Womantra stands in defense of gymnasts

Thursday, February 25, 2016 - 20:00

Women’s activists group, Womantra, is taking issue with the actions of the Trinidad and Tobago Gymnasts Federation.

The federation initiated disciplinary action against Thema Williams and Marissa Dick, after topless photos of the athletes surfaced in the public domain.

In a release today the women’s rights group is describing the decision as body policing, character assassination and misogyny.

Earlier this year, Thema Williams posted a topless post of herself on her instagram page captioned “being black women is an honour..always”.

She subsequently removed the photo from her page, however the photo was sent to the members of the TT Gymnasts Federation earlier this week.

Less than 48 hours after another photo was sent to the federation, the photo featured a topless Marisa Dick, another national athlete

That photo was sent to the federation and other members of the fraternity.

Womantra is condemning the decision to send the athletes to the disciplinary committee and described the timing as problematic, since both athletes are preparing for the final qualifying tests for the Olympics.

They say women including female athletes must have the freedom to present themselves and their bodies without fear of being reprimanded, harassed or embarrassed.

The group says subjective opinions on the appropriateness of women appearance of presentation should have no bearing on these forms of expressionthey say the decision was disrespectful the and disregarded professional contribution of the athletes.

The TTGF’s decision to reprimand these athletes undervalues their dedication and achievements and gives credence and validity to misogynist attempts by parties to discredit these athletes through body policing and character assassination.

Meanwhile former Justice Minister Christlyn Moore is coming to the defence of Williams and Dick.

The attorney-at-law, who was part of the Womantra protest against former POS Mayor Raymond Tim Kee, said “you are among the reason we brag about being Trinibagonian”.

She goes on to say “don’t let anyone dim you light.”

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