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Indy 500, Women, and Bigfoot – Part 2

Posted by: Loren Coleman on May 27th, 2007

Milka Duno Indy 500

Who is this woman? And what is she selling? Would you buy a copy of my book Bigfoot! The True Story of Apes in America from her?

Danica Patrick Indy 500

This woman is more familiar. And what she is selling seems more obvious, right?

Duno Fisher Patrick Indy 500

As it turns out, three of the five women shown here, from the left, Milka Duno, Sarah Fisher, Lyn St. James, Billie Jean King and Danica Patrick posing for a photo at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, will be racing at the Indy 500 on Sunday, May 27th.

Sarah Fisher Indy 500

Sarah Fisher.

Milka Duno Indy 500

Race driver Milka Duno of Venezuela. (AP Photo/Terry Renna, file)

Milka Duno Indy 500

Milka Duno smiles after she qualified on the third day of qualifications (May 19, 2007) for the Indianapolis 500 auto race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Duno is the third women to qualify for this year’s race. She averaged 219.288 mph. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Danica Patrick Indy 500

Danica Patrick, the most famous female race driver in the world right now, will be in the Indy 500 too.

Congratulations to these three women and all the men racing today.

Again, what does any of this have to do with Bigfoot studies?

Stop and ask yourself: What does the Bigfoot field have to learn about marketing the newest researchers in hominology – who happen to be female – from other male-dominated fields? Are there things we don’t want to transfer from one to the other? How can women be supported and involved in the Bigfoot field?

How can we ask such questions without being called a sexist, or an open discussion occur without people being afraid they are going to be called “a bit chauvinistic”? Or even be misunderstood for demonstrating some realities of the marketing of women in racing via the images in the two blogs on this subject?

Joe Posnanski of The Kansas City Star wrote an article during this Indy 500 week about how his young daughter saw a photograph of one of the above three female race drivers. His daughter said that was cool, and wanted to grow up to be a race driver now, in addition to being a fossil hunter.

Posnanski writes: “A five-year-old girl, an eight-year-old boy, a 12-year-old girl, a 15-year-old boy — they aren’t reviewing resumes and seeking references to determine their role models. No, they are watching the world, and they are drawn to whatever it is that inspires them.”

So how has NASCAR dealt with the women in their field? How have the women used their obvious sex appeal to achieve their dreams – to race cars? To attract sponsors for their race cars? To have people come watch them? To have the media talk to them?

Are there things women wish to learn and reject from the marketing of these women Indy 500 racers?

Before we are too critical of these women for posing for sexually attractive photos to promote their own goals, let us recall a woman who changed the entire funding base of primatology. Appealing pictures of Jane Goodall (with attractiveness and sponsorships in mine) were taken by her professional photographer husband-of-the-time. These photos revolutionized how people viewed the field study of chimpanzees and brought money Goodall’s way, and still does. Name one male primatologist who made any great impact in great ape studies, before Goodall and Dian Fossey? Now, examine that man’s career and see if he was aware of marketing, the public forum, press releases, and the media, to support his future in the field.

How will women in Bigfoot studies reveal their future history? By protesting that they are not being acknowledged or calling people’s comments “a bit chauvinistic”? Or by promoting themselves, which, yes, via an accent on attractiveness, whether due to their intelligence, skills, or physical appeal that will have people then note their passion for fieldwork should be supported financially? It seems to work for the three women racing the Indy 500 on this “Smackdown Sunday,” (my own coined joke for today, for those that don’t understand) on May 27, 2007 – and Jane Goodall. But that is not to say I think it would be good for cryptozoology. I am merely bringing it to the fore as a thought and examination of what has happened with women getting a foothold in what has been viewed as the “boys’ club.” It is happening and I support it. How women decide to accomplish this is up to them, and I will support it. In the end, it is their choice.

If you are a woman, what do you think? How do you want it to come about?

About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.


18 Responses to “Indy 500, Women, and Bigfoot – Part 2”

  1. drew hempel responds:

    I call this phenomenon “tantric technology” which drives all of science. It used to be the “commodity fetish” but a deeper term is in order. Are we ready to accept that searching for Bigfoot is really just a project of inner love, as per Dr. Helen Caldicott’s classic book: Missile Envy?

