“I am a feminist and my feminism started with a fish fry”
The ways through which you encounter and discern discrimination could vary, it could be petty or perilous, simple or serious. Malayalam Actress Rima Kallingal, revealed what made her aware of the existence of discrimination and turn her into a feminist but it too became the subject of attack of trolls.
Actress making her debut in TED Talks in Thiruvananthapuram, said, “I am a feminist and my feminism started with a fish fry”
She began her TED talk with this sentence which later became the main subject of internet trolling.
She reminisced an incident when she was a little girl. “Once upon a time my family was seated around the dining table- my grandmother, dad, my brother, and myself. My mom is serving food and never in her entire life has it occurred to her that she can actually sit down along with us and that we can all serve our own food, but then, that story is for another day.
Today, she has got three fish fries and she makes sure that the oldest at the table and the two men at the table get one each. A twelve year old me, sits and weep. I am deeply hurt and demand to know why I am not considered deserving of the fish fry” She says that her mother was flabbergasted by her reaction as her mother probably never got fish fry in her entire life. She continues the talk revealing various such incidents where she encountered discrimination and the ways she fought it, every time such biases came her way.
The netizens, a majority of them already annoyed at Rima Kallingal for the Mammootyy-Kasaba issue, lashed at Rima and started trolling her in the name of fish fry.
These are some popular trolls that appeared in Malayalam troll pages.
The trolling has become so severe that the word ‘fish fry’ is now replaced with Rima’s name. The trollers and many Social Media users ridiculed her for the comment and made fun of her revelation that the reason to become a feminist is something as trivial as fish fry.
Bouquets in Hollywood, Brickbats in Mollywood
Sometime back, Meghan Markle, the future wife of prince Harry, revealed that she observed discrimination when she saw an advertisement of a dish washing soap. She was speaking at the 2015 women conference on gender issues when she recollected this experience. She said that, she as a 11-year old, was watching Television as part of a social studies assignment when this aforementioned advertisement gleamed on the screen. It was a dishwashing soap commercial that proclaimed that ‘women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans’. She was alarmed when she saw a national commercial asserting that, all the women in the country have nothing more worthwhile to fight for. More than the content of the advertisement, it was the reaction that the advertisement induced in her boy classmates that shocked Meghan. Two boys in her class concurred with the catch phrase of the advertisement and went on to say that kitchen is indeed the place where women belong.
How are both these disclosures, by two powerful women in their respective spheres, similar? They both discerned the existence of gender discrimination at a very young age, in incidents that girls of that age could have overlooked. The group of actresses who condemned misogyny and sexual harassment was appreciated and lauded by the public in Hollywood , at the same time, a Malayalam actress who pointed out misogyny in a movie was abused and cyber-bullied.