Besides GST, hudud and 1MDB mismanagement being the talk of the town, the video of Vogue India narrated by Deepika Padukone and directed by Homi Adajania is making waves here, especially in the Malaysian Indian community. For those who haven’t watched the video, here it is, #My Choice:
In the wake of this video, virulent criticism rose and many spoofs were made to drive home a point that I am yet to understand. It’s like a roller coaster without direction nor an operator.
The main point is, this #My Choice video is open ended in all directions and can be interpreted like fingerprints. So, every other, feminists, anti feminists, misogynist and clueless people are making their own #My Choice definition especially on the basis “your sins are my virtues, my pleasure may be your pain, my songs, your noise and my order, your anarchy’. See, basically it means one man’s meat is another man’s poison or more accurately, one human’s meat is another human’s poison. One person’s god is another person’s devil. One person’s sacred scripture is another’s profane blasphemy. Like PK says, “One god asks to worship cattle, another one asks to slaughter cattle.” Girls being out at 9 pm is a pain for Mukesh Singh and his defence lawyers but a pleasure for Jyoti Singh Pandey. People (girls don’t lose virginity on their own and men don’t get horny then pound their own nostrils) engaging in premarital sex, extramarital affairs or choosing to abstain from sex are making their choices. Those are not legally wrong but are perceived as morally wrong. It’s simple as that.
#My Choice, to have sex before marriage or not to have sex at all
First of all, for those knuckleheads vilifying Deepika for making the #My Choice statements in the video, it wasn’t her who came up with them. She was reading from a script written by someone else for her. So, criticising her is an exercise in futility. I am not a fan of Deepika Padukone, okay?
Many people are clamouring that if premarital sex is #My Choice then rape is also #My Choice, your pain is my pleasure. Man, are you for real la? Don’t make statements for the sake of making statements because you sound stupid. Veembukku panna athu sari varathu. You damn well know that RAPING is against federal and constitutional laws but casual sex is not except under Islamic law. This video is dealing with personal choices, not choices that breach federal law and make police handcuff you and throw you in jail. Personal choices involve emotions being hurt and culture being compromised and you hyperbolising this #My Choice video into raping ain’t smart yo. One can go on and on, Najib bought private jet, #My Choice, my pleasure, rakyat’s pain pay GST, Kelantan wants to implement hudud, #My Choice, some people’s pleasure, others’ pain, rob people to pay GST, #My Choice, my pleasure, the robbed people’s pain. Get it? Please wise up.
In order for women to have sex before marriage, there needs to be a team player in the form of men so going berserk on the statement in the video and calling women bitches and Deepika a slut for having been in several relationships are plainly unfair. I have always heard this cliched statements coming from Indian guys, “There are no good Indian girls anymore, all are second hand rubbish.” Well, brothers if you are so concerned that good Indian guys like you out there are getting only ‘second hand rubbish’ please don’t ask for sex from your girlfriends because you don’t want good Indian guys getting ‘used items’. Suya nalama illame pothu nalama yosichu seiyalpadungge anneh. Can ah? And, maybe the terms online sex chats and oral and anal sex happen to escape you. And, maybe a girl relented because her boyfriend promised her that he will marry her only to leave her when the ‘matter’ is over. But of course it’s the girl’s fault. She is the whore. And then the statement, “Playboys are not born, they are made by girls.” Definitely bro. Girls are the ones who hold guys’ hands and show them where all the online porn sites are. Celibacy does not lie between one’s legs; it lies in one’s mind and being celibate up there takes much more self control (controlling sexual fantasies) than being celibate down there so the former has more value. Many guys have tried to have steamy chats with me but I declined. Because for me, more than the right to make #My Choice, making #My Choice the right choice is more important. Sonthe butthi irukanum, summa saaku sollathingge.
