Click here for shortcuts to regional language blogs and city-specific events.
Mira and Shahid Kapoor are one of the most news-worthy couples in Bollywood, and recently Mira Kapoor, on the occasion of Women’s Day was invited to an event by a popular media group on parenting, feminism, marriage, etc. During the course of the interview, she said some strangely uplifting things and some even more problematic things, which I want to share my views on.
We often talk about things like equality of women, the choices a woman makes, the constant differences between working moms and homemaker moms, the choices we all make as primary caregivers in our kids lives, and sometimes don’t realize that we’re judging other moms, other women who’ve chosen to make choices different than our own.
Mira Kapoor shared her views on not getting hung up on losing that post-pregnancy weight and the importance of the 40 day confinement period after delivery, stating that it was important for moms to be healthy and not be body shamed. For this, I have to give credit where its due, and kudos to her for standing up for new moms.
But then she went on to state that “I wouldn’t want to spend one hour a day with my child and rush off to work. It’s not that I am not a woman of today. You don’t have to compromise on traditions and ideals to be modern. Why did I have her? She is not a puppy, you know. I want to be there for her as a mother, seeing her grow up has, cannot be quantified.”
Mrs.Kapoor, what are you trying to say here? That all mothers who leave their kids and go to work think their kids are puppies? Do you think they rush off to work with less guilt as it is? Does being a “woman of today” mean being a mom, a woman who works and has a career? Does a homemaker not count as being a “woman of today”? Are working women compromising on “traditions and ideals” to be modern? Do you feel that working mothers don’t enjoy seeing their kids grow up? More importantly, the pride, the joy and the immense amount of love felt by ALL moms in seeing their kids growing up can never, ever be quantified, be it a working mom, a stay at home mom or a work from home mom.
I’m a working mother who leaves hers kids each day to go to work; I have my own reasons for doing so. I go to work secure and safe in the knowledge that I have made the best choice for myself and my kids, based on the unique situation that I am in, as I am sure every mother makes for herself and her kids. And no, I don’t think my kids are puppies. When I am with them, I am with them completely. Even when I am not with them, my heart and soul belongs to them, and cannot be separated from them.
If I had a pet (which I don’t) I would have found offence in her statements too. Pets bring incredible joy and a feeling of completion in their owners’ lives, and they also have the toughest time in leaving their pets and going to work. Just watch the movie “The Secret Life of Pets” and you’ll know what I mean! And don’t even get me started on her views of what she thinks is feminism. No sane person in the world believing in equality of men and women would ever make a sweeping statement like “The new wave of feminism is aggressive and destructive.” I think she’s conveniently forgotten that it is due to the new wave feminists who’re working collectively for the cause of ALL women, is she even able to air her views so freely and independently. But that’s a whole new article in itself!
She also goes in her interview to state that “It is my choice to be at home. A working mother makes her own choices too; neither (homemaker or working mom) can be shamed.”
Do you not see the irony in the statement here? She herself on one hand says no mother should be judged for making the choices that she does for her family, and on the other hand compares children of working mothers to “puppies” who they play with for an hour and then go to work.
Mrs. Kapoor, don’t worry. You’re not alone. You’re just another voice in the scores of voices around that judge mothers, judge women, for their choices in life. You don’t even realize it when spewing off your politically correct statements on one hand and judgemental views on the other. You don’t understand that by undermining the choice of a woman that is different from your own, you are judging her. That by saying this is what I choose to do and offering an opinion on someone doing something different, you are judging her.
This judgement, this constant criticism of women by other women for making choices different than theirs, however wrong or right they may be, has to stop. It’s high time that as women, as mothers, we all stood up for each other without taking sides, because there aren’t any to take. We’re all fighting our own unique battles, dealing with our own unique situations and figuring out life, each day as it comes. There’s no need to judge. There is need to support and stay strong together, which we must.
I’m a staunch supporter of mycity4kids’s campaign #StopJudging. Are you? Join the cause, share your story, and let’s collectively take a pledge to #StopJudging.