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It's an ad women - it says so clearly: Vogue Empower. It talks about all the choices a woman may exercise if she so chooses, one of them being to have sex outside marriage. It may not be your choice, it may not be a moral choice according to you but it is a choice.

We need ads to reinforce the very basic act of choosing-especially in a culture where most of the decisions are taken over by someone else, your parents before you get married and your husband after. And I am not talking of women who are articulate and expressive about their choices-it’s the ones who don’t demur, and appear to enjoy going with the flow who find themselves living lives designed by someone else. The Empower ad talks to those quieter girls and shows them a glimpse of an alternate reality.

Another interesting spin off from all the reactions to the video was how outraged and moralistic we are as a people about sex. Isn't it a private act? And is it not between consenting adults? If they choose to exercise their freedoms in that manner does it threaten our society so much that we all collectively cluck our tongues and shake our heads? People do have open marriages and maybe there’s a reason she’s looking for sex outside her marriage…

The very thought of sex outside marriage stirred up many a hornets nest on Facebook. Lots of moral indignation and outrage. Especially as the woman in the video looks anything but contrite.

My point is: if sex is the final frontier still, we haven’t really walked that far from patriarchal gender narratives where a woman is frowned upon for ‘ giving it away’ while a man can still smirk about his conquests- I am not suggesting that all of us should feel comfortable exploring our sexuality outside of marriage : all I am saying is that there’s a road there-you walk on it or you don’t-it is your choice entirely- it doesn’t make you a bad fallen woman in my book; I am willing to concede that if such a choice is made, she must have had her reasons…I am not going to judge her for being sexual and I think the world and society at large needs to focus on crimes other than promiscuity-beginning with hate crimes, racism, gender violence.

Do remember it’s an ad which needed to go viral so they made sure they provoked you enough to elicit a strong reaction- the fact that you are reacting is good news for Vogue’s marketing team but bad news for our sex and just shows how quick we are to judge and dismiss.

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