Sonam has been very vocal about her feminist ideals and beliefs against the largely unchallenged patriarchal notions that are still prevalent in the Indian film industry and the Indian society. Her views and opinions have often resulted in hordes of trolls attacking her on social media. Often, she has been at the center of the Indian media’s blindness and ill-researched views that pit her against biases in our society concerning the plight of women in the Indian society. Despite such hiccups and hurdles, Sonam has always fought back with all her might and fierce femme-fury. Let’s look at, the 5 times Sonam Kapoor Kicked Patriarchy in the Balls:
1. When she fearlessly raised her voice against the media and its biases
In October 2017 Sonam criticized the mainstream media and online news portals that are disillusioned with patriarchal notions and slammed the industry for blindly shoving bigotry. She also said that the society passes its judgment over women, based on what they look like and whether they are pregnant or not; NEVER by what they were and are capable of.
(Screenshot from Sonam’s Instagram)
2. When she silenced trolls with her assertiveness
After the clamor over the internet, about Sonam adding her husband’s family name to hers on her social media handles, she vehemently stated that the choice to change her name rests with her and NO ONE ELSE. “Kapoor is also my father’s name, so it’s a man’s name anyway. I chose to keep both. Anand has also changed his name but nobody wrote about that. I just decided to do it on social media because that’s my platform, to say that I’ve made a choice,” she said. Her husband has also made an edit to his name and added an ‘S’ before Ahuja, on Instagram. She emphasized that neither her husband nor his family had asked her to change her name and neither did she ask her husband to do it. Sonam said that sticking to the surname of the family also perpetuates the prejudices of patriarchy and fuels bigotry, as it is after all a man’s name.
3. When she encouraged women to take a stand and speak out
While addressing the issue of child sexual abuse, Sonam Kapoor spoke about her personal experience with the perpetrators of sexual abuse and rape culture, she said, “Everybody goes through some sort of sexual abuse in their childhood. I know I went through molestation when I was younger and it was traumatizing. I did not speak about it for two years or three years… I remember very clearly… There was a man who came from behind and just held my breasts like that… I started shaking and shivering and I didn’t know what was going on and I started crying right there. I didn’t speak about it. I just sat there and I finished watching the film because I felt that I’d done something wrong for the longest time.”
4. When she led a dialogue against the discourse around sexual violence
While speaking at the ‘We the Women’ event hosted by Barkha Dutt, Sonam Kapoor spoke up about the blaring gender wage gap in Bollywood once again. At the event, she pointed out how she rejected a film because the gap was dismal. She stated “It’s a patriarchal society, there’s a lot of sexism and it’s disgusting. Still, as a woman in this industry, I don’t get my price. I’m still having difficulties getting projects off the floor for the budgets that I need to shoot.”
5. When she asserted her support for equality between genders
Unlike most actors in Bollywood who are afraid to be associated with the F-word, Sonam Kapoor has never shied from identifying herself as a feminist. She has repeatedly spoken against the misogynistic practices in the Indian film industry and the notions of patriarchy which promote and perpetuate patriarchal prejudices and bigotry in the industry. In a recent interview, she made it clear that her idea of feminism resonates with the ideals of feminism, feminist thinkers, and activists, who believe in equality for all and equal opportunities.
She said, “My father has brought me, my sister, and my brother up with equality. The definition of feminism means equal opportunities. He has never made me feel that there is a difference between my brother and me, and I was also told I can work and get married whenever I want. My father is a feminist and he has raised me to be a thinking, smart human being.”
We are still quite far from wiping off the skidmarks of patriarchy, from the water-closets of the society’s different constructs. We need more women calling out the bias and harassment they face in different industries, societies, and workplaces. The coming generations must be taught about consent and empowered to consider themselves as equals we might begin working towards establishing a properly civilized and equal society that is not driven by the repressive and regressive wheels of patriarchy. More power to you Sonam. More power to you, and Happy Birthday!
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