Women Are Strong Enough to Take Care of Themselves: Abhay Deol
From talking about things that matter to playing some of the most well-rounded characters that we've seen in the recent times, Abhay Deol has good reason to be at the top of our favourites' list. In a recent interview with a Goa-based non-profit organisation, Video Volunteers, Deol opened up about patriarchy, the wage gap in Bollywood, why Devdas shouldn't be glorified, and more. Excerpts:
"Obviously, you can say that there was a sense of 'man is the protector and provider.' My attitude was that being a man I will obviously be stronger and that I will have to protect the woman I fall in love with. The idea that women do not need protection, I realized it much later in life. Women are strong enough to take care of themselves."
On the glorification of stalking in Bollywood
"The problem is in glamorizing stalking. The problem is not necessarily with the filmmaker but with the system that we have to work out of."
On female directors
"I think women tend to write women better than men. Women directors are much more sensitive with women characters than male directors. Not that the men can't do it, but they tend to project their (own) idea of femininity sometimes."
On Bollywood's wage gap
"The more you hear the West do this, the more we follow. We don't necessarily put it out there first. But yes, I think it will get translated here when it is established there. That's the trend that I have seen so far. We wait for somebody else, we are not proactive on our own. The pay should depend on the job at hand, and not on one's sex."
On Bollywood's female audience
"Women audiences are considered if you make a Neerja or Queen or Kahaani. I don't think they (the filmmakers) are thinking of the female audience when they are making a big blockbuster because I think we have more of a male population than a female population, and the movies that are typically formula tend to appeal to young men. That's why women in their films tend to be just gorgeous, glamour models, and then they have an item number."
"If most men are aggressive and chauvinistic then it takes another chauvinist to tell them to see their own ways. It won't take another woman because they won't take her seriously. That's why they are chauvinist."
On the mass molestation in Bengaluru
"They (the women) were not Indian enough? Fine. But are you saying that whatever you are doing is Indian? If I see an Indian woman who does not fit my description of an Indian woman, then am I being an Indian by touching her or feeling her? Is that part of our culture? Where does it say that you can violate a woman's modesty because she is not behaving Indian enough? If you expect a woman to follow what the Indian norm is then why don't you follow the Indian norm of what a man's like?"
On sexist conditioning
"Sometimes we are sexist without knowing it, simply because of our conditioning, and when someone points it out you should have an open mind to see, 'Oh is that true? Is that even possible?' And only if you are open to seeing your faults can you see them and when you do, you grow leaps and bounds. That conditioning then just dies in a moment."
On expletives being only about women
"Bad words directed to women tend to have more effect than bad words directed to men. From the language that we come from, the violence is always directed to women. It probably comes from the fact that women are physically weaker than men, I suppose. The way to threaten the male ego is by threatening the women he is 'supposed to protect.'"
You can watch the full interview here: