If Mamtha Mohandas plans to retire from her film career anytime soon, she must consider becoming a guru dispensing wisdom to the world.
If you have difficulty buying the idea, I urge you to read Friday's Times of India (Kochi Times) where the actor has given an extensive interview. While reading the interview, you may find that the ideas she has are things you've heard all your life - from well-meaning family, upstanding members of the society, and even the courts. If you're a woman, it's unlikely that anything in the interview would be unfamiliar to you because it's stuff that's been drilled into you from the time you became aware of your gender.
But, it's all the more pleasurable to read it in a national newspaper, when a celebrity you've considered to be a fighter, says the same things.
It's your fault, baby.
But first things first. According to Mamtha, average-looking women have it easier these days in all aspects of life and they do better everywhere, from relationships to profession. It's the poor pretty women who have to shoulder the burden while the average-looking women are out earning their equal pay with men, after eating a good breakfast prepared by their housework-sharing husband. They don't even run the risk of being molested on their way to work because, hello, only beautiful women are at risk. If you are reading this and are a stunning beauty, may I advise you to start saving for a plastic surgery operation that can significantly improve the quality of your life?
"I also think pretty women get attacked more. It’s very difficult for a beautiful or a self-aware and independent woman to survive and still stay strong. I think society likes challenging their strength, as we have more stories to tell. We do become victims of certain unfair things. I think average looking women have it easier these days — in all aspects of life, from relationships to professions. They actually do better"- Mamtha to Kochi Times
If despite having the enormous advantage of being average-looking or ugly (yay), you get attacked, molested, assaulted, raped, Mamtha has an explanation for that too. It's your own bloody fault.
Here's what she says in the interview:
"I don’t know if I should be saying this, but if a woman gets into trouble, I feel somewhere she is responsible for it. Because if I have gotten into any sort of trouble where I have felt that someone has spoken to me with disrespect or in this situation, a sexual assault or a sexual abuse or anything indicative towards that manner, I feel I would have entertained some part of it. This is what I feel and that doesn’t mean that I am pointing fingers because I don’t think it should happen to anybody."
I know what you're thinking - isn't this what the entire world has been saying for centuries? Isn't it only now that we're being told sexual violence is never the victim's fault? Do you feel tempted to pull out the statistics and research on sexual violence which have time and again shown that what the victim wore or did has no bearing on the actual crime?
Such behaviour would make little impact on someone as enlightened as Mamtha. She'd advise you kindly that you should stop getting so provoked by her comments. Especially if you're a woman.
Here she goes: "I am sorry to say this but a lot of women don’t know where to draw the line. They get provoked easily, because women are very insecure, while men make it appear like they are very secure. They are not. A perfect society is balanced. It’s important to not get provoked by people’s comments. If we react every time, we get into a vicious circle."
According to Mamtha, most problems faced by women are caused due to two things a. She is pretty and b. She asked for it. Therefore, there is absolutely no need for trouble-making bodies like the Women in Cinema Collective (WCC) which was formed after a prominent woman actor in the Malayalam film industry was abducted and sexually assaulted. The man who stands accused of being the mastermind behind the crime is actor Dileep. According to the police, the motive behind the assault is revenge - the woman actor is close to Dileep's ex-wife Manju Warrier and had supposedly told the latter about his affair with actor Kavya Madhavan (whom he eventually married).
In the interview, Mamtha like many others before her implies that the survivor knew exactly what she was getting into.
Now would be a good time for all of us women to think about our behaviour ever since we were born and examine if we've caused offence to any man. If the answer is yes, sorry, you lose your right to protest if anyone attacks you in future. You asked for it, lady. Don't be insecure and whine. Do. Not. Be. Provoked.
Thank you, Mamtha, for deigning to speak to all of us women from your ivory tower.