My thoughts on ‘My choice’ – Women’s empowerment

Recently I watched the controversial video by Indian actress Deepika Padukone and Vogue Magazine to ‘Empower Women’. The bold assertions in the video has been stirring controversies and men/women alike have criticized the video. On first view, I too felt that the message did not really help Women’s empowerment because of some lines that jarred my sensibilities.
To understand what exactly was causing my strong pro-feminist side to falter , I had to do some soul-searching and analyse the message line by line. My thoughts are in brackets [ ]
transcript of the film

My body, my mind, my choice

To wear the clothes I like; even if my spirit roams naked

My choice; to be a size 0 or a size 15

[Yes, break those stereotypes of size 0 model…So many young women have body image issues… great message!]

They don’t have a size for my spirit, and never will

To use cotton and silk to trap my soul is to believe that you can halt the expansion of the universe

Or capture sunlight in the palm of your hand

Your mind is caged, let it free

My body is not

Let it be

My choice

To marry, or not to marry

[I’m 1000% with the message so far]

To have sex before marriage,

to have sex out of marriage,

or to not have sex

[My thoughts   for ‘before marriage’ – please understand the consequences of this choice

for ‘out of marriage’ – Marriage has an implicit promise of fidelity. Unless there is a clear open agreement between the spouses on expectations of fidelity ..this message is wrong. Some men are exercising this choice today without much societal disapproval. We need to change the society to treat both male and female infidelity(when it breaks a promise to someone) the same…not encourage it or sanction it for women

for ‘not to have’ – Again, setting expectations before starting a relationship with someone is wise.  ]

My choice

To love temporarily, or to lust forever

My choice

To love a man, or a woman, or both

Remember; you are my choice, I’m not your privilege

[this above line seems to have upset some males…maybe “You are ALSO my choice as I’m your Choice ” may explain the message better. But it does not go with the poetic theme..as someone who struggles to make things rhyme/sound poetic…I understand the need to keep it brief. And Men like to have Privilege..how dare you take it away Deepika? That’s so feminist of you! ]

The bindi on my forehead, the ring on my finger, adding your surname to mine, they’re all ornaments and can be replaced

My love for you cannot, so treasure that

[Totally 2000% with the message]

My choice; to come home when I want

Don’t be upset if I come home at 4am

Don’t be fooled if I come home at 6pm,

[As someone who has waited for my spouse..without having an expectation of when he would be home…and experiencing the angst and worry it caused …. I can’t accept this message. Just because many males are already exercising this choice does not mean women should mimic this disrespectful choice that men make. We need to encourage  healthy relationships where one understands that their choice “to come home when I want’  is at the cost of their spouse’s choice and changes their behaviour to at least give an Estimated Time of Arrival.

With that said, there are some males who expect ‘their’ women to be home by a certain time without understanding the legitimate delays that they may encounter at work etc.. and in those cases…yes..It’s your choice!]

My choice; to have your baby or not

To pick you from 7 billion choices or not

[this has some males angry…”what she gets to pick…there are 6 billion 999 million others? “…I hear them say. “I also have a choice to not pick you”,they say in a spoof.

Do you know how many girls in India have been attacked with acid for rebuffing romantic advances from a male who made her ‘his choice’? Google it and see…

Acid throwing and murder are extreme cases. But most men ,when their romantic advances do not work out, get verbally abusive. It’s interesting to see their “love” turn to “she thinks too much of herself” hatred in a matter of minutes when they hear the word “no”

]

So don’t get cocky

My pleasure might be your pain

My songs, your noise

My order, your anarchy

Your sins, my virtues

My choices are like my fingerprints

They make me unique

I am the tree of the forest

I am the snowflake not the snowfall

You are the snowflake

Wake up

Get out of the shit storm

I choose to empathise

Or to be indifferent

I choose to be different

I am the universe

Infinite in every direction

This is my choice

[None of the above lines attack any men – it just says I have my perspective and it’s as valid as yours how ever different they may be]

Overall I think the message was great. The few lines about sex and ‘coming home when i want’ was too radical for the Indian population…and it deflected the beauty of the rest of the message.
“Why write about this?…everyone is writing about it..be different”….someone asked me…I said, “It’s my choice”.
Note: Somehow the fonts sizes of the various paragraphs were messed up when I pasted the draft from another word processor. It was not intentional and I’m still getting used the WordPress editor.
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s