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Linking Anushka Sharma to Virat Kohli’s performance on the field is yet another example of how easy it is to blame women even today!
During the latest season of the Indian Premier League, Sunil Gavaskar is one of the commentators. On Thursday, he made a statement that linked Anushka Sharma to Virat Kohli’s performance on the field. And he has been receiving the rightful backlash for the same.
While Gavaskar has since explained the reasoning behind his comment, it doesn’t make it right for him to make the kind of statements he did.
But what is it that makes it so convenient for the society to bring women and their private lives into men’s profession. Is there a problematic narrative at play here?
To begin with, women have always been treated as sidekicks in a man’s journey to success. ‘Behind every successful man is a woman’ is more problematic than appreciative.
It is perhaps because of this underlying narrative that made it is easy for Sunil Gavaskar to comment on Virat Kohli’s performance. And casually remark that “He (Virat Kohli) practiced only with Anushka’s bowling. That’s not going to help.”
While many may dismiss this as just a funny comment, these statements feed into the belief that a woman must be behind the scenes. That a woman must only aid a man’s success and not live her own life. The narrative serves as moral policing for those women who decide to embark on career paths separate from romantic relationships in their life.
Conveniently enough, media and society don’t pick up the hard realities that come in the way of a woman’s success. Critiques against women in various professions don’t consider the existence of patriarchy when passing judgements. The ball is back in their court and women are simply ‘incompetent.’
On the other hand, we are seeing how Anushka was easily fit into a comment about Virat Kohli’s performance. A commentary that could have simply been about the game became a regressive, gendered statement that was not relevant to the field.
Sadly, the actress is not a stranger to comments linking her to her husband’s performance. Over the years, Anushka has been trolled multiple times about being a “bad omen” for the cricketer. The internet linked her presence in a city or in the audience to Kohli’s performance.
Trolling got out of hand to a point where the cricketer had to address it himself. While a timeline of such statements over the internet is ridiculous, it is significant of much more.
If a single couple could be exposed to various bouts of a sexist notion, it speaks volumes about the society and media. We are perhaps underestimating the power of a flawed, misogynist narrative.
Why does Anushka have anything to do with her husband’s performance? And why is her private life relevant to a game in a publicly delivered commentary? Doesn’t this supposedly funny statement ignore the reality of a patriarchal society?
Picture credits: Instagram
A student of International Relations at Shiv Nadar University. Enjoys old bands and acrylics.
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