If you are passionate about teaching, then Hackberry offers you franchise opportunities to turn this passion into your profession. Fill out the form now!
We've heard lots of opinions on the My choice video. Here's a thought-provoking one that you cannot ignore. Women are born equal and let's not forget it.
We’ve heard lots of opinions on the My choice video. Here’s a thought-provoking one that you cannot ignore. Women are born equal and let’s not forget it.
Deepika Padukone’s voice-rendered video ‘My Choice’ has definitely created quite a stir on social media. If you haven’t watched it yet, I want you to before you read this post.
While we are busy punching it with morality-ladden gloves, I am going to take a different route.
Whatever the intention behind the video – who made it, who is in it, whose view it reflects, why they made it – putting all that aside, I am going to reflect on what I got out of the video.
The video is thought provoking; it made me think, question, dissect, debate and converse with my own gender perceptions, stereotypes, notion, ideas, the shoulds, should nots, dos and do nots of gender.
What does choice mean to me? Is there a difference between choice and choosing? What role does responsibility play? What is real freedom? What is true empowerment?Related Stories The #MeToo Movement Needs Women’s Solidarity, Now More Than Ever Why Is It Considered Imperative For A Woman To Love Cooking And Housework?
What does choice mean to me? Is there a difference between choice and choosing? What role does responsibility play? What is real freedom? What is true empowerment?
I remember the first time I saw the video. I have to be honest – I absolutely loved it. It was something so unusual for the Indian subcontinent that I was instantly drawn to it and I also know many other young girls in the country would have loved the video. The black and white images of Indian women and their bodies, the various moods they embodied, the intimacy, the beats, and Deepika Podukone’s strong, yet sensual voice in the background. I loved all of it!
Every sentence in the video made me think. There were lines towards the end that made no sense to me, and caused moments of disconnect from the video. But then, there were also lines that I absolutely loved like the ones below.
“to wear the clothes I like even when my spirit roars naked”
“to be size 0 or size 50 – they don’t have a size for my spirit and never will”
“to use cotton or 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”
I did notice the discomfort in my body when the line “to have sex outside of marriage – My choice” echoed in the background. While I shared the video immediately on my Facebook wall – I did not elaborate on it. I wanted to understand my own discomfort around the statement “to have sex outside of marriage – My choice”. My own moral defenses of right or wrong were punching at my intellect – “Now, this is going to send the wrong message to the young girls of India that it is ok to cheat in marriages. What about our Indian values and how the Indian woman embodied her strength? Now, we are going to have the same problems as the western society. ” and so on.
Then sometime yesterday, I was reading the various reflections posted about this video, and blink – the lights went on inside!
It hit me that irrespective of gender, men and women have the same access to choices. It is not about being right or wrong upon making the choice, but they both have the same choices. Do girls and women know? Why are we so afraid to give the freedom of choice to our girls and women to choose the course of their life? Why do we assume that they will make a choice that will be unhealthy or destructive? Why is the same act ok for one gender, while it is not so for the other?
From my own life experience I can say that when a husband cheats without any guilt, the wife is told to forgive and forget, and continue because that is what men do. If the role were reversed, the wife would be crucified and dumped without a moment’s hesitation because women don’t do that. So, we have a different moral compass for each gender. In the above case, men have the choice and a woman’s morality is taken for granted. It is powerless!
There is a big difference between choice and choosing.
Choice definitely brings freedom and expansion, and choosing determines the direction of our life.
What we choose can be categorized as right or wrong, constructive or destructive, beneficial or harmful, healthy or unhealthy based on so many parameters – some of these parameters are irrefutable like gravity, and some are based on our own judgement.
How we choose is again based on our own life experiences, exposure, age, wisdom and inner strength.
And what I choose determines who I am as an individual – it shapes my personality, expresses my perception, and so much more. Only then can I take responsibility for my life.
For many women, choices are nowhere in sight. They do not even know they have a choice. Most often than not, they are tightly wrapped in the shoulds, should nots, dos, do nots and they live without questioning. Most of them have never really experienced the power within to have a choice and to choose. Their life is not determined by them, but by factors such as religion, culture, society, family and the men or women in their lives. That is being powerless!
My choice and my ability to choose whatever it may be – makes me responsible for the course of my life. That gives me power. And with power again comes responsibility, and vice versa – with responsibility comes power! How I access/use/replenish that power such that it is uplifting for me and for those around me determines true empowerment! That is the journey for each one of our lives!
