Vidya Balan Didn’t Take Her Husband’s Name And Was Questioned About It. That’s Patriarchy!
The thing about sexism and patriarchy that most people don’t seem to understand is that it runs extremely deep in our society. It’s not only the misogynistic comments or the stereotypical gender norms that affect us so horribly. More often, it’s the smaller aspects that have become a regular practice in our lives or a few common phrases that perpetuate patriarchal concepts. The beauty of it is that we do without even realizing the damage. That’s what generations of classical conditioning can do. For instance, in a recent interview, Vidya Balan said that she would get extremely irked when people asked her to compromise on her identity after she got married to Sidharth Roy Kapur. She also talks about internalized patriarchy and how we’re forced to give in. We love her for trying to take a stand.
Vidya Balan is known for being outspoken. She is one of the most talented actresses we have and it’s no doubt that she has worked extremely hard to get to where she is today. So, why should she have to change her name or be known as someone’s wife? Why can’t she retain her own identity without having to defend it? In this interview with The Quint, Vidya Balan talks about the point in her life when she had to fight the patriarchy.
In the interview, while talking about the patriarchal system prevalent in our society, Vidya said, “You know, when I was newly married I would get very offended when people would say ‘Mr and Mrs Sidharth Roy Kapur’. I just don’t get that concept of ‘Mr and Mrs’. I just feel that I am Vidya Balan, I am married to Sidharth Roy Kapur, I haven’t taken on his surname not because I love him any less, obviously. But, this is my identity. Why should I have to compromise it?” She added, “These are such subtle ways in which patriarchy shows up.”
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Vidya further adds, “You know what’s interesting and unfortunate is that sometimes, we do it ourselves. When it’s done to us, it bothers us. But sometimes we do it to ourselves. We are as much perpetrators as we are victims of patriarchy.”
We completely agree with her. Internalized patriarchy is very common. In fact, without realising it our actions and statements perpetuate the oppression we are living under. Vidya, in this interview, gave a great example of how society forces us to do things that we know are wrong and derogatory. This incident that she narrates is also a great example of internalized patriarchy.
She said, “I remember I was not okay with my father doing the kanyadaan. Because it basically means that you are handing over property. But finally, I gave in because my parents said we are doing it the traditional way and the pandit said ‘no, I won’t do it if there is no kanyadaan’. So, finally, I just ended up doing it. But I did feel that I am not property to be passed down.”
To dispel this notion, we need to take conscious steps and remove certain phrases from our vocabulary completely. More power to Vidya Balan for raising such valid points!