Actor Alia Bhatt announced her pregnancy on June 27 through her Instagram post. From fans to top celebrities, everyone has poured in her best wishes for Alia and her husband actor Ranbir Kapoor on social media. On June 28, she penned an emotional note thanking everyone for their wishes.
Sharing a picture of herself and Kapoor from their wedding festivities, she wrote, “Overwhelmed with all the love. I have tried to read everyone’s messages and good wishes and all I want to say is, that it truly feels so special to celebrate such a big moment of our lives with all the love and blessings. Thank you to every single one of you.”
Alia Bhatt Hits Back At Sexist Reports
However, with the announcement came a barrage of misogynistic comments and articles. The actor addressed them as well in a very strongly worded post. Sharing a screenshot of the article, she wrote, “Meanwhile, in some people’s heads we still live in some patriarchal world ..FYI. Nothing has gotten delayed!!!!! No one needs to PICK anyone up. I am a woman, not a parcel!!!!! I do not need to REST at all but good to know you’ll have a doctors certification as well 🙂 This is 2022. Can we please get out of this archaic way of thinking! Now if you would excuse me.. my shot is ready.”
If a woman is pregnant, does it mean that they cannot work? Why can’t we seem to accept that a woman’s pregnancy does not halt her work? Why do we assume things about celebrities? Why do we patronise pregnant women? Why do we believe that motherhood puts a full stop to a woman’s ambitions?
Pregnant women, especially celebrities, have been patronised by society and the media. Bits of advice are doled out for the expecting mothers to avoid activities, they are told to not work much although their pregnancy does not warrant too much rest. While Alia was being chastised and it was being assumed that she won’t work, Kapoor stayed immune to it all.
Suggested Reading: I Am A Woman Not A Parcel: Alia Bhatt Hits Back At Sexist Reports Post Pregnancy Announcement
The actors shared a happy piece of news not to be shamed for their decision or to be told through reports that their careers will now come to a halt, but rather to celebrate their joy with us. We need not assume the role of a doctor and give them dated advice invading their privacy. The stars harbour wishes that we will join them in their happiest moment to celebrate and not unwanted criticism and derogatory opinions.
Imposing The Binaries
Women celebrities are always asked about their plans of “settling down”, and once they are married, they are often asked, “When are you having kids” and if she announces her pregnancy, people make assumptions about her career coming to a grinding halt and the projects undertaken by them will go for a toss as well.
These questions and ideas only reinforce the age-old binary of the breadwinner and caregiver set for men and women in the heteronormative society. Women can achieve professional success without compromising their familial responsibilities. Similarly men can shoulder their share of household and parenting responsibilities. The questions also reflect a patriarchal attitude of the society we inhabit which only measures women’s identities with their relationships with others.
Actors Who Worked During Pregnancy
Be it Chelsea Peretti, who played Gina Linetti on the show Brooklyn 99 or Indian actors like Jaya Bachchan, Juhi Chawla, Sridevi, Sonam Kapoor or Alia’s sister-in-law Kareena Kapoor, all these actors have worked while being pregnant. Their pregnancy did not hinder their careers at all.
Times have changed and so have norms and beliefs. Women don’t feel the need to hide within the four walls of their homes during their pregnancies and they flaunt it proudly. These actors have set a precedent for a lot of expectant mothers to not be discouraged and continue to work if they want to do so.
It’s high time we, the society and media, ensure that we keep our sexist attitudes aside and update our norms.
Views expressed are the author’s own
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