An Effigy and a Gentleman

BBC: “Actress Shilpa Shetty has defended Richard Gere after the Hollywood actor sparked protests by kissing her at an Aids awareness rally in New Delhi. Public displays of affection are still largely taboo in India, and protestors in Mumbai (Bombay) set fire to effigies of Gere following the incident.”

The Mumbai protesters have an interesting idea, but they’re doing this for the wrong reason. They should be setting fire to Gere effigies for American Gigolo, Autumn in New York, Pretty Woman, and the remakes of Shall We Dance, Breathless and The Jackal.


  1. For a society who has been deeply damaged by colonialism can one think of a more offensive image of a white guy grabbing a daughter of India and forcing himself upon her? It is so symbolic. It is right in line with the image of the white colonist forcing himself upon a country and just taking whatever he wants.

    Richard Gere should pay the ultimate price for this.

    What bothers me however is those who would blame Shilpa Shetty for this.

    Too often women victims of rape in India are blamed for what happened like they wanted the rape to happen or it was their fault the rape happened even when the truth might be that the rapists brutalized them and they couldn’t stop the rape from happening.

    While of course Richard Gere didn’t actually rape Shilpa Shetty, I still see this whole “Blame the Woman Victim” dynamic in place. From what I saw from the video Shilpa Shetty did nothing to cause Richard Gere to act the way he did, and was in fact as shocked as everyone else was that he would act in such a disgraceful manner.

    We need to defend this daughter of India, not blame her for this white man’s assault upon her.

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