Actress Varalaxmi Sarath Kumar on Monday said that actresses shouldn’t be judged based on what they wear on screen.
Varalaxmi didn’t directly comment on the recent incident involving the kidnap and alleged assault on a popular Malayalam actress, but shared a haunting incident from her own life.
“I was in a meeting with the programming head of a leading TV channel. Towards the end of the half hour meeting, he asked me, ‘So when can we meet outside?’ To which I replied, ‘Regarding some other work?’ He said, ‘No… for other things’.
“I hide my shock and anger and tell him, ‘Sorry, please leave’. His last words were ‘So, that’s all?’,” Varalaxmi wrote in a note which she shared on her Twitter page.
She says the common reaction from people — both within the industry and outside of it — when they hear such things, is that they assume the film industry is like this.
“My response is this. I didn’t come to the industry to be treated like a piece of meat or to follow the standards of exploitation of women already practiced. I love acting; it’s my profession of choice. I work hard and I’m good at my work. I don’t want to choose the option of ‘put up with it or quit it’,” she said.
She says men should be taught to not disrespect women.
“I am an actress. It does not mean that just because I lead a glamorous life on screen, that I deserve to be spoken with disrespect. It’s my life, my body and my wish. No man should assume he can get away with disrespecting me,” she wrote.
She wants women to be treated equally with men.
“Instead of lecturing women on what to wear, how to speak, and how to behave appropriately, how about we stop telling our men to stop thinking with their genitals, and start look women as strong, free, capable and equal human being. Teach the men to be better people. Every parents need to start this at home,” she added.