Mallika Sherawat Says Women Who Get Sexual Propositions Put Themselves In Those Positions. That’s A Problematic Mindset
People love dissing feminism, or talking about how a once pure and well-intentioned movement has now been corrupted by skewed agenda. What they don’t understand is that feminism is what encourages the study of power dynamics in the society, which BTW are absolutely skewed. And the more you understand them, the more you realise that in some situations, even when it looks like the woman had a choice, or had her agency, she actually does not. So when Mallika Sherawat, an actor who claims to represent India on Hollywood red carpets occasionally, says that women in the movie industry who get sexually propositioned are putting themselves in that position, it really pisses me off. As it should anyone else.
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Mallika Sherawat is back in the news again for some reason, and doing a round of interviews. In one of those interviews, she was asked if she has ever been sexually propositioned by men in the film industry. She waxes on about how she has cultivated a certain image for herself which dissuades men from propositioning her for sexual favours.
Also Read: Mallika Sherawat Schools A Man Who Blamed Her Movies For Sexual Violence. So, The Men Have No Accountability?
“I haven’t faced too much of it, but of course, a little bit of it I have. But I think they were all intimidated of me or scared of me. Mujhe proposition karne se pehle mere khyaal se woh log nervous se ho jaate the. Their perception was that she is bold and she’ll give it back; she’s not a very shy or scared girl. So my image also helped me in a certain manner…” she told Bollywood Bubble.
So far, so sensible. But then she goes on to say that people who get such indecent proposals tend to put themselves in that position, thereby indirectly shifting the blame on the women (or even men) who get thus propositioned by the filthy casting couch in the industry.
“I’ve always, because all this happens when you put yourself in that position, I feel. I didn’t go to Bollywood parties, I didn’t meet any producer or director at night in a hotel room, or at night in the office. I kept myself away, and I thought, ‘Jo meri kismat mein hai woh mere paas ayega. I don’t need to do all these things.”
Also Read: NCW Member Blames Badaun Rape Victim For Going To Temple Alone In The Evening, Takes It Back After Backlash.
I think it is great that Mallika Sherawat used her instinct and risk-averse behaviour, which has shielded her from any harm. Good for her. But to imply that others who somehow couldn’t were at fault and got what was coming to them is wrong. We have all heard just how difficult the struggle is to get into the movie industry. If these men and women were trying their best, and they encountered some untoward propositions, they aren’t the ones to blame. It is the people in the industry who take advantage of aspiring talent and exploit their situation.
There is always a possibility that things said in an interview might get lost in translation. And for Mallika Sherawat’s sake, I hope that is the case. Because otherwise, this is a very problematic mindset to carry around.
Society blaming women when the problem is with the men who prey on them?