Vogue empower

Vogue Empower My Choice: What the criticism actually did to feminism

Update dt 5-Apr-2015: This blog has gone viral, reaching a total of 2.20 lac people through Facebook, over 70,000 page views and over 10,000 Shares. I’ve been blogging for 10 years, and this week all records broke when it received 32,541 page views on a single day. That’s 22 page views every minute. Thank you everybody who shared this post and made it a viral. Special mention of film maker Anurag Kashyap and actor Atul Kulkarni both shared the link on their Facebook pages.

The Vogue Empower video titled ‘My Choice’ featuring Deepika Padukone and 99 other women, from different walks of life, has already taken way too much space than it deserved. And yet, I feel the need to defend it. Allow me to explain why.

My first reaction:

The video was released on Saturday and when I first saw someone sharing it, I didn’t even bother to open, just like I don’t care to open so many other virals the public seem to love. But as more people started sharing it, particularly my feminist progressive friends, I thought ok let’s see what is it all about. So I saw and thought it was just about nice, makes a few bold statements which may be appreciated except that they didn’t really have a large size woman, even when the narrative went, “To be a size zero or a size 15, my choice.”

My second reaction:

Within 24 hours it went massively Viral and I immediately knew that the feminist would jump on it now. As expected respected fellow feminists had started rolling out extremely nuanced critique. “The video is superficial, it fails to represent all kinds of women and their choices, it is about rich high society women, sexuality is technically not a choice, sleeping outside marriage is cheating and that’s not cool” and so on.

This just kills me. They do it every time there is someone popular making a point about feminism. Whether its a popular actor making a TV show or a telecom company creating a TV ad. These scholars expect an one minute video to address all nuances of feminism. They want an hour long episode to deliver the same level of knowledge that they gather over a life time of research and study. For life of me I don’t get this line of criticism.

My third reaction:

By now the video have gathered over 4.5 million views on YouTube and the negative criticism have also grown exponentially. Yesterday, #MyChoice was trending at No.1 on Twitter almost all day. Every online journal and media house have at least 2-3 articles on it and almost all of them are negative criticism.

This makes me sad. We are so fucked up in our heads that we forgot who our enemies are. We are rebels without a cause, soldiers fighting the wrong enemy. Our outrage is misplaced and prejudiced. I say ‘we’ because I don’t want to point fingers, but this ‘we’ includes women who couldn’t appreciate the effort even a little bit, rather felt the need to pull it down, dismantle it, tear it apart frame by frame and obsessively criticize it.

Defense no.1: The video is not inclusive, most women cannot relate to the choices stated as they have more pressing issues.

The video is just a collection of strong statements making a simple point, women have a right to chose. Any woman could make these choices depending upon their priorities. Sure it’s not inclusive, so? If I say Save Tigers should I also say Save Lions, and Whales, and Giraffe. Rich high society women are not allowed to make statements about their issues, their choices? What seems to be superficial and irrelevant to the majority of middle class women, may still be somebody’s choice, should we be dismissive about it just because we cannot relate to it? The sad reality is that there is no solidarity in the women’s movement, Everybody is busy pulling each other down claiming, ‘my feminism is better than your feminism. Look at me my problem is more important than yours. What do you know about struggle, you rich women.’ This attitude completely defeats the basic tenets of feminism which is about equal respect for all.

Defense no.2 Sexuality is not a choice so technically she cannot say it is ‘my choice’.

Agreed. But suppose it was a choice and she chose to be an LGBT or anything in between or around, would that change anything? Would she still not have the same right to chose as she has when it comes to the size of her body or the length of her hair? This over emphasis on the fact that sexuality is not a choice rather something natural and biological makes it sound like LGBT people have no pride in their sexuality. As if, if they had a choice they would all rather be heterosexual. I say, “Screw you biology, I would chose my sexuality. Bloody hell it’s my choice to be a lesbian. So what?”

Defense No.3 Sex outside marriage is adultery and that is not cool. 

Nobody said it is. A woman is simply saying “it is my choice to have sex outside marriage. Not saying it is the best choice. Not saying you have to live with it, walk out of this marriage by all means. But it still is my choice.” Un-surprisingly men had a field day when they saw so many women outraging over one woman wanting to be adulterous. Boy were they vindicated or what. They rallied with the morality flag, gender equality flag. Suddenly they remembered that adultery is not cool and women are equal.

Indian men outraging over a woman choosing to be adulterous. If hypocrisy could blow itself off, this one would be a nuclear bomb. No one knows it better, than a hot 30+ single woman, the alarming rate at and the comfort with which most patni-vrata husbands sleep outside their marriage. But that is their privilege right? Women are supposed to accept their husband’s adultery as ‘harmless fun’ all men like to have once in a while. They should just be content with the fact that once he will be bored of the girls outside, he will come home to his wife, because she is the mother of his children, honour of his house, caregiver of his parents. They should be proud of the fact that he may have many ‘girlfriends’ but there would always be only one legally wedded ‘wife’.

We enjoy films that make adultery a matter of light humour at the end of which the woman who happily forgives the man. But we outrage when a woman wants the same. Whose agenda are we serving?

Defense No.4 – What business does Vogue has talking about women’s empowerment when they thrive on selling unrealistic body image.

Socialist feminist have dismissed the video at the outset simply because it is by Vogue. Last I heard, this was called ‘prejudice’, a vice feminists are supposed to fight against. We should judge the video on its own merits and in the right context. Let’s understand the context. These PSAs are made by corporate brands as part of their CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) initiatives. Please note, CSR activity was made mandatory by the new Company Law in 2013. So companies are bound to do these initiatives, but they try to get maximum value out of it which is ‘branding’. So even when Vogue talks about feminism, they need to sell their brand. And it is in this context that we should judge them. If the same ad would have been made by the government we’d have perhaps questioned it more. But when a brand makes it, let’s give them a bit of latitude.

Conclusion: What the negative criticism actually did

To conclude, it is easy to outrage, very difficult to create. The first thing arm chair activists do is to write an opinion piece in some paper or magazine and feel extremely good about themselves. But does that really help the cause? Here’s what the criticism actually did – Young girls and boys, say the age group of 16 to 21 instantly liked the bold video and applauded it. Some got inspired too. But as the senior feminists poured in the nuanced criticism, they felt confused, even embarrassed. They were quiet downed. Then, the men joined the criticism. As a spoof of the video, they created their own version of My Choice, as if they didn’t already have enough choices. Cyber bullies started personal attack against Deepika Padukone questioning her credibility as a voice for feminism. Feminism was hijacked, everybody forgot who the real enemy was.

As researchers and activists we have to be more careful about how we react to this new branch of social activism or commentary by CSR trusts. Let’s encourage them, engage with them, enable them to make better products. But let’s not be aggressive and negative. 

Ps. Here is what I understand of adultery by women:

To sleep out side marriage. My Choice. Not saying its the best choice. Not saying you have to put up with it. It’s your choice to walk out too. But you know you could consider the fact that while I may have many boyfriends you’d always be my husband, my Pati no.1. I may be doing many handsome hunks outside when am traveling for work, but I’d always come back to you because after all you are the father of my child (or so we think) the honour of my family. I wish I could change but you know sometimes, women would be women. Thoda bahat chalta hai, just adjust and compromise. Or you could take a cue from Bollywood and try win me back. Try Biwi No.1 or No Entry or Masti. May be your dedicated patni-vrata sewa, tapasya & tyaag would make me realize that asli sukh ghar ki murge mein hi hai.

141 thoughts on “Vogue Empower My Choice: What the criticism actually did to feminism

  1. Every word makes sense, agree to it all. Just saw the video and the stupid men version which is a spoof. Feminists are a tin of crabs. Solidarity among women is such a rare thing which is so sad. But your writing and points are so admirable.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sanjukta, thrilled that you pointed me to your post on this explosive, poignant and fascinating issue. The video I had mixed feelings about. But as you pointed out, impossible to say everything in less than 3 minutes and at least something BIG is being addressed here. Can’t please everyone anyway. But I love your reflections and resonate with what you say. In a world riddled with mediocrity and passivity, I exult when I meet another Indian woman who shares my fiery views. I am sharing your post on my blog – and it will go out to around 10,000 people, more or less, given my social media links. Bravo and keep that fire burning!

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  3. Reblogged this on mira prabhu and commented:
    Sanjukta Basu’s post on this explosive, poignant and fascinating issue — of the renaissance of feminism in the modern Indian woman/psyche — makes me so happy I am sharing it with all of you. The video I had mixed feelings about — but I realize it is impossible to cover everything in less than 3 minutes. Something BIG is being addressed here and that’s where it all begins – by increasing awareness on a subject that most Indians want to shy clear off. Personally, in a world riddled with mediocrity and passivity, I exult when I meet another Indian woman who shares my fiery views…let Sanjukta know what you think of her post and FOLLOW her blog for more — and of course you can always write to me. Om!

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  4. Loved your writing. Those were the exact same words to express my opinion about the Vogue video.
    Very mature.
    Thank you so much.

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  5. Sanjukta, what a great viewpoint! I should say that you hit the nail on the head. Its very early years for Indian actors/actress for advocating activism. Every such step is welcome. I though point out that the social conditioning of our women is appalling.

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  6. Loved this one.. I feel till the pulling each other down and ‘my feminism is better than yours’ attitude,as you pointed out changes, the chances of Change in India are extremely less.

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  7. absolutely to the point, you statement made so much sense,”The sad reality is that there is no solidarity in the women’s movement, everybody is busy pulling each other down saying, ‘my feminism is better than your feminism. Look at me my problem is more important than yours. What do you know about struggle, you rich women.’ This attitude completely defeats the basic tenets of feminism which is about equal respect for all.”

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  8. Author’s reply:
    The comparison in the video is insane. The message is ‘My Body, My Choice.’ Not ‘Your Body, My Choice.’ A woman has the right to chose and have a say in things that affect her body and life. Not same as rape and murder, because that is other people’s body and life where those other people have no way to exercise choice.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I am happy to see that even after a debate/argument on the video with two of my friends who went on criticizing it, I did not loose hope on what I believed in or get confused about video. The message/content in the video was more important to me than the brand making it or the actress working on it. Sadly, my friends didn’t get the bigger picture here but Thank you Sanjukta for this write-up. I am sharing it on my wall to make it a point that the friends go through it. I am sure they will have their opinion or a version to criticize this as well, but at least they would now think before they speak.
    Thank you once again!

