My Choice – A Little Too Far?

A few days ago, my Facebook timeline was filled with people and pages sharing links of Homi-Adajania-directed, Deepika-Padukone-starrer short video about women’s choices. At first there was applause, commending the video and everyone involved, for the sheer bluntness with which they shouted out to the world that yes, women can have their choices, too. A variety of headlines were splashed and women empowerment due to this video became the new “ABC reached a new level in Candy Crush”. Apparently.

But I could hardly be bothered watching it. How many times in the recent past had we not seen women empowerment ads circulating on the web? I didn’t think this one would ever different. I had enough of the people raving about it. So I simply skipped those posts, firmly keeping in mind the phrase, “Ignorance is bliss”.

However, a few hours later, lashing and bashing began. People started criticizing it, they started calling it stupid, that it did more harm for the cause than support it. Spoofs were made, laughter rang out at the sheer stupidity of it and incredulity unleashed. And I was confused. How did an ad that was supposed to help women veer off course? I read the headlines. This time, I was met with more brickbats than bouquets.

I had to know why.

So when I sat down to watch the video last Friday, I had in mind everything that was going on. But I tried to look at it from a point of view that was non-judgmental.

I listened intently. There were parts which were completely correct, parts that made me feel that yes, the fight for women empowerment is here to stay and it cannot get better than this. I smiled at those parts. I loved how it pulled out the fighter and put out the message that none can interfere with our choices.

And then there were those parts. Those parts that made me cringe in horror. Those parts that were and still are extreme and hypocritical. I could not believe that such hypocrisy could be so blatantly put forth, that too into a world that is already lagging when it comes to gender equality. All this coming from Vogue India. And Homi Adajania. And Deepika Padukone – the woman who millions in the country swoon over, the woman who millions of girls admire, the girl who millions empathized with when she came out with her story of how she coped with depression.

But these statements are simply not digestible.

“My choice, to marry or not to marry. To have sex before marriage, to have sex outside of marriage or to not have sex. My choice, to love temporarily, or to lust forever.”

“Remember; you are my choice, I’m not your privilege.”

“The bindi on my forehead, the ring on my finger, adding your surname to mine, they’re all ornaments and can be replaced.”

“I choose to empathize or to be indifferent.”

All these statements made me wince.

If we follow what the video is trying to say, then:

  • Why should a man be judged and a woman not? Why should men be judged for infidelity when the video says women should not? Why should men be judged for lusting forever when women should not?
  • Why should men not be given the “choice” of choosing a woman when a man is a woman’s choice? Why can a man not be a woman’s privilege if a woman is not a man’s privilege?
  • Isn’t it a little pretentious to say that a man’s surname is replaceable? It’s like threatening a man by saying that yes, I’m going to leave you and replace your surname with someone else’s? How correct is that?
  • And why must men be blamed for choosing to be indifferent when women can be let off the hook?

This video does nothing to the cause of “women empowerment” or “feminism”, whatever you want to call it. Women empowerment is NOT all about sex. You accuse men of being perverts and thinking about sex all the time. Then what would you call this video? It does nothing when it comes to gender equality. If women have the right to be treated well, then that does not mean that a man must be pushed down and trodden upon.

There are ways to tell the world that gender equality is long due. And this video is not one of them! Do not pull men down to “empower” women.

Such is the force of the eye of a woman

A simple word from her has such acumen

It either destroys the world or resurrects it

But never, never has it been or must be a mad hypocrite.

07-04-2015 - My Choice - A Little Too Far

Picture Courtesy: Youtube.com

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