Feminism. We seem to have made it a joke. When did we leave behind the fight for equality, when did we become anti-men? When was the last time we saw feminism for what it truly is? Deepika Padukone’s latest video has once again sparked a debate between men and women- was this the point of it all?
I watched the video with an open mind- I tried to ignore the irony of it all, I tried to ignore all the loopholes, I tried ignoring the flaws I had read about on the internet. Did I succeed? Partially. Did I agree with Deepika? Totally. I’ll try explaining what worked for me, but at the end of it it’s absolutely your wish to agree or disagree.
The video was about one thing, and one thing only- my choice. It’s my choice to wear what I want to, my choice to eat what I want to, my choice to get married, have a baby, etc etc. If you think talking about sex is blasphemy, that’s your choice. If you think wearing a sari and making perfectly round rotis makes an “ideal woman” that’s your choice. The video never said anything about right or wrong. It’s about choice. More importantly, it’s about giving a choice to the woman TOO.
As far as empowerment is concerned- ironical yes, but does that mean they can’t express their views on it? Many would say Deepika has done this for publicity, Vogue has done this for sales. You can choose not to watch her movie or buy Vogue products you know. Just saying.
There are a lot of issues men go through too, I won’t deny that. Everyone has problems, I’m going to tell you one side of it. All of this is being written out of experience. Many of you may agree. I am sure there will be some who may strongly disagree.
“Till when are you going to attend these parties and blog about it? Get a serious job!”
“What? You don’t do the grocery shopping? How will you ever run a house?”
“You want to study?? Why? Find a boy, settle down, and do something small if you get too bored later.”
“Don’t wear such short dresses. What will people think?”
It’s come to a point where I avoid social gatherings because there’s only one thing everyone can discuss – my marriage. I’ve tried responding to these questions. If I say, ’’Right now I’m doing what I like, and professionally it’s going really well for me,” they go on to give me “useful insights” on how I must leave all this “professionalism” for later, because my sole purpose in life is to find a nice guy and have kids. And then they go on to explain how I must now start getting more “serious” in life. Because it’s my life and their choice.
And this is what I have to say about their choice (something I have said on the internet a year ago, and received a lot of flak for)-
Not every girl wants to get married by 25. So before you ASSUME she’s of ‘marriageable age,’ ask her what her views on the subject are. This might save you some drama. If she doesn’t want to get married now, it doesn’t mean she never will. It just means she has other plans for herself right now. Her choice.
- HIGHER EDUCATION: NO ROOM FOR A FAMILY
Just because a girl wishes to do her Ph.D. after Masters does not mean she doesn’t care about family life. Give her a break, and respect the fact that she took that up. A degree does not mean she won’t look after her family. It’s her choice.
- QUALITY BASED MARRIAGE
So what if she’s 27 and unmarried? How does that status give anybody the right to judge her and her family in any way? Maybe being single is her choice, or maybe she has other plans. Don’t ASSUME she’s been rejected by all the ‘good men’ and is going to spend the rest of her life alone. I know many women in their late twenties and early 30s who have never been married, and are happily single. Their choice.
- IDEAL WOMAN = MASTER CHEF
Just because she doesn’t know how to cook now does not mean she can’t make a good wife. Most of our mothers were learners at some point too. Burnt rotis, overcooked rice, no salt, occasionally a special serving of something that looked like it had been struck by lightning…these are stories that our grandparents will never tire of reciting. So relax. She will eventually learn – if she wants to. Her choice.
- TOO PRETTY TO WORK
Just because she is pretty does not mean she’s dumb. I’m not kidding, there have been cases in interviews where we’ve been asked “so why MBA, you’re too pretty to work. Try modeling instead” Excuse me, what?! I’m not supposed to display any intellect just because I am pretty? And pretty women (read models) are stupid? And you think we are living in the 50’s where this is considered to be a compliment? Her degree. Her career. Her choice.
To many readers, the above points may seem like trivial (maybe even prehistoric) issues but – as women who’re subjected to them- we tend to feel claustrophobic. I write out of experience.
If you don’t agree to what I have to say, I can’t do anything about that. If you’re going to chalk this post as a feminist one, let me correct you right there- the word you’re looking for is humanist.
These are generalizations that I have been living with for the last decade. Times are changing; don’t allow stereotypes to govern the lives of your daughters, sisters, wives and friends.While there are some women who fight against these notions, many continue to compromise on their dreams, just to please society. Respect that. Give us women also a viable choice.