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How a Jewellery ad sparked debates on misogyny

Monday, 18 August 2014 - 6:30pm IST | Agency: dna webdesk

  • Picture source: Facebook

A jewellery ad seen on the back of buses in Mumbai has sparked a debate on social site Reddit for its apparent misogyny.

The ad sees a couple, presumably married, looking into the distance as the tag line reads: 'I did not choose my husband, but I can choose my jewellery'.

A photo of the ad has started to make rounds on the internet, drawing reactions from sharp criticism to complete disbelief. Several have also questioned the veracity of the ad since no one has been able to identify the jewellery brand yet.

Many on Reddit also ridiculed the ad. "Your marriage is a coin flip, but your jewelry doesn't have to be," wrote user firemonkey1313. 

MadroxKran said, "Arranged marriages reverse entropy!" 

"I may not be able to choose my life's path, but DAMMIT I can accessorize!" said user mschu5 .


On the Facebook post, several found the ad funny in its ridiculousness while others said felt that it reflected reality for women in India.  "Arranged marriage is a fact of Indian society - women may not choose their husbands as parents may fix them up but they do agree to marry so technically the marriage isn't forced.... just a thought. The ad speaks the truth." wrote Hrnak Joashi on the Facebook post.

"I actually laughed at this. I'm so sorry, its not that it doesn't make me angry but its gone so far its come out the other side and is just plain ludicrous. HOW can ANYONE take this seriously????" wrote user Natasha Ransom.

On Reddit, debate raged on the concept of arranged marriage. Many defended arranged marrraiges differentiating it from forced marriages. Some narrated personal anecdotes of finding love through arranged marriage, defending their parents right to choose their partner. "I don't think you understand the difference between arranged and forced marriages. In an arranged marriage you have the choice of getting married to someone your parents chose for you. I also read somewhere that almost all arranged marriages actually tend to result in quite happy couples. In terms of personal experience, my parents got an arranged marriage like 25 years ago and are still happy with each other," user sherminator19 said.

"I fucking hate the idea of someone making completely life altering decisions about my future for me. While this has certainly resulted in some shit decisions on my part, I value my ability to choose. Removing someones autonomy is something I don't wish to endure and so I have a negative reaction to seeing someone else endure it."  said TheGozarian. "Hey, nobody is saying arranged marriages are perfect. Parents fuck up, shit happens, etc. But they're also not as shitty as a lot of people tend to believe." said HaziqQ.

"Yes. And surely with a 50 some odd per cent divorce rate, North Americans should be the standard of successful marriages." said dominion47.

"India has a low divorce rate partly because of the difficulty and shame that comes from divorce. Many women want it but it's not a valid option so a low divorce rate is not always something to brag about."  said Cannibalzz.

Earlier this year, an NPR article delineating the relation between gold and Indian women, said that the idea of gifting a woman gold for her wedding was her family's way of ensuring her financial security. However, the article quoted anthropologist Nilika Mehrotra, saying that the right to use her gold varied in different parts of the country and wasn't assured security for the woman.

The ad is the latest under fire for misogynistic representation of women. Last month, Airtel's ad showing a woman as both boss and wife, had divided social media on whether or not it was a regressive representation of women. 

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