Do you plan to 'settle down' anytime soon? Will you quit acting after marriage? Will you quit acting after having children? These are some of the most common questions asked from Indian actresses on an everyday basis. So comfortable have we become in our unabashed patriarchy and misogyny that often reporters don't think twice before asking sexist and downright problematic questions from the actresses.
What's even more wrong is to expect from women to entertain all the ludicrous questions and conversations that are thrown at them ever so often. Women actors in India are often asked questions that wouldn't be asked from men. However, the current crop of B-town actresses is unapologetically fierce and knows how to fix it when boundaries are crossed. Today we at POPxo are celebrating the spirit of all these women by remembering some of the sassiest replies they have given to shut down sexism and patriarchy. Scroll down:
When Anushka was questioned about her career and whether she'd be ready to give it up for love just like she did in Sultan, the actress was all set to unleash her full sass and duly shut down the reporter with a fitting reply. Here's what she said: “What is the point of this question? Why is it even being asked? Strangely, only a girl is asked these questions which I think is extremely sexist. Why is that even an option? Why should anyone think that just because you are in a relationship you have to give up your career? If people need to ask it, there’s a primary problem."
Working mothers in India have to take a lot of crap from a lot of people and while you'd hope that it would be different for celebs, that's not really the case. For instance, there was a point when Kareena Kapoor was constantly questioned about leaving Taimur at home while she went to the gym for her postpartum workouts.
She addressed all the backlash during an interview where she was asked about her pregnancy weight and whether she feels the pressure to lose it. Ever so sassy, here's how Kareena answered the question: "I never felt any pressure. The idea behind me going to the gym and eating right was always just the fact that I wanted to feel good about myself, I wanna feel happy, feel right. It’s not about getting to size zero. I see so many girls are like, “Oh, why does she have to leave her baby and go to the gym?” I genuinely read these comments and I think it’s the most stupid thing ever. I mean, having a child does not mean that you can’t feel good and can’t go the gym for an hour. If your mental health is right, automatically your day goes well, Taimur is happy, and everyone is happy.”
Known for her witty answers, Priyanka Chopra had us admiring her even more after her appearance on the Wendy Williams show. During the show, she was quizzed about her camaraderie with Meghan Markle and her whirlwind romance with Prince Harry. "Here’s the big deal. You’re friends with Meghan Markle," the host said. And upon receiving a nod from Priyanka, Williams got all excited and announced to the audience "Prince Harry’s girlfriend!" Well, Priyanka was clearly not having it and quickly interjected to remind the host that Meghan was a person and celebrity in her own right. "Also Meghan Markle… [She has her own] achievements… Just saying!" she said and we are pretty sure Williams still feels the burn!
We really felt like Bhupendra Chaubey should quit from his position as a TV host when he invited Sunny Leone to his talk show and went on disparaging her throughout the length of their 20-minute chat. The tipping point arrived when he ended up commenting, “I’m wondering whether I am being morally corrupted because I am interviewing you.” By that point, Sunny had had her share of shit and quickly retorted "I can leave if you want me to.” One fine punch Sunny, one fine punch!
Well, we really won't believe that women aren't treated as objects in this country until they stop getting questioned about their "shelf life." Sadly for Rajeev Masand (and quite fittingly for his sexist attitude), he ended up asking this question from the ever so brazen Kangana Ranaut.“People very conveniently ask this question to women but they would never ask this question to a man. This question itself is unfair and shouldn’t be asked," Kangana replied and we are so glad she did.
Actresses in India have long been scrutinised for their age and bodies and Vidya Balan alone has faced a pretty major share of the same. However, she couldn't contain from going all out on a reporter after getting asked a really bizarre question. She was asked whether she'd like to lose weight for glamorous roles or would she continue to sign "women-centric" films.
"I’m very happy with the work I am doing. But it would be great if people like you changed their perspective," was her reply.
Alia Bhatt's GK faux pas at Koffee With Karan and the subsequent bimbo title haunted her for a long time until she decided to take matters in her own hands. On being randomly asked by a journalist, "Do you know why Holi is celebrated," Alia gave them a look and quickly retorted, “Do you know who is president of South Africa? Or Singapore? Or China? Don’t ask if you don’t know bro!" Now, how's that for some sass!
It was back when Radhika Apte's nude scene from Parched was leaked and ended up going viral online. If that wasn't frustrating enough, Radhika was constantly harrassed by being questioned about the same. That said, the actress wasn't clearly taking any crap from anyone and kept loaded and prepared every time any such ludicrous question was asked from her. On once such occasion, a reporter decided to go well beyond the line and asked, "Is it necessary to be bold and become controversial to be successful?"
In no mood of entertaining his regressive, and not to forget, sexist mindset, she very calmly replied: “My friend sorry but your question is ridiculous. Controversies are made by people like you. You saw the clip, you shared it with other people. I am an artist, I am required to do a certain job, I will do it. If you get out of your cocoon and look at the world cinema and look at what people are doing abroad and are not ashamed of their own bodies, you’ll probably not ask me this question. People who are ashamed of their own bodies have curiosities about other bodies. So if you want to see a naked body tomorrow look at yourself in the mirror, not my clip and then we can have this conversation.”
No matter how successful an actress becomes in the Indian industry, post her wedding her financial status is often connected with her husband. However, Deepika Padukone has always made it a point to steer clear of this nonsense and had an amazing answer when a journalist decided to assume that Chhapaak had Ranveer Singh's money invested in it by saying "ghar ka paisa laga hua hai".
As soon as the reporter insinuated this, Deepika shut down the sexist remark. She made it clear that it is her hard-earned money and has nothing to do with her spouse. She slammed, "Excuse me! Yeh kisne bola?! Yeh mere khud ke paise hain, excuse me! Meri mehnat hai! (Excuse me! Who told you that? This is my own money. My hard work!)."
During an interview when Parineeti Chopra heard a reporter referring to periods as a "problem" she immediately asked "what problem" and insisted that he use the "periods" instead of "problem." Looking at his hesitation, she further added,“Men really need to relax. They really need to understand what periods are. It’s a healthy process, a natural process. This is not a problem." Well, had to be said, kudos Parineeti!
All sexism and no grace, will the Indian Paparazzi please shut up?
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