“For Women at Games, Messages Are Mixed” in connection with The Conclusion.
Mrinmayi is an athletic girl, who likes to climbs the trees and running along the riverbanks with the boys. She lives in India in the beginning of 20th century when such kind of behavior is unacceptable for a young girl. Any kind of sport activity, even if is not professional sport is not the thing Indian girl should do. Indian girl of that time, according to their religion and traditions, should sit at home, hidden from the eyes of the boys and men waiting for the moment the parents would pick the husband for her. Climbing on the trees and running with the unbound hair, as Mrinmayi does create her the reputation of bad disciplined boyish girl. No parents would like to see her as the wife for their son, that’s why she is still unmarried. (Despite her young age, a lot of Indian girls her age are being the wives already). “If the boat of some distant zamindar arrived at the ghat, the villagers became impressively alert. As if at a signal, the women pulled their veils down to the tips of their noses, thus concealing their faces like curtains on a stage. But Mrinmayi would arrive holding a naked child to her chest,her unbound hair hanging free.” (Volume E, p.908)
Today we live in the beginning of the 21st century, however in some of the societies we still could see the same type of ban for woman, which prohibit them to be involved in the sport. This type of ban is based on the cultural traditions and religion. The religious scholar claim that the Islamic girls should not be involved in the Olympic Games because as they are playing on the field they are presenting themselves not only as athletes but also as the sexual objects for the heterosexual man in the public. This is not acceptable by Islamic religion. The physical exercise could also have an impact on the girls’ health which would lead to changes in their reproductive activity. The main thing for a girl in the Islamic society is to be a virgin before the marriage and to become a productive mother after that and if participation in sport could change either of this, the girl should better stay at home and not participate in those physical activities.
“There is still the unsettled case of Saudi Arabia, which bars women from sports, claiming it will lead to immoral behavior, by using tradition and discredited science. The Human Rights Watch report issued in February referred to a religious scholar who said that “the health of a virgin girl will be affected by too much movement and jumping in sports such as soccer and basketball.””. (New York Times, April 25, p.B14)