1. I'm either a ball-breaker or a floozy
2. I work with hundreds of hot guys
I quickly responded:
1. "Actually, I'm both."
2. "Yeah, but most of them are gay. What a waste."
My irony was lost on him, so he now thinks I'm some sort of masochistic ho who spends her time with a load of camp racing drivers. Still, I've been called worse.
I learned from this incident that I shouldn't waste my dry wit on people who have no sense of humour but also that sometimes, I should just pretend to be unemployed as it would result in far fewer misconceptions.
I didn't choose specifically to be a minority in this profession, it's just that my chosen industry has historically been male-dominated in most areas – drivers, engineers, technicians, management – and I happen to own a pair of breasts. Sorry about that.
Do I think that there should be more women in motorsport? Sure, if they have the right skills, experience and enthusiasm. But I don't think it should be encouraged just to balance out the numbers for the sake of political-correctness or to satiate some testosterone-fuelled dream at the expense of people who are genuinely cut out for it.
"You should stand up for women!" I hear the (female) audience cry. Well, shoot me.
I have no desire to be part of the cliché sisterhood whose members perpetually moan about men being useless, unworthy Neanderthals who buy misjudged gifts for their WAGs and spout such idiocies as, "the world would be a better place if women were running the show!" like some tawdry female comic who has run out of topical, genuinely funny material.
Neither do I feel the need to put myself down at every opportunity to try and make other women feel less threatened by the fact that I'm mostly a happy, confident person who has a ridiculously large capacity for enjoying life.
Get over it; sometimes women are a bit crap, sometimes men are a bit crap. We’re completely different – thankfully, else I would have shot myself a long time ago.
So, when I now tell you that I'm keen to get out on-track more this year and get my race licence, it's not because I'm trying to 'beat the boys', or because I think I'll get a load of attention being a – gasp – female in a race car, it's that I actually love driving cars, that feeling of hitting an apex just right and I've spent the past ten years working with some amazing people who do it every day and I'm fed up with being the passenger!
I'm planning on making the most of my contacts list to see who can give me some advice; hell, maybe even sit next to me in a car and teach me some cool stuff on a race circuit. I might even take some photos or footage and post it here, if you're lucky and if I remember.
Just one thing – nobody point me to the Demon Tweeks catalogue and the page with the pink race overalls and helmets or else I'll be forced to come over there and break your balls.