In the very beginning, let me define the word ‘feminism’-
‘The advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes’
Sorry Deepika Padukone and Vogue, I am not with you on this, nor can any judicious person be. It is quite clear, in vague search of women empowerment we are promoting senseless notions, views that are far from enablement, are close to devastation. The abrupt ‘My Choice’ video of yours is an evident deviation from sincere endeavors that the society is doing to bring in actual empowerment of women. A fashion magazine could have tried something genuine in this respect, rather than sending across a stylish statement by mixing it with sentiments of women’s right to freedom and choice. Opposing norms of the society have become more of a trend today; has the power and age of social media accessibility made us so frank that we are ready to embrace westernization in our lives without even evaluating its impact on the Indian social sphere? Ok now do not call me a hypocrite or an antiquated person carrying a motive of fuelling Hindutva.
How can adultery be your choice, or the choice of any person on earth? Let me tell you that Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code renders adultery as an offence punishable with imprisonment of up to five years. ‘To have sex outside marriage, My Choice’, did you even realize that such statements are far far away from the empowerment you talk about, these are relatively according approval to anti-social thoughts that you have been trying hard to plagiarize from the west. India ranks high in terms of domestic violence, rapes, eve-teasing, sexual discrimination at workplaces, absence of lavatories for females and other such flaws, which are to be addressed way prior to asking consent for homosexuality or bi-sexuality. The Vogue video starts with a quote ‘My body, my mind, my choice’, but these impressive-looking lines disregard a fundamental datum that no participant in a society can live or be allowed to live in isolation and/ or to carry ideologies that do not form a consensus with broadly accepted norms, standards that you term ‘worn-out’, ‘untrendy’, ‘backward’ and ‘unprogressive’.
Let me remind you, the same Hon’ble Supreme Court of India that declared the Section 66A of Information Technology Act as unconstitutional also upheld that homosexuality is to remain a punishable offense in India; I am totally lost as to how any citizen/ group in the country be permitted to publicly defy rulings of the judiciary? I am with you when you talk of your choice to marry or not to marry, to not have sex, to love temporarily, and that you are not a privilege, but if your songs are a noise, because they compete with human values, if your ‘choice’ is a declared ‘sin’, I am sorry that it is your ‘personal’ belief, not of millions of Indian women who dream of a good monsoon for their farms, who feel all the heavenly pleasures in living life as a ‘faithful’ wife/ mother, who do not dream of the infinite universe or snowfall, but of toilets and schools for daughters.
This has rather come as a disappointment than a pleasure to see a role model for the youth, Deepika, pretending to be a savior of women empowerment but landing up as a promoter of social disorder. ‘Sex before marriage’ and ‘lust forever’? Will you then not ask for a lawful sanction for Gigolos (male prostitutes) and themes like group sex/ BDSM? I mean, are we not visibly heading towards sheer wreckage and an incurable environment? ‘Come home at 4 am’, welcomed if the purpose and intent to stay out are as per the acceptable rules of society, but surely unwelcomed if this stay relates to social anarchy. You are undeniably mistaken when you urge ‘My pleasure can be your pain’. What if a male member of the society, depressed with false cases of dowry, rape and harassment, also rises one day in search of special perks and places his pleasure above the pain of a woman? Would it not result in irrepressible exploitation of women? Then, how can be a woman’s/ men’s pleasure above the pain of other human?
In hasty, vague and injudicious attempt to empower our women, we have allowed a section of the society to earn illicit profits and publicity. If an elderly person objects to a girl wearing the transparent cotton/ silk you try to refer to in your video, or raises his/ her eyebrow on a couple making love in the public, the same can never be construed as suppression of freedom and choice. Do not forget, above you, above me and above any and every human is the ‘society’ of which we all are a part, and a person who differs in opinion is termed as ‘anti-social’ and not a reformer. To be a reformer, an activist for women empowerment, you do not need impressive lyrics, sound, models or graphics, you need a judicious mind that can analyze ‘real’, not superficial, issues of women and a will to come up with solutions that may not appear beautiful/ engaging but has the caliber to alter present settings, here the example of Kailash Satyarthi, a silent crusader of children’s rights and a noble laureate, is as flawless as imperfect are our politicians claiming to be real seculars.
Dear producers and parts of the Vogue film, feminism is not asking for special privileges or supremacy of women, it is asking for equality and fighting the discrimination. We will respect your ideas of not to capture sunlight in palms, not to cage thoughts of women, and to allow them to be different and independent, but we are extremely sorry that your so-called empowerment notions of sex before marriage, sex outside marriage, lust and homo/ bi sexuality are absolutely condemned and deserve to be quashed. These extravagant drives are just driving us away from the real cause, serving no purpose, to write it straight, making feminism nothing but a ‘gag’.