Mamtha Mohandas on sexual harassment: 'If a woman gets into troube, somewhere she is responsible'

'If I have gotten into any sort of trouble, sexual assault, I feel I would have entertained some part of it,' Malayalam actress Mamtha Mohandas said.

FP Staff July 21, 2018 12:13:10 IST
Mamtha Mohandas on sexual harassment: 'If a woman gets into troube, somewhere she is responsible'

Malayalam actress Mamtha Mohandas has issued a contentious statement on sexual harassment.

In an interview to the Times of India (Kochi Times), the actress said, "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."

Mamtha Mohandas on sexual harassment If a woman gets into troube somewhere she is responsible

Mamtha Mohandas' remarks about sexual assault sparked a debate on social media with WCC's Rima Kallingal saying that it is society that protects the wrongdoers, which is responsible for what happens to an individual. Images from Facebook

The actress is not part of the Women in Cinema Collective (WCC), a group of women artistes and technicians formed to fight for their rights in the Malayalam film industry. Speaking about staying away from such organisations, she said in the Times interview, "I don’t think it requires a body like the WCC to voice what we stand for. I don’t understand the need for a body comprising just women. I function a little differently, I think a little differently. I think any mess that someone is in is created by themselves. However, I wasn’t here when these incidents were happening.”

She also went on to say that “pretty women get attacked more.”

Her statements have thrown social media in an uproar and responding to these views, Rima Kallingal, one of the founding members of WCC, said on Facebook that a victim is not responsible for what happens to that individual. It is society which normalises these crimes and protects the wrongdoer who stands responsible for what happens in these cases.

The conversation continued when Rima's response was immediately followed by Mamtha's rebuttal. The News Minute quoted her reply to Rima's argument, "Dear women, please don’t turn against women who scream from their insides. Think before you react. In short, what I lack isn’t empathy or IQ. What I lack greatly now is forgiveness to wrongdoers. Ask justice to hand them once convicted rapist. No second chances. Women please make noise and react and do not allow history to repeat. Point fingers at the judiciary system before calling out on each other (sic).”

A Facebook thread ensued after this debate in which people questioned Mamtha on issues like assault on infants and the responsibility of women in these attacks.

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