Hey Kangana, Name-Calling Makes You a ‘Mean Girl’, Not a Feminist

There’s nothing remotely ‘feminist’ about Kangana Ranaut anymore.

Hot Take
5 min read
Hey Kangana, Name-Calling Makes You a ‘Mean Girl’, Not a Feminist

Kangana, you've gone and done it again. Made front-page headlines that one can't help but glance over first thing in the morning. I know because I'm guilty of it. However, this time, instead of internally celebrating your feminist rage (which I did at some point, I will not deny it), I feel deeply embarassed. And a little upset too because there's nothing 'feminist' about your words anymore.

On 16 September, in your interview with the television news channel Times Now, you referred to actor-turned-politician Urmila Matondkar as a "soft porn star."

Your exact words being, “She [Urmila Matondkar] is not known for her acting for sure. What is she known for? For doing soft porn.”

TBH, that's not exactly true, Kangana. At a time when women were considered nothing more than a plot point in a typical song-and-dance Bollywood film, Matondkar played some iconic roles. Might I remind you of Rangeela, Ek Haseena Thi, Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya ,Pinjar...

So no, she's not known for "soft porn."

The fact that you voluntarily gave an interview to a news channel that has very little respect for women in general and was recently called out for using sexualised photos of women, without their consent, in order to characterise them is disappointing enough. In addition to that, you not only used an explicitly misogynistic slur against a colleague but also tried to turn it around by putting the blame on "fake feminists." How convenient is that?

This isn't your first time name-calling someone publically, but it certainly is a new low. If I had to pull out your long list of hateful misogynistic slurs against women in the industry, I think "soft porn star" would top that list. There's some chatter about how Urmila Matondkar used a casteist slur "rudaali" while referring to you. I'm not here to defend Matondkar but considering your "an eye for an eye" philosophy.. I feel like I can no longer defend you as well.

Kangana, your feminism has never been perfect. Your brand of pop-feminism is skewed in theory but every time you stood up for yourself, it gave women hope.

In an industry (and world), where only men are allowed to be loud, you were louder - both vocally and professionally. You called out powerful men (Pancholi, Roshan, Johar). You called out the system for being patriarchal and unfair towards women. You gave us films like Queen, Tanu Weds Manu, and Simran - films that allowed bold, flawed women to just...exist.

Although, now it seems like you’re no better than the men you’ve been standing up against.

Somehow, you've gone from calling Karan Johar a "flag-bearer of nepotism" to throwing around sexist remarks like the time you called Sonam Kapoor a "mafia bimbo." Kangana, how can you demand respect when you yourself don't seem to respect anyone?

Initially, I felt like I understood your rage - that of an industry 'outsider,' but in all honesty - for someone who claims to be fighting for 'outsiders,' you've shown zero solidarity with your kind. There was absolutely no need for you to weigh in on the Rhea Chakraborty investigation that's underway, let alone call her a "gold digger" and say that she was financially dependent on Sushant. Especially since you have admitted that you've never actually "crossed paths" with him.

Clearly, like the rest of them, you just wanted to vilify a woman already being put on trial by the media.

Before you made your social media debut, it seems like your sister-manager Rangoli had been doing your dirty work of name-calling. Remember when she called Taapsee Pannu your "sasti copy" or the time you referred to both Taapsee and Swara Bhaskar as "B-grade actresses" and "needy outsiders"? What exactly was the point of attacking these women? They're also 'outsiders' - don't they deserve your support? If you have a specific problem with them, doesn't it make sense to quietly discuss, resolve, and come together to collectively face the struggles of being 'outsiders'?

Hate to break it to you, but you can actually talk about your own problems without unnecessarily attacking others.

When the BMC ambushed you by breaking into your office with the intention of destruction, I felt sympathetic. It was a clear misuse of power and authority; it was wrong. And you wanted justice, you wanted people to see the wrong that was happening to you. But the way you went about it is what disappointed me. First, you unnecessarily attacked Karan Johar.

Then, you conveniently misconstrued a tweet by Sonam Kapoor just so you could name-call her again.

Finally, you called upon Sonia Gandhi to understand "the struggles of women" and help you out in your time of need. But, Kangana, don't you owe other women the same courtesy?

Referring to Deepika Padukone’s struggle with mental illness as “depression ka dhandha” is not a bold act of rebellion, Kangana. It’s regressive and shameful.

There are many celebrities and politicians out there who make sexist and derogatory remarks towards women. Not all of them are worth the time and scrutiny but I believe you deserve to be called out because you actually do believe that you "exposed nepotism, gender bias, pay parity, racism" in the industry.

Once upon a time.. you may have been bold enough to start those conversations, but now you seem to be as much a part of the problem as anyone else.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  Kangana 

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