Dear Deepika, Is it just #mychoice? – An Open Letter from a woman

Dear Deepika Padukone,

First of all, thank you so much for the effort. Despite your tight schedule due to your upcoming film (quite a funny coincidence), you had the time to stand up for a social cause.

I watched your film/video today and found it depressing. It’s your choice to wear the clothes you like, you say. I would have been so happy to see a woman wearing a Saree or a Hijab saying it is her choice to wear them. I have personally met young women who choose these because they like it. Why were the traditional outfits not presented as an alternative choice? Or was it just assumed that if one is traditional then it is not their choice? Doesn’t it give a horribly wrong impression that being traditional is being oppressed? Doesn’t it make all these women feel inferior?

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Next comes the most contradicting part of the video. You say it is your choice to have sex outside of marriage. It sure is. More than being a choice, it is adultery. But the question is, why marry someone with such desires in the first place? Have you forgotten the way you accused someone of not being loyal to you (in a relationship) and how you ended up getting hurt? Also, since when did the marriage just meant sex or confined to one’s choice? When it is just about one, then the other one disappears. Oh by the way, how subtly the saree girl comes at this part with a naughty smile when you say sex before marriage. Some dumb stereotyping here. To love temporarily or to lust forever is your choice. It is my choice here to not comment its consequence on your relationship.

To have a baby or not is your choice. Do you seriously believe that you can possibly have a baby with no man involved? Also, if you are talking about a baby while you are in a relationship isn’t it being sensible to ask the other person too? What if he surprises you by saying he would love to be a part of it?

The women community is not just focused on the choices which are described here. All are not privileged enough to have these choices in the first place. There are many genuine issues like education, health which need priority over these. It may surprise you (since it is not considered in the film) that a woman could be an obstacle for another woman. There are several such instances where the women from the so-called modern class have trouble in accepting the lower class women or sometimes just the traditional women. There are many incidents where the English speaking women looking down upon the native language speaking women. I have personally met women from different countries like Italy, France, Germany, Iran, China and Srilanka. Some of them have trouble speaking impeccable English (the way a modern woman like you speaks) and they are all more comfortable with their native languages. While we respect their individuality, don’t you think a woman who only speaks Kannada or Punjabi or Bhojpuri also deserves the same respect? In the name of breaking Stereotype of the traditional mind-set, an equally stupid stereotyping is growing at the other end. Unless we accept and respect every woman, irrespective of their background, social status or education, how can we stand united against other discrimination?

Finally and most importantly, why is feminism generally related to being anti-men? Yes, many sufferings of women are influenced by men. But that never justifies blaming all men every time for every misfortune. For every such incident that has happened, there are many men who have spoken against it and have tried to do their part to make the world a better place. In addition, I personally know many men who sincerely follow and celebrate uplifting of women in their everyday lives more than the other women around. My mother, who has a rural background, was the first woman to hold a professional degree in her village. My dad’s support and encouragement which helped her to become the principal of a school eventually is no less a contribution. His efforts have extended to his children thereby never differentiating me and my brother. In fact I can even proudly say that I always had an advantage over my brother which stays true even to this day. Daddys’ are partial to daughters you see.

You too have acknowledged the support you received from your father during the release of the same video. By simply branding all men as the root cause for every issue, or portraying them like they are the enemies, aren’t you insulting all such men who are genuinely working towards women empowerment? Don’t you think that not mentioning the positive role of a man in a woman’s life is the biggest blunder in the video? Being modern does not mean being selfish and definitely not to the extent of opposing the other gender altogether. Modernity need not have to do anything with appearance either. It is being able to address the problems with a new perception. As a woman, I do have limitations and likewise there are limitations associated with a man. Accepting a limitation will only make you and me stronger. My best wishes for your upcoming film. Hope it wins many hearts.

– A proud woman

by @veena_ps


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