Singer Sona Mohapatra’s tweets on feminism and sisterhood have been making headlines for the past few weeks. Many of her tweets, which were addressed to “opportunistic women” who side with male sexual predators to get ahead in life, also appeared to single out actress and former Bigg Boss contestant Shehnaaz Gill for supporting #MeToo accused Sajid Khan’s stint in the most recent season of Bigg Boss. Talking to Hindustan Times, Sona said, “I’ve been consistent about sticking my neck out for women’s empowerment and fair play over the decade as an artist in the public domain. This means that it’s equally important to call out opportunistic women who are happy to compromise whatever little ideals they have to pursue their ambitions of fame and fortune by siding with well-established male sexual predators. It sets back the fight for a better world and is heartbreaking. It’s not like we have ever received even something remotely resembling acknowledgment of their wrongdoings from men like Sajid Khan or (singer) Anu Malik. When women side with them and play dumb, it’s equally disturbing. In my book of feminism, not all women are saints, nor all men monsters.”
However, she added that her tweets should not be seen as mere digs at the actress and people should look beyond for the broader picture, for the overall well-being of womanhood. “If we expect men to do and be better, don’t those standards also apply to women as well? To read headlines of me ‘lashing out’, ‘slamming’, and ‘taking a dig’ at another woman is deeply disturbing. It is a cliche of the patriarchal mindset,”.
Ahead of International Women’s Day, the singer also voiced her wish to see a change in the narrative around women being featured in music videos.
“There are some disturbingly popular music videos out there where women are suffering abuse in the name of mohabbat... see Dhokha by Afsana Khan, or are portrayed as gold diggers who need ‘shopping’ to be won over or objectified, barbie dolls while all the men have the swag in all these scenarios. This is normalised in popular culture. It also puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on young men to provide too, apart from creating a sick stereotype for women. My Roti Machine is one such musical response that I put out at the start of the year, where we say that love is a two-way street. You have got to give respect to get respect back,” the singer said.
Notably, this was not the first time Sona Mohapatra has voiced her displeasure at the platforms and opportunities being extended to Sajid Khan, who has been accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct.
In 2018, when the Me-Too movement gained momentum in India, Sona Mohapatra accused playback singer Kailash Kher and music composer Anu Malik of sexual misconduct. Meanwhile, Shehnaaz Gill, who has not commented on the developments, will be seen next in Salman Khan’s Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan.
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