How #MyChoice Video Fails To Understand What Feminism And Empowerment Is!
The video starts on a fine note saying “My body, my mind, my choice, my choice to be a size zero or a size 15”… Needless to say, we are the only in-charge of our body and we have the right to keep it as we want, dress it up as we want, and feed it as we want. But wait, that’s exactly the problem. ALL OF US KNOW THAT. It’s a well-established fact by now. So where did Deepika Padukone say anything new here? Well, some of you might say- maybe, she is saying it because the world still does not understand the fact that our body, our rights. Deepika Ma’am moves on to further arenas after this, where we have a choice. “My choice, to marry or not to marry.” Well, this is an issue which is taking everyone in its menace. Youngsters, especially girls, are forced to marry because marriage is believed to be the be all, end all in Indian society. Whatever a girl does is controlled beyond human comprehension because she is supposed to find a groom and get married. Whatever a boy does is because he needs to support his future family. So, though this one also is an established fact but I’ll give it to Deepika Ma’am for reiterating it in her video. Moving on, “My choice, to have sex before marriage, to have sex outside marriage or to not have sex at all.” This is the problematic part. How does having sex outside marriage counts as empowerment? Sex before marriage is a personal choice. Just because you are having sex before marriage or not having sex before marriage, that does not count as empowerment. To have sex outside marriage CANNOT be REGARDED as EMPOWERING under any circumstances. And saying that it’s my choice does not make it right. Adultery is even punishable under law. I don’t know how this part was even included in a video which is made under the banner of VOGUE EMPOWER. Furthermore, she says that it’s a woman’s choice to come home when she wants whether it’s at 6 p.m. or 4 a.m. True that! If a man can roam freely outside his home at any point of time, even a women should have such freedom without the fear of getting raped. Agreed? Addressing the issue of homosexuality, she says that “My choice, to love a man, or a woman or both”. Addressing the issue of how a certain style of clothing decides whether you are married or not saying that “the bindi of my forehead, the ring on my finger, adding your surname to mine, they are all ornaments, they can be replaced but my love for you cannot be.” I really appreciate this part because this is one issue which every single Indian woman deals with. If you are married, YOU HAVE TO WEAR A RING OR MANGALSUTRA AND CHANGE YOUR NAME FROM MS. TO MRS. BECA– USE THAT IS WHAT YOUR EXISTENCE IS ALL ABOUT NOW. Having highlighted both the good and bad parts about the video, I must say that this video has somehow failed to give the message it was made for. The problem lies in the sex outside marriage mainly, which cannot be ignored. No woman would tolerate her husband having sex outside marriage, even a man wouldn’t. Remember, equality in all aspects. The dimensions of empowerment are very different according to this video and it is capable of sending wrong message to a million of women and men out there who will see the whole video. It does not talk about feminism completely, because feminism is the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes. Feminism, in simple terms, means equal rights and opportunities for both men and women. “I WILL DO THIS, WITHOUT THINKING WHETHER IT’S WRONG OR RIGHT, WITHOUT CONSIDERING MY PARTNER’S OPINION, WITHOUT CONSIDERING ANYONE’S CONCERNS, BECA– USE WELL, IT’S MY CHOICE”. Don’t think its fair enough! Men must be concerned right now and must be wondering when their women will start questioning everything they say and end an argument saying MY CHOICE. It is using matriarchy to counter patriarchy in the name of feminism and that is all that is wrong with the video. I absolutely adore Deepika ma’am as an actress and as a human being. She is doing a wonderful job in her field and she is also an exceptionally courageous human being. But I believe that when you are in a position where you have significant power and humongous audience amongst the classes and the masses, it becomes very important to be clear about the message you are trying to send across because whatever you will say will affect a million people and this time, Deepika Ma’am, unintentionally, has sent across a wrong message. Oh, also, I am a snowflake, you are a snowfall, you are a snowflake. I am the universe, infinite in all directions. (WAIT, WHAT?)!!!
About the Author: This article is contributed by Rashmi Bagri, our intern.