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  10. My first reaction to the video: wow, great promo for Parachute, which also happens to be endorsed by Deepika. It did not move me or plant a new thought. I don’t agree with your conclusion: What the negative criticism did: “Young girls and boys, say the age group of 16 to 21 instantly liked the bold video and applauded it. Some got inspired too. But as the senior feminists poured in the nuanced criticism, they felt confused, even embarrassed. They were quiet downed. Then, the men joined the criticism. As a spoof of the video, they created their own version of My Choice, as if they didn’t already have enough choices. Cyber bullies started personal attack against Deepika Padukone questioning her credibility as a voice for feminism. Feminism was hijacked, everybody forgot who the real enemy was.” Who is the enemy here? Do we not want young men and women to hear and read different points of view, and think for themselves? As for Deepika, she seems on her way to be the new Aamir Khan (her choice really), but then, if we make a choice, we have to also be ready to face the consequences of that choice!

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  11. Very well articulated and pointed out.. Totally agree here with sanjukta.. Let’s encourage them, engage with them, enable them to make better products. But let’s not be aggressive and negative. ..

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  12. Pure and utter nonsense.

    Two wrongs do not make it right as this author seems to think.

    The only thing I can gather from this rant is that the author has a pretty screwed up husband and she is taking the rant here.

    Some men doing adultery does not make it right for the females to go about exhorting all the females to commit one.

    No one in this world has ever told that men committing adultery is in any way right.

    By your nonsense logic, why do not you also advocate rape of Men.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. This is like saying – “its my choice to Kill the Brits as ‘some’ of them massacred ‘some’ of my forefathers…I am not saying its cool to kill..but its my choice..weather his pro-genies report me to the authorities or not is another question, nobody is asking not to report…but its my choice to kill”…grow up lady, there is more to contemplate on “choices” on the path of empowering woman that a full blown conversation, more or less, centered around voyeur and sexuality…tomorrow,taking a cue from you , some men would justify dowry as his “choice” – saying its not the perfect “choice”, but the lady can walk out.

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  14. “The only thing I can gather from this rant is that the author has a pretty screwed up husband and she is taking the rant here.”

    Wow, I have arrived. I have got my own troll now. Keep the personal attack coming, they are very entertaining :)

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  15. Really badly argued write-up. So many contradictions! I don’t know if vogue gave you a right to ‘defend’ them but please don’t, for their sake!! You’re right about one thing though.. It is a dumb video which deserves no attention :) btw you argue women are not a monolith and then you go ahead, in really what can be only classified as 5th std plank, to remind “all women” to remember who the “enemy” is!! Really? How old are you? So many other laughable guffaws regarding CSR and branding too.. Phew! Too time consuming.. Put yours to better use and please give the pen up, pretty please? (That’s to appeal to your 5 std self)

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  16. Insidiously trying to run down a point does not make you any wiser….There’s more than a subtle difference between a concerned, well meaning activist and a wannabe trying to impose something just for the heck of it …

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  17. hey!
    Just what I needed. I’m so glad somebody in this universe wrote this piece.

    For all the men who are mindlessly criticizing the video:

    I’m a feminist too and that does not, at all, mean that I hate men. My fight for equal rights ends when I can get out of my house at 11 at night for a walk. When you don’t question me why do I need to go out after 10. When you understand that it’s my free world too and that, I can go out to get some fresh air whenever I want to. But you know what? This ain’t a free world for us. Because after the sky turns grey, bad men start to roam on the streets. Isn’t that an argument that you put forth when your daughter comes to you for a permission to go for a late night party? Do you realize how suffocating could it be being a woman in this damn anarchist world? Maybe you’d realize it when your daughter tells you that someday! Boys get possessive while girls get insecure? why this difference? A married man flirts and that’s all in good humour then why can’t you have your wife do the same thing? We don’t want to be like you! Trust us in that. We’re better off being us. The video just wants you all to know that we always have a choice to do that. We may or may not. Stop being a hypocrite for heaven’s sake!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. So now you generalize that so many married men sleep outside the marriage?! First: How do you know? How many? Numbers, figures, percentages, sources. Second: No body has any choices. Given absolute freedom of choices, we are nothing but animals. Unfortunately men made laws to control choices and not women and thats the problem. Now contemplate why this happened in the past, how will it change, why will it change, will it be sustainable, why will it be sustainable if yes, why wont it go back to being a patriarchal society?

    Dont alienate the men who defend the right for women, by generalizing. Because in the end, not matter how harsh it may sound, when we go back to the basics, its all about hunting and unless you all learn to hunt, things wont change!- You wont understand so dont bother replying, although I know people would! :P

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  19. I don’t think Sex outside marriage here means Adultery!!!!! It could just mean having sex without getting married and the choice to have sex without feeling the need to get married!!!!! This is in no Adultery!!!! #pseudomorals

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  20. Sanjukta: What did you just write? Like, I dunno what makes you defend the video. Okay. Let me start with the first point. The video is made so that it reaches all parts of India, the basic purpose is to serve the entire country not a particular society. Hence isnt it important, that they come up with those choices too which everyone can relate to? Secondly, regarding choices, and as most of the choices are pertaining to the urban society, the urban society is already educating themselves and progressing. Who needs awareness is the remote areas, where women face more problems.

    Defence 3: Are you educated? Like where adultery is committed a crime in many countries, and a taboo in so many societies, and you are saying that sex outside marriage is a choice. How can that be a choice? I can say that I have the choice to kill people and get away with it, does that sound good? Dude, there are certain norms which we need to follow. By supporting this statement, you are actually trying to say that it is ok to cheat your husband. Sick mindset. If that’s the case then I would say even men have the choice to get drunk n come home everyday at midnight and then misbehave with his wife, will that be ok cuz that’s his choice.

    And the outrage because of someone popular is doing it is very obvious. The reason being these celebrities are treated as idols by the Indians, hence their words have a great impact on them. Hence they would be scrutinized if they go wrong somewhere.

    I really dunno that there are people who think like you. Very Unfortunate

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  21. I feel writing this piece and/or defending the video or feeling the way presented here is “author’s choice”. The author has seen the two sides of a story and presented what is perceived by her and I guess that is her right. But I would criticize this post for two reasons – just like the original deepika’s video, it starts with a sober note and does provide an intriguing view but then suddenly and very quickly turns into a staunch extremism. The answer to the question – who is the enemy – is staunch extremism by inclining the thoughts so strongly on any one side. This never brings equality. For example, “No one knows it better, than a hot 30+ single woman, the alarming rate at and the comfort with which most patni-vrata husbands sleep outside their marriage.”

    Most, really? This is outright derogatory and staunch generalization. I am sure that adulterous men were neither able to understand deepika’s video nor they can comprehend its rebuttal. They will surely have their own argument justifying all that they do. But they are still very few. World has almost 3.5 billion men and saying that most of them are adulterous is very shameful for any women and human race in general. This is staunch extremism because once you take such a strong stance, you throw away all sane men out of equation.

    I believe whenever you want to analyze a topic as sensitive as this – one must approach towards finding true equality rather than psuedo sentimentalism and an attempt to annihilate the other side completely. This is just my tip for the author and completely my view and I neither agree nor disagree with the views of author. I think this topic needs much deeper mental exercise for everyone than presented in video or here for that matter.

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  22. It is a myth that Men have lot more choices than Women. They don’t. They get equally bullied when they are size 15. They are under pressure to reduce weight and look attractive. They don’t get an applaud when they have sex outside marriage. They get equally hated. Women in those cases adjust due to lack of financial freedom . So counter “my choice” statement would be “sex outside marriage, my choice ? ” Isn’t that plain ridiculous ? Rather it would be better if it says, “walk out of marriage , which is toxic , my right” ?? Video would have been popular with less criticism if “my choice” was enabled in financial independence , right to marry at whichever age, right to study as much as you can, right to be financially independent , right to pursue your passion, right to think beyond generalizations of society. Rather its plain stupid that it concentrates majorly on sexuality. Is it too much to ask for, as in, where you said “people expect 1 min video to cover everything” . No one is asking to cover everything !! It covered all wrong points in name of feminism.

    “Indian men outraging over a woman choosing to be adulterous. If hypocrisy could blow itself off, this one would be a nuclear bomb. No one knows it better, than a hot 30+ single woman, the alarming rate at and the comfort with which most patni-vrata husbands sleep outside their marriage.”

    Please NO !! Except in insane families where male has ultimate right over as minute as “can my wife breathe or not” , no woman, NO WOMAN accepts husbands adultery as harmless fun. I am yet to meet such women. Yes, there was a time in movies where they showed that women forgave men in that cases, but then there were also movies where men forgave woman who did that. There were also movies where men and women left each other basing adultery as a reason. For your kind info, women according to law can never commit adultery. Don’t you think this already a bias ?

    The counter argument or tit for tat for this would definitely not be “sleep outside marriage” . Please !! Give us a break !! For matter of common sense, it would be , “leave the idiot” .

    You seem to be a nice writer, not that I am validating your expertise, support rather better topics. Feminism should be for betterment of society and not to dismantle it.

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  23. Just admit to the fact it was a marketing disaster for a very important issue. Creating something which address real issue while leads to introspection would be the best way to create awareness for e.g. satayamev jayate by Amir Khan. It was made by some foolish creative agency which has no clue about the audience it is making for. Creating a controversy never leads to introspection. So defense in not required for this. Issue is right and we need to see some creativity here.

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  24. The video is wonderful and criticisms will be there …..Our society has never accepted the fact the we as women have our own say own beliefs and our own choice. We are still said to abide by the norms of our social rules and regulations. We celebrate women’s day every year but this year when I took out the topic of trans activism to be included in women’s rights , pathetic to see women criticising .We still have a long way to go to make the dream of gender equality a reality.

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  25. You know…d problem is dat d 16-21 yrs old who applauded d video don’t even know where they r in lyf n wat actually r their choices or wat it means to even have those choices..for them its just a bold video , gets tagged as women empowerment n so they shud lyk it.however i agree that to a large extent this is making sense for matured n settled women like us who r pretty much in control of their lives but dis is sending out a very wrong signal to d younger ones n d middle classes f d country but again dats how i feel about it n after al its #mychoice to have an opinion..ri8..!!

