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Stop Judging Women By Their Looks. It’s 2021

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Former international cricketer Abdul Razzaq is being rightly criticised on social media over a recent interview in which he made sexist remarks against his fellow panelist, female cricketer Nida Dar during a discussion about her future in sports.

While talking about women in sports and how marriage affects their career, Razzaq said: “They don’t get married because when they become cricketers, they try to be as equal as their men counterparts. By the time they achieve success, the feeling [to get married] is gone. He went on to say, “If you shake her [Dar’s] hand, she is anything but feminine.”

It is unfortunate that a former national cricketer who enjoys a celebrity status chose to engage in such blatant sexism. Shaming women for aspiring to be as good as men at their job is shameful to say the least. No matter how much women in our society accomplish, it all boils down to their appearance and looks. Nida Dar is one of Pakistan’s most successful bowlers in the T20 format. She is the first Pakistani cricketer to take 100 wickets in T20. But for Abdul Razzaq none of this matters because she is not ‘feminine’ as per his definition of the word.

Women cricket in Pakistan is not given the due attention and players have to operate with lack of resources. Victories of women cricket team are not celebrated by the public the way men teams’ successes are. Under such circumstances where there is little motivation for them to keep going, women cricketers deserve all the appreciation they can get. Yet a member of the national cricket team was insulted on TV merely for not being ‘feminine’ enough for the male gaze. None of the guests or the host Noman Ijaz, who happens to be a renowned actor, bothered to intervene and tell Razzaq that women are much more than how they look.

The practice of judging women by their appearance stems from the patriarchal notion that sees women as delicate ornaments that are meant to be carried around for decoration. In the patriarchal society a woman’s success means nothing if she does not conform to the unrealistic beauty standards set by the patriarchy. Because what can be more important than getting yourself a man who thinks you are attractive enough to be married? It is 2021 and this absurd mindset has no place in today’s world. It is about time media stopped airing misogynistic remarks. Celebrities who enjoy popularity have the added responsibility to be careful with their words because what they say may influence the public. Casual misogyny on TV (and elsewhere) must end.

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Naya Daur