The ‘My Choice’ video, below has angered many.
I read comments fearing it might influence gullible Indian women into having sex outside or before their marriages, without understanding the ‘consequences’ of such irresponsible behaviour’.
Here are some of the offensive lines. The more offensive ones in bold.
My choice to have sex before marriage, to have sex outside of marriage, to not have sex.
IHM – All the video is saying is, it’s women’s bodies, women’s choices, and of course women’s consequences. Rape, acid attacks and murder are not included in legal or acceptable consequences; Divorce, Heartbreak, Lessons learnt, Experience gained, Break ups and Moving on are.
The video is speaking against the acceptance of rape, acid attacks, honor killings, forced marriages, violence etc that are viewed as normal Consequences for women who are not able to follow the impossible to follow How-to-avoid-getting-Raped Rules. And often also for those women who do everything as they are told.
But for many, it seems, it’s annoying enough to imagine Indian women hearing about having a Choice in anything, but to tell them that they own their own bodies and sexuality is clearly going too far. This video could give some women the idea that having sex before marriage does not mean they have to marry the person, or be killed by their fathers and brothers (etc), or be ready to be raped by anybody because now they are no longer marriageable.
Or women might imagine or claim that having sex outside marriage is almost a legal right. What kind of videos give women ideas that they can think of sex as something they have a choice in? Do they think they are men? Men are different, and anyway we don’t make videos telling men they can have sex outside marriages, we just have an entire system in place that ensures that men have access to sex outside marriage and ofcourse we don’t approve! We do roll our eyes at ‘these men!”. Women are different, they are our mothers and wives and honours. And women have the responsibility to make sure nothing changes in this system that keeps them dependent and controlled.
Also, who should be held responsible for women (misguided by this video) and acid attacked or honor killed for sex before or outside marriage?
Or for thinking they can refuse to have sex with the man they have been ‘married off’ to.
Videos like this can break up the Social System that’s working so well and keeping women Safe and Empowered.
My Choice to love temporarily or to lust forever. My Choice to love a man or a woman or both.
IHM: Obviously lust is a vice (specially for women) and Indian women only think of sex as a duty they must provide to the pati parmeshwar, who has been chosen for them by their family elders.
To love temporarily is unthinkable for Indian women – once married-off they belong to the pati parmeshwar. Even if they are widowed.
The idea of temporary love is so abhorrent to us that rape victims are offered the option of marrying those who have sexually assaulted them. It’s all about sexual inexperience and ‘permanence’ in women’s relationships it seems.
Also note how love, marriage, purity, character and sex are connected.
My Choice to come home when I want. Don’t be upset when I come home at 4 am. Don’t be fooled if I come home at 6 pm.
IHM – This is a response to the general idea that good women reach home before dark, and women who stay out till after dark (or after 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, depending on the the preferences of the person passing the judgment) ask to be sexually assaulted.
And here’s a response from Shail Mohan. Why is this so difficult to understand?
Dear people making fun of the *choice* video (you all know which one),
We all have the choice (yes, to have sex outside marriage too), and suffer whatever consequences it may lead to (it could be the divorce court). Choice also means the choice to make mistakes. The point is outsiders (the moral policing goons or any other outsiders) have no say in all this. Besides no one is asking YOU to have sex outside marriage. Are they? So why all the drama?
Someone who cannot understand the whole lot of noise being made.
This second video is a response to the My Choice video. This video gives an idea of just how much some of us are worried about women being given choices.
Do watch. What do you think?
The general outrage is not really surprising in a society where polygamy (by men) is tolerated, and where marital rape is still legal. Where married men (well known and respected married men) still have, not just sex but also marriages, children and relationships outside their marriages.
Deepika would have found more support had she talked about,
A virtuous woman’s right to marry (against his wishes) a man she has had consensual sex with.
Or a woman’s right to save her marriage to an unwilling partner.
Violence, castration and humiliation for a man accused of having consensual sex with an unmarried adult woman from another caste/community. (Because this can’t be made right with marriage)
A woman’s right to marry her rapist.
A woman’s right to supplement her family’s income by working in night shifts.
“Girls should be married at 16, so that they don’t need to go elsewhere for their sexual needs. This way rapes will not occur.” – Rape being viewed as Sex outside marriage.