The row over the 'cleavage tweet' that actress Deepika Padukone took exceptional and very public umbrage to shows no signs of settling down. Some days after a cheeky non-apology on Twitter saying the actress ought to consider it a 'compliment', the daily that carried the offending photo has launched a second defence, asking why the rules are different for male and female celebs.
The article, published on the daily's website, begins: "So Deepika flaunted her perfect assets and some gawked and gaped, some others drooled and swooned, while some raised eyebrows and friends and feminists went into protest overdrive about the media coverage of it." (Also Read - Deepika Padukone Should Consider it a Compliment: 'Defence' of Cleavage Tweet)
Why is it acceptable to drool over the sculpted bodies of male actors but not those of female ones, it asks: "In this era of women emancipation, we have forgotten that it should be about equality, not being over-sensitive. We don't go into a hostile frenzy when cameras caress and capture SRK's and Hrithik's perfect six-pack abs. We marvel, we envy and we drool. Why should it be different for a woman? When you are a public figure and you go out to a press event, you are bound to be dissected from your chipped nail polish to your repeated shoes. If admiring and focussing on a woman's assets is a crime, all item numbers should be banned. How fair is it to say, I will dress to tantalise publicly, but you have to look the other way? In your homes, you dress keeping in mind the reactions you will receive from your family, in-laws, husband and neighbours."
To Deepika Padukone's accusation that the photo was taken without her permission, the daily says: "For a celebrity, going out in front of the cameras is a responsibility to flaunt only what they want noticed and it's really silly in the name of women's rights to say, "Why did you notice and focus on what I flaunted?" Or, "How dare you give a public appearance media attention!" We react to situations from our point of view. Of course, to us, our point of view is absolutely valid and correct; else we wouldn't be so vehement about it. It's often quoted that one man's meat is another man's poison and that one man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist. Everything in life is about perspective, and while you are governed by yours, you must keep an open mind about the flipside of the coin. As long as there is no violence or unlawful methods being adopted, everyone is entitled to their point of view. Even if it's top angle!"
The original tweet from the daily, now deleted from the Twitter account, showed a top angle shot of Deepika - very up close and personal - and was captioned 'OMG: Deepika's cleavage show.' The actress responded with these tweets, to thunderous virtual applause. (Also Read - Deepika Padukone Slams 'News' Story: Yes, I Have Cleavage)
Supposedly India's 'LEADING' newspaper and this is 'NEWS'!!?? pic.twitter.com/D3wiVVXuyM- Finding Fanny (@deepikapadukone) September 14, 2014
YES!I am a Woman.I have breasts AND a cleavage! You got a problem!!??- Finding Fanny (@deepikapadukone) September 14, 2014
Dont talk about Woman's Empowerment when YOU don't know how to RESPECT Women!- Finding Fanny (@deepikapadukone) September 14, 2014
Deepika later told NDTV in an interview that she had 'felt violated as a woman.'
Many of her friends and colleagues from Bollywood rallied to her side in support:
We have hit a new low today...forget complimenting a woman have the ability to respect a woman first...- Arjun Kapoor (@arjunk26) September 14, 2014
Well done @deepikapadukone ! Taken a stand for all of us. Xoxo- PRIYANKA (@priyankachopra) September 14, 2014
Appalled....shocked and disgusted at the level of disrespect shown..Deepika or any women in the world cannot and should not stand for this!!- Karan Johar (@karanjohar) September 14, 2014
And the @TimesofIndia response may just have to go down as one of the most idiotic, shambollic and stupid responses of all time. Bravo- Sid (@sidmallya) September 14, 2014
Respect to @deepikapadukone for standing up to this vulgar 'news' and standing up for her being a woman and not being apologetic about it!- ANUSHKA SHARMA (@AnushkaSharma) September 15, 2014
Deepika, currently the ruling actress at the box office, scored a hat trick of hits last year with her films Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani, Chennai Express and Ram-Leela. Her new movie, Finding Fanny, is now showing and has been well received. She will next appear in Diwali release Happy New Year opposite Shah Rukh Khan and Abhishek Bachchan.