    Robin Dunbar in his amazing book Gossip, Grooming and the Evolution of Language points out the studies, now further confirmed, that transculturally women get married first for money and then for sexual fulfillment. But as the 2nd Wave feminists secretly emphasized “size does matter” (i.e. big foot).

    Gorillas are lacking, while chimps practice rape and bonobos succomb to Jezebelles. But perhaps orangutans know the secret of happiness while gibbons are the prototypical bourgeois “consumer unit.”

    Now then maybe the Dayak of Borneo have it right when all the males have to get their weener skewered (in a cold stream) so that an accessory system can be implemented for their forthcoming consummation. The ancient subincision ritual would seem to have similar results. Of course mentioning that infibulation enables a tighter fit after pregnancy is the great taboo in anthropology, although this is what the field research states.

    Nefertiti started all this with her cold, beguiling, femme fatale imperialism that dissed all the chimera mythical holographic projections of the Egyptian masses. No — chariot technology demands a brutal calculation with phonetic, Solar precision — the containment of infinity no less.

    But as Camille Paglia emphasizes in her classic “Sexual Personae” the Womb-Tomb can not be contained. Let the scientists try but in the end Nature does not need the male and parthenogensis will create an infinite number of Big Feet, beyond the equipartition principle that was the mainstay of science until the Uncertain Principle took over.

  2. Melissa responds:

    I personally would like to see my contribution be made by my work, and the good that may come of that. But, in all honesty I have no issue with a woman who uses what the good lord gave her to bring attention to any subject.

    If a photographer put Dale Earnhart Jr. in a pair of boxers and no shirt – would that be called sexist? No, its called marketing. Plain and simple (and just a side note, I would buy that product).

    What I want to know is – how does someone accept a title such as “Ms. Cryptozoologist” which reeks of sexual innuendo, then get offended by a comment that is discussed often by researchers in this field. It has not been a secret that many researchers do think there may be a link between the human female pheromone and attraction by this animal. So, how is that offensive? No one is saying women should be added to the ranks of research groups simply for that reason alone, let’s put this in perspective.

    Sex appeal has been used for YEARS to sell products, athletes, food – you name it. I just don’t think the people that would be intended to draw would even pay attention. We as researchers are trying to draw the attention of a specific crowd – I don’t think they are easily swayed by sex appeal. They are interested in evidence. Also if educations and experiences of witnesses and researchers isn’t enough to lend credibility – I doubt sex appeal will do it either.

    Besides, its hard to be “sexy” in the field. I’m sorry if this offends, but If I thought for a second throwing on a swimming suit would draw the attention from science, and would get this animal protected, I might just consider it ;)

    I have little to fear as I am certain scientists will not be drawn into this based on my ability to fill out a swimming suit. :)

  3. Judy Green responds:

    I actually have never encountered what I would consider male chauvinism in my long life. In fact, it has always seemed to be just the opposite, I have always been treated with respect which I have always tried to give the opposite sex on a person to person basis. I don’t think because a researcher exhibits physical beauty this lessens their ability to do good research and if it enhances their ability to go where others are unable to tread, so be it. It should not be used against them.

  4. Foywonder responds:

    So how long until someone comes out with a “Women of Cryptozoology” pin-up calendar?

  5. ddh1969 responds:

    Women are wonderful…and if they have it they should flaunt it…living art I say!

  6. fuzzy responds:

    Okay, let’s take a closer look at that top new cryptid photograph.

    At first blush, image looks genuine. Female creature, I’d say, judging by the engorged lips and ear & wrist ornaments, which females of this species are known to flaunt, particularly in the presence of other members of their clan of whatever gender.

    Also, long, dark hair, black eyes, black torso, and hairless arms and hips are diagnostic of female’s field appearance, particularly around water, altho due to excessive photo cropping, it’s hard to tell if the legs are hair covered.

    Posture appears relaxed, altho one wonders if the object in her hand is an overly large digging stick or some kind of weapon. Toothy grimace display is cautionary, considering similar chimpanzee anger presentations.

