Indo Canadina Woman Essay

920 words - 4 pages

1) In their article, Racism in Motion: Sport, Physical Activity and the Indo-Canadian Female, authors Patricia Vertinsky, Indy Batth, and Mita Naidu, strive to understand the struggles faced by Indian women in Canada in the field of sports participation. However, little research has been focused in this area. Few Indo-Canadian women participate in physical activities, thus insufficient material existed to formulate a study. The authors then formulated their second, and more important, objective: In addition to being treated unfairly because of their gender, Indo-Canadian women are discriminated against in physical activities due to their ethnic identity, appearance and traditional values. As a result of these problems, few participate in the sport activities provided for them by schools and communities.2)The authors have organized their reasoning into two major categories. Reasons why these females don't participate stemming from stereotypical beliefs of other cultures, and reasons they don't participate stemming from imbedded cultural beliefs and values of their own. I will discuss them in such an order.A common portrayal of Indian women is the fact that they are both fragile and inactive, and as a result have no formal interest in sports. Due to this stereotypical typecast, women of Indian descent are often associated together in a homogenous group of frailty and teachers and sport organizers alike seem to consistantly overlook these girls when organizing their activities. They rely on the belief that these girls have no desire to participate, or are not permitted to do so as a direct result of a domineering male figure in their homes.A second reason given by the authors for the absence of Indo-Canadian females from the sports scene is the result of the girl's own traditional values. Modesty is firmly stressed in the Indian culture as well as in Indo-Canadian families. If they intend to uphold the type of persona perceived of as elite in their culture, it is improper to participate in athletic games together with males, or to don revealing shorts and tops. The body is a sacred and private possession that is not to be disrespected. In addition, there have been many cases of sexual harassment that girls faced in co-ed situations that place these girls in between a rock and a hard place. They cannot tell their families, because it would only reinforce the fact that such sporting situations are not ideal. On the other hand, they cannot continue to participate while being harassed. As a result, girls have chosen, rather than attempt an explanation to outsiders, to sit passively and allow themselves to be placed within the stereotype of weak and passive.Neither of these stereotypes are accurate. In fact, the authors counter, most girls desire to be a part of the physical education classes in their respected communities. However, because of their embarrassment or the bias they face, they choose not to. In addition, their culture promotes physical...

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