As was reported in the NY Times back in 2007, the NASCAR Harlequins have some specific rules by which they must abide: no sex, no crashes, no drugs, no alcohol use in the content of the story.
Back in 2007, Mark Dyer, VP of licensing for NASCAR, said in the article,
“Look at our stats. Forty percent of our fans are women, and among younger fans it’s trending toward 50-50.” He added that according to Nascar surveys 72 percent of female fans enjoy reading and are more likely than nonfans to purchase books.
This is particularly interesting (and somewhat laughable) in light of Kasey Kahne's Tweetstream yesterday, in which he called a woman breast feeding “nasty”:
And in case you missed that last part, he then told @knittingrad, who told him he was being a douchebag, “Your a dumb bitch.”
All of these screen caps are courtesy of @scatx, who later called out Farmers Insurance, one of Kahne's sponsors, asking if they condoned his behavior.
Ok, first, I cannot let this opportunity pass:
Your: something that belongs to you.
You're: You are.
Let's try that in context!
You're being horribly sexist, Kasey Kahne, and your misogyny is really unattractive considering the number of female NASCAR fans.
If NASCAR is a family sport, one must assume some of those family members were breastfed.
And while I'm hanging out here, let me just take a paragraph and screech: Why is breastfeeding in public still a problem for so many people? What the hell? Do people stare at other diners in a restaurant, unable to look away as they eat? It's a breast. Get over it. You need to see some? Go look at a romance novel cover from the 80s. And some of the ones online.
And as someone who was unable to breastfeed, I hate the shaming and pressure I received to breastfeed (even though I couldn't), and I hate the pressure that those who choose to do so receive from people who can't mind their own damn business. The issue of breastfeeding is such a contentious battlefield. You'd think Mr. Kahne would have the smarts to not voice his rather dimwitted opinion on Twitter – which then fed directly to his Facebook page, where more people supported his comments than argued with him.
But back to Mr. Kahne.
Kahne's response was to delete the tweets and go back to talking about Christmas (I wonder if Santa was breastfed?) but screen caps and angry fans lit a stream of crank ass on KnittingRad and Scatx.
KnittingRad is taking it all in stride:
Kahne tweeted later that he was “Glad everyone had a good Christmas! Thanks for all the feedback. I gained some new perspectives today.”
Wow, that's miles short of an apology, isn't it? I was waiting for the completely flaccid, “I'm sorry if anyone was offended” apology from Kahne. I'm almost disappointed.
Makes me wonder about NASCAR and romance, though. Harlequin NASCARs have the no crashing, no drugs and alcohol, no sex rules. Does that also apply to breastfeeding? Good lord, maybe there's no breasts in NASCAR romance.
No, that can't be right. I've watched NASCAR. There's definitely breasts, both in the stands belonging to women fans, many of whom are mothers, and in the restricted areas, belonging to women hired to promote various products.
It's rather stunning to see misogyny and sexist comments about breastfeeding from a NASCAR driver, especially considering the percentage of female fans of the sport, and NASCAR's effort to reach them with branded products like Harlequin novels. Perhaps the solution is more breastfeeding in NASCAR novels, lots and lots of breastfeeding.
Then we make Kasey Kahne read them all.
ETA: 9:38pmET. Via simba's comment below, Kasey Kahne has apologized for his Tweets via his Facebook page, saying “I understand that my comments regarding breastfeeding posted on Twitter were offensive to some people. For that, I apologize. It was in no way my intention to offend any mother who chooses to breastfeed her child, or, for that matter, anyone who supports breast feeding children.
In all honestly, I was surprised by what I saw in a grocery store…. I respect the mother's right to feed her child whenever and wherever she pleases.”