We Are Taught Not To Engage: Mallika Dua At Feminist Rani

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“We are taught not to engage,” said Mallika Dua at SheThePeople.TV’s Feminist Rani event.

Comedian Mallika Dua, poet Harnidh Kaur, and SafeCity’s Supreet Singh spoke to journalist Meghna Pant about the #metoo movement at this month’s edition of Feminist Rani.

Referring to Akshay Kumar’s sexist jab at her, Dua said that she froze in the moment. She said that it was only when her father pointed it out to her and was angry with her for nor speaking out, that she realised that she should say something

“It’s almost embarrassing that I needed my father to tell me that I should stand up,” she said. The comedian also pointed out the power difference between her and Akshay Kumar.

Do men ever pay the price if they sexually harass someone?

“Famous and known men may pay the price, but so many are never going to pay the price,” said Dua.

So what can we do to gain back power? Dua said we can start by sharing the incident with someone. She spoke about an incident when she was just 7 years old. Dua was riding in the back of a car, and a family friend put his hand up her skirt through the whole ride. She said she and her sister told her father about it and he immediately took care of the matter. She said that she doesn’t have any issues because it was resolved.

“Action is the first thing. We have various forms of actions. Reach out to NGOs if your office is not supporting you. Don’t be afraid to raise issues,” she urged women.

On comedy as a tool to effect change 

“I don’t like consuming the truth unless it is made palatable and comedy does that. Comedians will call out things. If I am calling someone out, I will do it in a layered way,” Dua said

Comedians don’t have PR people and aren’t conditioned to be diplomatic or politically correct. “Our conditioning is different. There’s an appetite for the truth,” she said.

Also Read: Why women stay quiet when sexually harassed by Meghna Pant