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International Men’s Day: Rajeev Khandelwal Happy That Society is ‘Beginning to See Men Can be Vulnerable Too’


Today is International Men’s Day. In a world where gender inequality is rampant and conversations surrounding feminism have gained ground, what significance does the day, which is dedicated to the men, hold? Bollywood, over the years, has also contributed in helping us understand men and the age-old and inherent social conditioning that plays a role in making them who they are.

The straitjacketed notions of masculinity have witnessed a major shift now. Men, onscreen, don’t always release their emotions by engaging in violence. They don’t shy away from crying, supporting their female counterparts and sitting at home while their partners run the household and call the shots in general.

On the occasion of International Men’s Day, actor Rajeev Khandelwal says that this is an important day as it helps many reflect on what masculinity truly means. He also sheds light on whether popular culture can break gender stereotypes.

Talking about it, the actor, who was last seen in Zee Theatre’s teleplay Court Martial in 2021, says, “Times have changed and popular culture needs to reflect the more progressive and mature side of men. Even a little shift in the portrayal of men can have a huge ripple effect through society.”

Happy that the entertainment industry is including men and their vulnerabilities in their narrative today, Rajeev remarks, “Thankfully, we are now beginning to see that men can be vulnerable too. Men too have started accepting gender equality and this is a welcome shift.”

Quiz him if men need a specially designated day and the actor, who will next be seen playing a pivotal part in Revathy’s upcoming directorial Salaam Venky, shares, “I think it is important to celebrate Men’s Day because it can make them realise that they are looked up to for what they stand for.”

He believes celebrating just Women’s Day and not International Men’s Day won’t really go a long way in bringing about a state of equality. “A higher self-esteem will make them [men] want to earn respect, which in turn may reduce the crimes against women. Also, just celebrating Women’s Day can also mean that women are the weaker lot and they need a dedicated day in a year to feel special,” explains Rajeev.



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