Kubra is a 20-year-old Turkish girl who has just brought a gold medal to Turkey thanks to her amazing performance in the 10th World Taekwondo Championship last year in the Poomsae category together with Emirhan Muran. As if this fact wasn’t enough for her to make the headlines, instead of praising and admiring her for her accomplishment, she’s been criticized for wearing a hijab.
The interesting but sad point is that she is being judged by both Muslims and “liberals”. The first group believe she is hypocritical for wearing a headscarf at the same time she “opens her legs and has her hips and tights out there”, doing things she wasn’t supposed to be doing – but according to whom? A much better thing for them to do would be to appreciate her for showing what Muslim women can do – anything they want, just like any other woman – and contributing to change the stereotype regarding them.
The second group, people who like to label themselves as liberals just like to point out and judge people’s decisions. By these ones, her hijab is backwardness – just a little prejudiced, right?
It seems that no matter how great her accomplishments are, they’re never enough, as people will always find something to criticize. Although this criticism is deeply rooted in religion, that’s not the only thing behind it – it has a great deal of machismo in it, as it always has whenever we’re talking about women’s accomplishments.
Most negative comments regarding Kubra and her gold medal were made by conservative men, according to Al-Monitor. They believe sportswomen – in fact, all women – should dedicate themselves entirely for their husbands and families, taking care of the house and children. If that’s not backwardness and machismo, what is it?
It’s not just about her headscarf, or her religion, or her clothes. It’s just the fact that she’s a woman practicing a sport in a mainly masculine field and even more so she succeeded. It’s about women not accepting to be told what to do or not to do anymore – and that’s going forward. Kubra has already won some more gold medals this year at the Turkish Open Taekwondo Championship, and she’s not stopping.
Words: Manuela Rio Tinto
Hashtags: #women #sportswomen #empowerment #taekwondo