Why the internet wants Deepika Padukone to take a stand, but not Ranbir Kapoor?
This utterly biased outrage on social media shows how we demand women to be heroes while absolving the men of their responsibilities.
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Two days ago, Deepika Padukone and Ranbir Kapoor were spotted leaving director Luv Ranjan’s house. After a handful of collective ‘awws’ that made it to Twitter — gushing over how this once-upon-a-time-couple still continue to work together and how that’s so progressive, the narrative swiftly turned into something rather nasty.
Social media was flooded with the #NotMyDeepika hashtag, with fans requesting her not to work with Luv Ranjan. Two days have passed, and while Deepika hasn’t budged from the upcoming project, the hashtag hasn’t left tweetverse, either.
Being her fan for so many years, i’ve constantly seen her live upto her words.She’s not said one thing & done another or gone back on her words.I really really hope it remains the same.@deepikapadukone Pls don’t ruin the reputation & trust that took years to built. #notmydeepika— Sanaya (@shahsanaya11) July 20, 2019
#notmydeepika When you work with an abuser, you not only nullify the attempts of the survivors to finally achieve some justice, you also stain your own legacy as well. You'll lose respect and credentials as an artist @deepikapadukone Don't do this.— Celeste (@RisenyetAgain) July 20, 2019
A little bit of context here is necessary. Luv Ranjan is known for a very particular genre of films — slapstick comedy, borderline crass, sexist and misogynistic if you can spot the traits, but those that will go on to make at least Rs 100 crores at the box office. But tweeple are not dissing him because of that. Their wrath is focused on the fact that Luv Ranjan is a #MeToo accused.
In an anonymous tweet back in October 2018, an actress had named Luv Ranjan, alleging that he had asked her to “strip down to her underwear” and if she “masturbates” during an audition.
The actress, who was sexually harassed by director Luv Ranjan, writes an open letter to him and his friends. Please stop gaslighting the victim, she's getting nothing out of this. We know the truth. #IBelieveHer #MeToo #TimesUp pic.twitter.com/awSP1FrrsW— Rohit🌈 (@desijourno) October 15, 2018
Like several other #MeToo stories, this one too withered away as there was no legal complaint filed, followed by Luv’s denial and Nushrat Bharucha's "I always felt safe with him" clarification.
Twitter, obviously, has not forgotten.
And neither should we.
Yet, when it comes to taking a stand against the accused, why are we pinning it all on Deepika Padukone?
The film that Deepika is being asked to boycott stars Ranbir Kapoor and Ajay Devgn — someone who was last seen in Luv Ranjan’s De De Pyaar De (DDPD). Ironically, neither of these two leading men are being asked to take a stand.
Pragmatic tweets talking about how Deepika could “lose all the respect she’s earned” if she chooses to work with Luv have filled Twitter — Ranbir and Ajay, on the other hand, have managed to successfully escape all the mud-slinging.
Could this utterly biased social media outrage point to the fact that nobody respects Ranbir or Ajay as much as they respect Deepika? Or is it that — and this is the more problematic one — the liability of standing up for a woman lies only with another woman? Do we expect — heck, demand — women to be crusaders for other women, while we discount the men, absolve them of every responsibility? Or have we decided to 'do our good deed of the day' and satisfy our wokeness in a measure to overcompensate for the business we'll give Luv Ranjan's film when it hits the theatres?
For we're the ones helping his films make hundreds of crores even as we sit back and point fingers at Deepika.
Ajay Devgn, in a detailed statement, had clarified his stance on Alok Nath. But never on Luv Ranjan. (Photo: Twitter)
Prior to the release of DDPD, Ajay had released a statement clarifying his stance on working with Alok Nath — another #MeToo accused, who has been acquitted now — where he mentioned how the casting was done and Alok Nath’s scenes were shot before Vinta Nanda’s revelations. But Luv Ranjan’s alleged involvement has been in the public domain since October 2018. As have Vikas Bahl's, despite which Hrithik Roshan did not back out of Super 30.
But then, we don't expect the men to take a stand. Just women.