Culture

Can we stop cyber-bullying Mira Kapoor?

Fact: Raging against Mira Kapoor doesn’t make you a feminist. It makes you a bully

Fact: Mira Kapoor spoke of her post-pregnancy choices — staying at home to care for her child, Misha — from a place of immense privilege.

But if you watched the interview, not only did the young mother stress the fact that her experience was entirely her own, she also repeatedly cautioned against the very same knee-jerk reaction she was so violently subjected to, the shaming of women who make their own life choices.

“Empowerment means you have the right to choose. So it’s my choice if I want to be at home. And it’s someone else’s choice if they want to be a working mother. But both are equally valid and neither of them should be shamed. Empowerment means an inner strength. You need to have that equilibrium within so you can be powerful outside.”

Mira spoke of how a destructive new strain of feminism — the feminazi – was akin to chauvinism. I’m tempted to agree.

The feminist insists on women having the right to choose. The feminazi insists on women having the right to choose… as long as those choices line up with her world view.

The feminist speaks of unifying the sexes. The feminazi is an expert at villifying both the opposite sex and her own.

The feminist doesn’t seek society’s approval to speak her mind. The feminazi insists she doesn’t want or need your approval, but will rain fire and hailstones if you dare disagree.

To be honest, much of this righteous indignation smells more like poorly-disguised schadenfreude. It feels good to tear down a pretty, privileged young woman who came out of nowhere and married one of the most desirable men in India. It’s satisfying to remind her that she’s not worthy of representing you, the empowered modern woman, even if she never asked to be your role model in the first place. It’s fun to set up a trap and watch her walk right into it, even as you choose to ignore the valid points — from fending off body shaming to equality within a marriage — she made for 90% of the interview.

Raging against Mira Kapoor doesn’t make you a feminist. It just makes you a bully.