Picking Battles

Feminism is quite like nationalism. Just like we don’t need to stand up for the National Anthem every time we step in to watch a movie in a theatre , we don’t need a standard disclaimer preceding every interview , quote , advertisement , movie or TV show that ‘no feminine emotions were hurt in the process’.

Unfortunately , so much is being spoken about Nationalism AND Feminism that one needs to filter out the noise from all that makes sense. Offensive or Rational both arguments included.

In the recent past , I survived the uproar in the name of Feminism with an unwavering poise.  Blame it on my utter love for Karan Johar movies and admiration for Ranbir as a performer , I walked out of ADHM pleasantly surprised at how much screen space the two women protagonist enjoyed. Their characters were much better etched out. They had back stories, opinions and definitely a mind of their own.  Both had specific ideas about love , they both lived life on their own terms and were very clear about their definition of right or wrong. The male lead on the contrary was an emotional mess literally at the mercy of the women. I doubt if we’ve seen this version of a ‘hero’ in a mainstream movie in the longest of time. So when women across social media went into the finer details of how gender stereotypes were prevalent & the debate around consent getting a hit in the gut every time Alizeh was shoved around onscreen by Ayan , I kept my views to myself. The movie in all its glorious flaws rose above those glitches and made a larger point about one sided love and some such poetic frivolities.

But that’s a movie and every one has an opinion on it because that’s the business of entertainment . We seek a good return on the buck we spend when we buy those overpriced tickets that come with an eyeful of starry dreams.

The world then tuned into Koffee with Karan [ starring Ranbir & Ranveer] . We know its a television spectacle with the only purpose to capture headlines , create ripples , get people unnerved  and I seriously doubt other than Kangana Ranaut ANY one else in the world takes those comments seriously .  So while the lady of the hour rules red carpets and earns some more gazillions , her beau called her ‘marriage material’ and the internet went into a tizzy. What exactly is marriage material is how this piece went and I wanted to give a warm hug and a cup of cocoa to the author for literally taking the mindless banter of a self proclaimed wild child to heart.

Girls , why do we find the idea of Ranveer calling Deepika ‘marriage material’ so appalling. She definitely doesn’t confirm to the worldly homely imagery – She started off as a swimsuit model for heaven’ s sake ! On the contrary his other two options were Katrina [ an otherwise very private and quiet celeb ] and Anushka [ definitely not even a tiny spark compared to the fire cracker that Dips is essaying roles like Leela ]. The guy wears his ‘don’t take me seriously ‘ attitude up his sleeve , so why do we take his views seriously at all? He’s hardly an opinion maker .

Just like nationalism doesn’t lose its sheen if we don’t sing the anthem enough , Feminism doesn’t get pulled down because ‘one’ person finds the ‘other’ person worth settling down with [ but isn’t very articulate with his expression ] . The women who wish to get married , do . Those who don’t , hardly care about the definition of ‘marriage material’ . Its as simple as that.

I would rather spend my energy on questioning actions that speak ‘male privilege ‘ . When men pull the hijabs of women or shoot point blank when refused a drink at a bar or a dance in a shaadi. That’s why we need Feminism.  We need to save up our energy to call that out. When Hillary loses out to a Trump in every race – for presidency , for Person of the year THAT is offensive to me .  That’s my larger battle on social media and in life.

I don’t mind a semi-celebrity conforming to some deeply ingrained patriarchal stereotype but when harassment at workplace takes a heinous new meaning THAT boils my blood. Two incidents recently made me pick my battle and If you didn’t feel a thing THEN we need feminism.

When Ranveer Singh a symbol of the new uber cool alpha male winks at me from Jack &Jones hoardings as he flaunts a female colleague thrown across his shoulder like some prize , am sorry to say THAT unnerves me . The cheeky tagline that reduces women to mere décor pieces in workspace only meant for the viewing pleasure and entertainment of the mighty men folks questions the attitude of men in workplace in general.

When after years of silence the sickening ploy used to violate a 19 year old artist are finally confirmed its devastating how a complete lack of sensitivity or remorse for that matter is disguised as ‘cinematic license ‘ . The recent revelations about Last Tango In Paris aren’t just enraging because it happened , the fact that it reeks of male privilege again .

These two incidents literally tipped the scale . Those are the battles that need a voice . They are far more damaging to women in question and women in general and apart from throwing a mild fit online when I come across something like that , I’ll be blogging about them and I would encourage you to do that too.

They say never mix business and pleasure and perhaps that stands true when we choose our battles too.

4 thoughts on “Picking Battles

  1. I agree with you here Chandni. Nit picking a movie for not being “feminist” enough or a celeb’s fun interview for saying someone is “marriage material” and feeling all huffed up and righteously indignant is silly. These 2 issues – an ad campaign where gender stereotypes and male privilege is in full display, and the director admitting that a rape scene were real – these are the kinds of issues where people need to step up and fight. Because these go beyond entertainment – to entitlement.
    Modern Gypsy recently posted…Tarot forecast for 2017 + a giveaway!My Profile

  2. Started off by giving a completely feminist view of ADHM which would make KJO’S heart swell with pride. And also for showing us how we need to concentrate our energies towards more serious issues than focusing on frivolous ones that social media loves to delve into. If we need chauvinism to take feminism seriously then we have to constantly raise our voices and focus attention to the real issues that you just did in your post chandni.
    garimawritesblog recently posted…Blogging goals 2017My Profile

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