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Why I Think Kangana Ranaut Is A Role Model For Openly Challenging Sexism

By Aanchal Yadav:

Kangna_at_Venky's_Mumbai_Fighters_versus_Bangkok_Elephants_match_03Here’s to all the witches around the world! Because with power come labels and alienation for every single, independent woman in this world. So yes, here’s to all those who dared to achieve!

Long story cut short, I watched Kangana Ranaut’s interview today and it blew my mind. All the things that she said made me think hard about everything that I live for today. I don’t know about you, but I think she’s a role model. Indeed, it’s a great deal for someone who has been in such a roller coaster ride as her to decide to put all these controversies at bay.

On the one hand, there are movies on women empowerment to “celebrate” the single, independent women of this era; and on the other hand, we fall right back on the ground eating our own words, by defaming the women we laud on the silver screen in real life. Why? Because it is convenient to follow the herd mentality. It’s convenient to be jealous of a woman who is climbing the ladders of success while all you can do is watch because you can’t even offer a helping hand.

Why, do you ask?

Because an independent woman doesn’t ask for your permission, she has her own opinion, she intimidates you as she doesn’t wait for your validation. The day you accept the fact that there are women in this country who are single and don’t need anyone else to live a happy life and moreover, she doesn’t need you to ‘like’ or ‘approve’ of her, you’ll understand what feminism means.

Kangana, you go girl! You are an extraordinary woman on an incredibly extraordinary journey. With all its crazy and mind boggling ups and downs, you have remained gracefully and unapologetically you. How many individuals have the guts to do that? You are one of a kind. A lioness amongst the lambs! I absolutely endorse every single word you say. What a terrific answer. I applaud you.

Why degrade and belittle mental illnesses? Why use terms like ‘whore’ to degrade women (when women in the sex trade deal with the dreadful lives in the most courageous ways in a market that exists primarily to cater to men’s lust)? Why slight or feel disgusted about a woman’s menstrual blood? And why be ashamed of your sentiments (when it is what makes us truly human)? You are the perfect embodiment of what feminism is or should be all about.

Hats off to your indomitable spirit! Stay the same because you inspire many like me.

Do you remember when Hrithik and Suzanne got divorced? He wrote an open letter saying that she wanted the divorce and that he wanted to make things work. He tried to play the wounded, offended party. It is now emerging that he was having an affair at the time.

And look at how he’s now behaving with the lady he was supposedly having an affair with. And he is doing everything in his power to defame and degrade Kangana. He has brought out alleged ex-boyfriend Adhyayan Suman who is making ridiculous claims about her as well. They are trying to trend hashtags like #CharacterlessKangana. I don’t think they are anything more than weak men attacking a smart, successful woman. Not such an uncommon sight either, is it?

This interview of the lady in question will irritate the hell out of certain Indian men and women. She is openly challenging the sexism of our culture that allows easy defaming of women by using anything sexual to make her shut up.

Even a coordinated media campaigns couldn’t silence Kangana. She is still speaking her mind out and still being an eyesore for all those who want Bollywood to be about talentless heroes but not talented heroines. She’s still awesome (have I said that before?).

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  1. The Hulk

    Give me ONE good reason why men must leave seats for women? Why don’t women leave their seats for men?

  2. The Hulk

    Feminazis are feminists who claim to be fighting for gender equality but are surprisingly silent when the inequality is on the other side of the gender divide.
    Let us consider legislation in India for instance and why there is not a SINGLE feminist who is fighting to correct these inequalities.
    IPC section 375 does NOT recognize male victims of rape. So, a man, technically can be legally raped in India and we will never know how many are since it is not against the law.
    IPC section 354, does NOT protect men from any kinds of harassment sexual or otherwise. They can only be perpetrators, not victims.
    IPC section 497, only a man can be arrested for adultery, even though a woman or wife can be involved or initiate it.
    DV act of 2005, only protects women from domestic abuse, even though abuse can be psychological, physical, emotional, verbal or financial and men can and often are victims
    Only a woman can be granted “unconditional divorce” from her husband. A husband has to have consent from his wife for divorce to be finalized.
    Only a woman can receive alimony, a husband has no right to alimony even if his wife earns more than he does
    Only a wife has rights on her husbands property, both earned and inherited, the husband has no such rights on his wifes property
    And of course, the infamous section 498A, where a husband and his family can be arrested without any probably cause or evidence, by a mere accusation,
    Striping him of his universal rights of presumption of innocence and due process in a court of law.
    I am sure I have missed a few. If feminists are truly fighting for “gender” equality, they would fight to make these laws gender neutral.
    Every feminist in India opposes (led by Kavita Krishnamurty) making any of these gender neutral.

    The vast majority of victims of violent crimes are men (80%)
    The vast majority of workplace deaths are men
    The vast majority of combat deaths are men
    The vast majority of suicides are men
    The vast majority of homeless are men

    There is NOT a single feminist trying to fight for “gender equality” here. All they are fighting for is privilege, which is what the Nazi’s did, thinking that they are the superior race.

    Feminism is an ideology that discredits the humanity of men, diminishes their pain while perpetuating the victim status of women and hence the term “Feminazi”. Well deserved, I must say.

  3. The Hulk

    A woman only loves a man until she finds someone with more money. A woman doesn’t feel any love or connection for you besides a fake bond her genetics create to keep her magnetized to the one providing for her. She’s just happy to be your “possession” and only “loves you” because you fulfill her criteria and nobody better has come along.

    If a better male comes along with more money and is famous etc she’ll ditch you, and she won’t feel bad about it WHATSOEVER. A woman’s level of care and consideration towards you exists on a “what have you done for me lately?” level rather than any true affection built up between two people from spending time together.

    A woman is your possession and a direct cause of the things you have. You have good looks, lots of money and fame? You will have a hot woman by your side as your possession. You are with her for 10 years, loving each other every day, then you lose EVERYTHING, your looks, your money, your fame? She’s gone, just like everything else you owned, it’s only there as long as you have the resources to KEEP it there, because it’s just an object. It feels no “bond” with you.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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