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  26. Good post. I would have found myself liking the video if (1) it weren’t a Vogue commercial in disguise and (2) it wasn’t promoted as “the deepika padukone video”. I find it sad that hypocrites like Deepika are perceived as the ones leading the “movement”. I really have no issues against the message itself.

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  27. Sanjukta I’m not really convinced with your defense for the video and here are my reasons. I don’t understand the over emphasis on sex throughoutthe video. Women empowerment is not just about sexual desires. You pointed out that men have sex outside of marriage but no one advocates it. It is morally incorrect and you are tried in court for it. Why would you encourage something that is morally incorrect. A relationship needs a lot from both sides, simply stating that its my choice to stop loving you when I feel like reeks of arrogance and shows unsympathetic mindset. Having sex before marriage, you say the video of course does not cater to all, but the target audience of this video both the urban men and women have sex before marrige. Well of course if a man is having sex before marriage there is a girl involved and she is doing it out of her choice. I agree with some parts of the video like having the choice to work, to be able to wear what they want and not be starred at when they do. And these are the issues which should have been highlighted more. The choice to move around without the fever of being raped, the choice to drink at will without being stalked as an easy take home target just because you are drunk. These issues are important to urban women too. We are trying to educate men about the choices they make and trying to make them more empathetic towards women. We don’t want to give them another reason to start exercising unjust and immoral choices again.

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  28. Thankyou is all I want to say…every word you said is what I felt too and was wondering how do I put this out… To the pseudo feminists, to others who just want to make fun or understand otherwise and to people who just want to say not so good things to a brand or Deepika..if you could understand the plain simple message it had than wanted to overunderstand.dissect it…you would see what it really means…freedom to women..freedom of thoughts, of choice and of life….

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  29. The intent of the video was good about women having choices in whatever they do, however if their choices are affecting the people surrounding her then it’s not a chooce, it’s a stupity.

    You took examples of biwi no1 , no entry etc right, i think you didnt understand the crux of it. In those movies the husband has relationship/sex outside marriage and finally returns back to his wife at the EOD, not because she is the mother of his/her kids, it means a woman(wife) has an ability to change her man(husband) when they go wrong or make such mistake/blunders and also all men are dogs which is true though may be some will not accept it. So now you want to say that even women can fall at our level? And do you expect any man(husband) to change his woman(wife) back to normal. NO, it’s clearly NO. We males don’t have the ability do all that infact will be able to forgive his wife the moment he gets to know she has external marital affair, sex is still far, we are dogs and even you will be marrying/married a dog definitely not a saint.

    So if a woman turns into a dog like us then even god cant help her forget about her man he is just a human

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  30. were you paid by vogue for damage control? because i cant see how a piece of marketing thrash which was so badly made that everyone took notice of the folly could even be justified. Save the tiger and not the lion is an hilarious analogy. whats happening with this is you are talking about save the “chinese” tigers and not the “sunderbans” tiger. With the high society my choice crap you are not comparing tigers to lions. Yes it would be great if a campaign can encompass the whole idea. thats what creativity demands. and thats what is applauded. i can tell that being an advertiser and a sociologist. that it is very much possible to encompass the whole feminist ideologies in ads or short films. It just requires the promoters and creators to have a complete understanding of the nuances of feminist movement. not what they hear in kitty parties. if they would have consulted even some of your so called arm chair philosophers they would have had a better product. And if they had to even narrow down their scope to a particular section of neglected women, rich society women are not supposedly number one in oppression or choice crisis. is it coincidence that vogue is trying to make ads only about their “target audience” which clearly showcases its commercial interests. and if you happen to say that even that adds on to your feminist movement then you are terribly unaware of the damage commercialisation of an idea does. it dilutes an ideology more rapidly than any other vehicle.
    And while i understand the choice in “fidelity”. It is penalised by the society on either gender. a “womanizer” is judged in a similar way by the society urban or rural. so it really just made that narrative weaker by not talking about more prevalent empowerment issues.
    Your asking of that any crap that comes in the name of empowerment even if it has got a hidden commercial agenda should be accepted just because it is at least talking about it is hugely flawed and if it is being critically torn down even by feminists understand how heavily flawed that video is in misguiding impressionable minds about the true ideologies of feminism. if a whole world of intellectuals around the world have something negative to say about this it is in your purview to figure out why they are saying that instead of bashing everyone for being overly critical. and your analysis of how this makes critics happy and feel good about themselves is more a projection of you when you are writing this article to criticise the critic. it can be said your motive is primarily to make yourself happy nd feel superior to the critics? in most probablities you would know you are not writing this for that reason but in a spirit of benevolence and expression of your understanding. so similarly you should be giving a benefit of doubt to the so called arm chair thinkers or intelligentia that they may have a more deeprooted understanding of the situation if they will stand up against malpractices in the movement.

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  31. If you take deepika padukone, two things can be said 1. It’s is a publicity stunt for her ad and upcoming movie
    2. She had so many relationships in her life and that made her do this video without thinking what is written in the script. Infact getting to know about feminism from a woman like her is more funny because the whole world knows how easily she changes her boyfriends,

    I will end here, but remember one thing “if your ego becomes greater than your relationship, then one day it definitely break, not ego but your relationship

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  32. Your article states the obvious, I have a simple question why does the video need to have a aggressive angered stance towards men, with these women having faces like they are contorted for days. In reality it’d always the father or the brave husband who encourages a women to follow her dreams. Why make this a gender thing. And I really don’t care who the fuck is the snowfall or snowflake coz homo fucking adhijania has been smoking up and deepika is still mentally ill

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  33. Very well written Sanjukta. As women we should atleast appreciate the efforts made. Problem in this country is that women only try to pull each other down. Be it your scary Mother In Law or the aged Grandmom who cannot get over her Grandson. These women can never appreciate such efforts made. Moreover what’s wrong with the Body image Vogue promotes. Its not easy to look like Deepika, it’s again a choice to live healthy, eat healthy and practice healthy and the outcome of that is a gorgeous image like her. What’s wrong with her symbolising feminism, she is a great example of how hardwork towards your own body, for your own good can make you stand tall like a positive figure. Why only Women wrapped in shabby sarees are taken seriously, it’s like purposely degrading yourself to prove a point. All said and done, I still believe in what Oscar De La Renta said-” Women never had to compare themselves to men, they were always superior”.

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  34. Precisely my point. I had put up my point of view on my FB and I was attacked from all sides. Well, I expected that. It was a simple video that stressed on women’s choices. But all began targeting at that particular sentence saying it is adultery. No it wasn’t.
    While adultery is so very common in the country, when men do that, yes, a big deal is made out of it. Some men justify and some don’t. It ends there.
    While women do that, the question is put this way, ‘How could you do that? You are a woman!’ or even worse, she is a whore, she sleeps with men etc.
    There definitely is a difference – no one can deny that – when men commit adultery and women commit the same. In both cases, the marriage ends and there is a big fuss about it. But ultimately, in women’s case, she is termed a slut. While the guy goes for ‘his choice’.

    The bottomline is, I believe vogue shouldn’t have come up with this initiative. You know why? Our country is governed by the ‘traditions’, ‘religions’ and the conservative mindsets. Something as loud as this would be received only with criticism. Those for it, will be for it. And those against it, will be against it. If a change in mindset is what is intended, it should happen logically. They must be made aware that the values are not being lost. It is just about being open minded.

    When a woman or man says, having sex out of his marriage is ‘my choice’, it does not mean that he/she wants to do that. That video wasn’t saying, ‘Tell your husband or your family that it is your choice’. The video was to inform the crowd that a woman should be allowed to make her choices. If someone in your family says that he/she wants to have sex outside of her marriage, deal with it. Don’t go about deciding choices for every women around you.

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  35. Just today I was seeing a scene from this new serial Begusarai on &TV. A very macho aggressive man was telling his wife, “even if I go outside with some women I always come back to you, your forehead would always have the sindur of my name, your children will always have my name. Beyond this don’t ask anything more, don’t expect anything more. Don’t force me to use these hands which caress you with love in doing anything bad.”

    This is the story of 90% women in this country. Need I say anything more?

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  36. Ah, the video was essentially asking society,and the men in a woman’s life and path to progress in particular, not to judge a woman for exercising choice in all the matters spoken of in the video. And the way you have argued about ‘how committing adultery is a choice and it is open to the husband to walk out’ makes other choices that harm other people’s legitimate expectations also justifiable as exercise of choice.Except that they aren’t. If what you argue is correct then innocent, honest participants in any arrangement(/parties to an agreement) who upheld their fundamental obligations will be harmed by the transgressor/violator party who can just ask the harmed,innocent party to walk out if it she/he has a problem with that behaviour. The minimum consequence that should visit the violator is social censure and the disgust of the innocent party as otherwise such conduct will not attract repercussions and will thus be incentivized. If the woman feels she is not being served by the marriage then she can elect to legally separate and not remain ‘trapped’. She can revoke the consent to be bound by obligations and promises she made by using the law before embarking on new relations that violate the original arrangement. Imagine what would happen in society (beyond marriage;think about breach of contract;think about the implicit social contract to which we all are parties-to cases of fraud, theft etc) if that norm is generalized and accepted. It would incentivize unfair play and disavowing accepted obligations in other areas. These things should at least invite social condemnation and afford the harmed party the right to criticize/disparage the violator for the conduct. If it is restricted to the sphere of marriage only- no social censure for breaking your vows/accepted obligations- then men can also not be criticized for doing so and this will cause even more harm to women in a patriarchal society. Just because men have been doing it for eons does not justify women claiming it it as a right. It only justifies women railing against it and clamouring for imposition of harsher economic penalties on men for doing it. It is not exactly conduct that is morally right for the simple fact that it involves infliction of harm on an innocent, honest party to the arrangement (not because religious texts/social conventions gaining legitimacy from ancientness deem it ‘wrong’). Feminism is about women achieving substantive equality with men and not about them achieving the disgusting social dominance &exercising the toxic choices that patriarchy grants men. If that was the case feminism would become a narrow, interest based movement (like a communal party’s ideology) and not something that everyone irrespective of gender must follow in the interest of emancipatory progress of all. Feminism is something of universal appeal and need because it fits into the larger movement for humanism underway for centuries against the tendency to not accord someone else the respect one would accord himself and seeing that someone as a personal instrument just because of the circumstances of that person’s birth.It should not be downgraded to the pettiness of ‘getting back’-be aggressive, but do not say that two wrongs together make something right. Build something better and more just than what you are trying to demolish. The movement under whose banner you ostensibly speak should not look internally inconsistent with regard to its principles i.e. should not look foolish and hypocritical.

