Shiney Ahuja and the maid

BY MAITREYI MISRA| IN Opinion | 20/06/2009
Letter to the Hoot: TOI’s appalling article on the effect maids have on men and marriages shows insensitivity and class bias,

I came across an article in the Lifestyle section of the Times of India today titled ¿Beware of the Maid!.¿ The article uses Shiney Ahuja¿s case to explore the apparent effect maids have on men and marriages.


The very premise of the article is callous at best. The article starts off citing Ahuja¿s case of alleged rape and then moves on to cite a number of examples from Hollywood and Bollywood where other stars have partaken in consensual sex (seemingly) with their domestic workers. One completely fails to see the relation between the two.


The article seems to sympathize with the women of the household by explaining why seemingly unattractive and low class maids are hired. Not only is the article insensitive to the situation of domestic help across the country but it also implicitly justifies men taking advantage of maids by taking a boys would be boys attitude.


Noteworthy and most appalling is this statement and explanation given by a female dermatologist:


"Not only that if you observe the way these maids work- putting ample cleavage on display, bending and making a posture that would entice any man. And with the common image of these harmless women, men feel like overpowering them. It¿s like unleashing the beast within that they know their wife or their girlfriend won¿t tolerate,"


Of course why she is described as a dermatologist is completely baffling.


The end of the article gives us the evidence as to the very reason for piece in the first place, to bring out disgust of the middle and upper class with the thought of men having a physical relationship with a lowly maid. The quotes from Pooja Bedi and Sukriti Katyal are just plain disgusting, as is the final advice the article leave us with :


"The fact is that men don¿t really fall in love with a maid but feel like exploring the alternative world of headless, harmless women. A word of advice to all the women out there- choose your maid with care!"


This kind of journalism is appalling and something needs to be done about these kind of insensitive pieces.






Maitreyi Misra





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