What About Sri Reddy’s Nude Protest Outrages Us?


What About Sri Reddy’s Nude Protest Outrages Us?

Illustration: Akshita Monga/Arré


en have strange reactions when confronted with a woman asserting her gender. When I was young, we always knew that the only way to put otherwise stern male professors in a spot was by referring to “female problems” and slipping out of class. This confrontation of gender flummoxes most men and their attitudes range from shock to horror to dismissal. Please, they seem to say, please don’t put your girl things in my face.

It is the same reaction that the Malayalam magazine Grihalaxmi got when they put a breastfeeding mother on their cover last month. It is the same reaction that a professor at Farook Training College in Kerala had, when he allegedly made outlandish remarks about girl students’ breasts being on display “like watermelons”. It is the outrageous display of female-ness that these men are denying. And now Sri Reddy hasn’t merely gone and put her “female-ness in the face of the Bahubalis” of Tollywood – she has gone and put her entire female form. Naked.