Walking down the red carpet donning custom-made, expensive gowns that adorn the labels of the biggest fashion houses, looking statuesque and divine on magazine covers and newspapers, living in the lap of unfathomable luxury, and living the perfect hedonistic existence, this is what we think of movie stars and their glamorous and bewitching lives.

Though we associate actors with glamour and beauty, they weren’t commonly associated with intellect. Though this notion has been changing in recent times and people now know better than to regard actors as unintelligent just because of their jobs, things aren’t any better for actresses in India, in this regard.

Actresses are often assumed to be unintelligent or incapable of having strong, sensible opinions about important issues because we seem to believe getting into the field of acting is a clear statement of someone’s lack of intelligence. Though this happens all too often to actors, despite their gender identity, shutting down actresses when they voice their opinions is more common.

Recently, Ravishankar, a godman, said that homosexuality was a ‘phase’ and actresses Sonam Kapoor and Alia Bhatt responded to it by calling it an ‘irresponsible’ comment, but they received severe backlash on social media. These are a few of the many reactions to their response:-

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Almost all of the comments echoed the same sentiment.

Instead of lauding these women for taking a stand and a right and necessary one, people rushed to shame them and disregard what they are saying only because of the work they choose to do. The comments reflect the common idea that we hold, that actors, especially female actors are daft and should stick to doing what they do best, looking alluring.

We tend to easily overlook the fact that actresses are people as well, and that they are allowed to have opinions of their own. They are opinionated individuals like the rest of us and may have something good to say or contribute to a discussion.

It is time we rid ourselves of these unfounded stereotypes and come to accept opinionated women. We need to have open and rational discussions instead of being threatened by the very fact that they hold opinions. Discourse about vital social issues is the only way we can move forward on our path to secure equality and dignity for all people in our society and for this, opinions can and must be heard, a person’s gender or profession, notwithstanding.

Also Read: The Bollywood Diva Song: Madwomen In Bollywood’s Attic

Featured Image Credit: India Today

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