Kalki Koechlein announced on Twitter that she’ll be hosting an AMA on Reddit on International Women’s Day, ie. March 8th at 6:00 PM. While many speculated it would be a flop show like that of Priyanka Chopra, fortunately, it was anything but that. The AMA was neither demeaning in questions, nor controversial in answers.
If anything, it displayed plain honesty. Saying it just as it is, Kalki proved why she is today’s feminist role model in all her cool, eccentric ways.
On LGBT sensitization in India:
Kalki promptly put forward education as a powerful medium to sow seeds of acceptance in children’s minds regarding LGBT. Conversations, social media and films are instrumental in connecting emotionally to people at large.
In spite of being uncertain about future of LGBT in a diverse country like India, the acceptance and celebration of Kalki’s movie ‘Margarita With A Straw’ loosely based on bisexuality makes her feel optimistic about the acceptance of LGBT in India.
On actors promoting fairness creams in India:
“I don’t think there is anything wrong with being fair, but when an entire nation bases its idea of beauty on being fair its sad, because there are people with such beautiful dusky complexion.”
In spite of the allegations, Kalki has never promoted a fairness cream. In fact, she says she would love to promote a darkness cream in that respect!
On equal pay between genders in Bollywood:
Kalki has previously voiced her opinion on Rejeev Masand’s show on the same issue. She thinks equal pay can’t happen till the time our industry is hero-based.
”Only when women are pulling in people to the cinemas in leading roles like Deepika in ‘Piku’, and only when this is no longer the exception but the norm, can we expect equal pay.”
She also states how the industry should strive for scripts which empower women.
On Bollywood’s depiction of females in a bad light:
In relation to the movies released in 80s and 90s where women were mostly given a reputation of ‘vamps’, Kalki doesn’t agree to the fact that Bollywood is inspiring women in a negative manner. She simply believes the vice-versa to be the case.
On objectification of women prevailing in the society:
Kalki doesn’t believe this objectification to be a fault of a particular gender, male or female per se. It’s constructively the behavior of society as a whole.
On a feminist book recommendation:
Being the official spokesperson of feminism in the country, Kalki was indeed the right person to ask for a recommendation of a book which would set the idea of feminism straight once and for all.
On her favorite character:
Kalki admitted to loving Basanti from ‘Sholay’ and Rani from ‘Queen’. But when it came to her character, she declared Aditi to be the one. We cannot deny the resembling quirkiness in both of them!
On facing discrimination in India:
Kalki is a south Indian with a French decedent. Due to her skin color, she’s often mistaken as a foreigner.
On the most ignorant thing she’s heard:
She is an alert, aware woman – so naturally we expect her to hear a lot. Sadly, this is the most ignorant thing she’s heard:
On considering moving out of India in the name of intolerance:
Even though Kalki admits that she’s open to working outside India, she refuses to leave the country on any pretext. Apart from being emotionally attached to the country, Kalki feels India has a lot of scope to be explored. She is somehow in love with the challenges she faces everyday. The struggle, in itself, seems inspiring,
On the Delhi Nirbhaya Gang Rape Case documentary:
Kalki’s answer to this question was exactly what the world needs at the moment. It spelled tolerance in all its way.
”I didn’t think the documentary was particularly well made, however that doesn’t mean it should be banned, it’s one perspective.”
On the pervasive rape culture:
Kalki was right in accepting the problem as a worldwide phenomenon as opposed to something exclusively owned by India.
”The way to change this is educating people about gender equality, getting boys and girls to study together, with equal opportunity from a young age.”
On being identified as a French woman living in India:
On writers and their due respect and rewards in Bollywood:
Kalki feels frustrated on not having enough talented writers in the industry. Even if there are, Kalki accepts that there is certainly a lack of respect and rewards for them. However, at the same time, she is honest to say that the audience is the one to blame for poor script to run its way the to hundred crore club.
On churning out more poetic pieces:
Since the time Kalki came out with her poem ‘Churn’ – a satirical on public’s ignorance on the graveness of women issues in India, she’s been thrown questions about the same. Well, she seems definitely optimistic about it!
As always, she calls a spade as a spade. Nothing less, nothing more. So here’s the coolest advice we in our 20s need to hear from her:
Follow the entire Reddit thread here.