Tag Archives: Twitter

Grand Slam on Inverdale

My faith in humanity’s intelligence took a huge beating on Saturday. While a very senior journalist (sports commentator), incidentally male, from the holy cow BBC decided it was pertinent to note that the new Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli was not a “looker” (read a hot woman capable of eliciting extreme lust among spectators); many twitteratis also decided she was far too “ugly” to be the new face of the grand slam. But of course!

The question here is not of sexism. The comments, some silly and others downright disgusting and puke-inducing, were, beyond doubts, sexist. The question really is about intelligence. How, in the name of God, is a tennis players’ oomph factor important? How?

She may have got the same prize money as Andy Murray (equality, you see!), but, man, did she pay for it! She was called all kinds of names on social media, including, a whore. One tweeter said she was so ugly that she would not even be raped! Another felt that because she does not look like the factory-produced tall, thin, blonde models (the epitome of beauty in the diversity-starved minds) she was a bloke (man). How else could this short(er), fatter, brunette beat Sabine Lisicki, who is, indeed, tall, slim and, yes, blonde? Bartoli should have remembered that cardinal rule: don’t look like a model, can’t win Wimbledon!

But, now, here is the clincher. The apology from BBC presenter John Inverdale, who commented on her looks and surmised that Bartoli’s father must have reminded her about the fact that she doesn’t look like the stunning Maria Sharapova and, hence, must fight it out. (Oh! You think if you don’t look as good you still have the capability to win a grand slam? Huh? Huh?).

You see, there are some people in this world who just can’t see the truth that is so evident to others like Inverdale. So, they criticise and raise a hue and cry and visionaries are then forced to apologise!

So, while saying how insensitive he was, Inverdale also, very sensitively, added, “She is an incredible role model for people who aren’t born with all the attributes of natural athletes.”

Now, now. Don’t ask silly questions! I think we all know what these “attributes of natural athletes” are. And, no, these attributes do not include the ability to win one of the biggest, toughest sporting events in the world.

(A version of this article first appeared in The Hindu Business Line. http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/blogs/blog-aeshadatta/grand-slam-on-inverdale/article4898308.ece)


A lesser pain?

The horrific events of last week clearly point to one thing — our forefathers (yes the very same who defined the rights of people depending on which home they were born into) got it right — there seem to be some lesser people in this world.

On Monday, April 15, two separate incidents took place on two different continents. People died. Families were left in shock. Yet, only one got the kind of coverage that both deserved.

The incidents relate to bombing in Boston, US (Big Brother), and Iraq, a Muslim nation somewhere in the Middle East, important only because it holds oil reserves deemed crucial by the ‘developed’ world.

On that fateful Monday, a bombing at the Boston marathon took three innocent lives, injuring at least 180. The same day a series of bombings across Iraq killed at least 30 people (one report even said 55) and injured many more.

Within hours of the Boston attack comments started trickling in on social media — of how a certain religious group was the bane of earth, how they are killing people, how cruel they are. Not surprisingly, most of these came from citizens of a particular nation, who were either blissfully ignorant of what happened outside the borders of their own country or just didn’t care. The second possibility is painfully scary, the first gut-wrenchingly sad.

The news, too, I am afraid, was skewed in the coverage it gave these human tragedies. Or maybe I was just watching the wrong channels.

Even the events, during which these lives were lost, seem to be like the set-up of a macabre. While on the one hand Bostonians were assembled for a celebratory marathon run, Iraqis were looking ahead at the local polls. One can only imagine the importance of such an event for the people of a country that had been reeling under the effects of dictatorship for a good part of the last century.

Within all the venomous attacks following the Boston bombing that I saw on Facebook, one picture tore my heart — two burqa-clad women holding a handwritten poster saying “To Boston from Kabul, with love.” They sent sympathies for an agony they know only too well. I saw much less sympathy from the other educated, well-developed beings.

Indeed, it looks like there are some lesser people in this world.

(This blog first appeared on Business Line Blogs. http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/blogs/blog-aeshadatta/a-lesser-pain/article4636725.ece)