We talk about women empowerment and gender equality relentlessly. Every second day a new hash tag surfaces that brings forth our attention to the disparity between men and women and yet we say ours is a modern world.
Not too long ago, India’s Superstar who magically gets acquitted every time found himself being condemned for making a sexist comment on how he felt ‘like a raped women’.
The media went into a frenzy demanding apology from the actor and what not, unfortunately all he did was remain silent and let the issue die its death.
Anushka Sharma was criticized for her small, almost insignificant but thoroughly sexist role in her previous release. But what came out of it? Did the issue resolve or are we still stuck in a time where equality, empowerment and gender sensitization remain just words?
Sexism is like cancer that has spread uninhibitedly everywhere. If you thought the west was not sexist-you are mistaken. Proof- the current Olympics.
India has so far won two medals, both won by women athletes and yet two days from now we will gladly forget their names and indulge ourselves in Men’s Cricket ( because women cricket games are not even broadcasted!).
Rio Olympics has unfortunately been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Women athletes have been represented and reported in the worst possible way and that in itself is a shame.
BBC commentator during the opening ceremony forgot that women too play tennis! Another commentator from BBC called women judo matches “cat fight’. (BBC sure needs to fire a few folks.)
Great Britain suffered another humiliation when a reporter from GB asked a British rover about her skin color and what treatment she had taken for her skin color.
Chicago Tribune did not even mention the sport Corey Unhein played and just wrote, “Wife of Bears lineman Mike Unhein wins a medal at Rio.”
U.S. gymnast Simone Biles too suffered Sexist comments when an NBC commentator said that she could go higher than men as well. A U.S. swimmer was hailed as the “female Michael Phelps” by the NBC commentator.
A woman athlete was robbed at gunpoint in the Games village and police only lodged a complaint because the media reported it.
This is just a sporting event happening once in four years. Imagine the amount of sexism that exists in the world!
However, there has been a backlash against sexism and the most recent example is of the Australian website that in order to fight back against sexism in sports has started the hash tag ‘#KnowYourAthlete’ where all athletes, especially female ones answer queries or interact with people.
The aim of the initiative is to bridge the gap between people who play and people who see them play so that biases and prejudices can be done away with.
Not just sports, sexism at workplace is rampant too. The best example of it would be men being paid higher than women because it is “believed” that men can accomplish more than women.
A Hungarian woman fought against her company management when they refused to pay her the same as her partner who was a man. She won the case in the court and set an example for the world.
Medium like cinema that actually have the power to speak against such ills are used to earn crores or millions irrespective of what is shown on the celluloid. A wonderful proof of this would be Anushka Sharma’s previous release as mentioned above.
Sexism is not a modern problem and neither will it be solved within a day. Simple and small steps need to be undertaken because this problem is a problem of the mindset and it’s a long walk to a truly non-sexist world.
Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.