Photo: BL Soni
Photo: BL Soni

In recent days, as investigation into actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death continued, many have been vocal in their criticism of his girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty and her family. While many expressed their desire for justice, others have taken things several steps further, accusing Rhea of murder, extortion and more.

And on Tuesday, Rhea seemed to be hitting back with a t-shirt that urged people to "smash patriarchy". Now, it could have been a coincidence, but whatever be the reason, the pictures have gone viral.

"Roses are red; Violets are blue; Let's smash patriarchy; Me and you," read her black t-shirt as she arrived at the NCB office in Mumbai for a third day of questioning.

And in case you are interested, this is t-shirt sold by The Souled Store and is a part of their "Roses are Red" campaign.

Photo: BL Soni
Photo: BL Soni

This article is not intended to debate whether she is guilty or not - with regards any of the myriad accusations against her. But the public sentiment and media coverage of Rhea does raise questions as to whether her gender had anything to do with the chaos. Many on social media platforms seem to be of the opinion that the vilification of Rhea Chakraborty was made easier by the fact that she was a woman.

"Suraj Pancholi wasn’t met with half the hostility that Rhea Chakraborty is dealing with. All news was made about how Jia Khan was a depressed failed actress and some news channels even disregarded her being assaulted by Pancholi," wrote one Twitter user recently, contending that the girl was always "crazy and wrong" irrespective of the side of the story one was on.

Of course there are hundreds on the other side of the debate too. But the fact that many - both men and women - have felt the need to weigh in on the duplicitous nature of Bengali women, or make disparaging remarks about Rhea's appearance and relationship are concerning.

And while this by itself is not always a gender-oriented attack, over the last two months, many have also felt the need to question and criticise Rhea's choice of clothing on multiple occasions. While Rhea in a salwar kameez is apparently her attempt to "gain sympathy", today's t-shirt was deemed "arrogant".

As another Twitter user put it, "If this comes across as "arrogant" to the flag-bearers of patriarchy, then the message is well conveyed".

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Free Press Journal