As much as sexism has pervaded the homes of millions of Tamil speaking people worldwide via Bigg Boss, Kamal Hassan has always been the voice of reason. Most of the time, at least.
On the last elimination episode, however, Kamal showed us a glimpse of his true male chauvinist nature. Here is some context, Ponnambalam verbally assaulted Aishwarya because she was playing the fool with Shariq, he used a vulgarity on her. Ponnambalam later apologised to Aishwarya. In response to this incident, Kamal Hassan preaches the following nuggets of ‘advice’ to the female housemates.
“I am not saying this as a man, but as a father,”
Kamal Hassan says this before starting on a well scripted rant about how women should behave. If you are really a father to all your ‘children’ in the Bigg Boss house, why did you only address one gender, and totally ignore the wrongdoings of the other gender? The men in the house were not at all admonished.
“As women, if you want to live bravely within a society, there are a few laws that you need to follow”
Uncle Kamal Hassan, we are living in 2018 where both men and women are quashing social norms one at a time. Stop telling people to live by archaic rules that do not apply anymore. Kindly tell people to live their lives the way they want to, and not let society’s outdated ideas hamper your progress.
“Ramya wouldn’t be allowed to have this hairstyle 30 years ago, this would have been considered shameful. But women have stood up for themselves and hence made this (hair) advancement,”
This statement received a thunderous applause. Are you guys for real? Aren’t you embarrassed to say that in your society that you hold so dearly, women couldn’t even style their hair to they liking less not so long ago? How can this be something that the Tamil audience is proud of?
“Women shouldn’t aspire to be equal to men, you should aspire to be better than men”
What would we helpless, directionless women do without men to tell us what to aspire to be in our lives? Kamal Hassan, we have some news for you. THE WORLD DOES NOT REVOLVE AROUND MEN. So no, women are not trying to be equal or better than men. We are trying to be the best version of ourselves and it would be awesome if you told people that instead.
“Smoking won’t make you equal to men – it is detrimental to your health.”
This is akin to saying that ethnic Chinese people shouldn’t smoke, but it is acceptable for ethnic Malays to smoke. How can a habit be restricted to one group of people? And to the unenlightened, women smoke because of stress, peer pressure, difficulty kicking the habit, etc. Basically, women smoke for all the same reasons that men do it. Women, however, do not smoke to be equal to men. Get over yourselves, guys.
“I will defend you, Ponnambalam”
You will defend someone who verbally assaults another in the house? *slow clap* Kamal Hassan goes on to shut Ramya up by saying that Ponnambalam has apologized, in spite of her saying that she was devastated with him. He receives another round of thunderous applause. He then silences Mumtaz with a hand gesture when she tries to voice her disconcert, in a much harsher way than he did Ponnambalam.
If the Tamil audience were more perceptive, there would be protests right about now. It is sad that out of the many people who watch Bigg Boss, those who are all for gender equality make up a minuscule number. If there was a Venn diagram, the overlap would be almost nonexistent.
Dear Kamal Hassan,
You are a man of power. Now, more than ever. While we know that you need to pave the way for your political career, change is needed. There has been too much patriarchy ingrained in our minds when it comes to women’s rights. As a result of which, India has already been ranked the most unsafe nation on earth for women. There could not be a better time, nor platform for you to promote gender equality. Your lines are often repeated and your actions worshiped. You are the ultimate influencer. Please, influence Tamils everywhere to see men and women as equal.