Last week, my Facebook news feed was filled with status messages criticizing Deepika Padukone’s Vogue Empower ‘My Choice’ video. It ranged from rants about how Deepika is not fit to be the face of women empowerment based on her past choices to how the video is promoting infidelity. Men more than women were raising their concerns and some even called it ‘superficial empowerment’, claiming that feminists should focus on more ‘serious’ issues. While I had the urge to defend and argue such claims, I couldn’t help but think “where is this concern when mainstream media blatantly promotes sexist and misogynistic messages through TV shows, movies and music videos?”
We are so quick to defend the likes of Honey Singh or Salman Khan by saying “it’s just a movie or song”, “it’s not so serious”, “you are reading too much into it”, and so on. Media and celebrities have a strong influence on people’s mind, especially the young and impressionable minds, yet we blow it off saying that it’s all in good fun. But when it is a woman, promoting her freedom and choice, we are ready with torches and pitchforks to attack the substance of the message and question the character of the messenger.
When a message for women empowerment comes out or becomes viral, it is almost expected for a ‘man version’ of the same message to float around on the internet just hours after. This implies one of two things: 1. Women’s empowerment messages aren’t important enough unless men are involved or 2. The people behind those videos lack the awareness about the fact that men already have those privileges and thus don’t need the same kind of advocacy as women. There is a general misconception that a feminist movement automatically opposes men, where as in reality, those movements are designed to put women parallel to men which in turn would benefit both men and women.
Social media is a great outlet for expressing our views and opinions and while I respect some healthy debates, I want to urge people to use the same passion to call out and question the sexism and other forms discrimination being promoted by media or other sources instead of trying to derail the slow moving train heading towards equality and respect.
About the Author
Constantly evolving, changing and learning, I am a psychologist by profession and feminist by nature.
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