    Also a video can effectively target women across social classes by talking about concerns universal to all in this era of global industrialization and empowerment- equal pay for equal work, better maternity benefits, more representation in boardrooms/management, period leave, no judging of women who are divorced/single parents, better maintenance on separation,state support for victims of sexual assault and acid attacks, the right to choose one’s partner free from straightjackets imposed by caste and religion, protection of economic rights of divorced women by discounting archaic religion based laws etc. It could have been done in such a manner if the focus was on getting the message across to people across all social strata instead of focusing on imagery and style that will solely hook viewers who can afford to read Vogue and buy (or aspire to buy) the stuff advertised in its pages. Because in the end it is a clever marketing campaign- if it really aspired to be anything else then the message wouldn’t be stylishly packaged in that way, without a thought as to the logical consistency of its statements.

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  37. I think in your Defence no.3 you’re making the same mistake as the people you’re critiquing. As far as I can tell the most criticised past of the video was exactly the one which says that sex outside marriage is a personal choice. The criticism of this statement was that there is a discrepancy in the ways in which society reacts to such statements depending on the gender of the person saying it, and that a woman having sex outside of a committed relationship (in this case marriage) is morally inappropriate. Now the arguement is not that it is okay for men to do so and unacceptable if a woman does it, the argument is simply that infidelity is not a virtue regardless of the gender of the person doing it. I completely agree with you that it is impossible to cover all the nuances of feminism in a 3 min video and I also know that a topic such as adultery and infedlity when it comes to marriage should be understood within its particular context and cannot be generalised.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. This is exactly what i was looking for. People making so many insensitive comment it was weird.

    The most senseless criticism was people blaming deepika saying she is from movie industry, she shows her body, its a double standard of her to raise voice on this. WEIRD.

    Thanks for the great post.

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  39. The video is indeed really strong and ahead of its time but I request the author to please focus on the main issue of contention here. I loved the video and loved the message but was a bit offended by the two issues here “You are a snowflake. I am not” and “My pleasure may be your pain”. I request the author to defend these two lines as not man-hating. I am a women rights activist working day and night trying to empower women but these lines naturally offend people like me and are male-bashing.

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  40. The manner in which the video has been attacked by those who should have welcomed it Is not very different from the manner in which those fighting for a socially more just, a more equatable society, spend all their time fighting with fellow travelers instead of focusing their attention on fighting those who create, sustain and defend an unjust social order

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  41. Agree with each and every word of your article but defence no 3 for adultery is completely out of track.

    The only bone of contention in this video was sleeping out of marriage. You find that justifiable or even legitimate one for discussing? It’s disgusting for any one doing it. Why Vogue didn’t promoted this thought? You think dousing fire by spewing camphor would solve the issue?

    Surely, if the acute feminists could find solace in one of their family members dad or mother or siblings sleeping out with others in marriage then that’s not SURPRISING or DISGUSTING anymore for them.

    The issue is that we promote all this stupid stuff in films. We love hero following a girl and being a menace to her and she ultimately falling for him. But no sane person thinks to stop this in films too. And said so, these filmy instance become basis of defenses. When on the other hand one protests to stop these in films, he/she is laughed out loud for being immature.

    Similarly extra marital affairs if portrayed in films do come with lesson in end. Again not justifying the films, but why show romantic and funny things along with adultery? Why not show the guilt and shame man/woman go through when cheating?

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  42. One more hypocritical, nonsensical article about the video, which, in itself, was cringe-worthy. When can we learn to call a spade a spade and not spew pseudo-intellectual bullsh*t like this? Our celebs (Deepika, too) have no problem whatsoever while endorsing fairness creams and THEN they have the audacity to do a video like ‘My choice’?! Promoting ‘equality’?! Your defense of point number 4 falls flat on it’s face. The critiques are right about this. Own up and concede.

    The author points out that people from age group 16-21 ‘instantaneously’ liked the video and are ‘vehemently’ supporting it. Wait, what? I just showed this video to a 19 year old cousin and even he thinks it’s utter bollocks. Generalize, much? In an article which talks about ‘promoting equality’ and ‘making your own choice’? Whaaaaaaaaaaa..

    Shambles.

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  43. If sleeping with other dudes other than your husband is your choice , then not giving his hard earned half of properties to you should be his choice too! But a law abiding citizen should have to give up half of what used to be his ( his properties and his better half). Even if you are the one who is sleeping around , you’ll squeeze him for more and more. Btw according to Section 497 of The Indian Penal Code , only MEN can be jailed/punished because of adultery, women can not be -_-. I’m surprised that you guys talk about equality.Have you ever heard of a woman got caught because of a rape charge? NO. Because even if we go to file a report against her, policemen will just laugh at us . In my opinion your definition of equality means “if men are able to do these wrong things, then we should do too”. And please clearly state exactly what do you want. Equality or control over men? After watching this video my opinion is “today’s sluts will be tomorrow’s empowered women”. And sorry for my foul language. P.s : sex is a very small thing compared to other things that needs women empowerment , which the video clearly failed to convey.

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  44. Is it surprise that haters don’t have a real face? All the negative comments here are from people who don’t have the guts to show their real face or use real names while making nonsensical comments.

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  45. 1.Your LGBT Comment is ridiculous. Factually it’s not a CHOICE to be a LGBT. Stop defending it with bullshit Pro-Pride crap to make a point.The fact it is not a choice is the only thing people are given any sympathy these days, because it is out of their hands. This point angers me the most, you know nothing about the LGBT community but speak for the entirity of the community. What person would choose a life of suffering, being shunned,neglected of rights and leading a secretly closeted and unfulfilled life? That’s like Me saying I give up everything stated above because I find a tree sexy and it’s my CHOICE to have a relationship with it. IT’S NOT!.

    Just having gay or lesbian friends or something doesn’t give you first person insight. Yes I’m part of the LGBT.

    2.Can you stop stereotyping men as being cheating bastards who cheat and then come back because he is loyal to his wife? Did your father do the same thing to your mother?

    Point is CHOICES have CONSEQUENCES, It is a person Choice to strangle you, It’s YOUR CHOICE to defend yourself, it is the bypassers CHOICE to do something about it or not, it is the officers CHOICE to either help you or just point and laugh at you struggling.
    See how stupid it sounds?

    Everything is NOT a choice, society is made up in a way we have rules and a code of conduct. I can’t say Choice choice choice and go around killing people. Well I could but I’d be shot dead after a while. I AM ALL FOR FEMALE RIGHTS. I Respect women and some of my Top Idols and heroes are women. But your arguments are pure bullshit.

    Everyone has a CHOICE for a positive or negative part they play. That’s a no brainer and needn’t even have to be stated, But to expect people to NOT REACT to your CHOICE is absurd.

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  46. I felt so relieved after reading this. Finally someone had the thought similar to mine. This write up is agreed entirely. (Y)

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  47. By seeing Deepikas video people got inspired???????Bull shit..,,As per her choice Deepika might have choosen her father too….Its her choice naaa….:-)..Be a role model to inspire women in terms of safety, education, health and make them grow financially,..Rather than that, This lady spoke sex, night out, about illegal relationship ….

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  48. Ah, the author thinks everyone commenting against her post doesn’t have a face. Some,like me, aren’t registered on any blogging platform and are being compelled to object to stupidity packaged as emancipation. And stupid, logically inconsistent defences of the same. And I haven’t heard her respond to the logical inconsistencies in her statement that I have pointed out in my first comment. Probably because she can’t. Anyway, I have a face. It can be seen at https://www.facebook.com/rajarshibanerjee.sphs . I reiterate, for the reasons mentioned in my prior post, that the video is an exercise in absurdity and those defending it are basically defending infantile statements aimed at milking corporate profits.

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  49. It’s very sad that you can’t take criticism as easily as you dish it out. You again generalize what is mostly well reasoned criticism as ‘trolling’ and ‘personal attacks’.

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  50. http://www.quora.com/What-is-your-opinion-on-the-video-My-Choice-directed-by-Homi-Adajania-for-Vogue-Empower-which-stars-Deepika-Padukone Ma’am would you be kind enough to read this? As you wrote earlier that “Young girls and boys, say the age group of 16 to 21 instantly liked the bold video and applauded it”, I would like to burst the delusional bubble. These answers were given by the GIRLS who belong to the same age group . They expressed their “liking” of the video on Quorra. And please next time onward write something based on FACTS, not on your IMAGINATION.

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  51. This is what I have noticed – the author shared a point of view and in a very respectable manner. On the other hand, the critiques of the video and the article are nothing but nasty and spiteful making personal attacks at the writer and Deepika! If it is about being exposed to different points of view and constructive criticism, in what universe is this nasty name calling constructive?

    I completely agree with the author that the minute any article/video related to feminism starts gathering attention, it is instantly stampeded by fake feminists, wannabes and men who seem to get hurt for no good reason.

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  52. Pingback: Quora
  53. Why aren’t you posting my comments? I find that annoying considering my comment was civil and based on reasoning rather than assumptions. Also, it wasn’t offensive at all. I believe that you only approve comments that support your article

    Liked by 1 person

  54. Though I am not a hater of the video, I felt it is necessary to reveal my true identity in order to talk about the issue in more detail. Please ignore my last comment. Apologies. I would love to talk in detail about the video. Also, could you please address the issues I raised… The issues of “snowflake” and “pleasure/pain”.

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  55. Hmm… Well Mira, I hope u have a daughter and she does perform each and every words spoken in the video.
    Let’s see your reaction after this .
    Feminism can be also a freedom to express and then same women’s can debate who are others to draw a boundary.
    But this world was formed into societies u might want to jump back to times when societies did not exist and you can see it will bring many other things to picture . There is a reason why women’s want to be equal to men because they know they are weak physically and mentally too hence we see they keep reminding about their rights and keep voicing . Does this video help the cause , I am no believer of shut your mouth and stay where you are but I do believe in morals u preach what you do and others follow .
    A celebrity is free to do what she wants but a message like this is just a gimmick , PR gimmick why was it shown in English why not in Hindi or regional language where 90% of women’s can understand u surely know what it will mean when it comes out in other languages and then the interpretation.
    People will only comment as video is what they refer to but followers naah none.

