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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

To the vogue empower video controversy- the idea or the counter idea

The main reason why the vogue empower video has gone controversial is the selective and too stretched usage of the word CHOICE. Before I go on, I quote a comment from a female You Tube user on the video:
"If it is your choice to have sex outside marriage, it should be his choice too. Don't call him a cheat. If he wants to marry a fair, beautiful girl, don't call him sexist. It's his life, it's his wife. Simple! If he asks for dowry at the time of marriage, don't call him a dowry seeker because it is again his choice. Don't force him to move out with you, because it's HIS CHOICE to stay with his parents." Do not file a rape case on promise of marriage after having consensual sex because he made a CHOICE not to MARRY YOU." 
 Feminism, as many of us would agree is about equality and not treating one gender as a second class citizen. And it means as much to men as to women, because men too struggle with gender stereotypes like, "you're not supposed to feel low or to cry as you're a man! or those taking to certain professions for long stereotyped being female centred"
 The way the video asserts the word choice, has been looked at in a literal way, and so we only see an over assertive deepika who goes on to relate the word choice to almost everything like 'sex outside marriage' or 'to carry your baby'. And so we say the video is trying to portray adultery as woman empowerment, or is distorting the real meaning of feminism.

Watch the video carefully once again. All those black and white faces.... They mean something, its not deepika they want to show. They show those different sections, classes of women... trying to break free from the bondages we as a society have put upon them. And as an educated aware assertive woman, I might not face the same bondages, which that old wrinkled rural lady of the video may.

Yes the words, some of them we might find offensive. Yes adultery is not woman empowerment. But that's not what i think the video wants to say

Lets dig in deep into the video, behind those black and white faces and those too stretched words. Lets go beyond deepika and see the video once again.

See, whenever in history an idea gets too entrenched, too full of bondage.. Whether religion, caste or class... A counter idea develops, sometimes even rejecting everything about the idea itself. So you'll find Marx rejecting religion as opium of the masses, or an Ambedkar burning manusmriti.. 

'sex outside marriage' is again another example of this counter idea. It doesn't mean woman empowerment. It only means a loud cry that let marriage not become a bondage for her. Let it be as equal to her as to a man. It only wants to say that you are my choice, I'm not your priviledge.

And indeed this aspect is true as much to a man. For marriages, the way they occur in our society risk being bondages for both the sexes. And this is what the video might mean when it says, "... the ring.., the adding of surname... they're all ornaments. They can be replaced. My love for you cannot."

Lets not be judgemental whether the idea is right or the counteridea, for none is. For the idea does injustice to the woman, but the counter idea, to the man. They're not the answers but we are...

p.s. - as to the aspect why the video went viral at the first place, and the intentions of vogue, or why deepika did such a video! etc etc, whatever they might be, at least its making people discuss and understand and question their definitions of feminism. That in itself is evolutionary.

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