Whenever Salman Khan is out to promote his upcoming movies, he imparts nuggets of wisdom which are as intellectually sound as the script of his films. One prays that his golden career streak comes crashing down, just so that we can escape his sexism laden interviews. Seriously, how many offensive things a person has to say for his followers to understand that his jokes unmask the ugly streak of misogyny bhai wears close to his is heart, like a tight vest?
- Salman Khan said in a recent interview that the best alternate career for Katrina Kaif was to get married.
- Just a few days ago he took shots at Priyanka Chopra for choosing to get married over doing his film.
- Seems like his opinion on women’s career choices fluctuates with what is convenient for him.
- Motherhood isn’t a career; it is a responsibility which often costs women a steady pay check.
How many offensive things a person has to say for his followers to understand that his jokes unmask the ugly streak of misogyny bhai wears close to his is heart, like a tight vest?
Just a few days ago, he took pot shots at Priyanka Chopra for leaving his film Bharat and marrying Nick Jonas instead. He said that she left the ‘biggest film of her career’ to get married, further adding, “Usually people leave the husbands for this.” In another interview, when he was asked to suggest an alternative career for his co-star Katrina Kaif, he said, “She should be married and produce children.” Seems like for Salman the career choices of women around him should be in sync with what is convenient for him.
Chopra should have chosen to do Bharat with him over getting married because that is what he wanted. Kaif should now get married and produce children because that is what he approves. Who cares what Chopra or Kaif want? Not bhai, certainly? Many may argue that Khan enjoys certain closeness with Kaif, and that she would take his comments lightly. But these two were not sitting in Khan or Kaif’s drawing room, engaged in friendly banter. They were doing an interview, which would be seen by millions of people. Does it send out a good message when a superstar tells his female colleague that she should get married and produce children? Is there nothing more to women’s life?
Like Kaif, so many young women in India are at the receiving end of suggestions about how they must now get married and trade laptops for baby bags.
Motherhood and marriage aren’t careers. In fact, they are responsibilities which often cost women a steady pay check. Society tells women that it is their job to marry and look after their homes. That is it their primary duty to produce children which would take the lineage of their family forward. Like Kaif, so many young women in India are at the receiving end of suggestions about how they must now get married and trade laptops for baby bags. Women past a certain age are encouraged to concentrate more on their family life than professional life, using excuses like biological clocks and difficulty in finding suitable matches. The problem is that we have pinned the happiness of women to matrimony and motherhood. No woman is complete unless she is married and has a baby. Her professional success is often belittled out of the fear that it would discourage her from “settling down”.
It is unfair to discourage women from living their life on their own terms and adjust just to appease their family and society.
But Khan and the likes of him need to understand that marriage and motherhood aren’t the only parameters to measure happiness and fulfillment among women. Everyone is entitled to having her own set of priorities. It is unfair to discourage women from living their life on their own terms and adjust just to appease their family and society. It costs women their independence, their right to choose, most of all financial liberty. The day one is paid for picking up dirty laundry from the floor, doing the dishes and running after the kids all day long, only then can it be called a job, it is that simple. All these duties cost women unpaid labour and we live in a society where respect and authority follow money, not hard work. Until this status quo changes, stop calling motherhood a career.
As for Khan, his stardom is costing us senseless statements which demean women so openly. Why do people still revere a man who sensibilities are so outdated? Or is it us who assume that the entire nation has progressed and is on the same page when it comes to empowerment of women? His box office performance in the past is proof that Khan has a certain connect with people which commands blind loyalty. If only he was sensitive and sensible enough to use it responsibly.
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.