In a year, which has been defined by women getting their voices heard, Vogue India’s ‘Women Of The Year’  issue has Ranbir Kapoor on the cover. In a tiny bracket at the bottom it has ‘and the men we love’ written on it. This we guess, is the magazine’s justification for its cover. However, the move has misfired badly, earning Vogue a lot of criticism on social media for choosing to replace the faces of deserving women, with that of a man.

Was there any shortage of women who the readers would love to see on the magazine’s cover, especially for this issue? Besides on what grounds does Ranbir, of all men we have loved and will continue to love in 2018, deserve to be this cover?

I am sure this idea must have sounded brilliant and cute on paper. Perhaps they have also planned to put a woman’s face on the cover of their ‘Man Of The Year’ issue. If they haven’t, now would be a good time to do so. In any other year, we would have found this cover digestible and even endearing. So, then why did so many people find this cover insensitive? Why do they find it misplaced? It is simply because the magazine has completely misinterpreted the current social scenario in our country.

Right now, women are too angry to find Kapoor cute and appreciate him gracing the cover of a woman-centric magazine edition.

Let me say this again, Vogue’s cover isn’t bad, it is simply mistimed. Right now, women in our country are neck-deep in a battle to reclaim their space in the society. They are so done leading lives according to patriarchal dictates and are tired of being considered replaceable and secondary to men. They are still carrying the momentum of #MeToo, so the conversation around how gender dynamics is at its peak.

SOME TAKEAWAYS

  • Vogue India is under fire for putting actor Ranbir Kapoor on the cover of its ‘Women Of The Year’ issue.
  • In putting Kapoor on the cover, the magazine has completely misinterpreted the current social scenario in our country.
  • Right now, women are so done leading lives according to patriarchal dictates. They are tired of being considered replaceable and secondary to men. 
  • This cover comes across as a denial to let women take centre stage after so much ground-breaking work, in terms of pushing for equality.

One must remember how long it has taken for women to speak up and finally call out patriarchy in our society. With the pent-up frustration and anger are we ready for cutesy takes on gender equality, even if it comes with a promise of a shirtless Ranbir? No. Not now.

Even most men who believe in gender equality understand that right now, the best course of action is to shut up and let women reclaim their space. To stop resisting and be patient and understanding towards them.

Which is also why Vogue’s cover has earned so much disapproval. Right now, women want the world to hear their voices, see their faces and acknowledge both their struggles and achievements. So this Ranbir Kapoor cover comes across as resistance. It comes across as a denial to let women take centre stage after so much ground-breaking work, in terms of pushing for equality.

There is nothing wrong with putting a man’s face on the cover of an issue which celebrates women, or vice versa. But there is a correct time, a place and a context for everything.

Also Read : Where To From #MeToo: The Way Forward In Bollywood

Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section.  The views expressed are the author’s own.

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