It seems Priya Gupta, Managing Editor of Bombay Times (National) is quite insistent on avoiding the truth of the matter. She seems to not want anyone to focus on the fact that TOI took a relatively normal picture of an actress and turned it into some sort of open porno promotion.
The mud slinging has begun, and only because the publication does not want to take responsibility for what it did. Now, apparently this is all a publicity stunt being pulled by Deepika Padukone herself, and so let’s all ignore what she actually said.
TOI’s response to Deepika’s outrage was a quick tweet.
“It was a compliment. You look so great that we want to make sure everyone knew.”
Which makes me wonder why the headline said “OMG! Deepika’s cleavage Show” rather than “OMG Look how Great Deepika Looks!”
Anyway, when that didn’t work and the outrage continued (taken up on social media by hundreds of people as well,) and Deepika taking to her Facebook account and posting this
“A character may demand that I be clothed from head to toe or be completely naked, and it will be my choice as an actor whether or not I take either. Understand that this is a ROLE and not REAL, and it is my job to portray whatever character I choose to play convincingly.'”
Priya Gupta, decided to cut the bullshit and get to the heart of the matter.
“Deepika, we accept your reel vs real argument, but what about all the times, and there have been many, when you have flaunted your body off screen — while dancing on stage, posing for magazine covers, or doing photo ops at movie promotional functions? What ‘role’ do you play there? So why the hypocrisy?”
Priya Gupta, Managing Editor
Flaunted your body? Flaunted? Is this woman saying what I think she’s saying? That everytime a female steps out into public it must only be taken in a sexual context based on how she appears to be? That everything else she is ceases to exist at that time? That being a woman first must be ignored?
Is this really coming out of a place where rape is such a major, ongoing, and uncontrollable issue? Where abusers and their supporters think it is OK to violate a girl because she took a bus past a “decent hour,” in their opinion wore “revealing clothes,” appeared to be “asking for it,” and/or “sent out mixed signals?”
Really? This line of questioning from one woman to another?
What role are you playing?
What the hell is that even supposed to mean? That if a woman plays the role of a prostitute, then she can be raped? If she wears low cut tops, she can be sexually harassed? If she has sex, she is fair game?
Should we now start holding our daughters back from wanting to be actresses, singers, performers, anything based on what negative light the world might possibly view them in? I mean, what will people think a 12 year old’s “role” is if she participates in a talent show and chooses to do a dance item by any one of the numerous performers out there today and from decades past?
Sadly, Priya Gupta is saying just that. She is, and quite strongly promoting rape culture from one of the highest podiums right this instant. And, she doesn’t seem to care. In fact, she so determinedly wants to make her point in favour of rape culture, that she’s taking professional and “real” pictures of the actress in question, waving them at the world and shouting “She posed like this first! So, it is OK for us to use her body any way we like.”
She is standing right up there with every rapist and abuser who ever said (and will say) “SHE ASKED FOR IT.“
As a journalist, a public presence, a woman living in a nation strife with female oppression, this is her disgraceful and downright dangerous message to society at large, to rapists and abusers.
It is OK to hold us women accountable for our appearance. It is OK to shame us if we take a stand against anyone objectifying our bodies. It is OK to trot out any and every bit of our appearance to show how we deserve to be treated as trash, deserve sexual harassment, abuse and rape. It is OK to consider us less than, because we are.
She has told every young woman out there that when they’re harassed on the street, they better make sure their clothes haven’t triggered the reaction, that the way they sit, stand, walk, look is definitely the cause of it, that if they got up on stage in school or college they should expect to be made a spectacle of by their friends, classmates, because they practically demanded for it to happen. And, then she told them if it happens to shut up about it.
She has said to abusers and rapists, “The responsibility lies with WOMEN. If our appearance and actions do not gain your respect, come violate us any way you wish.”
The Managing Editor of a big publication, ladies. She just spoke for you, for me, our mothers, sisters, aunts, nieces, daughters.
Please give her the round of applause she feels she deserves.