Some months back I happened to read an article.  It was mentioned there in how during breaks in shoots, the (male) stalwarts of the Mallu movie scene and their (male) cronies sit around making unkind jokes about their female co-stars and the clothes they wear or rather do not.  Though not the exact words, this is the gist of what they supposedly say during such gatherings:

“They (the female stars) don’t have to know acting. All they need to do is to take off their clothes and jiggle their butts and bosoms, not like us poor things who require talent and got to do some real acting to find success.”

On reading it, I was incensed. Let us leave the ‘they don’t have to know acting’ part of it. It is not worthy of being talked about. It only shows how bloated and fragile the egos of these male stars and their yes-men are. It also effectively reveals to the world, the existence of the all too familiar green-eyed monster that resides in their respective bosoms.

I am not denying that there is an underlying truth that less clothes on women means more views by men (and it would be better if they ask themselves the reason for it). Yes, that happens.  Men want to see nude women. But HOW is that something to mock the female co-stars with? The logic defies me. What about the panting horde that buys tickets and sits drooling to watch them? Why aren’t these megastars and their cronies laughing at them?  Aren’t they equally if not more mock-worthy?

Believe me, I am NOT saying there is anything wrong with crowds drooling over half naked women cavorting on the screen. Not at all. They can drool all they want so long as they do not cause a flood. Nor am I saying half-naked women should not cavort on screen or even off it for that matter.  It is up to each of these people what they want to do. My point is only (Now pay real close attention to this, for I am sure that at a later point at least one among the commentators is going to overlook that I have already said this and end up pontificating to me. Wanna bet?) why should the ones dancing half naked be ridiculed but not those who pay good money to watch those bodies? You mean to tell me those that dance in a state of undress are sinners and those who sit watching are bleddy saints? Puh-leeease, give me a break.

Our law says dowry givers and dowry takers are equally at fault. Bribe-givers and bribe-takers are also at par. But when it comes to skimpily dressed women on screen and the fully clothed men who rush in to gawk at them, only the women are scorned? Taking off clothes is deplorable, but sitting with your mouth open in front of the screen to watch it is not?

This reminds me of an incident that occurred at the time I was a newbie blogger. A girl (in her early twenties) pleased with having reached the milestone of a ten-thousand hits on her blog page blogged about the fact. Wow, I guess my blogs do have something in them for my viewership to have reached this magic number in such and such time or something of the sort. Along came a fellow blogger (a man on the wrong side of fifty) and left a stinging comment to her post.

“Oh, so YOU think the hits are because of your blogs? Don’t delude yourself. You and other women like you get page hits for the profile pictures you have put up and not for what you write.”

You bet I was incensed. What the hell is that supposed to mean? That female blogger posts their picture to get more views? Oh now she is responsible for those males who visited her page only to look at her face? Don’t male bloggers have their profile picture displayed? Then why should females hide their faces to prove their worth as bloggers? How come this man was not heard chiding/poking fun at the male bloggers for wasting their time writing comments to worthless (if they were so) junk by women? Why had he chosen the girl for his vitriolic attack instead of his male buddies?

I have a suggestion for people like him who think a woman’s profile picture gets her views.  Too bad dear fellow. No use going all green with envy. It is indeed sad that you couldn’t be born a woman. Try disguising yourself as one, then get yourself photographed and watch the numbers grow.

I remember another interesting incident. Years back, before the blogging bug bit me, I used to be a member of a music group on Yahoo. Groups (if open) get all sorts of weird mails totally unconnected with what the group is all about. So, mails totally unconnected with music were the norm rather than an exception. One day there was this mail from a supposedly ‘concerned’ brother to all his ‘professed’ sisters, warning them not to post their pictures on the net as the photos might be misused (read morphed).

No prizes for guessing that I was incensed. (Hell, maybe I should have titled this blog “What incenses me”) I sent a reply to the oh-so ‘concerned’ brother stating that perhaps, if he and other such ‘concerned’ brothers were not to give credence to fake photos and instead trusted their sisters, it would make life easier for all.  Secondly, what would really help the so-called sisters would be if these ‘concerned’ brothers stopped going in search of ‘such’ doctored photos. Is there anything easier than ‘not looking’? Nope. So what could be better than the brothers sticking to a not-looking policy and wonder of wonders, they would never find any picture, would they? ‘Or perhaps I was asking too much of the ‘concerned’ brothers?’ I asked as a parting shot. Oh I won’t go into what followed, except that I got an avalanche of mails from similar ‘concerned’ brothers who mysteriously shed their concerned brother-hood as far as I was concerned and instead wanted to be ‘fraands’ with me.

The whole world and its aunt not to mention its great grand-daddy and uncle are concerned with the activities of women. Some express it in the form of concern, others poke fun. (Wow that rhymed). Some others let the green-eyed monster slither down from their bosoms where they have been nurturing it, and let it bite them in the seat of their pants. Then are born such observations as these (from here):

“If she has 500 likes and 400 comments in a photo, what’s missing? Her clothes.”

Oh really??!!  Like a friend James Carman said, Because no woman anywhere has ever done anything popular while fully clothed!”?! Yeah absolutely so. As if no woman has ever been popular with clothes on!

But I am curious too.

If a man gets 500 likes and 400 comments it is because… ?

Can you say with certainty it is not because since time immemorial millions of dumb women have been working hard to fill (and refill) fragile egos with hot air so that said egos can remain bloated and afloat? Come to think of it, why is it so hard to accept that the 500 likes and 400 comments a woman gets, with or without clothes when obviously you have your own share tucked safely away? Oh you haven’t got the magic number? Is that the problem? Well well well well….! Don’t let that worm of jealousy grow. Act now. Disrobe and make a try to overtake said woman and declare yourself the winner like a true sportsman. Come on, stop being a petulant child, taking potshots at cloth-less women and in the process degrading innocent women who are popular in spite of having their clothes on.

Sarcasm apart, my answer to ‘What’s missing/’: I find a maximum of 900 people missing something better to do.

I have two more answers to the ‘What’s missing?’ question..

Rashmi: What’s missing? The ability to get past what you see to what it really is.

James Carman: What’s missing? Basic respect for half of humanity.

What do you think is actually missing?