Gang rape survivor Sunitha Krishnan wrote a scathing open letter to embattled Bollywood actor Salman Khan, who came under fire this week after using an ill-advised analogy about rape. Krishnan, whose Shame the Rapist campaign marked a new turn in the way Indian society is fighting back against rape culture, couldn’t even bring herself to use Khan’s name in her response to his comment.
“I do not wish to take the name of the person in question because I feel it would be an act of giving him too much respect,” Krishnan wrote. “The fact that he could easily compare himself to being raped shows how badly he has trivialized rape and rape culture. The harsh truth is that good looks and some talent made him the star that he is and he takes this role very lightly. With such fame, comes responsibility.”
While promoting his most recent film, in which he plays a wrestler, Khan told reporters that filming the role was so grueling he felt like a “raped woman” after shooting wrapped up. The remark instantly triggered a backlash on social media that drove the #insensitivesalman hashtag to trend.
“Instead of being aware of this, he has basically compared the scars, trauma and abuse of a rape victim to his role in a movie,” Krishnan wrote in her letter. “What we need to remember is rape culture is around us and all of these trivializing remarks add to it. As far as I can say, only perverts can make such statements. He is a disgrace.”
Krishnan has appeared onstage at Women in the World and last year she sat down for an interview backstage to discuss why she’s dedicated her life to fighting sex crimes. Watch below:
Read the full story at The Times of India.