Recently, film critic Rajeev Masand conducted The Actresses Roundtable 2018 and invited Rani Mukerji, Alia Bhatt, Deepika Padukone, Tabu, Anushka Sharma and Taapsee Pannu.
The discussion, that revolved around the change in female roles, audience interests, and playing grey characters, also veered towards the #MeToo movement that enveloped Bollywood this year.
During the conversation, actor Rani Mukerji commented that the onus to stay safe from sexual harassment is on women themselves and even young girls should be taught self-defense and martial arts.
When Deepika and Anushka countered her by stating, it is important 'nip the problem in the bud', Rani continued to state that 'mothers cannot be taught how to raise their children, and it is the responsibility of women to protect themselves'.
In this time and age, the basic thing is to teach everyone - men and women - the concept of consent, personal space, and boundary. Naturally then, her statement sparked outrage on Twitter, with people calling out the duality of her approach, that skewed a little towards victim blaming as well:
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
Learning self-defense etc is great.. but what Rani is not addressing is.. that a predator is a predator.. and they don't care whether you have learnt to defend yourself or not.. many times mind games are played.. personal space is violated.. there are many forms of harrasement— Aneeta (@AneetaRadoja) December 29, 2018
Oh, ok.So you can't tell people how to bring up their sons to be respectful of women, but perfectly practical to make sure all women, girls, infants are enrolled for karate classes en-masse, pronto.Dafuq Rani? #ranimukherjee and Preity are a blot on the actresses of their time https://t.co/lRAQNLGSYY— megzie (@megzie__) December 30, 2018
All the love I had for Rani Mukherjee melted away with the Me Too conversation with Rajeev Masand. It's so obvious that living in a glass tower has made her forget the every day struggles of a woman. pic.twitter.com/DavdcDCJ3o— Whiskey 🌿 (@WhiskeyTwilight) December 30, 2018
The women has to know that "she does not want it to happen". Does Rani Mukherjee know what rape is? It is the act of FORCING someone into sexual contact. It is GIVEN that she does NOT want it to happen. THAT'S WHY when it happens it is SEXUAL ASSAULT.— Brishti (@yourstrulybrish) December 30, 2018
if you can condition girls to be physically and mentally strong to draw a line when theyre about to get assaulted. I think we can ALSO condition boys to not assault at all. haina, rani mukherjee?— ｡･. (@mochivenchy) December 30, 2018
Rani Mukherjee take on #Metoo movement is just atrocious ... she is speaking about martial arts and all and wants women to change rather than the men...Even 5 year old babies get raped.. Some can't afford schools forget martial arts— 🌟α§hu🌟 (@TheAn0nym0usGal) December 30, 2018
i used to respect rani mukherjee because her recent films were quite good. I am disappointed, to say the least. I'm glad the other ladies didn't hide their disappointment.— Alan Orenji (@Always_SHINe25) December 30, 2018
rani mukherjee pls shut your fucking privileged mouth and go get educated thank youpic.twitter.com/ufbettXRZz— tahrima (@baddestpaki) December 30, 2018
Rani Mukherjee ruined the show..why did she think she was the primary speaker there...she went on and on...her stand on #metoo was comical..martial arts training for women..does she understand the issue..— Gaurav Aggarwal (@agauravlaw) December 29, 2018
Rani Mukherjee and preity zinta destroyed their image in my eyes just like thatYou both really should've sat there and just ate your food, uneducated pricks— vish ♥ (@Shadowxat) December 29, 2018
Someone please tell me why Rani Mukherjee was a part of this conversation? She is not letting other actresses put their point across also her views on #MeToo are so fucked up. She needs a tuition herself. https://t.co/6Y1LAU9MtU— --should be studying 🌻🌻🌻 (@mumbailocal12) December 29, 2018
So acc to miss rani mukherjee females are molested and shit because females fail to upbring their male child in a good way....soooo its all our fault. Right.pic.twitter.com/iRMqUHYrJM— chanchal || jimin's promise (@confusedarmy_) 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's views on #MeToo are so bloody problematic!Please ask her how a 4 month old baby girl is gonna kick her rapist between his legs?? #ActressesRoundtable— Dishti (@dish_teaa) December 30, 2018
Rani Mukherjee. Idiot. Lost all respect for her. She and Preity were once upon a time, my MOST favourite actresses. Both spoke crap about #MeToo this year and now I hate them both.— Nai Mangta (@annebelle_123) December 29, 2018
OH MY GOD SOMEBODY TELL RANI MUKHERJEE TO SHUT THE FUCK UP— TaaaRaa.... (@RKs_lovely) December 29, 2018
It’s unfortunate that people like Rani Mukherjee would hold problematic beliefs regarding #metoo but not surprising, older people had internalized patriarchy and victim blaming. That’s the difference today, we talk about the crux of the problem. https://t.co/vu2S9KFU8c— Maryam (@maryamful) December 30, 2018
Well this was not that great..can't believe what shit Rani Mukherjee was talking specially on me too movement....such myopic view point she has...just ridiculous...thanks to Deepika that she at least tried to correct her..but she being she...cringy— Aratrika Sen (@AratrikaSen1) December 30, 2018
Rani Mukherjee talking about martial arts and going "chop chop chop" while Deepika and Alia talk about child molestation is the most cringe. https://t.co/91E4jpHo2Y— Mavra Ghaznavi (@MavraGhaznavi) December 30, 2018
It's 2018, and it is high time we move towards a future where learning self-defense is a choice for women, not a necessity
You can watch the complete video here: