With the Royal Wedding trending all over the world, a certain speech of Meghan Markle’s also kept surfacing on the internet. Her speech at the United Nations where she talks about how as an 11-year-old kid, she raised an objection to a dishwashing commercial which said, “Women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans.” She was sent letters of encouragement from Hilary Clinton, the then first lady and a few other people and a month later, the commercial was changed to, “People all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans.”
But here is the thing. It’s not just in America, that all those dishwashing, clothes washing detergents and other household products commercials always feature women because stereotypically cleaning a house is always attributed to women! So honestly speaking, the change in ‘what’ was being said was useless when it wasn’t accompanied by the more pivotal change in ‘who’ was being featured.
The two serious problems are that the way men think has to change and more importantly, the way women think also has to change and the latter will not happen unless men take an initiative as well. Reflecting on a personal incident, there is a friend of mine who is constantly ashamed of her period, in spite of me trying to convince her otherwise. One fine day, she says to me, “Yeah, you were right. This guy friend I have here, he says the same things you do and now I am starting to believe it!” So, I thought and I realised this is the attitude of some women may be because they still consider themselves to be inferior to men and need encouragement from men to think differently. Which would effectively mean that men have a more important role to play than they may even know!
In the face of all this, the very fact that Hrithik Roshan chose to feature in the Nirma (clothes washing soap) commercial without any women being involved in washing his dirty shirt and pulled it off so naturally is absolutely wonderful! What is even more wonderful is that he is shown as a working man who also very expertly deals with his domestic problems without needing a wife or a maid because, to be honest, when it comes to Indian commercials, I really can’t see the difference between the two figures!
This is the kind of change we need. Akshay Kumar becoming “Padman” was, of course, essential and amazing but what most people don’t realise is that its the radical changes in the breaks that come every 20 minutes in a movie and every five minutes during an IPL match that matter more because they subconsciously start changing the way we look at things! Hats off to Hrithik Roshan for his small contribution which will definitely with time lead to a mammoth change!!