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  56. @Subin Mulmi

    Sorry, it took time to release your comments. I was not on my system for some time. I don’t block any comments, if I had to then many of the above comments won’t be here.

    About your question snow flake and pleasure/pain, honestly I didn’t really understand the snowflake metaphor. It was too poetic to me. I just thought it must be something that a woman is calling herself, and its her wish to call herself snowflake whatever that means. The pleasure and pain thing is a bit problematic, I completely agree. But here is my thought, may be in a poetic style she is just trying to say things that I like you may not like, things that you like I may not like. So either we both agree to accept each other’s likes and dislikes no matter how annoying that may be, or we end peacefully end this relationship and move on. Whatever we do, you cannot force me to like your things and accept whatever you prefer.

    These I think are the inner meaning of those words, my pleasure your pain, Since it is an artistic expression, they cannot explain it in so much detail, but we can interpret it this way.

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  57. I agree with a lot of the views expressed here regarding the pushing of free sexuality/sex as an indication of a strong, brave and free woman. Personally I think that this way lies disaster, but that is my view and need not be shared. The good news is that there is more and more of us are thinking deeply on this matter – civilization is based on the agreement to disagree, but we need to do that civilly for our discussion to be of the most value to the most people. Saluting you all!

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  58. * *I may be doing many handsome hunks outside when am traveling for work, but I’d always come back to you because after all you are the father of my child (or so we think) the honor of my family.- You do that with your husband but don’t say this is the best thing to do !

    It’s the choice of a female to sell off their body too,What difference do prostitutes make then?They are 100 times better than you people.We all respect women equally and really condemn acts such as rape ,I also do not propagate ideas like ” I am a man and it’s my choice to masturbate in public”.What you really do by this video is not empowerment.i know a hell lot of women who cheat their husbands and commit adultery.This video is just a license for them to continue what they are doing and nothing else.I pity your blog !

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  59. @Rajarshi Banerjee

    Firstly, this video is not a thesis on contractual obligation of the world. It is clearly premised at man woman relationship, that too individualistic. No need to treat it as a Holy commandments for “implicit social contract to which we all are parties-to cases of fraud, theft etc”.

    Having said that all contracts in this world, whether contract of marriage or business are based upon mutual consent. Contracts / marriage / relationships are not prison that once you enter you cannot come out of it ever. Jab tak accha lage, raho warna contract khatam karo aur aage bado. That is the true for any contract. Contracting parties often don’t even have any obligation to give reasons for ending contract, give 1 months notice or 1 year notice whatever and close it. Expectations and trust are natural but after a certain point you have to let it go, you cannot tie anybody to anything. Heart breaks would happen, families would break, but that’s life.

    A woman can end a marriage whenever she want, if she has found another man, if she stopped loving the present man, if she is just bored of the marriage, whatever. And the same is 100% true for men also. A man can end a marriage any time he wishes as well, even without giving a good reasons. A women has no right to cling on to him if he said that I want to end this.

    Life time commitment is overrated, unnatural. I imagine a liberal world where all women would be socially and economically independent and would not have to depend upon their husbands for food and shelter, so when a husband wants divorce, she should not hold on to him like a leech. Set him free. A women should have the same right. She should not be told oh how can you do this, you are a mother, think of your children, blah blah blah.

    But our laws are made in such a way that getting divorce is a problem. Bigger problem for men, and then on top of it they need to pay maintenance/alimony. These need to change. We should have pre-nuptual agreements. BUT before that all women need to be economically independent. Already in our country courts are changing their stands and becoming more liberal. In many cases women don’t take any maintenance because they are already earning much more than husbands, they just need to move on. Many courts have given judgment that if wife is earning well husband don’t have to give maintenance, he may just pay for kids education. All depends upon circumstances, and mutual agreement.

    In a just free equal world there will be many more divorces. But Indian society divorce is a taboo, why because marriage is a patriarchal institution that must be maintained to keep women in control. The family structure is design in a way to not give full independence to women.

    I hope you have my answer. Individualistic, liberal and unapologetic.

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  60. Thank you Sanjukta for writing this! This is a brilliant perspective, one that all of us should realize and understand. This was quite the same reaction I had, first to the video and then to the criticism doing the rounds on social media. I’m glad you have been able to pen this so wonderfully. :)

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  61. Your last comment mam Sanjukta…thank you for pointing it out…after all when you marry a person..it does not mean you own him…same goes for the girl in a relationship..you cant own a person…if you have loved him/her then you must know dt love is not a bondage..if his love for you is true enough he will stick around and now lets say his choices changed nd he wants out of it…then yes absolutely y not have a way out of it..after all isnt the basic meaning of love is to let go?? how do you expect to be happy in a relationship that your partner isnt happy in??? wisest is to let go…no point in making the other person and yourself miserable….the next thing would be…out of many statements made in the video it seems the sex outside marriage caught eyeballs…nobody in the video is suggesting you to do so…its your choice to follow that statement or not…who’s suggesting you to do it??? chill it on the marriage and sex issue..there are 5 very positive point made on this video why not follow or praise them rather then deriding the 2 non agreeable issues??

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  62. Was feeling the same and to a large extent found the criticism very surfatial. ‘Choice’ is NOT some ephemeral thing suspended from the sky and if a woman exercises her choice, men are deprived of it. Most critique videos were on those lines.

    Sanjukta excellently articulated the ‘adultery’ point. #Applause

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  63. Ma’am, if that’s the future you’re fighting for then arigatou. I can live with it. But please do focus on the pre-nup and alimony . In the U.S.A. a recently drafted bill is currently on the floor of the senate. If the wife is the sole bread-winner of the family, then the husband will get maximum up to 25% of the couple’s total property and vice-versa. We need this kind of bill in India also. P.s : if my comments seemed like personal attacks , then I’m genuinely sorry for it. It was unintentional. And my role model for gender equality is not Deepika Padukone, but Deepika Narayan Bharadwaj.

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  64. Ms. Sanjukta Basu,

    I never said that contracts cannot be terminated at will. Just that such termination need to follow pre-determined processes and even whimsical dishonour of contracts bring disrepute to the party indulging in it. I am a law student and do know about notice periods and all. That is not my point.

    I also pointed out in my first post that it is free for a woman to walk out of a marriage if it is not working out for her- never once did I say that marriages are made in heaven and need to last till death visits. Just that one should revoke one’s consent to be being married through the legal process. And courts have recognized no-fault divorces and granted divorce based on irretrievable breakdown. At least a responsibility to be bound by a legal process exists if you have entered into it, especially because the marriage laws give you safety nets and rights too that are not available to a relationship out of wedlock. If the process is ‘arduous’/’long’ then you knew about it being so when you entered into marriage-no one stopped you from staying in a relationship out of wedlock if the legal tangles of marriage are not your cup of tea. This sort of argument is akin to a tax evader’s one excuses about the law being complicated and arduous. Yes, the law might need to be more responsive to societal changes. But that is another matter-something which could have been specifically addressed in the video and campaigned for by the makers. You cannot base a right to cheat in,among other things including ‘free choice’, the strictness of divorce laws-they are strict in order to protect women who need protection from scheming, selfish husbands. These are not the Alipore-South City-Ballygunge Circular Rd-Pali HIll-Alibaug-Hauz Khas-Whitefield women at whom the video is aimed and whom you seek to solely represent.

    [This para is not directly relevant but still I am addressing this because you raised it out of the blue in your hyperbolic ‘reply’ :-
    There are problems surrounding granting legal validity to pre-nuptial contracts in a backward,intensely patriarchal country like India. Clearly you do not stay abreast of any debate rooted in academia (not Youtube/Page3/celluloid) and fueled by intellect (not corporate and star power). Imagine a girl getting married in a village in Muzaffarnagar/Purulia/Latehar/Belagavi. If pre-nups are allowed then what doesn’t allow the groom-to-be to have conditions giving him the right to have quick divorce without a right to maintenance/share of property to the wife in lieu of lesser dowry/ ‘wedding expenses’ (or it might just be claimed as a right by the groom as he is the lord of all he surveys in an Indian marriage) for the girl’s father? A contract needs to evidence a modicum of equality of bargaining position between the parties. Yes, if the husband deserts her she can go to court arguing that the pre-nup is an unconscionable (/unfair,hence invalid) contract- this would be extremely subjective and the outcome will be open to the local judge’s discretion. She is in Latehar-her family will probably wash their hands off the matter if it is too complicated. If she did not have the pre nup she could straightaway go to court/police to enforce her rights to the matrimonial home, to remain legally married etc. There doesn’t exist much discretion in these matters to a judge under the current law. Women are not yet equal in India.This is the reason feminism is relevant.]

    I have argued in my first post that the video could also have talked about not judging women who are divorced/single mothers. This clearly shows I am someone who believes in the right to divorce. Please read before ‘replying’. Or do not invite comments at all. Arguing in favour of adultery is not the same as arguing for removal of taboos surrounding divorce.

    Lastly, I did not argue for criminal penalization of adultery or express religious morality based outrage at the very idea.
    What I argued was that social censure and the disgust of the innocent party which is cheated on is rightly deserved by an adulterer.

    The video was all about not judging women for the choices they make and went on to give examples of such choices. But if this particular choice (to cheat) is exercised then it is only fair that the hurt party, her/his family and general society (those among it who are inclined to do so) have a right to be contemptuous of the adulterer as long as the fundamental rights of the adulterer are not harmed. Such criticism is also an exercise of free choice which is not engendered by a rigid belief in social conventions and religious morality but is fundamentally a creature of social stricture against unfair conduct in any relationship.

    I see no incompatibility of my view with your ‘ Individualistic, liberal and unapologetic’ reply arguing for a right to end a marriage. I just attach a right to criticize (whose basis lies beyond infantile ideas of ‘free will’) someone who engages in unfair conduct in wedlock. So I can’t see how your arguments are a reply to the arguments I raised in my first post in favour of a right to criticize the adulterer.

    I don’t know what sort of a law degree you possess but if you were a lawyer worth your salt then you would read and process before launching into hyperbole.

