Twitter Reacts: Rani Mukerji Pitches in on Sexual Harassment Debate With ‘Martial Arts Noises’
The crux of Mukerji's argument was that women are responsible for protecting themselves from sexual harassment.
On Saturday, December 29, a video clip from CNN-News18‘s “The Actresses Roundtable 2018 with Rajeev Masand” went viral on social media, all thanks to Rani Mukerji‘s remarkable contribution to the conversation about sexual harassment.
Besides Mukerji, the roundtable discussion included actors Deepika Padukone, Alia Bhat, Tabu, Anushka Sharma and Taapsee Pannu. While discussing the #MeToo movement, Mukerji made extremely regressive comments. The crux of her argument was that women are responsible for protecting themselves from sexual harassment.
Mukerji, adamant on her stance, said, “I think as a woman you have to be that powerful within yourself, you have to believe that you’re so powerful that if you ever come into a situation like that you have the courage to say ‘back off.’ I think you have to have the courage to be able to protect yourself.”
She also said that martial arts and self-defence should be made compulsory in schools, adding, “You have to take responsibility for your own self.”
Mukerji’s arguments were met with widespread criticism on social media, the main contention being that they are essentially victim-blaming in nature, aside from being ignorant and coming from a place of extreme privilege.
— Aniruddha Guha (@AniGuha) December 30, 2018
Rani Mukherjee’s response on #MeToo and her insistence on placing the responsibility on women is so problematic and almost victim blaming.
“If they don’t want it to happen it will not happen”
“Those are the women we need to talk to and say yaar you need to change” pic.twitter.com/04lpxpfCWg
— Saniya (@touche_always) December 29, 2018
rani mukherjee man. so disappointing. would rather talk about a world where it’s required for all female children to be professionally trained in martial arts than even ENTERTAIN the idea that maybe men are raised in rape culture. https://t.co/rBIsDtXtXt
— isha joshi (@IshaWrites) December 30, 2018
— Rachel White (@whitespeaking) December 30, 2018
Deepika, Anushka, And Alia really were making great points while Rani here makes martial arts noises. You can’t make this shit up. pic.twitter.com/sceqsEj71N
— Doe (@doepikapadukone) December 29, 2018
This is a form of victim blaming #ranimukherjee. When will the onus to end sexual misconduct shift from women’s shoulders to that of men in our society? Cause untill men get their act right, no amount of martial arts will keep women from harm’s way. #MeTooIndia
— Yamini P.Bhalerao (@yamini_pb) December 30, 2018
Rani, for god’s sake listen!! @deepikapadukone @aliaa08 raising important points about disparities in women’s circumstances leading to different responses to VAW and the need to eliminate the root cause. https://t.co/jAFyrXjQCa
— #MeTooIndia (@IndiaMeToo) December 30, 2018
Mukerji wasn’t the first woman from Bollywood to air problematic views on sexual misconduct, violence against women and the #MeToo movement. Earlier this year, actress Preity Zinta implied that some women used the #MeToo movement “for personal vendetta or publicity” and were diluting the cause.
First Preity Zinta and now Rani Mukherjee. Journalists, please please do not ask any other 90s actresses about #MeTooIndia. I can’t see them all ruining their image and fall so low. Sigh ????
— Celina John (@CeliJohn) December 30, 2018