    Background vegetation suggests deep-woods location, but again, cropping has destroyed any detail. No overt photo-manipulation indications, but that is for enthusiasts expert in Photoshop to investigate.

    All in all, I would say this image probably shows a mature female creature of the species, but be aware that appearances can be deceiving – altho this specimen may seem harmless, she may suddenly burst into activity and go racing around in ovals at speeds bordering on the paranormal, even in excess of the performance capabilities of male members of the species!

    More data is needed.

  7. DavidFullam responds:

    I’m a typical male pig. Therefore I think Milka is muy, muy, hot!

  8. springheeledjack responds:

    All in all, I think it will be a moot point. It will be what it will be, and those who get interested in this stuff will investigate whether they are pretty or have been clobbered with an ugly stick…

    I am with Melissa…I seriously can’t see the scientists and scoftics winning over to the other side because of a crypto of the month calendar or attractive females going along on research hunts for the Discovery Channel…

    …but hey, then what do I know…I’m one of the dim-wits according to some of the scoftics:):):)

  9. MattBille responds:

    Dr. Cameron: “Men should grow up.”

    Dr. House: “And dogs should stop licking themselves. It’s not gonna happen.”

    Seriously, I am still searching for the significant meaning in this thread. Women have had trouble being taken seriously in a lot of fields. Between their own efforts, the encouragement of more enlightened men, and the gradual changes in the norms of society, women have pushed successfully into activities from quantum physics to driving Indy cars to flying space shuttles to studying Sasquatch. Yes, they have sometimes used sex appeal – why not? Men use it if they’re handsome.

    The blogging exchange that started all this no doubt irked Loren, and with good reason, but if there’s a new and important point to be made about cryptozoology in general, I’m not seeing it.

  10. lorelady responds:

    I’d like to preface my comments by first noting that I saw nothing offensive in Loren and George’s discussion of female pheromones possibly attracting male Bigfoot. A similar argument could be made for the question of whether female Bigfoot might be attracted to the scent/pheromones of human males. It’s about biology, not human sociology.

    That being said, I feel the way for women to be acknowledged in this or any field is to do original research and put forth solid time and effort. While I’m sure physical beauty will never hurt in getting extra attention from visual media, if you have unique information, you will be sought out by various venues. I’m a middle-aged woman and no Danica Patrick looks-wise, but I’ve been featured in dozens of documentaries from local to international TV, and hundreds of radio shows. In fact, I’ve recently been turning down TV and film appearances until I look more like myself again after cancer treatment, but those asking have still been willing to feature me. It’s just my own vanity (and some health issues) stopping me. And radio shows have continued unabated.

    Have I encountered sexism as one of the few female authors writing books about cryptids? Occasionally, but not from Loren Coleman or any other of the other well-known researchers or radio hosts in the field. But to give one example, one TV documentary producer (national) had written a script that intended to show me vacuuming, making beds, and then running out to investigate a Manwolf sighting….the little housewife who sometimes put on a cryptozoologist hat. Never mind that I’ve never listed my occupation as housewife…I’ve spent my adult life as a newspaper reporter, editorial cartoonist (one of 3 female members of the AAEC at one time), art teacher, professional artist, and author. Needless to say, I told them the only way they would get me to hold a vacuum cleaner on film was to insert it into my cold, dead hand.

    Thankfully, those types of incidents have been mercifully few. There may be more males iinvestigating unknown cryptids, the same way there are inexplicably many more male editorial cartoonists, but it isn’t due to any Old Boys club bent on keeping women out as far as I’ve been able to see. In my experience, the work is what counts. Other issues are always secondary. – Linda S. Godfrey

  11. Kathy Strain responds:

    I think there are two real issues here. There is a huge difference between using sex to sell bigfoot and using your gender to conduct research. I am not very supportive of using sex (a beautiful or handsome researcher) to further the cause…as it wouldn’t make us more legitimate or credible, just more pleasant in the publics eyes. I am, however, supportive of using whatever tools or techniques necessary in order to solve this mystery. If me smelling good or having a higher pitched voice or being attractive to a curious bigfoot brings on in…then I’m all for it! (and I’d be sure to scientifically document all the various methods). So in short, I am opposed to commercially selling sex appeal as it won’t make the “business” any more legitimate.

