Men took seven steps back as a result of #MeToo movement: Kajol

Priyanka Sharma
Kajol on feminism

Kajol's short film Devi is out on YouTube. (Photo: Kajol/Instagram)

Actor Kajol on Monday credited the #MeToo movement for bringing in a visible change in men's daily interactions.

At a special screening of her short film Devi, the actor was asked if she saw a change in people's attitude towards women on film sets, and whether the discourse around consent and sexual harassment in the Hindi film industry picked up steam after the #MeToo movement began in October 2018.

"Yes, there is a difference. And I wouldn't say it's only on film sets. After the #MeToo movement took a life of its own and embroiled a lot of very well known people in it, I think somewhere down the line, men - good, bad, indifferent - took seven steps back.

"And that was necessary. More than good or bad, there is a lot of thought put into everybody's daily interactions whether it's on a set or in an office environment," Kajol told journalists.

Her Devi co-star Shruti Haasan said she was glad that the movement managed to make men realise that their actions had serious consequences.

"After the whole #MeToo thing happened, I was taking a flight to London, and there was someone sitting in front of me who was reading a manual on 'Physical proximity and how to behave in that space'. You might get into trouble was a trigger that was working, and I think it was very important for it to happen. Quite honestly, I didn't think that India would take it to such a level, and it made me proud that people dared to come out and speak up," Shruti said.

The #MeToo movement, considered a watershed moment in women's fight for equality world over, began in Hollywood in October 2017 after multiple women levelled sexual harassment charges against film producer Harvey Weinstein. A year later, the movement picked up in India when a female actor alleged that veteran actor Nana Patekar harassed her during the shoot of a song in 2008. What followed was multiple stories of women across various fields naming and shaming their harassers.