    The makers (the writer and director were male and intimately connected with Bollywood too) and the actor endorsing the message did something stupid by not testing the statements on the anvil of logical consistency. This adversely affects the feminist cause by making it open to ridicule. They could have co-opted some intellectuals and activists conversant with the struggles and the language of protest of Indian females when they were formulating the message.

    And kids initially enthused by Deepika and the style of the video(a collage of expensive diamond ad sensibilities) have been served well by the nuanced feminist criticism of the video because they have been exposed to an understanding of what it means to be feminist in a third world country that is grounded in reality and intellect. Not in the tinsel screen and the toxic celebrity culture (especially to women) surrounding it.

    Regards,
    Rajarshi Banerjee

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  65. *are a lawyer worth your salt you would read and process before… (para 8)
    *(especially toxic to women) (para 10)

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  66. Hi, while your focus on the entire episode was spot on , I would like to share your empathy on the feeling that the voice of the context is heading towards a wrong direction. But at the same time I would also like to bring light onto the fact that is it really so true and men put nightmarish plights on women to such an extent that the word sexism now defaults to women. Women use the strong holds of issues to their advantage be it victory or to be a victim. Would turning the world into a female centric society satiate the never ending saga of “Mein ek abhla naari hoon” or “yeh mard jaath Hume sage nahin badne deti”. Stop cribbing and make your freakin choice rather than preaching people about empowerment. It’s a harsh world out here and if you need other people to empower you than you disgust your very self and the choice to be what you are. Men, women….we are all good and we are all bad….Deal with the truth and that truth is do what your damn heart says. Stop taking sides of sexuality and individuality.

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  67. First, I am glad someone wrote in defense as well. Nothing is totally perfect or imperfect and a defense is necessary to a healthy debate. In a way writing in defense helps us to understand that probably there are some good points which we missed out.
    When I faced severe depression a year back, everyone who helped me tried to made me believe in myself. They told me I am the best… that statement necessarily makes others less to me. But we must understand that such statements sometimes get the message across. And it helps. But if I really did start perceiving myself as godlike then that would not be correct. But I did not. And in the same way I believe women are not going to be adulterous after watching the video. That statement of “sex outside marriage” is not a right statement but helps to get the message across. And women in India are not fools. They love their husbands and kids… look around you…

    Once that is said, I will say that the reason behind my depression was a woman who was quite immature and who exploited my fatherly/brotherly feelings for her selfish motives and then discarded me. And believe it or not, she told me it was her choice to do that and later even verbally abused me. Also, she spread false stories about me and used crying to emotionally manipulate people. I still care for her like a brother would for a sister… though some believe I am being a doormat… I think her dark side just failed to make me hate her/other similar women.
    God has blessed me to experience the good side of women through my mother and I am blessed to know the ugly side of womanhood through my sister and it has not diminished my care for her.

    In any case, I agree that some statements are needed to put a message across and I welcome the debate. The ugly side of men and women will always be there and I would suggest to any men who are naturally angry (cuz they are taught to use anger from start) to calm themselves. Between women and men who really really care for each other NONE of these videos or discussion really matter. No woman who really loves a man will manipulate him and no man who really loves a woman will harass her. If they care they will naturally treat each other equally. Also, I would suggest women not be hurt by the angry retorts of some men unless you really live in a neighbourhood filled with men they dislike. Most men are just exercising their choices towards a perceived threat and they appear like animals because they are taught to behave like a beast due to steoreotyping. Chances are most of the men around you are good fathers, brothers and sons who really care about their families and it is nigh impossible to break their spirit even if false accusations are filed against them.

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  68. Hi! Dont know you at all. But THANK YOU for writing this. These are my sentiments EXACTLY. Very true. And quite tragic actually.

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  69. So, are you saying those 16 year young kids weren’t already confused watching that video if having sex outside marriage is a MUST do or not? Shouldn’t they just go ahead and ask their moms & dads if they were exercising this choice or not?

    What a crap – both the video and this blog.

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  70. Do you know Adultery is a CRIME under IPC for husband, but not for a wife? When so much ho-halla about choices, can the so called proud feminists demand either Adultery be an equal crime for wives as well, or not for husband either… ? Or will that be “sooooooooooooooo” much oppression of female kind to ask for?

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  71. You know, to say ‘to have sex outside of marriage….my choice’ does not mean one is definitely having sex outside of marriage, but that it will be a choice. And not anyone elses’ business. :) put your outrage back where it belongs (in a vaccuum)!
    My choice.

    Liked by 1 person

  72. arm chair activist and intelligentsia and feminists… thinking they have any intellect to solve any real problem faced by real women.

    Deepika Padukone can sleep with anybody, who cares?? Anyone can sleep with any one who cares??

    Vogue and american corporates now will teach us morals. As if we don;t have other respected and trused people.

    Two wrongs does not make a right i guess.

    Deepika wants fame, Vogue wants money and sanjukta wants to be taken seriously…
    Why are you lecturing India…. Sanjukta… we do not knoe you…. what have you acheived in your life till date??? loser…

    Writing post on internet do no good . Lectrung men bring no change to them.. You have to be there to bring change.. It takes a lifetime to bring up a man or a women… Like Medha Patkar… who works on ground..

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  73. Okay, I see your opposition, I have another question for you. Where I come from a man is also ostracized for being unfaithful. So in my opinion, it’s only fair to discourage “outside marriage” for both the sexes. Quite frankly, it’s just unfair to the other partner. What’s your opinion on this?

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  74. Sanjukta Basu! Your article resonated with me the most because I thought the exact same things when this video was being slammed. The sad truth , however, is the fact that no matter what happens– society at large loves to blame and hate the woman involved. The video was advocated by vogue, conceptualised by Homi Adajania, written by Khersi Khambatta and contained Deepika padukone with 98 others. And yet, it was Deepika Padukone who was criticised and targeted mercilessly .

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  75. I think it’s important to see positive representations of women in the media even if it is superficial and attacking a woman for her class is a straw man argument because ALL women are negatively effected by living in a male supremacist aka patriarchal society. The issues that effect upper class women more like eating disorders for example are still male violence against women plain and simple. No woman is free until we all are. Plus feminists, no matter where we live or what our social standing is, want abolishment of patriarchy which includes class. I don’t think its bad for people to use their privilege for a good cause. Sometimes its the only way to reach a wider audience. The general public does listen closer when a man is condemning porn and supporting the Nordic Model on prostitution or other progressive agendas. Allies are not necessarily the problem and neither is positive presentations of women in the media. The system itself is the problem. Of course when media criticisms are so widespread reactionaries will appropriate them.

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  76. Reblogged this on Black Metal Valkyrie: Reject male identified bullshit! and commented:
    “Un-surprisingly men had a field day when they saw so many women outraging over one woman wanting to be adulterous. Boy were they vindicated or what. They rallied with the morality flag, gender equality flag. Suddenly they remembered that adultery is not cool and women are equal.” Good quote on the abuse of the word “equality” to bash women and generally be anti-progressive.

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  77. This comment is deleted by site administrator for being offensive to and making personal attack at fellow commentator.

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  78. Please delete all my comment.. Not want to be part of this discussion anymore. Getting tensed with all the readings. Seeking peace.

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  79. Happy to see so many different views on this viral video. Here are some more of my thoughts on it.
    I believe that a campaign like this one (supposing they really want to make a difference) should have a very careful strategy, so as to make a strong case for women’s rights that strikes a chord with as many people as possible. To achieve this, the nature of the audience is to be kept in mind and the language is to be chosen with utmost care.
    Brashly using incoherent phrases followed by “it’s my choice” served only in confusing people and creating outrage. The misconception that feminism is a movement of man-hating adulterous women has only been reinforced by this video, alienating thousands of sympathizers and prospective feminists and strengthening the suspicions of the opposing camp. And THIS is why I feel the need to clarify, the need to criticize and most of all, the need to defend the movement that fundamentally strives for a fairer society for all; not just women.

    Now, the people behind this video are not stupid. They are seasoned professionals smart enough to anticipate the backlash and controversy the video could attract in a country like India(especially the ‘sex outside marriage’ part). Perhaps they are sitting back and enjoying the show. Creating controversies is an effective tool to market brands. Many brands use this strategy (one is reminded of Nike’s ad featuring Tiger Wood’s return to no.1 after the disastrous phase in his personal life. The ad read “Winning takes care of everything”). Either way, the net result of this episode is that the feminist movement in India suffered a major blow.

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  80. @Josephine Varghese

    Why do you have so many expectations from Vogue? That they will create a very responsible comprehensive campaign with a ‘careful strategy’ taking care of every nuanced aspect of feminism reaching maximum audience and making ‘a strong case for women’s rights that strikes a chord with as many people as possible?’

    No it won’t. Vogue is very clear about its target audience, people who read vogue. And young generation women who would want to read vogue. This limited section of women also face patriarchy in their own way. They may be rich, educated, wear designer clothes and drive fancy cars but that doesn’t mean they are being treated equally and with respect by the men in their lives – Husband / boyfriend / live in partners. Recently Rati Agnihotri spoke about her 30 years of domestic violence. If only somebody told her that she has a choice. Every 1 out of 3 women in this world face domestic violence. The Deepika Padukone’s of the world, the Rihanas, the Tina Turners of the world they all face violence. Vogue tried to reach out to all those women and in their style and language motivated them to stop taking shit from their men, wake up, because you have a choice.

    But of course, how can the self important feminists allow this to happen. How dare Vogue addressed only few rich women leaving out rest of us. We are feminists, we are crabs, we pull each other down so that everybody is perpetually doomed. If we can’t get freedom, rich women can’t get it either.

    Some ‘fair society’ you are going to build Josephine.

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  81. Thank You for writing this article, There is something known as constructive arguments/criticism people don’t understand. I did not had enough courage to put my thoughts out. You did.

    Hats Off.

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  82. I have had many mixed thoughts about this video as I felt it could have explained itself better. I just sort of felt rather confused and in a vague state, the video seemed more of a beauty product n special effects add with tones n tones of photoshop
    What sucks was I really didn’t get the angle of ‘my choice’ so the third time I watched it I decided to skip the outside marriage bit. N the video was still bad. Though you, miss Sanjukta make a lovely point and I cant help but applaud it.. I still cant take this video seriously, I guess the video did one good thing though, it put men in the “you cant do this to me, m also important” state, & maybe that’s really important to help get men involved in this quest towards equality!! Because no matter what we think its only something which is achievable when both sides work together.

