This is a guest post by ALEXANDRA DELANEY:
“Yeah, Indian guys think white girls are easy”, a British-born Indian remarked nonchalantly to me this week. Normally I’d be shocked by such gross racial stereotyping (of Indians) but in this case I’m inclined to agree. Not because Caucasian women by their very skin colour or cultural preferences are any more promiscuous than their South Asian sisters, but because of their sustained portrayal as loose and morally deficient. The image of the sexually liberated and ‘easy’ white woman runs deep in the Indian imagination, a perception which is drip-fed by the country’s all-pervading mainstream media.
The brutal rape and murder of an Indian student in New Delhi last December followed by numerous sexual attacks on foreign women has sparked international outrage. This year alone, a Chinese woman was date-raped in New Delhi, a Korean woman was raped after being drugged in Bhopal, a Swiss tourist was gang-raped by five men in Madhya Pradesh while holidaying with her husband, and a British woman broke both her legs after jumping off a hotel balcony to avoid an alleged sexual attack by the hotel’s manager. These incidents have led to a shift in how tourists perceive India, resulting in a 25% fall in foreigners travelling to the country and a 35% reduction in women travellers, reports New Delhi-based Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry. Continue reading White Women in the Indian Imagination: Alexandra Delaney