Sep 12, 2017

A few thoughts on "women-empowerment"

Couple of weeks back, I watched this much-acclaimed movie “Lipstick under my burkha”. To be honest, I didn’t like it at all. I don’t want to ponder over the reasons of why it didn’t strike a chord with me as compared to the many who liked it.

But this movie is ONE among the many recent movies that made me think about “women-empowerment” / “feminism” and how it is wrongly portrayed by movies and media these days.

This post is not meant to offend anyone but purely my opinions and reflections on this topic.

Off late, there has been a surge of movies with women-focused themes covering various issues women face in a patriarchal society like India. Among the various women who are shown to portray strong characters, there is one common element that disturbs me.

Strong women are portrayed as drinking alcohol and smoking.

I’m totally against these 2 habits that are detrimental to health, irrespective of the gender you belong to. I have written about this topic earlier too.

Are movies a reflection of the changing society? Or is society getting influenced by movies? Both are true. In any case, I just can’t accept this ridiculous portrayal of strong women with a glass of alcohol or a cigarette in their hands. There are many strong women without the need for these 2 crutches.

So movie makers, stop such cliched portrayal of strong, independent women. Your minuscule disclaimer is just a statutory complaint and doesn’t make any difference, whatsoever.

Secondly, who are empowered women?
Through their dreams, thoughts, beliefs and actions, women make a difference to themselves, their families and the society. Even when obstacles come in the form of societal norms and family members, strong women are able to create an impact and leave behind their identity on a worthy cause to fight for.

Do these recent “feminism” focused movies portray such women? Not as much.

The below list of movies are some of my favourites where the women protagonists are portrayed beautifully for their strong characters and personalities, not for the way they dress, smoke or drink.

“How old are you?” in Malayalam ("36 vayathinile" in Tamil),
“Manathil uruthi vendum”, “Kalki”, “Magalir Mattum (1994)” in Tamil,
“English Vinglish”, “Piku" in Hindi,
“The Intern” in English

I believe strong women can carry forward themselves easily, wearing a saree with a smile on their faces and confidence in their eyes. I’m sure many of us would have seen this remarkable photo of ISRO women scientists behind Mars orbiter spacecraft launch in 2014.

We don’t need Western clothes, makeup accessories, cigarettes and alcohol to feel empowered.

Lastly, if you disagree with any of the above, please let's move on and not get into arguments. We can agree to disagree.

2 comments:

Mini said...

I like what you said, "Agree to Disagree". This is something missing in the present society. Why is it that people cannot stand other's opinion if it differs from their own?
And I completely agree with what you said on dressing code. Some of the most amazing women leaders I have seen never bothered about how they dress up.

harshitha reddy said...

I completely agree with your post. But since the post started on the movie lipstick under my burka, my thoughts on this. This movie is not about feminism as such, but more about the much sushed topic of female sexuality. Though I personally didn't like the way in which the movie was written or the characters were developed, I feel this is a powerful topic and needs exploration

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