What Do “White Girl Jobs” Say About Indian Male Attitude Towards Women?
In the last 10 years there has been a growing “market” for hiring white, preferably blonde, western women among certain elite circles in India. These include Bollywood (the film industry), Premiere League Sports, like IPL, and wedding and corporate parties.
An anonymous British woman recently wrote a column where she talked about her experience of working for what are now called “White Girl Jobs” in India. Below is an excerpt from her column:
As a Brit living in India I have become accustomed to the attention that my alabaster complexion receives — mostly positive; sometimes not. However, there is a bizarre new trend emerging amongst Delhi’s middle-classes: hiring Western women to work at weddings, parties, club openings and the like. “That sounds a little seedy,” I said to my friend who first told me about the line of work, dubbed simply as ‘White Girl Jobs’. Jobs include anything from the mundane — greeting guests upon arrival or helping out behind the bar — to performing as a drummer, acting as living tables, belly dancing and even stripping… But what do the guests think? It is for them that a significant number of patrons are willing to pay a premium to hire ethnically Caucasian staff, rather than local workers. Sex sells and having pretty girls on show never did business any harm. However, having spoken with girls who work at club openings, or who are just paid to go to clubs, the `office environment’ seems a little different. They are paid to attend club nights, be bought drinks, dance around in skimpy dresses and bathe in the attention of amorous men with voyeuristic intentions. There is a lot of money to be made in this industry by both parties. Girls are paid anywhere between Rs 5,000 and 10,000 for one night of work, with some jobs going on for a few nights. The event organizers earn 10% commission on each payment, so if you are orchestrating some 10 to 20 girls, it works out to a pretty good wage for an evening’s work…
Skin colour has always been a contentious issue in India. [Indian women] spend crores each year on skin lightening products to achieve their ideal of “white beauty”. But as a white woman participating in this industry and a client paying them to do so, you are not only profiting but perpetuating an already well-established beauty myth that lighter skin is better.
However, isn’t there more to hiring blonde, white women than skin color and racial complexes as this British woman thinks?
How do western white women take to be wooed as “commodities” to “decorate” the parties and premises of wealthy Indians? In a country where thousands of women are trafficked as “brides, ” bought, sold, shared by men and resold; where thousands of women are tortured and killed for wealth through dowry, shouldn’t western women be thinking about their role in perpetuating a cultural system that truly regards women as commodities and accessories to be used, bought, sold and trashed?
Here’s another reality check on that from an article in an Indian magazine. It lists “Blonde Cheerleaders” as Item No.2 in this article on “The Ten Sporting Things You Can Get In India You Can’t Get In China.” And this is what it says:
“Delicate, demure and very modest, Indian girls are simply far too bashful to stand about dancing semi-naked in support for their teams. However, that isn’t to say that the red-blooded Indian male doesn’t appreciate “a bit of skirt,” …So they import them… There have been some mutterings of “debauchery” among the more conservative Indian groups, but for sure …The numbers of Indian men attending IPL matches in Mumbai the past two weeks has been eerily equivalent to the numbers of Chinese men visiting karaoke bars in Shanghai…[but] it really is all about shimmying that groove thong out in the open in front of a hot blooded, masculine crowd of 20,000 plus.