Half a cheer for Indian cricket
So some of the cheerleaders are going home, and some of the others are being forced to cover up? If you ask me, that’s a bit of a shame. More importantly, it’s an example of people getting worked up about the wrong things.
A female, feminist friend of mine, living here but born in England, was complaining to me about the cheerleaders, saying they were simply not appropriate in a country like India, and demeaning for women.
I am not sure. As anyone who spends too long watching ESPN will know, cheerleading is a serious business in the United States, a sort of synchronised gymnastics with some pretty impressive routines.
I doubt that many of the girls from the States, or Uzbekistan, felt like they were being exploited when they were invited to India for what promised to be a thoroughly enjoyable few weeks.
That is, until certain, male sections of the crowd, began abusing them.
“It’s been horrendous,” Tabitha, a cheerleader from Uzbekistan, told the Hindustan Times. “Wherever we go we expect people to pass lewd, snide remarks but I’m shocked by the nature and the magnitude of the comments people pass here.”
But who seems to be getting the blame? The men making those remarks, or the cheerleaders themselves?
As one Indian friend told me recently, blaming the cheerleaders is not far away from blaming a woman for wearing a short skirt if she is abused or raped by a man.
Politicians, or at least those from the left and right wings, are up in arms about something they seen as an insult to Indian culture.
But who is complaining that the men making the lewd comments are letting their countrymen down?
Earlier this month, a 12-year-old girl was reportedly bundled in a car in broad daylight in New Delhi and raped by a policemen and his friend.
The policeman has since been charged and sacked, but there has hardly been any outcry
from India’s politicians. Is anyone demanding a serious and concerted effort to clean up the police force?
That of course, would require a major political effort. Far easier to snipe at a few foreign girls making the cricket match just a bit more fun to watch.