When inspiring women fumble on feminism


I’ve been familiar with Nora Fatehi and her journey for a long time. So her statements on feminism on the BeerBiceps interview didn’t come as a surprise at all.

Nora has always been a highly sharp and ambitious woman. What I gather from her statements is the intent to appeal to a wider audience. She reaffirms the statement that she’s a practising Muslim many times in her interview. Nora is not just a celebrity in India alone, but also a highly popular figure in the Middle East. So, this statement of being religious is for her fans in the Middle East belt. But we really don’t know if her actions match her words and if she’s actually all that religious or spiritual as she claims to be.

India is also going the sanskaari way and that’s going to be the tone for the next few decades. So, Nora’s thoughts on feminism are going to win her more legions of fans.

Remember Kangana Ranaut’s change in tunes a few years ago, bashing feminism and aligning her views with the establishment? Today, she’s contesting on a BJP ticket. So, there’s also a possibility that her interview is a foreshadowing of what’s about to come from her stable next. Possibly, a film role that’s aligned with her thoughts on feminism, or women being nurturers and men being providers. A reader mentioned her being the perfect cast for Bhabhi 3 in Vanga’s next instalment of ‘Animal’. There may or may not be an ulterior motive for this interview. Only time will tell!  

Anyway, be it Nora Fatehi or Shah Rukh Khan, most celebrities typically shy away from calling themselves as feminists. Forget feminism, the biggest of celebrities are silent when there’s a burning issue in the country or world. The few times they raise their voice, you should know it’s a diversion tactic that aids the establishment.

Very few of the current crop of artists are entertainers, most are talentless puppets. To expect them to have a conscience or be social activists of some sorts is like expecting the moon to rise at dawn.

Nora has grand ambitions to go global like Priyanka Chopra Jones. Hollywood is a lot worse in boxing and stereotyping people, especially women from ethnic descent. She’s pandering to the industry norms to increase her longevity in the business. Proclaiming to be a feminist is like branding yourself as a troublemaker.

Nora Fatehi is still on the side of feminism and what it stands for. But not for the rabid extreme form (read misandry) that it’s taken shape in the West.

While she’s the old-school good religious woman, she’s also an intimidating hustler who knows how to spot predators of all kinds from a distance. No one had the balls to put her in a casting couch situation to date. Or so she claims!

My favourite part in the interview is when she took potshots at Bollywood celebrities, especially the sham of their relationships and marriages. You could see her wisdom reflect when she wonders about the logic of sacrificing something as true as love for the mere cause of a career. Some might argue she was manipulative with Prince Naruala in Bigg Boss and used their relationship for clout. We’ll have to see if she means what she says when she gets married. However, the general impression I got from this interview was she wants to marry someone who’s financially stable and a provider. This interview was perhaps her subtle way of hinting at the most eligible bachelors that she’s a traditional woman at heart despite her profession.  

Nora’s been unfiltered like always, unlike the many other celebrities who either choose to stay mum about their thoughts on feminism or make insincere comments that don’t match their actions. Yes, I’m looking at the artists and directors of feminist movies, but their actions in real-life take a U-turn.

While I don’t ascribe to Nora Fatehi’s thoughts on feminism and opportunistic tendencies, I like the fact that she’s unfiltered, bold, and open-minded. Much like my sentiments about Neena Gupta. I like both Neena Gupta and Nora Fatehi, and so I was a tad disappointed with their thoughts on feminism. But, they have a right to air their views and we have the right to accept it or not. There were some truth serums in Nora’s talk. The image of Indrani Mukerjea popped up in my head when she spoke about women not being saints.

She also admits in the interview that her thoughts today might not be the same few years down the line. Because it’s natural to change with life’s experiences along the way. I hope Nora changes her thoughts on feminism. Yes, I’m giving her the benefit of doubt and hope, unlike the likes of Mira Rajput as Nora’s independent, progressive, and perpetually developing as an artist.

While Nora Fatehi is entitled to her opinions and open to change in the future, what’s way more problematic are people’s outcries against her. From slut-shaming her personality to career and life choices, I think some of the backlash is in poor taste. 

This is a grey (think duality) interview of an extremely intelligent, focused, ambitious woman who wants it all in life – a successful career, marriage and family.

What are your thoughts on Nora Fatehi and especially her interview on the BeerBiceps show?

*I’m participating in #BlogchatterA2Z.

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Tina Sequeira
Tina Sequeira is a marketer and moonlighting writer. She is passionate about tech, creativity, and social justice—dabbling in and writing about the same.


  1. I have the exact thoughts about Nora on the podcast. Kudos to her for making it in an alien country, learning the language and being bold and beautiful. She is a gutsy woman but played safe in the interview. She was candid but cautious, too. She has gone under the scalpel far too many times.Neena Gupta is also a favourite.

  2. I have no qualm in accepting that I am a feminist. It’s because I believe in gender equality and equality among genders, including equal pay for equal work. Equal participation of all genders in work and education. I also believe each office goer needs to be given ‘period leave’ for at least 2 days per month + 1 day for work from home once a month, along with other CL/ PL that they get. However, both girls and boys must get it… this facility shouldnt be given to girls only

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