The My choice video is shouting out loud that a woman also has the choice to have an affair, to have sex in marriage or outside marriage, to not have sex and I would go one step more, and say that women also have the choice to drink alcohol and to smoke cigarettes. There is nothing like a man can do it and a woman cannot do it. Yes, the consequences of these choice also affect both equally. Patriarchal masculinity needs to wake up and realize that women also have these choices and will dare to make them.
Women have had it with the psuedo-morality and hypocrisy of the patriarchal masculine. My choice is only the first step. Women are reclaiming their choice, and making a statement to the world, especially to the patriarchal masculine – “Watch out! Don’t think you can do something and get away with it as it’s ok for you to do it. We will follow suit; even if it is at our own cost.” We are daring to choose!
In the Indian subcontinent it is a big statement, and definitely, I see it as a wake up call!
She is awakening!
She will speak out, lash out, curse out, blurt out, burst out!
She is finding her true voice!
She has to find her way – a new way – on her own terms!
She will make mistakes and it is ok!
It will take some time. There will be many back and forth, pull and push between the masculine and feminine before balance is restored. This is only a beginning.
Let us be patient!
Rekha Govindan Kurup is a Feminist Yogini, Women-Centered Spirituality Coach and Social Artivist. She is also the founder and Director of The She Stands Tall Project that is committed to support women in their read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, indivisual posts do not necessarily represent the platofrom's views and opinions at all times.
Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!
'Dr Saloni will take care of everything,' my MIL said. My cowardly husband refused to go against his mother’s wishes. I was left to fend for myself!
Some time ago, I went to a marriage ceremony with my parents. It was a very high-profile marriage – not the ones we usually were invited to – but in this case it was Ramesh uncle’s son’s marriage. Ramesh uncle was my father’s first cousin. He began his career as a humble elevator operator at the TIC business group. With his sheer hard work, grit, and the knack of sensing the right opportunities, within eighteen years he became the president of the company. My father and he were the best of friends during their school time.
Half an hour before the stipulated time, we left our house, hired an auto and reached the venue. All four of us were in our best outfits. Getting out of the auto and looking at each other, we were highly convinced that we were going to fit in just right. As we crossed the dazzling and beautiful portico, we felt very insignificant compared to the big lawn and building lying ahead.
Mother was wearing all the jewellery she had got, including the big old-fashioned necklace, earrings and shiny bangles. Father was wearing a velvet coat, brother had put on a light orange shirt with a black check coat, I myself was wearing a red salwar kurta with a net dupatta. I had put on a necklace with red beads which at the time of wearing looked very pretty to me. Now looking at the other guests, I felt all four of us must be looking like clowns who had come for a fancy-dress competition. I felt my brother and parents were also feeling self-conscious and uneasy now.
Live-in relationships are legal in the eyes of the law. Read on to know more on the rights of women in live-in relationships.
Live-in relationships may sound exciting. But sometimes they become complicated, especially for women and the children born from a live-in relationship. It’s important to be aware of rights of women in live-in relationships.
Live-in relationships are where a woman and man live under one roof with mutual consent, like husband and wife, but without getting married. This has become very common in metropolitan cities these days, where two independent people simply do not want to get married. This relationship can be terminated without the consent of the other party.
Live-in relation may not be recognized completely at the social level, but Indian law does consider this relationship to be legal.
Let's examine the concept of choice, in the context of women's empowerment. Are all choices empowering?
I sometimes come across people who talk about women’s empowerment in terms of choices. But empowerment is not about choice. Or at least, it is not about choice alone.
Once, I came across a blogpost where the author felt that it was alright for her to practice the 3-day ritual isolation during menstruation, so long as it was her choice. I can’t remember where I came across this, so I can’t check back whether the author applied it only to herself or to others, but hypothetically, let’s assume that such a person has a daughter, to whom she applies this ritual isolation as well. Let’s assume this daughter finds the practice uncomfortable, or even unacceptable. Would we still be ok with this choice?
It was my choice to adopt my husband’s name after marriage – never mind that he never had to consider such a ‘choice’. Could I be making this choice because I know that this is the way the world works, and working out an alternative is too much work? Or I could be making this choice because I hate my original surname and always wanted a change?
Whether it's wearing shorts or creating a nuclear family, true empowerment for women is about making your own choices.
Whether it’s wearing shorts or creating a nuclear family, true empowerment for women is about making your own choices.
Women’s Day has passed and we all felt pretty empowered on this particular day. Thanks to the articles, videos and ads flooding the social media. However I had a very different day and some varied experiences. Here is a snapshot.
I was travelling to the bank on the metro when I bumped into a long lost friend. She was married for almost 3 years and was staying with her in-laws. After the usual tete-a-tete she started denigrating her mother-in-law.