Harnaaz Sandhu has been making headlines and we all know why. The third Indian to win the Miss Universe title of 2021 since Sushmita Sen, Sandhu has brought the crown to the country after 21 years. With Sandhu’s win, the chorus around beauty pageants and stereotypes of ‘beauty standard’ has once again begun. And with that, sexism has also managed to make its way into the event of a proud moment.
A Twitter user that goes by the name Lakshman, @rebel_notout, drew a parallel between Sandhu’s win and Olympian Neeraj Chopra and other male Olympians in a glaring sexist meme.
The meme featured Chopra holding his gold medal while Sandhu sported a red swimsuit. The obvious catch in the image was suggestive of Sandhu’s attire to be reducing her (a woman’s) value.
On Twitter, Lakshman wrote, “How boys think they can make their country proud. How Girls think they can make their country proud (sic).”
- How boys think they can make their country proud
- How Girls think they can make their country proud pic.twitter.com/zjqqZYzmBl— Lakshman (@Rebel_notout) December 13, 2021
The tweet immediately received immense backlash on social media with people pointing out how many feminine icons have represented India on the international sports platform and bagged medals.
“For your kind information let me give you some knowledge about indian girls who make india proud in 2nd and 3rd pic girls won in Olympics 3rd go space in 1997 her name is kalpana chawla Next time come up with homework before you say anything sh!t about girls! (sic),” said one user.
For your kind information let me give you some knowledge about indian girls who make india proud in 2nd and 3rd pic girls won in Olympics 3rd go space in 1997 her name is kalpana chawla Next time come up with homework before you say anything sh!t about girls! pic.twitter.com/AwZDoPMCfd— Titli (@Mehueknagina) December 14, 2021
Here’s how others pointed out the layers of sexism represented by the misogynistic meme.
when did they spread hate against men in this tweet?— rits ðÂÂÂ§£|| Flop Era (@ritayka13) December 14, 2021
Not about likes but it really sucks pic.twitter.com/PNAfq7uvkT— Hermione Granger (@overthinker_29) December 13, 2021
Both represented their country in international platforms and won the titles! Ur indirectly saying that women should not represent their country on these kind of platforms!— íÂÂÂÂÂÂëÂÂÂ¼ë¹ÂÂÂ(PALLAVI) (@Pallavi09434577) December 14, 2021
It's high time people stop acting that sports are better than everything else because at the end of the day, they're simply a source of entertainment too. Men aren't doing shit or saving lives by sports just like models aren't. Sports is no special but just a matter of preference— simi (@simituscano) December 13, 2021
The tweet once again highlights the disgrace and sexism meme games cause under the guise of ‘fun’ and ‘joke’. Sexism is harmful and is at the root of gender inequality. Memes, such as these, might seem benign but leads to a climate of gender inferiority. It’s the 21st century, yet we are still here pinning a woman’s worth to the attires they wear.