Why Are Manika And Mirabai’s Wins At Tokyo Olympics Being Used To Troll Other Women?

Manika Batra and Mirabai Chanu have made India proud at Tokyo Olympics, but trolls are using their success to ridicule other women.  

Star weightlifter, Mirabai Chanu, became the first Indian to win a medal at the Tokyo Olympic games. By winning silver, she ended India’s 21-year long wait to win a medal in the weightlifting event at the Olympics.

Along the same lines, India’s star table-tennis player Manika Batra, won her second round match of the women’s singles event. While a lot of us were giddy with pride over these accomplishments, the trolls wasted no time in creating memes of these accomplishments in order to further their hate-mongering. Why must one woman be praised only at the expense of another?

Stellar wins but trolls pitting women against each other

Female athletes have made India proud at the Tokyo Olympics. However, a certain section of society has been trying hard to spoil this celebratory atmosphere. They have resorted to making memes in order to use the victory of these women to ridicule other women.

I recently came across a meme in which someone tagged Kangana Ranaut to a photo of Mirabai Chanu, showing Kangana what a real lioness looks like. Little does the meme-maker realise that such acts reflect poorly on their own way of thinking.  In some cases, these trolls were seen using Mirabai Chanu as an example to all Indian women– especially actors, as to what an “ideal woman” should be like.

Could Manika Batra not have been praised without humiliating Taapsee and Swara?

In another meme, a troll has congratulated Manika Batra for being better- looking and more talented than Swara Bhaskar and Taapsee Pannu. Could Manika Batra not have been praised without humiliating Taapsee Pannu and Swara Bhaskar? Why must one woman be praised only at the expense of another?

Actors like Taapsee Pannu and Swara Bhaskar are often trolled on social media. They tend to become the target for trolls even in matters completely unrelated to them. The reason for this is their movies which are known for calling out the misogynistic aspects of society.

Fearlessly voicing their opinions on social media also makes them the target for trolls. But the women of  today are neither afraid, nor do they remain silent. 

Why is society so focussed on looks of  women players?

Why are Manika Batra and Mirabai Chanu’s clothes, physical beauty and their comparison with other women trending more on social media than their incredible performances at the Tokyo Olympics?

Are their looks the only thing about them that is important? Can they never expect the same kind of adulation their their male counterparts receive?  Every woman player has the right to be judged solely on the basis of their performance. 

When the world looks at the India of today, they do not expect to see such misogyny. Every woman athlete is working just as hard, if not harder, as the male athletes to bring glory to the nation in the Tokyo Olympics.

Let us all please try to focus on and write about only their skills and performances. This is not some out-of-the-ordinary demand but a basic expectation that every hard-working athlete has. 

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Ashlesha Thakur started her foray into the world of media at the age of 7

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