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Here’s Why A Whole Sisterhood Of Women Are Standing Up For Urmila, The Alleged ‘Soft Porn Star’

Posted: September 18, 2020

Kangana Ranaut called Urmila Matondkar a ‘soft porn star’ – but hey, so many women, a whole, beautiful, inspiring tribe of them stood up in her defence!

If you’re a woman – one that reads, one that has a substantial bunch of women friends, one that compliments a woman in the elevator for her saree or her pleated apricot skirt, one that is generously appreciative of another woman’s skills – there’s one thing you would never do: disparage and degrade the woman that has walked before you.

You owe the women who came before you

Because her every square foot had a higher density of patriarchy.

Because her every square foot had a higher density of misogyny.

Because her every square foot was more inhabited by men that looked at her with suspect and derision.

Because her every square foot was a lot more isolated and dilapidating.

You’d owe your progress, your impossible body of work, your grace, your language, your passion and your hemlines – to her.

If you can walk around in a breezy spaghetti dress, it’s because the woman that came before you, wore the sleeveless salwar kameez with a dupatta around her neck or covering her bare arms.

If you are presiding over innumerable Zoom calls and calling for status reports every Monday from your reportees, it is because the woman that walked before you, gathered up all of her might and took a deep breath, before walking into a room full of men!

And you will remember to return the favour. To the woman that is going to walk after you.

Women who don’t, are foot soldiers of patriarchy

And yet, the world is rife with women that disparage, degrade and decimate other women.

Social media is filled with bewildering stories from bewildered women that have been let down by other women – sometimes, their own close friends. Because it’s one thing to love someone, and totally another to respect her and her body of work, and take a keen interest in her merit and finesse.

If you’re an air hostess – they will tell you, “Oh…You just serve coffee and tea.”

If you worked in a salon and gave the snazziest haircuts in the city, they will tell you, “What do you know? You just cut hair!”

Or “What do you know? You’re just a stay-at-home Mom”.

Or “What do you know? You don’t have any kids!”

Or “You’re just a soft porn star!” 

This is a disservice you do to other women

And in one sweeping instant- by the clutch of well-tethered misogynistic consonants, they destroy your history, your undeniable wake, and the language of your existence.

And in one sweeping instant, we feel less like a powerful force and more like a puddle, with disjointed strands – confused and incoherent. We begin to question all of our previously held curious, artful, and gentle eccentricities that helped us break tradition, walk asunder and discover a new equilibrium.

We made art and it was beautiful. And we left it brimming for the others to come fill their texture and sounds.

If you can’t stand by them, don’t pull them down

The most incredible thing about this terribly ugly spat by a woman is that – THE alleged ‘soft porn star’ didn’t have to reply to this vitriol at all. Because on her behalf, her tribe, women that both knew her and didn’t – took to the Internet, to share some of her beautiful vignettes, and recollect with fond nostalgia, the immensity of her oeuvre.

So to every woman, that has felt isolated and lessened, by diatribe and discredit, at some point – hang in there, you’ll find your tribe!

Sooner than you know!

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