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Read Sonam Kapoor’s essay on feminism

Because it still needs defining

By Salva Mubarak  March 9th, 2017

We’re in 2017 and we still have to give minute-long disclaimers before declaring that we’re feminists. Because the absence of said disclaimer results in you being slotted into somebody else’s warped understanding of what it means to be a feminist.

Sonam Kapoor is having none of it. While many Bollywood celebrities have distanced themselves from the argument, Sonam unabashedly insists that she stands with the cause. She has never shied away from talking about sexism in Bollywood that manifests itself more prominently as gender wage gap, among other things. Recently Sonam had called out newspapers for overshadowing what she had to say at an event by publishing misinformed headlines about her choice of outfit

To drive the point home, the actress wrote an essay on Linkedin sharing her experiences with gender wage gap and disenchanting the readers of the notion that feminism should have any effect on how you dress or look.

“We live in a time marked with instability and upheaval and as a proud and unapologetic feminist, I’m thankful for that every day because stability would mean regressing to the time when a ‘women’s place’, in the household, in the workplace and in the world was determined by the narrow prejudicial constructs of the society and those who claimed to be its vanguards,” she writes.

She pointed out that celebrities like Emma Watson and Beyonce have been using their celebrity status to further the cause of gender equality and rued the fact that we cannot get above petty comparisons and issues to recognize and fight the real problem. “Gender wage gap is very real and is worth fighting for. Equal opportunity is not a new-age mantra, it is our birthright,” Sonam writes, adding that pitting one woman against another is one of the major problems that we face, “There is so much us women have to fight for. And that’s precisely why a woman cannot be another’s enemy; we have to be supportive of each other so we can all progress. We face enough body-shaming, stereotyping, discrimination & labelling as it is. Let’s not contribute to it. Bringing someone else down is no way of boosting yourself up.”

In the end, the Neerja actor expresses her frustration at how anyone can claim not to be a feminist, “Feminism is not a movement, and a feminist is not a tree-hugging, jhola-wearing, bespectacled, short-haired, man-hating, bra-burning individual. A feminist is simply someone who respects the choice of an individual to lead her/his life the way she/he sees fit. And when you see it for the simple philosophy that it is, it’s hard to understand why anyone would choose to be anything other than a feminist.”

More power to you, Sonam.