Trust Salman Khan to set new bench marks for making causally sexist remarks. In his latest hit (on our sensibilities) the Bharat actor has said that while he does want kids, he doesn’t want the mother. When asked over the unending speculations over his marriage and that he may have children via surrogacy, he said, “I want children, but with children comes the mother. I don’t want the mother, but they need one. But I have a whole village to take care of them. Maybe I can work out a win-win situation for everyone.” It seems oddly comforting that Khan doesn’t “want” the mother to his children yet, considering the rumours of his misdemeanours we have been privy to.

TAKE AWAYS:

  • Salman Khan has said that while he wants to have children, he doesn’t want the mother.
  • Khan has again tied women’s existence to their reproductive system.
  • Also, do men only need women to bear their children or keep their house? 
  • His comment is disrespectful to not just women but also men who invest into building a healthy relationship with their partner.

Khan’s fans would guffaw over this statement and come after those who criticise, for not getting bhai’s sense of humour.

So according to bhai, children are a must, but women are a nuisance. His fans would guffaw over this statement and come after those who criticise, for not getting bhai’s sense of humour. But in times when women’s reproductive rights are being policed even in the most developed of nations, this comment from a superstar is disturbing. Khan has reduced importance of women in the society to being baby carriers. It is both dehumanising and distasteful. Do we seriously want a toxic alpha male to flaunt such views so openly to his impressionable fans?

“Uselessness” of women for anything other than intercourse, bearing children, cooking food or household chores is a recurring joke among many. Wistful husbands let their friends know how they would be better off sans their partner. Women are too much trouble, but kya karein, one needs kids, and someone to look after old parents, clean up after them and cook. Thus poor these poor husbands endure. I have heard such jokes countless times, and seen the backslapping, winking and grinning which accompany them. Men with such a mindset aren’t entirely at fault here, as they are the product of a patriarchal system which instills biased gender norms in them.

Who needs to “endure” a woman’s company when you can have a child and get rid of her in nine months? Certainly not the beliefs we want our kids to learn, while we harp on about equality and empowerment.

Opting for surrogacy, because marrying and keeping a wife will be too much trouble sounds very alarming. It puts a price on a woman’s womb and makes her disposable, all the while robbing her of her individual identity. Who needs to “endure” a woman’s company when you can have a child and get rid of her in nine months? Certainly not the beliefs we want our kids to learn, while we harp on about equality and empowerment.

But why a just woman, Khan’s statement is offensive to millions of modern men in our country who invest time, energy and care to build healthy marriages. Men who care about companionship, who see more meaning to a marriage than producing kids. Such men want to travel the world with their wives, they want to make happy homes and strong relationships, and making a baby is just a part of this equation for them. Fortunately for us, the count of such men is on rise. As for Khan, the less one says, the better. He is a toxic influence on any generation of men in this country, and yet in prime of his career. This says so much about how far we are from complete detoxification of Indian masculinity.

Picture Credit: hdnicewallpapers.com

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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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