As for Indian girls, smoking, drinking and clubbing will not make you achieve gender equality and if you believe so, it is a twisted idea of feminism. You can of course choose to smoke, drink for whatever reason but it is poison to your health. Smoking and drinking is harmful to both the male and female body. Since when do smoking and drinking Indian girls poison Indian culture and not their health, I don’t know. In Hinduism, is there anywhere stated that women should not drink or smoke and have a night life? Culture is like the govt; it changes every 5 years. But, it is #My Choice. Choice is a right. You have the right to choose at your own risk, be it premarital sex, smoking, drinking and clubbing. Citing feminism as the reason for you to smoke and drink so that you will be equal in #My Choice with Indian guys is pseudo feminism. The Suffragette movement, Gulabi Gang, Jansi Rani, Kiran Bedi, Kalpana Chawla, Phoolan Devi, Margaret Thatcher, Julia Gillard, Indra Nooyi, Malala Yousafzai, Harriet Tubman, Madame Marie Curie and our very own Ambiga Sreenevasan, Nurul Izzah and Dr Wan Azizah embody true feminism. Like how Deepika Padukone doesn’t even come close to the essence of feminism, these petty smoking, drinking and clubbing doesn’t help in bridging the gender gap. By all means, #My Choice for drinking and smoking is valid but please don’t use feminism to justify them. You are making a mockery of feminism and giving women empowerment a very bad name like Anastasia in the movie 50 Shades of Grey.
Boys and girls, you have brains to differentiate what’s wrong and what’s right don’t you? It is time for you to assume responsibility for your actions and quit blaming each other for your own decisions and choices. You know that what you are doing is wrong if you try to hide it from your parents. Make #My Choice with conscience and conscientiousness.
#My Choice to have sex out of marriage or not to have sex at all
This video from Varun Pruthi is the comeback for Deepika’s statement, “#My Choice to have sex out of marriage.”
This video makes it look like women are the mother of extra marital affairs, the epitome of selfishness and have the coldest of hearts. Although it does make an encompassing statement towards the end, #Respect Both Genders and #Humanity Has No Gender, they are very obscure, subtle and painfully understated. There is an ongoing blame game on women that they are most unfaithful in a relationship and that they don’t love truly. This always reminds me of Muslims saying Christians killed more people than them to justify Islamic terrorism. It’s like saying you raped and killed more people than I did so it makes you a saint. Two wrongs do not make one wrong thing right. To engage in infidelity and to cheat in a relationship is gender blind. Many Indian men out there would say the love of a guy is true because there are many Indian men who took their lives after their girlfriends leave them. That’s not true love – that’s cowardice. Vaazhnthu kaata venama?
My cousin sister’s husband chose to have sex outside marriage just because his wife is ill and can’t satisfy his sexual needs. They have 3 kids and that guy, instead of taking care of his better half out of love, chose to spend his money on the other woman. Now, his #My Choice not only destroyed his wife’s life but it also destroyed her kids and parents’ lives. Her mother got a stroke attack after learning about her son-in-law’s infidelity. But she is not a loser to die for an unfaithful man like him. She lives and battles on for the sake of her children, making her own #My Choice. Now, many of you would vituperate the other woman as a husband snatcher and a bitch. I agree. But, why I rarely see people blaming the men who chose to sleep with the wives of other men? WHY? Just like how Indian guys who indulge in premarital sex are let off the hook, Indian guys who sleep with the wives of other men without their knowledge are given culpability exemption. Of course, blaming women is more convenient. Statistically, there are more single mothers, whose husbands sowed their wild oats and then leave number more than single fathers raising children abandoned by their mothers. Nuff said. At last, I too got pulled to make such a shallow comparison to drive a point home. Sial Betul.
Other #My Choice that were overlooked
#My Choice, to marry or not to marry. Yes, most women marry not out of their #My Choice especially highly educated ones. They marry to suit the ideal of life society harbours. If an Indian girl approaches her late 20s and still unmarried, she’ll be besieged by every aunty, “Aama, yeppo kalyanam?” If in 30s and still unmarried, Indian ladies are told to settle for less. If it’s a dark skinned Indian woman in her late 20s and 30s and still haven’t tied the knot, aunties would be like, “Don’t be too choosy, you are dark. If you are so selective then you’ll end up being left on the shelf.” My gorgeous ebony colour skinned cousin sister who is doing PhD was pressured to get married to a SPM dropout last year. Besides constantly doubting my cousin’s chastity, he impregnated her and then told her to abort the baby because he believes that it’s not his. His torture cannot be described by words – he is god damn insecure and suspicious. My cousin wasn’t the least bit interested in marriage, she was cowed into it. In a teary state she told me, “Everyone wanted me to get married to an anyhow, uneducated, incompatible guy against my wishes and see what happened now? I am alone in my troubles. Those who pushed me into this mess have washed their hands off me.”
