Going beyond his various avatars in the showbiz, this Bollywood star and recently appointed 'UN Women's South Asia Goodwill Ambassador', launched a social campaign called MARD- an abbreviation of ‘Men Against Rape and Discrimination', after being spurred by a mishap in which his friend was victimized and murdered in a sexual assault.
"If you are a man who respects women… her rights, her dignity, her independence, her mind, her body, her life… you are a #MARD".
"I believe that to combat violence against women, men will have to change. Hitting women is not a sign of masculinity. Instead, it shows cowardice. If we truly want to be real men we will have to first learn to be sensitive."
He rendered his support to acid attack survivors, by joining hands with "Fever Voice of Change" campaign. "It's very important to respect a woman, but we men tend to forget that. So, it is very important that parents should teach their sons to be courteous towards them. The way a father treats his wife, his son also follows the same."
"I call myself a feminist. Isn't that what you call someone who fights for women's rights?"
Patrick Stewart (Star Trek and X-Men star)
Referring to the abuse his father perpetrated on his mother in his childhood, he said:
"Even if she had [done something to provoke my father to hit her], violence is a choice. And it's a choice that a man makes. We can choose to stop it.
David Schwimmer (‘Ross' from Friends)
"I've had two girlfriends who were victims of child sexual abuse, and one was also later a date-rape victim. That sensitized me to the issue in a way that I hadn't been before."
John Legend, musician
"All men should be feminists. If men care about women's rights the world will be a better place... We are better off when women are empowered -- it leads to a better society."
Ryan Gosling (The Notebook)
"You have to question a cinematic culture which preaches artistic expression, and yet would support a decision that is clearly a product of a patriarchy-dominant society, which tries to control how women are depicted on screen... The (said organization) is okay supporting scenes that portray women in scenarios of sexual torture and violence for entertainment purposes, but they are trying to force us to look away from a scene that shows a woman in a sexual scenario, which is both complicit and complex. It's misogynistic in nature to try and control a woman's sexual presentation of self. I consider this an issue that is bigger than this film."
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (The Dark Knight)
"My mom brought me up to be a feminist. She would always point out to my brother and me that our culture does often portray women like objects... She wanted me and my brother to be aware of it because we see these images on TV, in the movies and on magazines all the time. And if you don't stop and think about it, it just sort of seeps into your brain and that becomes the way you perceive reality."
Will Smith (Men in Black)
"We let Willow cut her hair. When you have a little girl, it's like how can you teach her that you're in control of her body? If I teach her that I'm in charge of whether or not she can touch her hair, she's going to replace me with some other man when she goes out in the world. She can't cut my hair but that's her hair. She has got to have command of her body. So when she goes out into the world, she's going out with a command that is hers. She is used to making those decisions herself. We try to keep giving them those decisions until they can hold the full weight of their lives."
Antonio Banderas (The Mask of Zorro)
"Two million women and girls are trafficked each year into prostitution, forced labor, slavery or servitude… These women are our sisters and our daughters, our grandmothers and our mothers. This is unacceptable. And it must stop now."
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