If you have been scrolling through Instagram recently, you might have come across Chavara Matrimony’s latest offering. An ad featuring a heavily pregnant ‘Sara’, her husband ‘Abbey’, and their three children. To say the ad’s messaging is taking us back to the dark ages is an understatement.
The misogyny shines through
The ad starts with a shot of Sara doing glass painting and embroidery. As Sara is introduced, the male narrator says, “Vaaliye kalakari okke anengilum, Sarakyu kootikalle ishtam alla”, which means that even though she is a big artist, she doesn’t like kids. In the same contemptuous tone, he continues that Sara doesn’t like marriage or the associated responsibilities either. The first question that comes to your mind is, what does Sara being an artist have to do with her interest or disinterest in marriage? The scorn with which the narrator says all this is hard to miss. He continues to say that her disinterest continued till Sara met Abbey on Chavara Matrimony and married him. The ending shot has a heavily pregnant Sara feeding her three other kids while her husband Abbey looks on.
Marriage – the cure for all that ails you
Starting from a woman who doesn’t like kids to ending it with her having three kids with another on the way is a little far-fetched, to say the least. The ad conforms to the idea that marriage can “cure” you of everything. Oh, you don’t like kids? No problem, just get married and pop out a few. All will be right in the world then. The ad places the entire worth of a woman in her ability to be a wife and mother. There is no room for a woman’s dreams, her individuality, or her ambitions. There is also no room for a woman who decides, of her own free will, that she does not want a husband or kids. Apparently, that is a “disease” that needs to be cured through marriage.
A sly dig at Sara’s?
While the ad has received flak for its misogynistic messaging, netizens also pointed out the possibility of the female lead’s name being a sly dig at the 2021 movie Sara’s. This movie talked about the topic of women’s reproductive rights including abortion. The lead character, Sara, is clear that she wants to focus on her career and does not want kids. When she unexpectedly ends up pregnant, she contemplates abortion and that forms a major part of Sara’s. People have been quick to notice that the ad uses the name Sara in order to comment on the movie and its theme.
“Dislikes turn into likes”
The ad ends with the tagline, “Your dislikes turn into your likes when you meet the right partner.” While it’s not too far out of the realm for people to change, the perspective changes when you add marriage into the mix. People who have staunchly stood by a viewpoint may change them when they meet new people or experience new things. That’s perfectly fine, but when you say “her thoughts changed because she got married”, that’s a problem.
At a time when we are talking about feminism and fighting our way out of patriarchy, here comes an ad that reinforces the misogyny prevalent in society. Rather than moving out of the box, the ad reinforces the notion that a woman needs to conform to a mould that society believes is right. It’s 2022, Chavara Matrimony, wake up and smell the coffee! We are trying to progress here and not go back to the dark ages.
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