By Atiya Anis:
Kangana Ranaut, (the Head ‘Witch’, ‘whore’ and ‘dysfunctional woman’),
Calling women names has been used throughout history as a way of maintaining power and status quo. Not only in India but, for centuries, Europe saw witch persecutions and ruthless witch hunters. Charges of witchcraft have been time and again levelled against women who were thought to be subverting patriarchy.
Kangana, you are not alone in this culture of shaming and name calling. We have willfully carried on this tradition for generations, though you may be the first celebrity to be charged with this. Trust me, there are millions of women out there, all over the world being branded with obnoxious titles because of their choices.
Instead, you should express solidarity with the actor who accused you of mixing menstrual blood in his food. Your success and confidence has brought his imagination to zero and demonstrates very well the reason for his professional failure. Whether you slapped him or not is another question, but I am amazed at the fact that a 28-year-old grown-up actor remained silent for years, even after being abused, slapped and shaved. Or maybe he was too innocent to mistake your abuse as love.
The theory of coins and strange things in drawer and prayers after 12 at midnight are indeed amusing. It can be the plot for your next movie. But Kangana, I would also suggest that you change your black magic consultant or else deduct his/her salary. I am doubtful if he/she is doing a great job, else you would have won a National Award even for ‘Kites’ and ‘Vaada Raha’. You need to take a thorough look at the CV of the black magician. How much time and energy you have invested on junior Suman, while you could have targeted Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise with the witchcraft skills. I think you should be focused and aim high. It’s important to invest in the right things at the right time, not like your ex-boyfriend who woke up after so long.
Men, I must say I sympathise with you. I agree, it must be utterly disturbing for you to face competition and treat women as equals, who you thought were made to be objectified, smashed, ridiculed and ruled over. It would definitely hurt to unlearn the power perceptions you have grown up with.
To share my story, I have always been a socially abnormal child and now a ‘socially dysfunctional woman’. I never adhered to the lady-like norms of the middle-class families of small towns or the quaintness of a village bound daughter-in-law. But I was always a confident child who knew she was better than many others at many things. A misfit in my society, I am on my journey, learning the skills of life, maturing with time, and in the process collecting my share of ‘titles’, as I call them.
I yearned for a higher education and earn my living while my family wanted me to get married, and I was called ‘stubborn’ and ‘selfish’. I refused to settle down for an arranged marriage and wanted to marry out of my choice, so I became ‘morally corrupt’. I was outspoken and feisty and was labelled a ‘brat’. I love to dress up, hang out with friends and live my life, so I am called ‘irreligious’ and a ‘sinner’. I defy misogynistic attitudes and then became a ‘slut’. Most amusing is being branded ‘unfeminine’ because I do not feel the urge to have children. These titles have been earned with much hard work because being oneself is the toughest job to do. I do not dispute them.
Kangana, the name calling you were subjected to has given strength to many middle-class women like us, making us proud of our ‘titles’. I am trying hard not to denounce what I have earned. It makes me different from other people and keeps me going. I am a fan of you, more than of your movies. I love the way you kill with your confidence. We, the budding community of ‘witches’ and ‘whores’ have been looking for a mentor and a boost to our confidence, both of which you have provided. Let’s keep this going. Cheers to the more innovative ‘titles’ to come.
A middle-class ‘unfeminine’, ‘corrupt’, ‘slut’, ‘whore’.