I’m no feminist and have nothing against pole dancers, item-number girls and centrespread models. But the ruckus about cheerleaders in the IPL matches has made me sit up and wonder whether the ladies with the pom-poms doth protest too much when they complain about people in the stadium leering and passing ‘lewd’ comments at them. One cheerleader even had the demographics worked out: "Be it a 70-year-old oldie or a 15-year-old kid, they all letch at us and make amorous advances." From a reportedly Uzbek lady, that’s extremely good communication skills.
But the point is what did they expect? Now, I’m not going down that dodgy route of ‘If you wear a mini-skirt in a dark alley, expect the worst’ logic. But cheerleaders are eye candy whose job is to ‘liven things’ up. Now, the 70-year-old oldie and his 15-year-old grandson are not only invited to letch, but are collared in to do that, especially if they’re sitting behind jumping girls who are otherwise available only on FTV or Bikini Destinations.
Unlike having the safe barrier of a computer screen or a glossy page between the viewer and the viewed, the cheerleaders and the spectators are much on the same page in these matches. Add to that the fact that there is a difference between the goris and the desis with the pom-poms — the latter being mu-ch more covered up — and we have a clash of civilisations in our hands. And perhaps, if dodgy grandpa and grandson passed those remarks in English — and not in Hindi — and were a little more suave, the poor cheerleaders would have actually taken all that notice as a compliment.