  12. fuzzy responds:

    Kathy: “If me smelling good or having a higher pitched voice or being attractive to a curious bigfoot brings one in… then I’m all for it!”

    Well, yeah, most expeditions incorporate pheromone displays, and female (and children’s) voices as well as music and laughter and women visibly having “normal” conversations – almost anything but dog barks – may bring a Sasq closer.

    But it’s like call blasting – we have to be careful what attractant or harmless appearance we utilize, because we don’t really know (yet) what we’re “saying” to the creatures.

    But that’s not what Loren’s blogging about, is it?

  13. fuzzy responds:

    By the way, Milka Duno finished the Indy 500 in 31st place and won $213,500, Sarah Fisher came in at 18th, winning $238,305, and Danica Patrick landed in 8th place, collecting $298,005.

    CONGRATULATIONS, Lady Drivers!!

  14. Ole Bub responds:

    Gawd….

    I hope no one ever publishes a photo of ole bub in a speedo…LOL

    live and let live…

    ole bub and the dawgs

  15. Carol Maltby responds:

    What does the Bigfoot field have to learn about marketing the newest researchers in hominology – who happen to be female – from other male-dominated fields? Are there things we don’t want to transfer from one to the other? How can women be supported and involved in the Bigfoot field?

    Whoa there — let’s talk a little marketing basics first.

    To what extent is hominology a male-dominated field? Where do you get your figures, and how current are they?

    Are you extrapolating from the perceived percentage of women who comment on blogs or have their own blogs, participate in general or specific cryptozoology forums , or who participate in field expeditions? Does the degree of participation of women in online forums have any connection with forum policies favoring dialogue and respect over “no holds barred” debate?

    Do you have any market research that confirms a gender disparity in buyers of Bigfoot books, or books on cryptozoology in general? What’s the average age of the women who participate in some way in Bigfoot studies, and are there age differences between women who participate in Bigfoot studies in the various different ways? Are the newest Bigfoot researchers always young, or are they people who bring maturity and experience to their work? Are there enough new ones to be statistically significant, or is the group too small to generalize?

    Just how do you want to “market” new researchers in the field? To sell books? To get on TV and make videos and be all Carl Sagan-y? To become academic superstars who will finally force the science world to look at non-mainstream subjects with the objective scientific scrutiny that is needed? I’d have to say the fringe science and religion groups with the sexiest, best-looking members are the Raelians, and the Rajneesh followers — but is that what we want?

    I have to ask all this, because your assumption that NASCAR is currently male-dominated is contradicted by the figures a search gives, which is that the NASCAR fan base seems to be 40% female. You also don’t take into consideration the fact that the NASCAR culture started in the South, and that there may be cultural reasons for what look goes over best for their fans (you noted fellow athlete Billy Jean King in that photo, who clearly isn’t trying to pander to their stereotypes).

    When we talk about displays in the animal world, we understand that they are usually behaviors or visual indications that will help an animal mate most successfully or rise in the hierarchy. Look how successfully the women drivers display the sponsorship of the alpha corporations, both on themselves and their cars. In a very expensive sport, safety and ability to win races may hinge on ability to get financing for your car and your crew. You may have noticed that corporations love having attractive people representing them. But would getting Jane Goodall to wear a Home Depot t-shirt in her publicity shots get us anywhere?

    I’m trying to figure out whether those hoping to interpret Sasquatch culture and drives know enough about this hominid culture to compare and contrast effectively.

  16. fuzzy responds:

    Wow!

  17. Carol Maltby responds:

    If there are going to be experiments to see if sex sells cryptozoology, let’s have the first one be “The Men of Cryptozoology” calendar. Twelve of our finest in their naked ape glory, save for a strategically held picture of Nessie, a sea serpent, or a Kraken. ;)

  18. Indy 500 responds:

    Not sure about the others, but I would replace “Big Foot” with “Lead Foot” when talking about Danica Patrick, she is the real deal. Indy 500



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