#Opinion

Dia Mirza Addresses Her Pre-Marriage Pregnancy. Here’s Why Her Reply Totally Wins

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Dia Mirza pregnant before marriage, reveals why she didn’t open up about it earlier: It seems she did have an eye on the comments after all. Mirza made her pregnancy announcement last week, for her first child with businessman Vaibhav Rekhi. Over the weekend, the internet took this information and ran with it – directing at her accusations (talk about entitlement) of getting pregnant before marriage and then tying the knot only to save face from controversy.

As if this is any cause for controversy and that anybody’s face needs saving.

That pregnancy and marriage are personal choices between partners and not grounds for intrusive scrutiny about morality or parenthood to run amok on was something trolls were either overlooking or failing to understand. So the actor herself stepped in to make it amply clear.

Her Response Checks All The Right Boxes

On Monday, when an Instagram user (interestingly) enquired why Mirza – if with her pregnancy before marriage wanted to break stereotypes – didn’t make the announcement at a much earlier time, the actor replied, “We discovered we were going to have a baby while we were planning our wedding. So this marriage is not the result of pregnancy. We didn’t announce the pregnancy until we knew its safe (medical reasons). This is the happiest news of my life. I’ve waited for many many years for this to happen. No way I would hide it for any reason other than medical.”

And while that alone makes for a totally on-point response, Mirza went on to outline five takeaways from the entire situation. Here is a breakdown of why each point wins:

1. Having a child can be beautiful

Mirza writes, “Having a child is a beautiful gift of life,” which is a common phrase heard among people consensually walking down the path of parenthood. Birthing and raising lives is what many singles and couples choose and fully enjoy, and valuing children as such shouldn’t just fall into the lap of the mother.

At the same time, the “children as gifts of life” narrative has been pushed by society for ages to pressure motherhood on women not willing to partake in it. Willing parents are free to look at children as miracles but it’s important to appreciate that not everyone has to. Singles, couples, partners, people are complete as they are, regardless of their reproductive history. Choice is the key word every time.

2. No shame attached to pregnancy

Pregnancy is an anomaly in how society attaches stigma to something it doesn’t stop talking about. Families never tire of asking a couple when they’re sharing the “good news” with them and when pregnancy comes, divulging the details of it becomes a big no-no. Should the pregnant person ever be made to feel burdened with guilt?

If the concept of a child joining the family is so fascinating, then why put a blanket on the journey of motherhood itself?

3. Women must exercise choice

And again, choice comes into play here as the most significant factor in all that everyone does, in all that women do especially, since they have been denied that right (in a lot of cases, still are) by patriarchy’s understanding of what womanhood is.

Motherhood, for instance, isn’t motherhood when it comes forced or imposed. When it does come out of choice is when it is organically appreciated. And by virtue of being the child-bearer, women have complete agency over the when, where, how and why of pregnancy.

4. Parenting can come single or married

There’s no one type of parenting in the world. Must society dictate the way for what ‘moral’ parenting constitutes? Should there be rules to the perfect age of becoming parents? Does it really even matter when the child comes if the parent wants a child to come?

Mirza got pregnant before marriage. Kishwer Merchant got pregnant at 40 years of age. Kalki Koechlin became a mother without marriage. Motherhood comes in endless ways and each is adequate and valid.

Listen to Gauri Sawant, prominent trans activist, talk about her journey of motherhood and how society’s predetermined norms mean nothing:

5. Let’s un-stereotype the norms

Mirza ends her empowering note saying, “As a society we must un stereotype our idea of what is right or wrong, instead of training ourselves to ask what is fair or unfair.” What’s held up as society’s ‘moral’ standards of right and wrong has never worked as a one-size-fits-all principle and yet we’re expected to adhere to it. ‘A woman looks best as a mother, and only after she marries at the right time.’

Un-stereotyping ourselves from what constitutes these supposed morals will show the path to a more fulfilled, agency-driven living.

Views expressed are the author’s own.

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