As wholesome as Twitter is, it can also become a hub of misplaced rage, extreme hostility, and hate directed towards one person, and sometimes, for no fault of their own. At least that’s how it is these days!
At the moment, boycott calls against Alia Bhatt are trending on Twitter, even before the release of her upcoming movie. That is not surprising because the actress often has to bear the brunt of being born with privilege. (As if that’s her fault!)
But anyway, here are 17 other things that we can actually boycott after we’re done with half-baked rage against Alia Bhatt and her movies.
1. Trolling literally everything because Freedom Of Expression hai duh!
Trolling is the digitization bane that stems from people who’ve no major goals in life except to sit behind their mobile phones and spew hatred. Let’s not equate free speech with vicious loop of hate.
2. Using fairness creams.
Often masked with the names of skin radiance and skin brightening, fairness creams are still very much available in India with their colorist ideology that revolves around the stereotypical idea of beauty. Let’s boycott those!
3. Casual sexism. It’s literally everywhere!
Undermining a person’s worth basis gendered prejudices is highly common in workplaces and numerous other social settings. From women can’t be great drivers to women cannot do tech, sexism is deeply rooted in our society. We gotta strike at the roots and discard them for good.
4. Defending regressive practices in the name of ‘culture.’
We live in the 21st century, yet somehow it doesn’t feel like that. And how would it? When the ‘achhe ghar ki ladkiyaan’ narrative is constantly shoved down your throat, one can hardly believe that we’ve moved anywhere beyond the regressive mindset embedded in our society.
5. Period-based stigma. A woman can be annoyed when she isn’t PMSing. Let’s move on!
I have two things. First: PMSing is a very real thing. It’s painful and exhausting to hold oneself together when hormones are on a roll. Second: PMSing or not, it does not become an excuse to dismiss anything a woman says just because you don’t agree with her. That’s sexist!
6. Mansplaining. Don’t need unsolicited, presumptuous explanations from men!
Some men don’t have any appetite to accept the existence of independent and headstrong women. They believe they are morally obligated to explain stuff to women, even on topics and issues they have negligible knowledge about. Their confidence in their intellectual superiority is as hollow as the stuff they try to explain while mansplaining!
7. Stigmatizing mental health. Mental health is also health!
As a society, we’re yet to normalize seeking therapy. Somehow, mental health issues always get sidelined because the person doesn’t look a certain way, and society lacks tolerance and empathy.
8. Boycott Homophobia. Most importantly!
This inability to accept somebody else’s right to be is the peak of intolerance we’ve reached! If anything at all, boycott what prompts you to be so spiteful against something as natural as homosexuality.
9. The performatory gender roles.
Men can cry. Women can drive. Men can raise children. Women can bring financial support to the family. Dividing a household into gender charades is like asking people to not be humans but robots of the patriarchal ideologies.
10. Just like fairness creams, boycott all superficial beauty standards.
The glamorous — zero-figure is beautiful — idea of beauty is appalling. Not only does this force women to obsess over gyming and practice extreme diets, but it can also harbour severe food-eating and mental health disorders. These commercialized, idealized, and impractical standards of beauty are marketed everywhere, and we don’t need them.
Men can sport long hair, women can opt for short hair, men can be clean shaved, and women can grow hair wherever the F they want. It’s a personal choice!
11. Harassing couples because you’re so single.
While it’s undoubtedly changing, couples continue to get harassed every now and then for just being together. PDA or not, just seeing couples, especially the unmarried ones, becomes taxing and obscene for several intolerant individuals in our country.
12. Victim blaming. It’s high time!
A woman sharing her experiences of abuse and harassment can become a task within itself because… enter moral policing and victim blaming. “Why was she out at night? What was she wearing?…” and demeaning questions like these should not exist.
13. The Anti Feminism movement.
Anti Feminism movement springs from people who don’t understand feminism at all. And it won’t be surprising if these people also disbelieve that gender inequality exists. Some people even label it anti-men, and their explanation begins the real multiverse of madness.
14. What TERFS, who are basically trans exclusionary feminists, say!
Trans women are women. Period. Get over it. It doesn’t matter what JK Rowling says. Supporting equal rights yet marginalizing the rights of trans women is outright transphobic.
15. Casteism. Yes, it still exists.
It would be delusional to think that caste is a thing of the past. The multi-faceted norm is still propagated by desis in India and abroad. Be it exam questions on identifying lower caste or an NRI family denying accommodation to a Sikh man at the very last moment solely because he’s a non-vegetarian, caste-based stigma exists.
16. Men having opinions on women’s bodies. No uterus, no opinions.
Be it in India or abroad, men have no right to have opinions about women’s bodies. Like really? You think you’re better informed about our bodies than we ourselves?
17. Diet Culture. It’s toxic.
Diet culture is a belief system that worships the idea of thinness. It prompts an individual to practise rigorous diets that might be counterproductive to their body. Not just that, it also harbours fatphobia, body image, and mental health issues. It’s toxic AF!
The list can be endless, but I have to stop at one point. To summarise, there are several social issues rampant in India, instead of Bollywood actors and their movies. We don’t have to be everywhere, but we can be somewhere talking about at least one real issue that moves us the most.