We're no strangers to the maniacal charms of the woman who was the undoing of Rajneesh Osho. We've either called her 'badass', applauded her 'tough titties', cheered her on as she remained calm and composed, quite stealthily so.
But, as a woman who is a living contradiction of everything you think you know, Ma Anand Sheela proved, yet again - in her latest interview with The Guardian - that everything you think you know about her might as well be the farce she cunningly set you up to.
Of all the things that she is and might be, she clarifies that she isn't - a feminist.
She makes it perfectly clear in her in-dept interview with Wollastan:
I don’t describe myself as anything. I describe myself as me. I have heard since the film has come out that people think I’m a feminist, but I don’t know what gives them that idea.
In her own words:
You could say that, because males are more sexually orientated than females. While females have been, until now, in a place of oppression, men have always been given more freedom. From that point of view, your analysis is accurate, that it is a male idea. And, of course, this open speaking about sex came from Bhagwan and he is also male, so one can say it is a male idea. But I personally don’t feel it should be male and female separated; it’s human. We see it also in animals. They don’t make a big fuss about it; when spring is there they enjoy their moment of sexuality.
She does admit that she likes having become 'a cause for thought for many people', through her actions and words ever since the show.
Ma Anand Sheela even turned down an offer to be one of the inmates on Bigg Boss, stating that she was done with being confined in this lifetime.
She has no remorse left of the life she has lived. Only a neverending - and somewhat misplaced - sense of love for Rajneesh which, at the heart of it, seems to be as pure as it can be.
How can one’s opinion change because someone said something negative about me? I love the man, I still love him... What does love have to do with sex? We are taught to associate sex with love, to compensate. You feel sexual but are afraid to declare it, you say: ‘I love you.’ In my life, it has always been separate. I can tell someone I want to go to bed with [them], I have no qualms about it and enjoy being in bed. And if I love somebody, I love somebody – they are two separate events.
Sheela's (yes, not so much Osho's) 'wild wild country' did start a conversation about and around ideas and notions that the world had only grappled with up until the Netflix release.
We still don't know how to peg her - empowered woman who inspired people, albeit in a rather twisted way, or a megalomaniac who is guilty of committing crimes that remain unthinkable. Maybe she's a bit of both.
H/t: The Guardian