While ace Indian tennis player Sania Mirza had to assert her sense of fulfillment as an achiever when questioned by Rajdeep Sardesai about “settling down”, another global celebrity spoke out about one of the innumerable ways in which women are dehumanized and reduced from their identities as individuals. This time it was Jennifer Anniston who spoke out against the binaries of ‘complete or without a mate’, ‘settled or without kids’.
For the record, I am not pregnant. What I am is fed up.
Whenever a celebrity gets married, we start speculating when they would have kids. There might be fans in the world who simply want to see what the next generation of a Sania Mirza or Jennifer Anniston would look like, but they need to trust their celebs to make that announcement themselves, rather than having it leaked through some tabloid.
But this is not just about creating content to feed the hungry fans, it’s about the way women are perceived as members of the society. In her blog post, Jennifer Anniston says:
The objectification and scrutiny that we put women through is absurd and disturbing. The message that girls are not pretty unless they are incredibly thin, that they are not worthy of our attention unless they look like a supermodel or an actress on the cover of a magazine is something we’re all willingly buying into.. This conditioning is something girls carry into womanhood.
Sometimes you may have just gained a few pounds, but if you are in the public eye, it can be reason enough to spark speculation around your reproductive system being activated. It’s like a ticking clock, where the threats and false alarms increase in frequency as you move along the second half of your journey.
I resent being made to feel “less than” because my body is changing and/or I had a burger for lunch and was photographed from a weird angle and therefore deemed one of two things: “pregnant” or “fat.”
‘For the record’, motherhood doesn’t complete a woman, not anymore. This would have been acceptable in primitive times, when roles of survival were assigned based on protection of perpetuation of the human species. That’s not the case anymore, we are civilized, and technology has given us the means to protect our own kind. We do not need to assign roles based on what are bodies do. The new system gives us the option to choose what we want to do, purely based on our interests and (non-reproductive) capabilities. It is time that we adjust our mindsets to the new scheme of things, where women are taking on the universe.
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