feminism, life, philosophy, psychology

Her Choice: What exactly is women empowerment?

For anyone coasting across the interwebz this past week, the baffling video titled ‘My Choice’ from Vogue India featuring Deepika Padukone and 98 other women in grey-scale reciting an ode to women empowerment must be nothing new. And neither would be the mixed (that would be an understatement: let’s try backlash) feedback that has and is still being poured out from all corners of the country.

Baffling, I said? Well, it is in a way because while I do agree with some of the points raised, the video on the whole simply fails. It casts women empowerment as a rebellion against all norms. If, women empowerment, indeed had been the intention in the first place. Well I’m an optimist so let me give them the benefit of the doubt here. But even so, some of the lines do seem to incite aggressive feminism which is never going to go down well in a patriarchal system like ours.

The proof is in the pudding they say. The video has got about 25K dislikes on Youtube as of now- a really significant number considering the allegedly powerful message this video was supposed to purport.

Which got me thinking! What exactly went wrong here?

A couple of things come to mind. The one with “having sex outside of marriage, my choice”, “coming home at 4 AM in the morning, my choice, these lines have the utmost potential to be misconstrued, and rightly so. These are the things that could have been elucidated a bit more responsibly. As it stands, they come across as being borderline reckless. I get it, women’s choices are important. I get it, it’s time we as a society started to give them a voice. I get it, women need to have the freedom to do things their way. And that is why I cannot bring myself to completely dislike this video. Because, choice, is a very powerful thing. Something we all have to agree most women in our society don’t readily get.

 It had been Aishwarya Rai’s choice to do an on-screen kiss with HritikRoshan in Dhoom but look how that turned out for her. This is what I have the biggest problem with. That we inadvertently create boundaries in our minds on how a woman is supposed to live out her life and are quick to rattle when if it is even crossed a little.

BUT, and that’s a very big but, women empowerment or feminism is also about acting responsibly. It’s about equality. It’s about having equal laws, opportunities and code of conduct for both the genders. It should never be about one outweighing the other. If the same video had been made with men, there would have been an outcry of “Male Chauvinism!” And yet, somehow, we are expected to sit down and get enlightened when women say all the stuff that they need freedom from. Which in some ways, actually seems appalling, what with the kind of disregard shown towards men. If this is what they want to preach the young female population, soon we would see debates for “Masculism” cropping up.

 And thus, the ambivalence continues….

All those fans underneath to keep her hair afloat. 
Something Deepika would regret in the days to come. 
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3 thoughts on “Her Choice: What exactly is women empowerment?

    1. Thank you, Lucy! I particularly started this other blog to talk about stuff that one does not usually discuss in real life. So very glad you liked it. If you’ve got time, I would also like you to watch the actual video that started off this debate. Just YouTube “vogue India my choice”. Let me know what you thought.

      Liked by 1 person

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