I HAD expected that all Malaysians would be happy with the success of our athletes at the ongoing SEA Games in Singapore until I read the criticisms about the attire of Farah Ann Abdul Hadi, our national gymnast who won two gold, one silver and two bronze medals.
I am extremely shocked that some Malaysians were more preoccupied with watching her body and berating her for “exposing” herself rather than watching her good gymnastic act and applaud her for her fruitful efforts.
Sometimes, covering up the body does not ensure that a woman’s chastity is protected. When our minds are too “dirty”, even a fully-covered woman would look like a sex object.
To everyone out there, stop blaming people’s attire and choices for your perversion, moral depravity and indecent thoughts that degrade women.
When Farah Ann was on the platform, executing her moves confidently and gracefully, any normal person would have focused solely on her performance and hoped that she would win. Hence, it would be fair to say that only narrow-minded, shallow or sexually perverted individuals would find her act and attire disturbing or probably sexually arousing.
Moral propriety is not solely based on one’s attire but it is also measured on how one perceives what happens around him and acts accordingly with wisdom, virtue and positivity.
When we perceive things in negative ways, everything would be seen to be wrong. We have to change our perspective and mindset to look at things from different lenses.
For instance, unlike some youngsters who engage in various social ills such as random and frequent sexual intercourse, drug abuse, playing truant, bullying and so on, Farah Ann made a bold decision to dabble in sports, gymnastics in particular, and is determined to make good in the field she chose so that she could make her country and family extremely proud. How mature and wise she has been to make that move, especially when she won gold medals in the team events and individuals category. This is something only a person with maturity, wisdom and positive mindset can see and realise.
Unfortunately, though, not all Malaysians fall into that category, as seen in the attack against Farah Ann’s attire. I wonder how many young talents have been robbed of their opportunities to dabble in sports because narrow-minded people with baseless and lame reasons prevented them from going ahead. If it does happen, then the drastic decline in the quality as well as quantity of our athletes is on the horizon.
I hope that people do realise that it will adversely affect the growth of sports in Malaysia when people actually stop being supportive of our athletes and start being highly judgemental and critical over trivial matters such as one’s attire.
I have read some of the comments about Farah Ann’s attire and found them offensive and derogatory. Some have said she is sinful for exposing her body. I wonder whether they know that being dirty-minded, sexually perverted, seeing an individual as a sex object, being offensive and, most importantly, being ungrateful of someone who has gone to great lengths to contribute something meaningful to our country, are also equally SINFUL.
Why don’t these people, who brand a sportswoman sinful for exposing her body, raise their voices against smoking in public places, which causes health problems to non-smokers, and other matters such as discrimination, corruption, cruelty to animals and other moral depravities instead?
Why would an innocent athlete be condemned and vilified for wearing the attire that is appropriate to her sport while someone who possessed, made and distributed not one or 100 but 30,000 sexually explicit images and videos of children can get overwhelming support even from the government bodies? Is the gulf between right and wrong narrowing so much to the extent that people are becoming unable to tell right from wrong? These are questions for all to ponder and for their conscience to answer.
My heartiest congratulations to all Malaysian Tigers (athletes) who have done and are still doing their best at the 2015 SEA Games in Singapore, and especially to Farah Ann who is an exceptional athlete.
Batu Maung, Penang