Women's Personal Autonomy Is Under Siege In Our Gossip-Hungry World

We're well aware of the societal pressure faced by newly married women to share "good news." Are we further intensifying this pressure by burdening women with this kind of speculation?

Priya Prakash
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Anushka Sharma pregnancy rumours

Mahira Khan, Anushka Sharma

While pregnancy is often celebrated as joyous news, the decision to share this personal information should solely belong to the woman herself, at her own pace and comfort level. Unfortunately, women, particularly those in the spotlight, like Bollywood actors, often face unwanted scrutiny and speculation about their pregnancy status. Recently, actor Mahira Khan found herself at the centre of such attention when a Reddit post claimed she had exited two major projects due to pregnancy, sparking widespread media coverage. Khan eventually addressed the rumours, clarifying in an interview with The Express Tribune that she is not pregnant and has not left any project.


As per the report, Mahira Khan said, "It’s not true that I’m pregnant. And I haven’t left the Netflix series." As per India Today, the Reddit post read, "So, I got this news from a close source that she opted out of the esteemed Netflix project alongside a big film as she’s expecting her second child somewhere in August or September."

Anushka Sharma Virat Kohli pregnancy rumours

In another infuriating episode,  Anushka Sharma, who has been off-screen for a while, was relentlessly pursued by paparazzi and headline makers, accusing her of concealing a second pregnancy. Numerous videos and clips from her recent appearance with her cricketer husband at India vs. Pakistan match in Ahmedabad surfaced online. Sadly, many media outlets shamelessly jumped to conclusions and announced her pregnancy without any official confirmation. 

Moreover, Kohli has been missing at the ground, and as per reports, he will be absent from the upcoming third Test against England in Rajkot. The former India captain withdrew from the first two Tests due to personal reasons, and recent reports suggest that he will extend his absence to include the Rajkot Test. Furthermore, there are speculations that Kohli might also miss the fourth and final Test match.


Concerns surrounding Virat Kohli's absence prompted former South African captain AB de Villiers to make a surprising claim. De Villiers suggested during a live session that Kohli and his wife, Anushka Sharma, are expecting their second child, citing a private conversation he had with Kohli. However, de Villiers later retracted his statement, admitting to a mistake and clarifying that the news of Virat and Anushka expecting their second child was untrue. Despite the retraction, the clip of de Villiers' initial revelation went viral before being removed.

Another actor, Katrina Kaif, was last seen in the movie Tiger 3, co-starring Salman Khan, and had mainly been spotted at events, parties, airports, or for her own brand, Kay Beauty, product launches. Notably, every time she ventures out, netizens have made a recurring habit of speculating about her possible pregnancy, often deducing it from her choice of attire.

In an incident, Katrina Kaif was in Hyderabad for a brand promotion and made an appearance in a lovely pink salwar suit on October 17. However, as photos and videos from the event surfaced online, some fans were quick to speculate that the actor might be attempting to conceal her belly with her dupatta, leading to pregnancy rumours. In the videos, Kaif is seen warmly greeting everyone and happily posing for pictures with fans.

Katrina Kaif for a Kalyan event in Patna

byu/Serious_Yak509 inBollyBlindsNGossip

Moreover, her absence from the Ambani family's Ganesh Chaturthi celebration in Mumbai also fueled these speculations. Notably, in the past, the rumour mill kicked in when the actor opted for comfy, loose-fitting airport attire. However, it's been a whole year, and no baby has arrived.


Since her marriage to Vicky Kaushal, it seems that the rumour mill won't stop churning out pregnancy speculations. And this isn't just about Katrina Kaif; many other actors also find themselves caught in this mill's constant scrutiny. Why? Is it simply because they chose to get married?

We're well aware of the societal pressure faced by newly married women or those who haven't yet become mothers, often pressured to share "good news" by family and relatives. Are we further intensifying this pressure by burdening women with this kind of speculation?

Though these will be considered merely rumours, as the couple has not officially announced anything, should it not be entirely their decision when they choose to share it? Whether pregnant or not, is it justifiable for people, be it the media or individuals, to assume or spread such intensely personal information without the clear consent of the individuals involved thereby diminishing their self-agency and authority over their lives.

Whether it's about getting hired or admission, shouldn't it solely be the decision of the woman, or in other cases like dating, getting married, or anything else in life, shouldn't a couple share their news when they are comfortable and ready to do so, whether they are celebrities or regular people?

How is it justifiable for society, including the media, to infringe on a woman's autonomy and personal agency regarding her own life and decisions? Is it asking too much for women to have the freedom to decide for themselves and protect their personal choices from society?

Views expressed by the author are their own. 

Anushka Sharma Katrina Kaif Mahira Khan