Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor announced their pregnancy in the way the most people announce anything important nowadays. Through Instagram. For many, this was a shattering of illusions because the couple tied the knot in April some time and the pregnancy announcement came rather quick. I believe a lot of people were convinced that before their wedding, the couple was chaste and expressed their love and affection for each other by passionately holding hands or by dramatically batting their eyelashes. The announcement, riding practically on the heels of their wedding declaration, forced a lot of people to face a reality. That couples in this generation (and for many generations before this) might be having sex before marriage. This was a possibility some might have considered before, but such a blatant and flagrant display of it by telling the world you’re pregnant? The audacity.
At this point, you might logically point out that their sex life and family planning isn’t our business, which is entirely true. And to that, I would ask that you, like a large percentage of our population, leave logic and the door and please come only with your judgements and narrow mindedness.
First, The Pre-Marital Sex…
On every picture of the couple, theories abounded. About how the wedding had to take place because she was pregnant way before it. Perhaps that is what happened. May be that’s not it. Some people took it upon themselves to congratulate Ranbir Kapoor on his virility. Others, within themselves of course, discussed how far along the pregnancy the couple was, making quick calculations about when they’ve possibly conceived. I gather that everyone came to the conclusion that it happened before the wedding.
This meant confronting the idea that pre-marital sex is pretty common and how does that sit well when you believe abstinence is the only way? In our sex education classes that can at best be described as abysmal, we were taught that sex is taboo and should not be indulged in, until the due documentation, legal approval, parental approval etc is all in place. Made sex as fun as getting a water connection for your house. Till all this falls into place, everyone is required to survive on a staple diet of self love, guilt trips when having sex and obscure and weird ideas about sex, how it should be had and how you can feel. Given that this is drilled into our heads, how do you wrap your head around the fact people are getting down with each other willy-nilly? The internet is torn between showing support to their favourite stars and recalibrating the idea that sex in relationships doesn’t require their stamp of approval.
And then the lack of family planning…
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We’re in 2022 where we should be keeping our noses very far away from everyone else’s business. Yet, here we are sitting with our arms crossed discussing how Alia and Ranbir are having a baby way too quickly. A cursory glance through the comments would have you thinking these people were related to Alia and Ranbir, given that they seem to think they have a say in when they should have their baby. Questions about how quickly it happened, how it’s probably too early for Alia and the expression of aghast that they choose to do it at this stage in their careers. I think many people were disappointed that them and other stars don’t invite the world to be privy to their family planning conversations and during conception. ‘Why do these couples leave us out and not invite us to watch so we can make judgements,’ people lament.
And then the sexism…
In a country like India, it’s hard to escape the sexism. And we know that and yet, it sometimes catches us unawares. With the news of the pregnancy, the sexism and misogyny also reared its ugly head but it was so subtle, we would have missed it if we weren’t looking. Several comments allude that the entire pregnancy was an elaborate ruse by Alia (apparently otherwise planning to reproduce entirely on her own) to nail Ranbir down and tie him down to a life of domesticated bliss. Even if we were to consider the fact that Ranbir hasn’t exactly had a great run with being faithful, to think that Alia should scheme against her husband lest he goes back to his wayward ways reeks of sexism and misogyny. It implies that women spend hours rustling up grand schemes to keep their spouses and if it requires them to get knocked up, so be it. And that someone should need to “tie” their husband down to keep him from straying takes away any responsibility a man towards a commitment and places it squarely on the woman’s shoulders. It needs to stop.
Maybe we should find more things to do with our time than embark on random rants about things that do not concern us. If you really want to read about something interesting, read this piece I wrote about how swimwear in India for fuller bust women is terrible.