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  83. @ Sanjukta

    The video by Deepika Padukone deserve every bit of criticism. Agreed that it doesn’t cater to everybody. But why everybody is irritated is because most of the choices told in the video does not relate to most women inthis country.

    Agreed it can be taken as pure examples of women making choices….. But then again who is stopping her to make these choices….nobody……Except for those atrocious demands like “Its my choice whom I sleep with”, “when i come back home’ etc……Even if a boy does it, such acts will be qestioned……its not as if women have some special restrictions !!!!

    The oint is she kept on talking about issues which are not choices even for men (If awoman is lookeddown upon for having an affair….so is a man), and her other choices were not even real issues faced by women today !!!

    The whole video had a connotation that women are something great,,,,,,they are not !

    Nobody is keeping her bound in mangalsutra……And her love is not always constant…..that toocan change……

    It may look as if I am attacking each and every point…….thats because we simply don’t need a video to say all this…….When u make a video, the messages conveyed has certain connotations……In this case all such connotations are baseless…..ie nobody is stopping her, or her demands areunreasonable not just for a woman etc etc

    The only video that would makes sense would be something which specifically addresses some issue……like for eg……in the Nirbhaya rape case, the advocate has said that women cannot go out with men……one could specifically attack such points addressing the man who said so (not the whole men community)……But a video likes this offends men as a whole (it looks as if u r talking to them as if we have somehow kept you bound)

    To understand my point…..see Its My choice Dog version…….Its a very video…….now who is stopping the dog from doing anything…….nobody…….same goes for deepika’s video….its seems pointless

    As a footnote: Personally speaking I don’t like Deepika……simply because she doesn’t have either the looks or talent to be an actress……She simply had a great launch pad and hence is in the movies

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  84. Let me just say I was really shocked to see a lot of my thoughts up there. By all the negativity pouring over the video I was kind of doubting my views and whose team I was on. Thanx for re assuring the faith in my thoughts.love it

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  85. Ok..if u really think the video is not a piece of garbage then i think what she said in the video about woman, the same should be applied to man..let ur husband have sex out side marriage, let ur son a gay and ur daughter a lesbo, when ur child returns home at 2am,don’t question him or her..ok
    And this woman empowerment isn’t what the video has shown. And if u can’t make a reasonable video in 60 sece then why u showing garbage in those 60sec. We don’t hate it for the reason u mentioned, but because it is indecent and immoral. No society will praise it
    OK

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  86. @Sanjukta,

    I specifically liked the last reply here by LEXICO. As he said we think the video is crap for other reasons. You said being immoral need not be the right choice, but its just her choice. What to make of such a statement?

    I felt that the point of the video was women should be allowed to make her choices….correcct me if I am wrong. But the way I see it the very notion of “allow” itself is wrong……as if somebody (which most definitely means males)should allow her…..I she doesnt need anybody’s approval…..But on the other hand if you mean by this video she is looking for that aprooval or that men should be respecting your choices…….no way…..no man or woman will be respected for committing adultery

    So go be adulterous if u want …..thats your choice……Nobody will stop u there……but don’t ask anybody else to respect those choices …….Hence don’t make such videos asking us to repsect your immoral choices!!!! Even if you ask (asking is your privilage), you are not going to get it (not giving is our privilage)……On the other hand certain immoral men would be glad to give urespect, in return for your respecting his immorality !!!!!

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  87. Reblogged this on and commented:
    A post those should read who are confused about their views on Vogue Empower #MyChoice. This has clearly opened my eyes. We have to stop becoming our own enemy.

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  88. I have not seen the video but have understood enough from all that people are raving and ranting about. Probably we need to look at the fact that there are only a limited number of choices in life at any given point in time and it is about whether i am at liberty to decide on the choice available to me in a responsible manner or should i allow the society and others to dictate what they feel is good for me.

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  89. @Sanjukta I’m sorry. I don’t think that feminists are crabs that pull down fellow feminists. And it somehow seems to me like you don’t get the point. The video was published on youtube, not Vogue website or in print form in their magazine. It was meant for everyone on the world wide web, not just vogue readers.While any sensible person will vouch for the a woman’s right to choice, the language used seemed vague and brash. And like I said, it seems like a deliberate attempt to create controversy. I do not see why you need to defend the brand. Feminists should not be blind supporters of anything that comes out packaged as “empowerment”. Anyone with common sense could predict the response to the controversial lines in that video. Like I said, the people behind it are sitting back and enjoying the show while feminism suffered a blow.

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  90. Actually Sanjukta, to be honest, whether you, I or the media make such videos to talk of “My choice” and make it a day to day conversation or not , CHOICE has and will always exist among us as a society. Being prejudiced against premarital sex or sex outside of marriage is also a choice to some conservative people…To be honest, the video needed some clever thinking to be executed well enough — choice in terms of basic human rights is essential. Talk about “my choice” to go to school , “my choice” to go to work , “my choice” to find my partner -these things make sense. Unfortunately, when they say “my choice” to sleep outside of marriage ( it’s not as if that does not exist in society) it defeats the higher purpose of thinking about empowerment of women. That precise choice is looked down upon for both women and men …it’s just wrong for emotional reasons and that is all there is to it.

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  91. Ma’am I very well agree to the points made, but they are not made in a way that would be inspirational to anyone. They one point that led everyone to bash the video was, “sex outside the marriage”. I have a simple question ma’am, Hypothetically if 30% men behave like a**holes and cheat, so cheating would empower women? I feel that any content made on any issue should target everyone. A video on feminism should not only be addressed to women but also men. Inspire the community, to value their mothers, daughters, sisters, girl mates, girlfriends, wives. grandmoms. At the same time create a mutual respect amongst the genders. This is my opinion. This is what I practice.

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  92. Miss/Mrs Sanjukta – Do you mean to say the path to freedom from Oppression is to to be open to choices of lust, but without responsibility ?….This is pure gibberish….As Pointed out pretty accurately by Rajesh earlier, your sermons would lead to anarchy all around – A man , that way, murders somebody – and thats his choice too. It is his internal call of choice he resorted to ( murder of the man in this case, infidelity in the case of the advocacy portrayed by the video)…..your yardstick of measuring it in “Your body, my choice” doesn’t hold good – here the consequence was somebody else dying, in the case of infidelity it might be breaking the trust, depression of the partner , breaking up of the partner etc etc..the Choice was always there – no matter how immoral it was – and similarly, the consequences would always follow (Committing adultery is a crime is most of the countries)..Infact, what the video tries to gather is societal approval of certain taboo’s and certain ill’s….It was never a question of choice – X, married to Y, has always the choice to sleep with Z – even if X was aware this would lead to fisticuffs or disagreements with Y , but this was just the consequence – but the choice was always there. What this video tries to preach , is to stop society’s judgement yardsticks and give consent to X’s choices ? I mean, WTF ?. And going by your lopsided logic ( and am not adding a wee bit to it) , its husband’s choice to beat a wife (harm her physically) just like its a wife choice to commit adultery in-spite of a loyal husband (play with his emotions) – consequences will follow, and girl is free to take suitable actions – but it was a choice nonetheless …..That’s one point. Secondly, you are a legend in making sweeping generalizations…one third of women facing domestic violence (quote figures, studies, what were their sample size ?, what was their sample market?)……higher class women reeling under abuse (just on basis of one or two “reports”, u decided to don the hat of a judge and a jury simultaneously )….ever forgot how even the men are getting fabricated in false pretense…fraud case of domestic violence etc ?……every human being has three personalities beneath his superficial self -called ID, Ego and Superego.The “ID” is the most basic part of the personality, and wants instant gratification for our wants and needs. If these needs or wants are not met, a person becomes tense or anxious.The “EGO” deals with reality, trying to meet the desires of the id in a way that is socially acceptable in the world. This may mean delaying gratification, and helping to get rid of the tension the id feels if a desire is not met right away. The ego recognizes that other people have needs and wants too, and that being selfish is not always good for us in the long run.The “SUPEREGO” develops last, and is based on morals and judgments about right and wrong. Even though the superego and the ego may reach the same decision about something, the superego’s reason for that decision is more based on moral values, while the ego’s decision is based more on what others will think or what the consequences of an action could be (You may read more on this here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Id,_ego_and_super-ego) …what you are advocating is letting go “ego” and “super ego” is matter of choice – and ID should be the dominant factors for all our decisions….Lastly, even if the men were wrong, and were committing adultery, two wrongs don’t make a right. An eye for an eye, and an ear for an ear, would make the world deaf and blind. The fight has to be about how to bring “immoral men” up the curve, not on how to stoop down to the level of men already loathed by the society…..Also, am sorry to say, but you seem to have a preconceived notion that there cant be any lasting relationships or marriages where couple are in selfless love with each other…Statements in your blog like ” men had a field day when they saw so many women outraging over one woman wanting to be adulterous. Boy were they vindicated or what.”…As if Men have nothing better to do but to order for some popcorn and enjoy the sadistic pleasure derived out of liberals fighting amongst each other…I wont take this to a more elucidatory explanation as it doesnot impede with the larger question at large….but then. I would rest my case saying there are people who love each other and boys who don’t commit adultery, even though you believe its an illusion. Cheers !

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  93. The author uses the same kind of logic the Viraat Hindutvabadis use (‘Anyone criticizing our efforts is pulling down Mother India’/’don’t sully our own image.How can you criticize our govt’s rights record or policies abroad?’) with respect to criticism.

    She demands intolerance towards any criticism of Vogue’s video even if it is constructive, logical and helps the audience appreciate feminism for what it truly is-substantive equality, not female domination. The kids who read the criticism now know that feminism doesn’t justify all things under the banner of ‘personal choice’ and that it works in tandem with principles of fairness and equality instead of thinking feminism to be an exercise indulged in by privileged females that mimic patriarchy. The kids who experienced doubt after reading the criticism aimed at the Vogue effort only had their critical faculties broadened and were made aware of what actual feminists not controlled by corporate puppeteers aspire to achieve in a third world country like India.

    Or does the author want them to wallow in ignorance and corporate&Bollywood created hype for the sake of the ‘movement’? THIS sounds similar to all the things we hear about education in North Korea. Just replace ‘feminism’ with “Kim controlled ‘communism'” and Bollywood with ‘NK security service and education ministry’. The kids were served by the critics.

