You would have seen it by now – some friend of yours sharing it on their timeline with the hashtag #womenpower or #empowerment  or something of that sort. For those who haven’t, the video is a short 2 minute black and white film showing women across professions propogating “My choice” as women empowerment.

Now first of all let me come out and say that I love Deepika Padukone. I love that she stood up to that ridiculous article about her cleavage last year, I love that she has the courage to stand up and talk about depression and suicide and in general I think shes bloody amazing.  I also think parts of this video are absolutely phenomenal and im ecstatic that  its started conversations about this issue but….

Here are some of the lines from the video:

– Sex outside of marriage , my choice (Umm, Im sorry if thats your choice then a man has the same choice to cheat on you)

– Carrying a baby, my choice ( Your choice alone???  There is another person there whome you supposedly love who put that sperm in there you know )

Now imagine if a man made the same video and spoke about HIS choice to ask for dowry, HIS choice to marry a fair, white girl, HIS choice to have sex outside marriage, HIS choice of wanting a baby. Chances are there would be a public outcry where everyone including me would be condemning the video.

While I’m all for choices- that’s what a democracy is about right,   I have two basic problems with that video. First- to me far more important than choices about clothes and sex are those of  education, about financial independence , about choosing a  life partner and unfortunately the millions of rural women in India don’t even have the privilege of ‘choice’ in those arenas .

Secondly – I would rather live in a world where both men and women can learn to be equals, love and respect each other  rather than a world where we put one gender down- whether men or women. Turning empowerment into an ‘US’ vs ‘THEM’ exercise is pointless. “Dont get upset if I come home at 4 am ” says the video..well im sorry but if my husband came home at 4 am i would be bloody upset, and I expect he would do the same if I did. If my husband doesnt want a baby, and I do, we will sit together and talk about it because its OUR choice.

I actually REALLY liked the Vogue Madhuri Dixit campaign which said “Start with the boys” or “Ladke rulate nahi hai” . Thats something every mother should be teaching her son , but this video- fell a tad bit flat.

PS: the snowflake bit I just didnt get.

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