From the smallest of stories to full-blown revolutions, in the past decade, social media has been instrumental in amplifying voices and opinions like never before. With an entire crop of Insta influencers and activists claiming the modern-day discourse, social media has truly proved its significance in the grand narrative. However, every discourse gives way to a counter-discourse, which can often spiral into a completely different conversation in the world of social media.
The recent exchange between content creator Kusha Kapila and YouTubers Elvish Yadav and Lakshay Chaudhary throws some light on this phenomenon. It started with Elvish and Lakshay making “roast” videos on YouTube, in which they targeted women content creators. Things quickly escalated, with the women contesting these claims and, soon enough, Kusha found herself bearing the brunt of it all through abusive and derogatory comments and DMs.
Last month, she had also shared a short satire, showing how she was being targeted by Lakshay's followers for no reason at all. Here's the clip:
Since the trolls continued to persist and Elvish came up with a new “roast” video on women creators last week, Kusha took matters into her own hand and gave him a fitting answer. And while one might be able to comprehend the kind of frustration that someone might feel after getting aimlessly abused and trolled on social media, Kusha has taken a different stance on the whole dialogue and dealt with it rather gracefully.
“Y'all will agree much has been said on this entire mindfuckery and much will be said after. That doesn't mean a moment shouldn't be taken to reflect on all that was said and how it might have affected the people who had a stake in this conversation," she wrote, addressing the spat in the video's caption.
“This video isn't made to add any fuel to the fire. Instead, it aims to have a conversation with everyone who has engaged with every single development of this story. It also aims to differentiate between feminism and pseudo feminism where I apologise if my words or actions supported the latter," Kusha added.
Addressing all the allegations levelled on her by the two YouTubers, Kusha spoke in Hindi throughout the video, as her 'fake accent' and constant use of English happen to be major concerns for the two men. However, she established at the beginning itself that she isn't ashamed of any of that. “I wouldn’t apologise for any of it because I do it for my characters. But that doesn’t mean that I cannot speak in Hindi or I am not an Indian," she said.
Instead of targeting or insulting Elvish and Lakshay in the video, Kusha sought to start a healthy dialogue and refuted the definition of pseudo feminists as chalked out by Elvish. She opened the video by replying to his claim that 'Women use pseudo feminism to have easy access to cigarettes and alcohol.’ She made perfect sense as she contested it by saying that ‘if men have the freedom to drink or smoke then women should have it too. It smoking and drinking happen to be harmful to men then it would be harmful to women too. If men go ahead and drink and smoke in spite of that then women can do that too.’
However, she didn't shy away from taking ownership when it came to the flaws in her own content as well and shared that one of her videos, titled “Questions we want to ask all Indian men”, has been taken down for its generalisation. 'That’s wrong. If I have had some unpleasant experiences with men then it doesn’t mean that all men are alike. That video has been removed. I accept my mistake,' she said.
Here's her UnRoast:
In her video, not only has Kusha managed to call out the misogyny of Elvish and Lakshay but has also used the platform to do something that these YouTubers should be doing instead of trolling women for talking about their experiences. She talks about how men have their share of struggles as well and appreciates people like Nikhil Taneja, who are throwing light on these suppressed narratives. However, she does establish in the video that generalising women is as wrong as generalising men, and pointing out each other's shortcomings can be done is a way more dignified manner than it is currently being done.
It is rather refreshing to see how Kusha has given a productive turn to the entire dialogue. She has truly taken the high road instead of answering nastiness with nastiness and it would be interesting to see how this conversation progresses from here. For now, we are delighted to see Kusha handling the situation with so much grace and humanity instead of turning caustic or suppressing this much-needed conversation.
Featured Image: Instagram