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  94. Well said Sanjukta! I’m not sure why people think that any video of this kind has the responsibility of being the be-all and end-all for feminism. This video is made by Vogue and features women who probably read Vogue. Elitist? Maybe. Controversial? Maybe. But so what? Feminists are a varied bunch of people and so are their thoughts. I may not agree with everything on the video, but I do support the main message – that of empowerment.

    What is more telling than the video itself is all the outrage against it. All the folks coming out to “reply” to this video only tells me that they are threatened the moment a woman speaks about choice. What an uphill battle women’s equality is going to be when all the nay-sayers can’t even comprehend (forget rational discussion) the simple notion of choice!

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  95. I agree with certain points in your blog. People like to take potshots at a celebrity who is doing/speaking for a cause; they think about it as some kind of ulterior motive. Deepika Padukone has been always been controversy’s child from the point she has stepped into the industry. Viewers are going hard on the viral video I agree, since, it seems to be making a strong, selfish statement instead of an inclusive and supportive one.

    Two points I disagree with –
    #1. Everybody has a right to criticize. Criticism means that people are thinking, reacting to the video. Whether it is feminists, men or any other person who are disagreeing, they simply don’t like the points made in the video.
    #2. Your point about adultery is totally nonsense. Anybody whether a man or woman who is doing the act of adultery is equally responsible, in fact it is a crime under IPC 497. Taking films as a status quo of the working world is like, thinking Batman is real and American Pie is a reality in American high schools, the idea itself is preposterous.

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  96. i know that vogue is something that deals with fashion, style, brands, beauty and celebrities.. so ideas like size, beauty, dressing, attitude etc are 100% acceptable.. but I just have one question .. In what way is sex before or outside marriage is anything related to vogue brand?? what is the need for vogue to encourage sex whenever or wherever it maybe ?? if they can encourage sex why cant they encourage education, financial independence, political rights etc?? this is a very fishy stuff for me to understand..
    also, there is something called “Freedom with Responsibility”, and it was a motto of a team in my school.. believe me or not if you dont use your freedom with responsibility you will reach nowhere. The reason why most of us are agitated with the video is, the differentiation of gender morale in the name of “CHOICE”.. a woman has 100% choice to control her life and live it to the fullest.. but when it involves a partnership or a relationship or teamwork or network, any gender for the matter should have the ability to choose their freedom in a way that it doesnt affect someone else.. what is wrong for a man is definitely wrong for a woman.. wrong done by a woman will not make her right n respectable.. even though society does not have the right to judge someone for who a man or woman is we need to take it up such that its the society’s choice to judge ppl..
    if you want to make a change in society voice your rights for equality and freedom with responsibility.. man and woman are tiny fragments in this universe.. their partnership and responsible choices will drive the world for many years to come.. this empowerment cannot be achieved by joining hands with women alone.. we constitute a unification with every video, article and blog that we post.. so team up with everyone man/woman/transgenders anyone, to make this world a better place to live in..

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  97. None of this feminist activisim is going to change attitude of the men across the world. Many psychologists have even explained this fact that this is mainly due to more than 80% of the worlds monetary and political power held by men. Now the fundamental point here is, to make this percentage equal is a daunting task. Nature has made men physically strong and the women mentally, and there are millions of women who can do better work in an indoors workplace. However, the physical strength gives the men an advantage to get a hands-on in the difficult outdoors workforce such as oil and gas, manufacturing, infrastructure etc. where the bulk of the worlds money lies. They have been trying extremely hard to get women in their workforce and there are very few exceptions of women who make it for more than 10 years. Just nature maybe.

    Dear Vogue, Deepika and others, if you really want empowerment, please work on RESPECT for women first. If women have the respect from men in every path of life, nothing is impossible. It would be much better than this utter money-making nonsense you just made which reduces the respect towards women. And same goes to this article.

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  98. “This is the story of 90% women in this country. Need I say anything more?”

    You say this because? What are your sources? Aren’t you a TED fellow? So obviously you must be having some numbers to back you up. Kindly share.

    That’s what I thought.

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  99. Sanjukta, this is my real name and there is no need to hide from you.. even though you like to proudly put your picture up, some of us are more private.. Anyhow, am not a “hater” am just a “mocker” :) btw you made my job really easy when you cited ‘Begusarai’!! And when you drew “realistic” inferences from it, to tell us this is how society is at large, i honestly peed my pants laughing :D :D :D .. I hope now people see this article for the shit, that it really is :)

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  100. “and the comfort with which most patni-vrata husbands sleep outside their marriage” – madam, which world are you concocting these stories from ? Do you have any numbers to justify this out of this world statement? I hope you are literate enough to know that “most” is to be used when the quantity is more than 50% ? I was wondering, how can you call yourself a TED fellow, with such bullshit claims which simply reeks of male bashing ? Then when I saw you vehemently defending the Rohtak sisters in another blog post of yours, then it all added up. You are just blah.

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  101. ‘my choice’ is good. though I support all of points shared in the video. I cannot support the part where sleeping with someone outside of marriage or any relationship for that matter is a ‘choice’ be it a man or a woman. It is the worst possible thing to do to a person who loves you and who thinks of you as the most important person in their life. it is better to break off things before it comes to that point, it is less painful and easier for your partner to move on. Your choice will always be your choice, over that you and only you have control and I would respect it. But every ‘choice’ has a consequence, good or bad, that may not always be what you wanted, please be ready to live with. Two people are both in a relationship together and it will be properly functional only if none of them are obliged to the other, they are equals and that is how it should be. So all people who are so eager to be involved in adultery please do so, but know that when your partner/wife/husband finds out ,and they will, it will ruin them and what they do next is ‘their choice’ and you will just be one of the people involved in the carnage that follows.

    P.S. I am an atheist and also I have no clue what angle Vogue might have in this.

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  102. I understand why “my choice ” video is criticized so much.

    I objected to a matrimonial site where a man wanted an “obedient girl” and that site came up with the reply that this term is relevant for marriage and nothing objectionable.
    Perhaps an extension of/or counter to ” my choice” argument. of Vogue.

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  103. Dear Sanjukta, you have written it well in favour of the video. You have explained many things with your strong words. I agree with you and the video in most of the points except Defense #3 – choice “to have sex outside marriage”. Rather I think one can better walk outside the marriage and have sex should such situation arise. And I don’t understand why men (many men) took it upon themselves when a woman says wearing/not wearing bindi, sindur, mangalsutra would be her choice, what she wears is her choice, etc. In what way it’s “male bashing”? It’s simply about a woman’s personal freedom. Isn’t what a woman wants to wear should be her choice? Shouldn’t the love for the husband be treasured and not the ornaments she wears because that can be faked. So what’s wrong when the video says that? I was also surprised when some of my male and female friends “completely” disagreed with the video. But I accepted it as their choice. :)

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  104. @Indrani
    “am not a “hater” am just a “mocker”

    Sounds more like a ‘Joker’ with an M to me. Also, you are part of the problem.

    About quoting ‘Begusarai’, right, silly me, why am I quoting a TV series as an example of societal mindset. You are so right, media, films, TV these are not at all a reflection of the society, they exist in isolation, what they show in the serials or films have no connection with real life. Of course in real life we have never heard anybody telling any woman to consider sindur, children, etc to tolerate husband’s adultery.

    Really my bad. But at least I get to entertain you. Glad I was of some use. Btw please do wash your pants, you smell of pee, also are you sure a bit of poop also didn’t come out when you laughed out at me? Because you smell of shit too.

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  105. @Sanjukta,

    I first thought you are a mature person inspite of your blog seeing your profile picture. I respected your opinion eventhough I disagreed with it. But with your latest reply to Indrani you are proving yourself to be too immature. Whats with the online swearing…..control yourself ! Majority do not share your opinion—-live with it !

    Your points are meaningless……because immorality by an husband is his choice, but nobody accepts it…….if the woman is also ready to be ostracized she too can “choose” to become immoral……you too have that choice eventhough it willl come at a price….It is very obvious thats the way it is (for both men and women)

    And TV serials are HYPER., over exaggerated nonsense in general……I don’t see any

    Wearing of mangalsutr is also a choice…….even if udon’t believe it……but there are certain norms in society…….eventhough u r free to excercise choice and be a weirdo for all

    For eg: can men wear a saree and walk? From your opinion u seem to think men have all the choices…..so can they? Yes they can…….if they don’t mind landing up in PSYCH ward that is ! Compared to that a woman has a more free choice in wearing a shirt and a pants or not wearing a mangalsutra or asindhoor !!!!

    Which world are u living in…….inside a soap serial????

    The My Choice video was utterly pointless……thats the way it is…..HARD TRUTH !

    Like

  106. @Sanjukta

    Whats so funny about it…..every action has some sort of consequences

    Some of them could land u up in PSYCH ward of course……is that so hard to imagine ?

    As I said….u r free to go against norms of the society……thats your choice……but according to your actions there will be consequences….be it man or woman……..Its not as if women have any sort of speical restrictions in eexcercising their choices!!!

    thats why the video is pointless

    And thank you for not swearing…..did u notice u were the only one (as far as I checked) doing that…….?.

    Like

  107. @jyothish

    “Its not as if women have any sort of speical restrictions in eexcercising their choices!!!”

    Right! You really know a lot about what women face.

    Like

  108. So Sanjukta, about your defense no 3 – So instead of empowering and educating women who are in love less marriages, and whose husbands are adulterous, the video shows a quick fix solution, you can sleep outside marriage too, its your choice. If the problem is love less marriage, then the solution would be walking out of marriage not sleeping out of marriage. The video just forgot to remember that men are not enemy of women. You cannot just take revenge on any man just for the sake of him being a man. That particular point, doesn’t identify the problem, doesn’t address the problem hence I think its just nonsense, something to rhyme with the rest of the video

    Like

  109. Reblogged this on Miscellany and commented:
    Finally a well-rounded rebuttal to the hysterical criticism of the ‘my choice’ video.

    Expecting a 3 minute video to cover grassroots struggles is not “calling out” non-inclusive feminism, it’s just being ignorant and nitpicky. The campaign brilliantly covered numerous struggles of an average Indian woman.
    To criticize it on those grounds (when it nowhere even claims that it stands for all Indian women) is quite simply a harrowed surrender to MRA bullshit – which ain’t stopping anyway.

    Like

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