Randomly websurfing, I landed on this bollywood site, a picture gallery of cinestars.
Some of the most clicked galleries were the ones of Bipasha Basu, Kareena Kapoor, Malaika Arora, etc. In other words, of the hottie brigade. Doing what any sane man would have done then, I kept the interest in the viewer statistics to a minimum, and quickly gushed through the galleries of as many of these sultry hotties I could in 10 minutes.
Bipasha in particular was looking so very hawt in some of the pics that there appeared to be a larger conspiracy going on; a conspiracy of turning menfolk numb and stupid to the point of insanity. This is when that classic predicament struck me - by objectifying Bipasha and the hotties, was I in general reducing women to pieces of flesh?
Pausing for a moment or two, I injected some deep thought into the matter..and concluded that... no, I wasn't doing any such thing. I in fact felt (very much to the contrary of popular belief) that these fine women were telling me in unspoken words to respect female beauty more.
Now wait, we're talking about Malaika Arora, Bipasha Basu and cohort, right ? Whatever happened to my taste, my sensibilities, my moral universe and all those stuff that I say such a thing? How can they tell me to respect female beauty unless I am a warped sexist - these women carry their sensuality in their plunging necklines and for most practical purposes, are a source of shame to (indian) womanhood.
Well, nothing's quite warped about my taste, moral fibre yada yada. They're quite where they should be, and doing quite well. What is actually warped is the general perception, and general notions of female beauty in our part of the world. The thing is, Indians are a bunch of intellectually challenged dimwits who can't think using their own head, and they just choose the best possible dumb line of action every single time. In this case, they callously reduce these fine and beautiful women to a perspective of sin, sex or sleaze. Anyone with half a brain would be able to discern from any of the so called provocative Bipasha pictures that she is in fact exuding a subtle sense of being intelligent, a subtle message of being in command and a teasing reminder of being a superior female specimen - thus telling you to respect her more, rather than the other way round.
And that is why in our world of maa behen biwi izzat etc, it's hard for these hotties to garner respect for being women. I really can't say whether patriarchy aggravated this reality more, by stifling expressions of women's sexuality because male dominance is threatened by it; or whether it got aggravated because of a successful bid by feminists and women (who are personally and collectively threatened by these beautiful women) to create this mentality of hatred towards beautiful and sexy women. Or both working in tandem.
At any rate, the final outcome is that our system quickly denigrates these lovely hotties to pieces of flesh - a faulty system that has been scripted by and for the ego-satisfaction of jealous, personality-deficient feminists..... a system that also adds insult to injury, by telling you that you are reducing women to pieces of flesh by objectifying them - when in fact all you are doing is the most natural of things for a man to do - admiring very beautiful women. Anyone who has seen Malena would be able to relate to the plight of a hottie, how indefensible she is to the other women who force their (nasty) agenda on her, and how men are equally helpless in defending her against this nasty agenda. Why was Malena beaten up so brutally by the womenfolk of the village? Why were their eyes emitting a kind of hatred towards Malena that would put Hitler to shame? What was Malena's fault really? None. Her only fault was that she was drop dead gorgeous.
To quote a line from Dostoevsky's Brothers Karamazov - "beauty is the battlefield where God and the Devil war for the soul of man". It's quite simple. God will tell to look at beauty from a narrow and warped perspective - and to that effect, tell you to imbibe (a stupid thing called) morals, degrade Bipasha or your neighbourhood hottie, lower your gaze, and feel guilty from time to time for gushing at hotties - while the Devil will tell you to love, respect and admire hotties for who they are, and tell you to take 10 minutes off your busy schedule to objectify them (even if from a laptop monitor) and completely forget the reality of your existence for those 10 minutes. "Objectification" is a much vilified term and has impropriety written all over it, but is it all that bad and improper really? I firmly say No, now that I've looked under the veil of all the scheming machinations. I'm finally enlightened, and off I am to objectify the next hottie. A gori this time. A very provocatively dressed, but very beautiful Scarlett Johannson is the lucky one. ;)