#My Choice to have your baby or not. Like I said, my cousin sister was impregnated purposefully by her husband, to have her subdued. If she wouldn’t have sex with him, he’d ask her very crude questions which are insufferable hence she giving in, albeit in indisposition. There are many married Indian guys out there who won’t use a condom resulting in their wives getting pregnancies that they don’t want. Their #My Choice doesn’t mean a thing for their husbands. The only way to escape unwanted pregnancies is such women to go tie their tubes up discreetly or take birth control pills without their husbands’ knowledge. Some women who don’t have the sufficient level of independence would drink papaya leaf or pineapple juice to get rid of unwanted pregnancies and these are not surefire and neither safe ways to prevent/terminate pregnancies. Women are not allowed to make their own #My Choice on whether or not their uterus should house a baby, how many times and whether she is ready to be a mother.
Periyar has, over a century ago, said, “Women are not child bearing machines. Only women should decide when they want to get married or if she wants to get married or not and when she wants to conceive or not to conceive at all.” How about Barathiyar’s ideal of Puthumai Penn who is fiercely independent, outspoken and knowing what she wants? Why have we forgotten these male Indian iconoclasts who championed women empowerment, being ahead of their times?
Instead of great men like Periyar and Bharathiyar who outlined that women should have their free will, we glorify Rajinikanth sputtering the punch dialogue, “Pombele na porumai venum, avasara pada kudathu, adakkam venum, aathera pada kudathu, amaithi venum, athigaram panna kudathu, kattupadu venum, ippadi kattha kudathu, baya bakthi ah irukanum, ipdi bajari thanam panna kudathu. Motheteleh, pombele, pombeleya irukanum. To that one breathless, seamless dialogue, the below is my answer:
Come to think of it, both India and Malaysia are developing countries. And, many of us, Malaysian Indians are content to only chastise Indian girls drinking, Indian ladies wearing window sari jacket, Indian girls wearing what they like, Indian girls having premarital sex and Indian girls being heedless to patriarchy basically. As you focus all your energy and attention on what Indian women do, in the name of upholding Indian culture, the Malays and Chinese are relegating Indians to lesser jobs. There is a corporate pattern emerging where all the top management posts are held by Chinese, the mid-level management comprising of Malays while the Indians are relegated to just being subordinates. Sure, focus more on Indian culture and what Indian girls do, fight for your favourite Kollywood actor online and be bull mad when TGV doesn’t update Tamil movies screening schedules correctly. Because watching Rajinikanth on screen first day, first day is PRIORITY but first class degree is CHOICE.
I have a message for readers from India and it is as follows:
If you guys really cared about women empowerment and true feminism you would have laughed the video as the joke of the year and then go about your work. Reality is, sex sells and the makers of this video know this. They put forth the bait and you bit it without a second thought. You all crave for controversy, not beneficial stuff. You are all at fault on why female infanticide, girls being denied education, dowry and honor killings, acid attack on girls, poverty are still plaguing your country. Because you rather condemn women on a video where an actress says having sex before marriage, outside marriage is #MY CHOICE when there are women in your country walking miles just to get water because they HAVE NO CHOICE. Believe me, in the minds of the latter women day to day survival is the only constant thought. They have no time or the luxury to be armchair critics like us and premarital sex, sex outside marriage and sex itself are the last things on their minds. To fall for such 1st world propaganda in a 3rd world milieu is not only stupid but astounding.
Make #My Choice sensible. Get your CHOICES and PRIORITIES right. Don’t make purposefully distorted interpretations of this Vogue India video because they are neither impressive nor helpful.