Enough of smut at rugby

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IN 1994, there was so much hope and excitement among the citizens of South Africa. I, however, am completely disillusioned with the state the country is in and the various crises currently facing it.

Our constitution, which contains a Bill of Rights, is supposed to protect the rights of all citizens of this country – including the issue of gender equality. Sadly, though, our constitution doesn’t seem to be worth the paper it’s written on.

Rights should be respected and enforced. In particular, I am reeling over the rapid escalation of rape, murder and abuse of women and children in this country. When will it all end?

When will the women of this country be treated like human beings and equals? When will the objectifying of women as mere commodities for male consumption be stopped in its tracks?

After attending the Southern Kings v Western Force match at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday, I left the stadium feeling nauseated and upset. When did it become necessary to “pimp” scantily clad young girls to your audience?

How can one subject such young girls to the wolf whistles, lewd shouts and jeers from hundreds, if not thousands, of men?

Taking one’s children to watch a rugby match should be a family outing – this is why I was so shocked at the spectacle that was put on! If these so-called “cheerleaders” are so absolutely necessary, please cover them up a bit more and cut out all the sexually suggestive “dance” moves! What a disgrace!

If one goes to watch a rugby match, I really would like to be able to do just that: watch the match and not have this constant irritation in my face the whole time! It really takes so much away from the game and the players themselves.

If one watches the Barclays Premier League, players run onto the field with young children in matching kit, both sides shake hands as well as those of the match officials – what a professional pleasure to watch.

It is high time the men of this country stood together! Professional sportsmen, administrators, unions, businessmen, the media and government officials should take the stance that not only do they hold the women in their immediate lives with respect and in high regard, but the nation’s women as a whole.

Stop objectifying the women of our nation as mere commodities for consumption!

I would love to see South African rugby return to the professional outfit it once was and not the absolute circus it has become – so please take the smut and filth out of our sport.

I hate being a woman in South Africa. Everywhere you look, all this filth is in your face – on the shelves of supermarkets, on television (e.tv being the absolute worst channel), magazines, newspapers and even our sport. If anything, we as a nation have moved backwards.

Come on men of South Africa, set a higher standard!

Time for change (name supplied), Port Elizabeth

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