Kajol has shared a lovely vintage picture of the women she has come down from… She captioned it, “My great grandmother (the late actress Rattan Bai) and my grandmother (Shobhna Samarth)... aji! Two women who taught me what feminism actually means without ever discussing it.”
And suddenly it’s easy to understand why she became the fiery, empowered woman she is!
While Rattan Bai and Shobhna Samarth were both women who were way ahead of their times, her mother Tanuja too has been staunchly independent and liberated.
Kajol has often shared her views on feminism, defining it as, “I think a feminist is a woman who knows her strengths, knows her weaknesses, and at the same time is balanced enough to understand that when she needs to ask for help, she can. She’s not too much on the other side so that she can’t turn around and say ‘Listen, I need help with this, please help me with this.’ I’m human. I’m not only woman, I’m human.”
She maintains, “I do consider myself a feminist, but I am contrary so I can also be considered the opposite. I believe in the equality of men and women, but I don’t object to chivalry. I believe in it; gender equality should not mean women should be ashamed to be feminine. I don’t believe men are made to rule the world. In the same way I don’t believe women should be doormats. But the stigma of not wanting to do things “like a man” or being made to feel stupid in traditional gender roles is dumb," she said.
She believes happiness is a guilt-free choice, or rather that it can be a guilt-free choice. “I think, as women, one thing that’s more prevalent than sexism is the guilt. We are constantly facing it left, right and centre – [wondering] whether we’re not good enough sisters, or not good enough wives on certain days.”
The outspoken actress has no qualms about declaring that she identifies as a feminist…
“Definitely! It took me a long time to get there. It took me a long time to say ‘Listen, I need help’ and to ask the right people for help. It took me a while to learn that lesson.”
She also believes women need to be women’s biggest friends. “We, as women, need to stand up for women. We need to support each other as a gender as well. Say ‘yay, go, you did it! You’re a woman, you did it! We’re behind you!’ I mean, the guys do it – we have the boys’ club, so why not the women’s club as well?”
Her grandmother and great-grandmother would approve!