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Violence against women has increased in our country: Celina Jaitly on her bathtub pic backlash

Bollywood actor Celina Jaitly, who was shamed on social media for sharing a pre-delivery photograph of her blossoming baby bump, has said “slut-shaming” is dangerous and hurtful for women

bollywood Updated: Sep 15, 2017 16:16 IST
Indo Asian News Service
Celina Jaitly,Celina Jaitly slut shaming,Celina Jaitly on violence against women
Celina Jaitly recently enjoyed a lovely and picturesque babymoon in Austria - the place where she got married to Peter Haag in 2011.

Bollywood actor Celina Jaitly, who was shamed on social media for sharing a pre-delivery photograph of her blossoming baby bump, remains unaffected by it, but has said “slut-shaming” is dangerous and hurtful for women.

Celina, who shared a photograph of herself in a bathtub earlier this month, is married to Dubai-based Peter Haag with whom she shares twins -- Viraaj Haag, Winston Haag. She is expecting another set of twins and is in her last trimester of her pregnancy.

Stressing that “slut-shaming is incorrect”, Celina said, “In our culture, one thing is for sure -- the only way one expresses disapproval is through verbal or physical violence; there is no scope for resolution, solution or general discussion, or using civilised language to express disapproval.”

The actress, 35, said she fails to understand why her photograph, if it is not to someone’s “taste or liking”, should become a target of any kind of violence. “What worries me is (that) so many people (both men and women)” seem intent upon resorting to “sexual, verbal and physical violence to punish one for something that makes them uncomfortable,” she added.

Celina feels the reason violence against women has increased in India is because such “narcissistic people (are) allowed to have a voice and practice their regressive and delinquent thought processes and ideologies”. “Slut-shaming is not funny. It is dangerous, hurtful, disrespectful and harmful to women. It’s important to question society when they expect women to behave in ways that men are not expected to,” she added.

Celina, who won the Miss India title in 2001 and speaks up on vital societal issues, feels people have a long way to go when it comes to be evolved about how a woman should conduct herself during pregnancy, menstruation or any related taboo issues. “My intention as an actor, a beauty queen, a human rights activist and, most of all as a mother, has always been to empower, encourage and break social stigmas through my blessed platform. Women need to be constantly empowered through law and through removing stereotypes attached to how they ought to conduct themselves,” she said.

Does she find that slut-shaming is an easy way to put down an actress nowadays? “Not just slut-shaming, but violence against women as such, both verbal and physical, has increased in our country... It doesn’t matter if you are an actress or not,” she said.

Celina cited examples of outspoken actress Kangana Ranaut and the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh. “Recently, even someone as accomplished as Kangana (Ranaut) came forward and spoke about the domestic violence that she went through, or the shooting of esteemed Gauri Lankesh; so you see, no one is spared, because no ‘authority’ is willing to educate or challenge or severely reprimand this growing trend,” she stressed.

This is not the first time a celebrity has been a victim of cyber bullying. Sonakshi Sinha, Fatima Sana Sheikh, Sonam Kapoor and Karan Johar have all been trolled on social media.

Asked if she takes the trolls seriously and how she deals with them, Celina said: “Mostly I ignore them and make light of the situation, occasionally, in instances like what happened with my post, I do take my social responsibility seriously; some issues must be brought to light, and trivial things should be left to die their own sweet death.”

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First Published: Sep 15, 2017 16:07 IST