Anushka to Sania, We Need To Stop Dragging Women’s Name In The Mud
Anushka Sharma called Sunil Gavaskar's comment "distasteful."
On 25 September, Anushka Sharma, yet again, took to social media to respond to a certain cricket related controversy. This time, Sharma's statement, posted on her Instagram story, was aimed directly at former cricketer Sunil Gavaskar's allegedly sexist comment about Virat Kohli practising cricket with Sharma.
Calling Gavaskar's remarks "distasteful," Sharma put forth a very pertinent question - "When will I stop getting dragged into cricket and stop getting used to pass sweeping statements?"
Now I understand that one social media user may have misinterpreted the video, leading to all of Twitter losing it's cool - but why did Gavaskar have to take Sharma's name in the first place?
Here's the video that birthed this controversy:
Anushka's rage is totally justified
There's been some chatter about whether or not Gavaskar's comment was sexist, but regardless of which side of the table you might be on, let me just say - this isn't the first time Sharma's name has been dragged into a situation related to her husband. Time and again, Sharma's name has been used to unnecessarily stir controversy and make it seem as if she's somehow an unlucky charm getting in the way of her husband's career.
In October 2019, she had put out a much longer (and kinda savage) statement addressing this issue.
Okay, for a minute let's agree that Gavaskar's words have been misconstrued. Even then, my question is - when will Anushka stop getting dragged into cricket?
Why did Gavaskar feel the need to specifically mention Anushka Sharma’s name? If he wanted to comment on Kohli’s poor form, he could have simply said that, instead of bringing in Sharma’s name.
I'm not saying Gavaskar meant to be sexist, but I do believe he could have said what he said without taking Sharma's name. Of course, he didn't imagine things blowing up the way they did. I just wish he'd taken a second to think about the kind of trolling Sharma has experienced in the past and made a more sensible decision.
Anushka's not alone
Anushka Sharma being trolled for doing absolutely nothing has become mainstream news several times in the past few years but she isn't the only one being targeted. In June 2019, tennis champion Sania Mirza was massively trolled after Pakistan lost a cricket match. Mirza's husband Shoaib Malik and Indian cricketer Virendra Sehwag both instantly jumped to her defence but it was already too late. There was no stopping the online troll armies.
Later, while speaking at the India Economic Summit, Mirza actually did bring up this issue of how women and girlfriends of male cricketers are often considered a distraction, and not a source of strength.
She even spoke in Sharma’s defence, “Anushka Sharma is blamed if Virat makes a zero, like what does that have anything to do with anything? It makes no sense.”
In 2016, Indian cricketer Stuart Binny's wife, Mayanti Langer Binny, was also made the butt of many jokes criticising her husband's poor performance on the cricket field.
It isn't just a sports phenomenon
Patriarchy has a long history of either dragging women into or creating controversies related to their husbands/boyfriends. One could say that that's exactly what's happening to Rhea Chakraborty. The actor has, unfortunately, become the face of Sushant Singh Rajput's unexpected death. For the past few months, she is being targeted relentlessly, on social media as well as mainstream media.
Recently, American celebrity Kim Kardashian was also blamed for her husband Kanye West's very public breakdown by many social media users.
Clearly, all of this is a part of a bigger culture of misogyny and sexism that holds women responsible for men, regardless of what the men are up to.
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