Woman Up S3 EXCLUSIVE: Shefali Shah recalls facing sexism from her mom-in-law: Vipul & I fell off laughing
On Pinkvilla’s Woman Up Season 3, Shefali Shah shares hilarious anecdotes about facing casual sexism in her family.
At Pinkvilla, we are all about acknowledging and honouring the different facets of womanhood. This Women’s Day let’s celebrate the diversity, success, and glorious vulnerability of distinguished female celebrities with daily exclusive interviews, as we delve a little deeper into their life experiences and tap into the various shades of being a woman. Our very first guest on the special segment is Shefali Shah.
Shefali says she doesn’t have ‘a very long resume’ but she definitely has a ‘strong resume’ and we could not agree more. The actress has broken the glass ceiling from the early years of her career. Be it playing a mother on screen in her twenties, or essaying the role of the wonderfully fragile yet strong Ria Verma in Mira Nair’s classic Monsoon Wedding. In recent years, she has films like Dil Dhadakne Do, Juice, and the spectacularly unnerving web show, Delhi Crime to her credit. Despite being an actor of sheer talent on screen, and essaying such important roles in her career, has Shefali ever being asked to tone down her opinions, or faced sexism? She reveals all to us.
When asked if she has ever been asked to tone down her opinions, Shefali said that she does not feel it’s the right word. “When you say opinionated, it means you’re not ready to take anyone else’s opinions. That’s not the case with me. I have my opinions, I am very open about them. And more than opinions, I have my thoughts, I have my ideas, I have my feelings about things,” Shefali states.
When asked if anyone bogged her down for having her opinions, she says, “Well, I’m picked on a lot of times by my family. Because they think I’m…now the thing is I am very passionate. So that will come across even in the way I have a conversation. And they are like, ‘Just calm down’. But I think they just have to live with me. But, on a certain level, may be from your in-laws, but they belong to a different generation. So I am not blaming anyone. Theek hai. They say stuff and you are just like ‘Okay fine’.”
Shefali goes on to share a couple of anecdotes on how she has faced casual and subtle ways of sexism in her family from her in-laws. “You know when Vipul (Shah) goes to shoot, obviously no bif questions. But when I am shooting continuously, it’s like, ‘Again you have to go to shoot today?’ I was like, ‘Are you serious? Did I just get asked that question?’ Or you know like, ‘You are shooting for so many hours?’ That’s how you work! How come that question is never asked to your son? But it doesn’t bother me. Theek hai, it’s a different generation,” says the Human actress.
Watch Shefali Shah’s interview here:
Shefali shares another incidence when she faced sexism from her MIL and her director husband Vipul and she could not stop laughing. “I remember once Vipul was doing the dishes. My mother-in-law was standing behind him. And none of us wanted her to do it. I remember her saying, ‘Itna bada director bartan ghas raha hai (Such a reputed director is doing the dishes).’ I thought it was so hilarious! I found it so hilarious!’ Shefali says, laughing.
She continues, “And I am thinking in my mind, ‘Yeh actress bartan ghas rahi hai yeh khayal kabhi nahi aayega, but itna bada director bartan ghas raha hai! (The thought that an actress is doing the dishes will never occur in their minds but such a big director is doing the dishes!) I found it so funny. Vipul and I almost fell off laughing just hearing it. It was hilarious!” Shefali further adds, “Accha haan director hain, very nice, you know, but what has it got to do with the house? I mean, he’s a homemaker as much as I am!”
The powerhouse of talent has an interesting pipeline of projects. Shefali will be soon seen in films like Darlings, Doctor G, and Jalsa. Needless to say, we can't wait to witness her craft on screen yet again.