“It is 2017, and women are still paid a third of their male counterparts,” said actor Rima Kallingal   

How long do we dumb down Rima Kallingals TedX talk on sexism in Malayalam cinema
Flix Mollywood Monday, January 15, 2018 - 16:13

Malayalam actor, Rima Kallingal, known for campaigning against gender discrimination in the film industry, narrated the deep-rooted sexism and discrimination against women prevalent in the film industry. 

“When I joined the Malayalam film industry, I heard words like shelf life, adjust, compromise, smile more, dumb down. We girls are always asked to dumb down. And we are so good at putting up an act - becoming someone that society wants us to be,” she said at TedX talk in Thiruvananthapuram last October.

“How long do we dumb down, how long do we remain silent and what does it take to break this silence?” she asked the audience. 

Rima also said that the February 2017 assault on her colleague and friend was what shook things up for her. Speaking about the actor in question and how she went ahead and pressed charges despite knowing the risks, Rima said, “She broke every single convention and stereotype that was associated with a woman in her situation. And this is what it took to break my silence.” 

“It is 2017, and women are still paid a third of their male counterparts. We are told that we have absolutely no value in satellite rights and we play no part in box office collections,” Rima said. 

Pointing out the irony in the film industry of the state with the healthiest sex ratio, she said “the male-female ratio in any given set is 1:30.”

The actor also questioned why the Vishaka guidelines for workplace sexual harassment laid out by the Supreme Court and which was also passed into a law was never followed in such a big industry which pay 40% entertainment tax to the government.  

On why women characters in cinema hardly ever represented women in real life, she said “We all have at least one woman in our life who has completely influenced our being our existence. Why is it that it is not reflected in the most popular art form of this century?

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