the next event.
Being a motoring writer entails more than just liking cars and wanting to write about it. As all industries go, there is the fair share of politics and gossip. To be female in this male-dominated industry is a lot more than just being noticed and standing out from the rest. If I ever have time to do coffee with you, I will share with you the interesting anecdotes that might shock or disgust you.
To be honest, I feel that for ladies to succeed in this field, they either need money or backing for instant respect, or they need a thick skin and big balls (basically the guts!). I was just talking to someone the other day saying that women may not succeed in motorsports like F1, not because of the physical disadvantages compared to men, but because they may not be able to deal with the off-track politics. Women are after all emotional creatures.
There have been many occasions when I wish I had thicker skin so I would be able to pad and cushion the snide remarks better. We are all in the same industry with the supposed same passion, but inevitably there is sarcasm, intentional wounding and utter dislike.
A car is a non-living thing created and developed by man to fulfill first our functional needs of getting around, then being beautiful or fast to fulfill higher needs like status and speed. Unfortunately, the people around cars are not as straightforward and they must have a hidden agenda.
I believe it is probably like that everywhere else too, be it in the banking and finance industry, the food and beverage industry or even the toys and sweets industry. Ultimately, we are all dogs of the same neighbourhood, at least I chose my owners well. *winks*
*This was first published in 9tro magazine, issue #7.