A few days ago, Vogue came up with a video featuring Deepika Padukone which stresses upon the hypocrisy of the modern Indian society when it comes to gender roles. The short film stars 99 women, mostly celebrities, and talks about various choices made by women in the historically patriarchal Indian society. The video has sparked a debate on social media about various aspects of feminism.
Here is the video
Internet is known for it’s tendency to debate on any given topic. The above video has brought into forefront the problems related to the modern brand of feminism in the Indian society. To understand this better, let’s take a look at the definition of feminism:
According to merriam-webster.com, Feminism is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities
Historically, women have been marginalised in almost all aspects of life. They weren’t allowed to vote or to voice their opinions on important subjects or to even receive proper education. Feminism was the need of the hour and as time went by, women have achieved the much need equality in our society.
The misinterpretation of feminism by the privileged section of the society has given rise to the obnoxious group of misandrists who find “Manspreading” (Google it. This is the most ridiculous movement by modern day misandrists) more offensive than issues regarding education or economic independence.
Ms Deepika Padukone has a knack of standing up for social causes. She tore into the Times of India editorial group for a rather tasteless article about her cleavage. The timing of this uproar luckily coincided with the release of Finding Fanny. This new video about #MyChoice comes right after the release of the trailer for Piku. Maybe this is all a co-incidence but then, timings often matter.
The video set out to be about personal liberty to make your own decisions without the society judging you for it but then it ended up being something entirely different because of the voice-over.
“To have sex outside marriage, my choice”
Having sex outside marriage is adultery/cheating which is punishable by a court of law. Interestingly, the law about adultery is our country is extremely skewered. Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code which criminalises adultery, reads as follows:
Whoever has sexual intercourse with a person who is and whom he knows or has reason to believe to be the wife of another man, without the consent or connivance of that man, such sexual intercourse not amounting to the offence of rape, is guilty of the offence of adultery, and shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both. In such case, the wife shall not be punishable as an abettor.
So adultery is a woman’s choice because she cannot be held responsible in a court of law. The video then goes on to talk about how wearing clothes is a personal decision and I completely agree with her. No one should be shamed about his/her clothes or physical appearance. But wasn’t it Deepika Padukone who once endorsed Kellog’s Special K cornflakes that help you reduce weight? I’m confused here. Should I listen to her add and then lose a few kilos before the wedding season to look more desirable or should I be comfortable with my body? Yes Deepika, you’re a hypocrite.
Patriarchal society had men exploiting women and keeping them reduced to baby-making machines. Women now are far more independent because of the countless feminists who worked hard for equal rights. But then the video said something with highlights the problems with modern day tumblr brand of feminism
“To have your baby or not.”
“To love temporarily or lust forever.”
Ms Deepika Padukone was probably not that bright a student because her knowledge about rudimentary biology is horrendous. It takes a sperm and an egg to make a baby, a woman cannot do everything on her own. By making the above statements, the video has tried to objectify men and portray them as baby making machines. Isn’t this matriarchy? Didn’t feminism come into play to combat a similar mindset?
Feminism is about equality and if you believe that women are humans and equal to men, you are a feminist. This click-baiting form of media needs to stop riding the high rising wave of Indian feminism. We agree with #MyChoice’s concept but the execution was extremely underwhelming and surprising. How about we get Sania Nehwal for the next video and talk about an Indian woman’s choice about leaving her job to take care of her kids or to go to work to support her family?