Whew. Thank you Deepika Padukone! And Parineeti Chopra…and the small group of Indian women who just might be starting a backlash against the intensely sexist Indian culture, right at its core: Bollywood.
In case you missed it, Padukone, an extremely popular film star, was featured in a Times of India tweet showing a chest shot with the tag:”OMG: Deepika Padukone’s Cleavage Show.” Yup, just flashing some cleavage seemed ‘newsworthy’ for the Times of India, theoretically one of India’s more reputable dailies.
What really made news, however, was her response: “”YES! I am a Woman. I have breasts AND a cleavage! You got a problem!!??”
This snappy reply forced the Times to quickly pull up their pants, zip their flies, and delete the tweet, but not before they made it even worse, telling her to “consider it a compliment.”
Standard Bollywood fare has long been dominated by degrading and sexist female roles, but times may be changing. #IStandWithDeepikaPadukone skyrocketed, demonstrating that perhaps women – and men – are willing to push back. Since the 2012 Delhi gang rape there has been a surge in conferences, demonstrations, media reports, and initiatives desperate to budge the patriarchy.
In a country where street harassment is an every-day constant, a national newspaper inviting nothing but gratuitous ogling of women’s body parts is not helpful.