Gender stereotype is an old-age tradition running in the blood of the Hindi film industry. There are many powerful films released recently, which are trying to eradicate this gender inequality. Slowly, but steadily maybe we’ll see the change, wherein the heroine’s role is not limited only to be the hero’s side stock or objectified as sexual subjects.
Discussing a few ideas on how can one change this and the harassment the heroines have to undergo at workplaces, the “honest” as she likes herself to be called over “outspoken”, talented Richa Chadha and Kalki Koechlin poured their hearts out over a candid luncheon with mid-day, while promoting their upcoming light-hearted, coming-of-age film’Jiah Aur Jiah’, which hits the 70 mm on October 27.
They both are known for doing commercial as well as independent films while talking about the carefree character of Kalki in the film, the topic deviated to whether an Indian parent instantly agrees on sending their daughters out on a road-trip or is hesitant given the amounts of tragic instances occurring every other day and women empowerment.
Speaking about it, Kalki said, “It is a patriarchal world. And we are the first generation who is talking about it. My nine-year-old brother will grow up different to our generation, as we talk about period, gender equality in front of him.”
As the conversation flowed on, the topic about actresses’ lives in the film industry popped up. On being asked whether Bollywood needs a women collective body like the Tamil film industry, Richa and Kalki instantly jumped in agreement saying that we should have one in Bollywood.
“We definitely need this body in Bollywood. I think there is a body of women in films and television where they listen to each other’s talks over lunch for an hour. There is a need for a collective body, especially, given how rampant the sexual harassment is…”
“Harassment is not just when somebody comes to you inside and says,’Come, sleep with me.’ All these are old tactics. Now, there are new ways of sexual harassment. It’s a problem when you go on an outdoor and the director calls you at 7 am. It is a problem because then we have to wake up at 5 or 6 am in the morning for work and we are not like those shabby girls who are desperate to make it. We are girls from great families. We have an education with the character or the path that we have chosen. Can we not do it with dignity? Why don’t you allow her (the actress) and if you don’t allow her or if you don’t let her then one day it will blow up and it will happen,” stated the ‘Fukrey’ actress.
She further went on to add how the audience is tolerant of watching heroes age on-screen but not heroines.
“It’s about how you talk about women. How will you tell a girl who’s doing a commercial film that’Oh, she’s 32 now, by 35 some other girl will come.’ Why aren’t they accepting, whereas they are okay accepting heroes who are 50, 60 and 70 who are still wearing vests and half-pant and running around? The truth is no matter what you do the world will not survive without women. It’s important; it’s not something that you can ignore by not giving women their right,” concluded Richa Chadha.
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