And for what reason? Kissing. Yes, kissing. During an AIDS awareness event in India, Richard Gere kissed Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty. Now there’s probably a few things to be said about a white man deciding it’s perfectly fine to kiss a brown woman without her apparent permission (the video is here, she doesn’t look like she was party to his plans) in her home country that’s always been a bit on the conservative side.
Many saw the act as an outrage against Shetty’s modesty and Indian culture, though Shetty herself angrily dismissed the protests as an “over-reaction” that made India look silly.
Groups of men burned and kicked effigies of the actors in protests across India, including in the northern Indian cities of New Delhi, Kanpur, Meerut and Varanasi as well as in the central city of Indore.
Some called for the actors’ deaths. Others wanted public apologies.
But burning effigies and calling for his death? It seems somewhat overboard especially as it doesn’t seem to actually have anything about an offense against Shetty as much as it’s about an offense against conservative Hinduism.
It’s strange how we can see, for the most part, these acts for what they are in other countries, but fail to see how the same acts here in our country are quite similar. Conservative men in America routinely pull the “we’re just trying to protect our daughters and wives” stunt all the time.
No, they’re not out in the streets burning things and threatening imminent death. They are, however, known to blow up clinics, shoot doctors, protest outside the homes of clinic employees, harass women seeking medical care, funnel money and time into their anti-sex programs and have recently turned female virginity into a sacrament.
When shall we start calling them “regressive” nimrods that embarrass the shit out of America?