Written By : Christopher Raj
PETALING JAYA, 6 October 2021: When you have leaders who are uncouth, crude and racist in their narrative, how can you expect these twits to set an example for their constituents to be respectful towards women and girls?
The derogatory remark made against none other then national shuttler Kisona was appalling to say the least and raised eyebrows, especially since it was uttered by a division vice chairperson of a prominent political party. The individual who allegedly made the racial slur on Facebook was later identified as a Parti Pribumi Bersatu (PPB) leader from Kelantan, who later apologised and has since resigned from his party post.
During the recent Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Farah Ann Abdul Hadi was embarrassingy subjected to lewd, sexist, and disrespectful remarks on social media regarding her outfits and routines which, to some narrow minded people, were much too sexy. This was not the first time. In 2015 Farah was also subjected to similar disgusting remarks.
There is no denying that over the past five years women athletes have been subjected to an increase in racism and sexual harassment at every level of Malaysia sports. While preventive and reactive measures such as monitoring and calling out bigots are useful, we need to take more proactive measures to stamp out racism in sports.
Children must not be allowed to trivialise a national gymnast’s achievement, be it to her body or her clothes. They must also be taught not to use racial slurs to condemn an athlete’s shortcomings at a major sporting event. Constructive criticism is welcomed but must be conveyed in an appropriate and respectable manner.
All this starts at home. As parents and members of society, we must do better when teaching our young ones. Our educators should continuously highlight the beauty of diversity within our society. Policy makers should also reassess our education system on issues relating to gender inequality and harassment towards women in our country. This bad cycle must end, or our society will continue a downward spiral which we may never be able to recover from.