The National Award-winning actor, Anjali Patil, who has acted in movies like Finding Fanny and Newton, feels that blaming men is not the solution to the problem of sexual harassment in India.
Mumbai: Actor Anjali Patil is of the opinion that in India, it is impossible to not get harassed if you are born as a woman. During an exclusive chat with MyNation in Mumbai, the Mere Pyare Prime Minister actor opened up on facing harassment and eve teasing.
Anjali said, “If you are born in India as a woman, it is impossible not to get harassed. If I say ‘no’ it will be a lie because we all know what is the truth. I have been travelling since I was 16, so I have seen and replied and experienced all kinds of eve teasing.” She added, “There have been a lot of situations where I had to put my foot down and tell people that this comment is really sexual and you cannot say this. You need to make people aware because in India, sab kuch chalta hai. You don’t even know that saying this or cracking a joke on a woman’s figure or how she looks or what she is wearing is not cool. I feel as women it is our responsibility to educate them that brother, this is not cool, you are disrespecting me. There are certain things which need to be spoken or told. I think, on my sets, in my working conditions, wherever I am surrounded by people and men, I make sure that there is this an equality. If it’s not there, I have my ways to put it across that respect needs to be given to be everyone, be it a man or a woman.”
The 31-year-old also spoke about mental sexual harassment which is often not counted as harassment both by the perpetrator and the victim. She said, “There is also mental sexual harassment which people are becoming more aware of in workspaces and now, which is as violent as physical harassment. Nobody knows the effect mental harassment has on women, they don’t even know that they are getting mentally harassed.”
The National Award-winning actor, who has acted in movies like Finding Fanny and Newton, feels that blaming men is not the solution. Rather women need to fight for equality hand in hand with men. She explained, “Women need to get educated about their rights and equality. There are these really aggressive feminists who would blame men for every single thing. It’s not about blaming men. It’s about finding a balance because we cannot just go on asking for respect or fighting for respect without them. We need to do it hand in hand together. Today’s women need to be more aware of all these subtle things which we have never been taught. They need to have more exposure to all the other worlds which are more progressive and equal, so they can know what wrong is happening with them and how they can change it.”
Anjali feels it is equally important to educate women about their rights and how they should be treated by men, because if mothers don’t understand this then how can we expect their sons to do so. She said, “It’s a slow process, it begins with your family. It begins with the way you see your dad treating your mother or the way you get treated by your male family members and you think it’s okay to be treated like that because you are a woman. So, we also need to educate our mothers, sisters, mothers-in-law and all the women around us along with the men.”
Patil also feels that there are too many labels on today’s women like ‘opinionated’ and ‘ambitious’ apart from the fact that they have to experience a tremendous work pressure both at home and workplace. From the clothes they wear to the shade of their lipstick, everything women do is judged. “We live in a very hypocritical society which needs to be changed. It’s a slow process, it cannot happen overnight. It’s not a revolutionary thing. It’s not being feminist or aggressive. It’s just basic sense of being equal and just,” she concluded.
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Last Updated Mar 16, 2019, 1:42 PM IST