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Double Standards: Twitter Users on Poonam Pandey's Arrest and Praise for Milind Soman's Naked Run

Poonam Pandey (L), Milind Soman

Poonam Pandey (L), Milind Soman

Actor Poonam Pandey's arrest over shooting an "objectionable" video in Goa is being cited as an example of gender discrimination on social media, with many pointing out to the praise Milind Soman received for his naked run on a beach.

Mumbai: Actor Poonam Pandey was arrested for shooting an objectionable video in Goa just a day after model Milind Soman posted a photograph of himself running nude on a beach in the state, but one got brickbats for obscenity and the other bouquets plenty for being the epitome of fitness. And on Friday, the Pandey vs Soman stories were the centre of heated debate on Twitter with much soul searching on gender biases, sexism and double standards in the industry and in society.

The Goa Police on Thursday arrested the actor-model and her husband for allegedly trespassing on government property and shooting an “objectionable” video at a dam in Canacona town. The shoot on the government property had triggered a controversy with opposition parties demanding action against Pandey for shooting the video, which they termed as “obscene”.

Soman, on the other hand, peacefully rang in his 55th birthday on Wednesday by posting a photo in which he can be seen running naked on a beach in Goa. He was praised for his commitment to fitness. Screenwriter Apurva Asrani took to Twitter to point out how there are different rules for men and women.

“PoonamPandey & #MilindSoman both stripped down to their birthday suits in #Goa recently. Pandey partly, Soman completely. Pandey is in legal trouble–for obscenity. Soman is being lauded for his fit body at age 55. I guess we are kinder to our nude men than to our nude women,” Asrani wrote. “Our women are labelled sluts if they go nude. Men are not. Actresses who ‘bare’ are branded sex-sirens for life, rarely reaching respectable positions like Madhuri & Sridevi. Male actors though, get away with sex scenes & hairy-chest titillation. Face it. We are a sexist society,” the Goa-based writer added. Actor Parul Yadav tweeted,”The #hypocrisy is astounding…why is a man applauded and a woman arrested for doing the same thing? About time we move past this #inequality.” Other users labelled the two cases as a classic example of “double standards”.

“Double standards! Nude man being praised @milindrunning and nude women @pandeypoonam20 being criticized in the same place. (Goa) Why can’t both receive the equal treatment.#PoonamPandey” wrote a person. Another user said, “#PoonamPandey didn’t even strip herself fully like Milind and yet got arrested. This took me back to old days when Pratistha Parampara aur Anushan sirf nario ke liye tha. (This took me back to days when prestige, tradition and discipline was only applied to women.)” “Remind me why #PoonamPandey in legal trouble for obscenity while #MilindSoman is being applauded for what looks like the same thing?” tweeted a user.

Some also defended Soman for his naked run while justifying the action against Pandey. “There’s a difference between seductive and sultry poses and fitness pictures. Respect the land, law and people. If you can’t then please don’t come to Goa. #PoonamPandey” wrote a person.

Superintendent of Police (South) Pankaj Kumar Singh told reporters that the couple “sneaked” into the area in the early hours on October 31 and shot a short video. Canacona Police registered an offence against Pandey on Wednesday for trespassing into government property and shooting and circulating an objectionable video clip. The actor and her husband Sam Bombay were detained on Thursday.


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