Over the past couple of years the portrayal of women in Bollywood has been changing. She is essentially not just hanging on her hero’s arm or singing around the trees. As more and more actresses join the bandwagon, women start seeing that wee bit of hope. More so because Bollywood is a powerful medium with maximum reach.
But let us look at these same women when there are no cameras and no lights around. Has anything changed at all? Jibes, stereotyping and slut shaming seem to be hurled towards them from all quarters. Most of the actresses have armies of fans fighting for them. And then we have people concerned about women’s rights, propagating theories of feminism etc who seek justice for the abused public figure.
Sunny Leone’s case is different. Right from the beginning there has been not much ‘support’ extended to the woman.
The recent comment by the CPI leader Mr. Anjan – “There is a woman Sunny Leone. She has worked in many nude films. There is an ad – she’s lying down and one man is coming to her. It’s a condom ad. If they are shown everywhere on TV and newspapers, rape incidents will increase,” seems to have gone down pretty well with our ‘outraged feminists’. We do not hear much about ‘patriarchy’, ‘misogyny’ or even ‘maintaining scientific temper of the nation’, after Mr Anjan’s statement went public. Now this author is a little confused. Why the silence? Is it because the leader is from the intellectual-never-can-do-any-wrong leftist camp or is it because it is Sunny Leone? ( Last I heard condoms were for birth control! We had wrong information may be?)
Leone is one of those women who have exposed the hypocrisy of the nation time and again. A few months back ‘elitist’ Abhishek Singhvi was very ‘politically’ and ‘liberally’ correct in saying ‘”V shd be careful that western rejects like sunny leone are not allowed to epitomise indian culture or acquire the status of a Bollywood icon.’ Well it was the same time when Leone’s pathetic film Leela had released. So probably our feminists just let it pass thinking he was just stirring controversy to support the film.
Muthalik’s comment on Leone however was not forgotten. But that is because right wing is always wrong.
Why should Sunny’s case be any different from the other women in the industry? Is it because she has worked in the porn industry? But just a couple of weeks back watching porn had become the bench mark of a civilized nation. And what a nation we are. Here the corrupt two bit politicians can be re-elected. Actors who have been alleged with abetment of suicide can be launched with showbaazi. Alleged rapists can be invited to literary meets. People accused of killing endangered species can rock the nation. But Sunny Leone cannot get another chance.
Sunny is one of those cases where the liberals kind of jump to the fringe camp. From the time she had come to the Big Boss house she has been the talk of the town. Punching and calling her names was almost a free for all exercise. A KRK can easily get away with ‘”I request to Digvijay Singh Ji to have a strip show of Sunny Leone in the function of his marriage and I will pay Rs 1 crore to the Congress party fund.”
But what our hypocritical society forgets is what she has achieved is through sheer hard work. People might throw mud at her, but how she different from any other actress? Or I would say she is tad better than the others. We have seen many actresses flatly deny whenever an MMS becomes public. ( This author wonders why all these actresses meet their doppelgangers only through nude videos! ) Many pay people to clear the mess. Previous photo shoots for adult magazines are invariably a jealous someone’s photoshop trick.
But Sunny hasn’t made an effort to delete whatever is available on the net. One might argue that that is her USP. But she doesn’t essentially need the videos now, when she is constantly shooting for films.
I do not blame the men. She obviously has a pretty face and I am sure looks desirable to the men. And of course she dolls up to get pulses racing. I feel startled to see how some women start preaching morality when Sunny is on the screen. Even in Anjan’s case, my timeline was filled with men fighting for her honor, while the ‘vocal’ women pretending nothing had happened. What morality are you talking about? If the industry can accept item numbers where gyrating women ( all popular A listed stars) with jiggling hips and bosom are the ultimate portrayal of art; why the chee chee around Leone? And let’s face it. She has stolen the thunder of the Sherlyns, Rakhis, Poonams and of course the Mallikas. Towards the end of 2011 a channel had launched promos of Veena Malik’s Swayambar ( which did not materialise because the channel shut shop). So all that crap that Sunny is not Indian doesn’t hold good. And Veena did not wear Victorian dresses and act coy right? How was she more acceptable than Sunny?
Even as I write I am waiting for some tweets from the Khadi and bindi clad women. Something about how feminist theory can ‘rescue’ Sunny. But I guess the porn tag is not digestive to the liberal world!
P.S – though Sunny is a pathetic actress, I take this moment to thank Mahesh Bhatt for launching her. How else would we know how liberals quietly clean their own mess?