Richard Ord: The number is up for ‘walk-on’ beauties

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“I’m all for women’s liberation, just as long as they don’t enforce it.”

It was a memorable school yard quote from my old pal Andy McKenzie, made when we were teenagers. He may have been joking but sometimes you get the feeling feminism can be taken too far.

I suspect it’s why men hesitated in giving women the vote in the first place. They just knew it was bound to come back and bite them on the bum.

One hundred years later and they’re banning the so-called walk-on girls during the darts and in Formula One.

They’re even considering removing the glamour girls from boxing. Which begs the question: How will we know which round it is?

If it wasn’t for a scantily clad woman tottering around a boxing ring holding up a giant number 5, I’d be lost.

Do they really expect us to keep count? Hello, championship boxing is over 12 rounds but we men only have 10 fingers.

As far as I can gather, these girls are being pulled from the TV schedules because the job is considered demeaning! It’s not clear who is feeling demeaned.

Certainly not the girls themselves who, by all accounts, are extremely well paid for their troubles and actually enjoy the work.

There’s a suggestion that these women have only got the job based on their looks. I’ll need some convincing on that score, but, for arguments sake, let’s just say it’s true. Is that such a bad thing?

While there may be some better qualified people to do the job of holding up a number board (strong wrists, degree in applied mathematics), who wants to watch an ageing professor hobbling round a boxing ring?

Subscribers to aside, ‘not many’ I suspect would be the answer.

There has to be a place in society for attractive people to just get by on their looks.

Is there anyone watching the boxing who after seeing two men pummel each other for three minutes, actually says, “now get a girl in there with a numbers board, I need to see all woman-kind being demeaned.”

There’s an argument that the two half-naked blokes punching each other on the nose with padded mittens in front of a baying crowd are the ones really being demeaned.

But what do I know? I’m a middle-aged man who would struggle to rustle up the bus fare to town if I had to rely on my looks for a living.

And since I have no daughters, I needn’t worry too much about my offspring demeaning themselves in the ring for money in years to come. I did, however, ask my 14-year-old son what he thought of the issue.

“What’s your view on these ring girls? Do you think they are demeaning to women?”

“Dad,” he said. “I don’t care. There’s more important things to worry about in the world.” He’s probably right.

•Andy McKenzie went on to become a professor of economics, making him an ideal ring girl in a feminist utopia.