Updated: April 8, 2021 9:15:34 am
Sania Mirza is the latest celebrity to partake in an ongoing viral Instagram trend. On Tuesday, she posted a video in which she was seen busting some myths surrounding women playing tennis — mainly the things she grew up hearing as a woman who decided to make a career in sports.
“Playing in the sun is for boys, you have to learn how to cook.” Mirza mentioned it as one of the things that young girls and women have to hear a lot, mainly because the society has created a clear demarcation of occupational roles for men and women. So while men are allowed to sweat it out in the sun, women are expected to sweat it out in the kitchen only.
Next, she said: “If you become so dark, who will marry you”. This is another classic fixation, which reeks of colourism. The ace tennis player, too, had had to endure such comments.
“How will you go for tournaments when you have to run a family”. Mirza’s existence is the very answer to this question, as it is to this comment: “Your sporting career ends as soon as you become a mother.”
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In her long career, Mirza has only proven all these points to be untrue and ludicrous. It is indeed laughable then that such comments are not directed towards men in sports, who also play in the sun, get married and run families.
When Serena Williams had announced that was expecting her first child, in 2017, it was also reported that she had won a grand slam while actually being pregnant, which was not an easy feat. She had made a comeback the following year, securing her position in the sport, and also as a role model for many young girls and women around the globe.
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In a July 2016 interview, according to The Telegraph, Williams had talked about seeing women for what they do and respecting them as such. During the interview, when the interviewer had referred to her as “one of the greatest female athletes of all time”, Williams had replied, ‘I prefer ‘one of the greatest athletes of all time’.”
A 2020 report by BBC stated that 30 per cent of British sportswomen have been trolled on social media – up from 14 per cent in 2015. As a result of this, 78 per cent of professional female athletes have become self-conscious about their body image.
At a time when women around the world are making great many advancements in their respective occupations, such comments and sexist treatments become not only redundant, but also dangerous.
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