There is something about Sunny Leone that is disturbing to many of us entangled in the so-called notion of morality. A woman should be like Sita- pure, innocent, harmless and devoted to her man.
Sunny Leone is anything but Sita.
As an adult, she made her own choice getting into the porn industry and she did quite well. Life as a porn star is limited as competition is high. Possibly, Sunny saw it coming and decided to get into Bollywood. Not a bad business move, because today, she is the most googled woman in India, and has found her market with a certain kind of adult movies in India.
But in Sita’s world, not all misogynists can digest life choices made by a woman who is so sexually expressive and unapologetic about it. One being a certain senior journalist from CNN-IBN named Bhupendra Chaubey (whose existence was unknown to many of us till he interviewed Sunny Leone).
When Sunny Leone went to his show (The Hot Seat) to promote her movie, probably, even she had not expected the kind of questions he would ask. He started with if Sunny had any regrets in life. Had she said ‘life as a porn star’, that would have given him an utter satisfaction. She did not say so.
That possibly bothered him because within five minutes he asked again and he was specific this time, “I asked you about your regrets and you spoke about your mother. If I was to turn the clock back, will you still do what you did?”
“One hundred percent,” Sunny replied with confidence.
This possibly angered his ego because after that Sunny was bombarded with questions about how people look at her, degraded her (he called her an ‘item girl’ at one point), and accused her of corrupting youth and stealing housewives’ husband.
The nightmare for Sunny did not end there.
He moved one step further by teaching Sunny Leone how she should be. He commented, “We will also see movies of Sunny Leone in the future, where Sunny will be dressed up from head to toe in a saree. I mean covered completely?”…because in his words, “That also has its own charm.”
In many ways, the interview was disturbing.
The journalist symbolizes the mentality of many men who decide how a woman should behave. Recently, I watched a documentary called ‘India’s Daughter‘- a documentary about the gang-rape of Nirbhaya in Delhi. The documentary emphasizes some men justifying rape because in their mind, ‘a woman should never cross her boundary, and if she does, she is immoral and thus she deserves humiliation’.
As I was watching this interview, I did not find this journalist any different from one of those men who dons the role of moral compasses, questions a woman about her choices and believes that the only way to bring such a rebellious woman back to her senses is via humiliation.
Of course, comparison with a rapist is exaggeration and unfair as morale boundaries are subjective. Yet, imposing your morale values to others’ choices and lifestyle can be dangerous. The one who raped Nirbhaya in Delhi that night (and I am referring back to the documentary India’s Daughter) questioned about her morality as well. “How can a woman be out at night with a man other than her brother or father. She asked for it.”
That is the danger of morality.
We do not know when we end up hurting or humiliating the other person just because in our mind the other person is immoral. So blind we become with our opinion about others who are not following the so-called norms as we define (based on our twisted notion of morality), we do not even realize when we start thinking like that rapist (India’s Daughter).
Last night, the journalist’s attitude towards Sunny Leone was equally disturbing because he too came with a prejudiced mindset, determined to make Sunny accept that she is corrupting ‘good Indian youth’ and give her some lecture on morality. In his own words, he concluded, “People think if you see a Sunny Leone film, you will be morally corrupted. I am wondering if I am becoming morally corrupted, well, because I am interviewing you.”
And that possibly explains his own pervert mind because he was trying too hard to prove his own morality. To prove so, he was humiliating a woman who is open about her sexuality and not afraid to flaunt it.
On the other hand, I have to applaud Sunny Leone for handling such negativity, prejudice and hatred with so much grace, intelligence and composure. She was bold, articulate, unapologetic, humble, positive and attractive. She came across as a smart and intelligent business woman who knew what she was doing and had the balls to accept it with no regrets.
On a personal note, I found it extremely offensive when the journalist suggested wives view Sunny Leone as a threat. I am sorry, Mr. Journalist, we women are much more evolved than you are. We are not so insecure that we feel threatened by an online presence of Sunny Leone. Rather I am grateful as she has provided some pleasant moments to my husband as well. After all, a happy man is a happy husband; and a happy husband is a good husband.
As the interview ended, clearly Sunny Leone came out looking like the winner- morally at least!