Misfortune took another glance at Bollywood’s favorite face Salman Khan, when he made an absurdly sexist analogy comparing his experience of shooting for the film Sultan as equivalent to being raped. Describing one of the sequences where he had to pick and thrust a man weighing 120 kilograms on the floor for 10 different camera angles for 6 continuous hours, he narrated to the media:
It is like the most difficult thing. When I used to walk out of that ring, it used to be actually like a raped woman walking out… I don’t think I should have (pause)… It feels like the most difficult… I couldn’t take steps.
Things that reflect in our choice of words are mostly unconscious, and we do not realize what they truly mean until someone points it out. Although Salman was quick, rather immediate to acknowledge his philistinism, it was rather too late to put the beans back in the box. Social media blasted with messages and emotions of people, who were equally divided to support and pooh-pooh Salman.
National Commission for Women was quick to take on the issue. Their chief, Lata Kumaramangalam told the media:
Considering the number of women fans he has, he shouldn’t have made such a statement. Salman Khan should apologise.
Salman Khan’s father, Salim Khan took to social media to help his son to bring the situation under control. Here is what he tweeted:
Despite Salman’s prompt and profuse apology along with a request to the media representatives to not quote the statement, the news went on to be viral. Obviously, Salman, an upcoming big-budget movie, and a sexist remark makes for ‘good’ content for readers.
It wasn’t much of a surprise for me for a lot of reasons. One, that I do not expect any better from a guy whose job is to speak lines that others write for him. Two, I have heard this analogy so many times in my everyday life. When people have a bad day with the boss or find themselves jostling with a crowd of damp, smelly armpits, the most common metaphor to phrase is ‘aaj to bhai, rape ho gaya mera’ (I was raped today, brother). Anything that’s bad enough to disqualify from a respectful or comfortable conversation or experience is seen as rape. It’s just like saying that you are ‘famished’ when people in Libya and Sudan are the real ones who are being famished.
Some advice for Salman:
Next time you have a foot in the mouth kind of situation, resort to making lesser offensive, highly obtuse jokes. It might help you to wane some attention off what could drop your female fan following. After all, you are who you are because of their love. And if that fails too, try taking your shirt off, it might make for more readable content!
PS. I hope I didn’t come across as ‘sexist’.
(Views expressed are personal)
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