Gender Bias in Sports – The Views of Kanthi D Suresh, the Doyenne of Sports News Broadcasting
When you ask a feisty and passionate woman a question on gender bias, especially in the realm of sports and whether a girl should be raised a princess or a warrior, be sure to get answers that are not commonplace. Kanthi is today the doyenne of sports news broadcasting, and was the Chief guest for a program organized recently by Inner Wheel of Rotary club in Delhi, with Ms Soha Ali Khan, as a special invitee. As the woman at the helm of PowerSportz – the only channel dedicated to reporting solely within the realm of sports in all its glory, eccentricities, and glamour, Kanthi packs a punch even when addressing a gathering outside of her realm of specialty. Her channel boasts of a daily traffic of 3lac users from 5000 cities across the country, and daily views to the tune of 1 Million, and is poised to become one of the most successful sports news channels in the country.
When asked the dual-pronged question, Kanthi D Suresh categorically stated that girls most certainly cannot be brought up as both a princess and a warrior. She went on to explain saying that boys and girls are different, and there are various psychological and physiological reasons. Gender bias has its roots in the fact that the interpretation of the differences between girls and boys is skewed. Physical strength became synonymous with supremacy, and since men are certainly physically stronger, gender bias became more potent and ubiquitous. Physical strength is true in the realm of sports too – “a woman cannot run as fast as a man, and a woman should not even try”, commented Kanthi in her usual effortless manner of putting the most profound thoughts across.
Addressing the next comment to the young boys and girls in the audience, Kanthi urged them to retain their true identity for this is what would make them shine. She further said that each of them is unique and hence must never try to be someone they cannot be or are meant to be – they must remain proud of who they are and what they have. This is the quintessence of success and of attaining one’s goals irrespective of challenges.
Kanthi continued to articulate her thoughts on gender bias and whether a girl should be raised a princess or a warrior by echoing the sentiments of young girl in the audience. Kanthi eloquently stated that a woman can be empowered and feel special in whatever role she essays, even if it was a housewife managing the many complex tasks that make a house a home. Making reference to a comment from another youngster – a boy – in the audience, Kanthi pointed out that warrior denotes someone who is strong, masculine, and one who emerges victorious, while princess seems to have the underlying feel of a ‘damsel in distress’, and these stereotypical definitions need to change. The war of the genders has to end since coexistence and interdependence are far more effective, important, and necessary. The garb of feminism and show of testosterone need to stop, and there should rather be single-mindedness on maintaining equilibrium in every relationship. With a rather coy smile coupled with a confident manner, Kanthi went on to say that a happy marriage is perhaps one of the most empowering aspects in the lives of both a man and a woman.
Kanthi believes that true strength radiates from the inside, and both men and women come in all colors, shapes, and sizes, and their actions and mindset determines their strength. A sure way to foster confidence is to fully understand one’s strengths and leverage on them in every situation – sports realm included. Each individual has their unique talents and shortcomings but this is what makes a person truly different from another – a truly confident person will appreciate even the weaknesses, but will not obsess or dwell on them.
As with any realm, in sports too focusing on what you are good at is important – remain proud of who you are – celebrate your girlishness or masculinity as the case may be.
Adults today must act as role models so that young girls and boys have someone to look up to – their aspirations should not be limited to being pretty/handsome and popular. It is important for adults to be honest with children so that in the near future we can safely say that gender bias does not exist anywhere. Kanthi signed off, leaving an indelible impression on both the youngsters and adults.
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