As part of Vogue Empower, Homi Adjania directed a video called My Choice starring Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone.

It attracted a lot of support, and controversy. In response to this was the emergence of video “My Choice” male version, a sort of retaliation.

In my opinion, while the motive behind shooting it in the first place may have been to empower women, certain statements in it promote discarding values.

There should be no doubt about giving a woman the right to make her own choices .The values that are taught to us, may or may not have cultural significance, but they do have moral obligations, like that of loyalty to those you have made a commitment to.

It is for these reasons like these that statements like “My choice… to have sex before marriage, to have sex outside of marriage.” advocates acts like adultery.

Also, what kind of empowerment is promoted by opening a bra strap? What sort of positive example is that supposed to set to a 12 year old watching this film?

The fact remains that a woman should be able to freely make choices, but it is only when she makes the right ones that she is empowered. To have the liberty to make your choices automatically implies the acceptance of its consequences.

Ace badminton player Saina Nehwal had a lot of choices to make growing up, to go for coffee with friends or practice badminton instead.

Day in and day out, as a cumulative effect of her choices, she saw the results.

She has 14 international titles and became the first Indian woman to make the finals of the All England Championships in Manchester.

The result of her choices was that she went on to become world no.1 in Badminton, the first Indian woman ever to do so and the 2nd Indian after Prakash Padukone.

Saina Nehwal

Making these choices is best put in her own words

“It is tough to be in top-five for the last seven years. I hope to maintain it for some more time. I feel good. At the same time I have to work hard every day, train every day. It is too tiring. I want to be the best. It is my personal choice to fight against the top players. I want to be one of the top players in the world.”

On the other side of the world, Liz Murray  grew up as the daughter of drug addicts in the Bronx, New York .Shortly after her mother’s death, she enrolled in a school where she worked to reach the top. Hours of working part time and studying on the subway yielded its results when she won the New York Times scholarship for needy students and went to study at Harvard.

Liz Murray

In her book, Breaking Night she writes,

“These were the moments when I was most tested, when comfort was an option. Not when I was sleeping in the hallway, not when I had to exit my friends’ apartments forcibly at odd hours, and not even when I had to ride the subway all night long and sleep there. Instead, lying around in my friends’ apartments when I had the option to sleep was the most difficult of all these situations for me. This was because, without being forced outdoors, I somehow had to find a reason to choose school, a reason from inside myself.”

It is said that individuality is best reflected through our choices. This individuality should by all means thrive as it is what makes our world dynamic and further diversifies it.

Women have the right to make their own choices, that’s very important but the kind of choices they make is equally important. The stories of these individuals only exemplify this.

So while the My Choice video may seek to assert that all women have the right to make their own choice, they do have the responsibility of evaluating them and accepting the results.

To make choices that empower or disempower , your choice.

This article was originally published in my  blog – www.aashaeapen.wordpress.com

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