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Not In Kangana’s Defence

The Kangana Ranaut - Hrithik Roshan - Aditya Pancholi controversy brings to the forefront a notorious and reluctantly acknowledged facet of our society - our expectations of propriety from our women.

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Not in Kangana’s defence

The Kangana Ranaut - Hrithik Roshan - Aditya Pancholi controversy brings to the forefront a notorious and reluctantly acknowledged facet of our society - our expectations of propriety from our women.

Kangana Ranaut is probably a perfect example of how women in our society should NOT be. She is brash, outspoken, dissident, disconcerted and unafraid; all traits termed ill for women - according to the rule makers of our society. Ironically, when a man displays these very traits, he is ‘macho,’ – revered by men and swooned over by women.

We don’t want rebellious women - they are bad influence

From the information that Kangana has shared about her early life, she appears to belong to a normal household – ‘normal’ since she did not experience anything other than the ordinary biases that most women of our society face. In a mixed sibling household, when she was given dolls to play with and her brother – bikes & guns, her parents probably did not even imagine that they were in some way rooting the first seeds of sexism on those impressionable minds. Then again, you cannot entirely blame parents for something they don’t even know they are doing. Eyebrows are not raised when a bias is a norm.

Even if the oppression is unintended and well-intentioned as it often is when parents are protecting their girl child by placing restrictions on them, restraining shouldn’t be confused with disciplining. So while boys can stay out the entire night, girls should be home before the sun goes down. Boys become Engineers and Pilots, and girls are best as Teachers and Doctors. Kangana too was dictated to aspire to become a doctor. However, the reaction to oppression is not the same in everyone. There are those who accede, accept it as fate and grow up bitter. And then, there are women like Kangana who rebel, cause an uproar and become an embarrassment to their families and communities.

So what if she is manipulative?

Embroiled in a controversy for her openness in matters that people hesitate to discuss even in the privacy of their bedrooms, Kangana is as idolized as she is despised. Small town girls with big Bollywood dreams wish to have her perseverance, courage and stamina to face the big bad world. The sanskari people are quoting her as an example of what girls should not aspire to be – a characterless, moral less, manipulative home breaker who unabashedly speaks about her affairs with married men and destroys their happy families.

Even if there is a speck of truth behind Kangana’s accusations on Hrithik Roshan and Aditya Pancholi, she must be credited for being courageous enough to talk about it knowing fully well how her image as a woman would get tarnished.

Her affair with Aditya Pancholi is not something unheard of in Bollywood where minor girls sleep with father-aged actors to leverage their contacts and land a movie deal. If he was using her to satisfy his lust, why is she wrong to manipulate him to meet her ends? Also, when Hrithik Roshan was perfectly fine to have an extramarital affair with Kangana, why should she alone be judged simply because she made the affair public after he cornered her?

Judge her all you want

Kangana is no saint. But no one else is either. It’s possible that she might have exaggerated and manipulated to gain sympathy. But it’s also true that Kangana needs no defence. She is not the damsel in distress that men would like her to be. She breaks every norm that our society sets for women and is courageously dealing with the emotional setbacks of her revelations.

Judge her all you want but I doubt she cares!

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