Men and women are typically associated with certain social roles dependent upon the personality traits associated with those roles. Traditionally, the role of a homemaker is associated with a woman and the role of a breadwinner is associated with a male. But the scenario these days has changed with women proving their cerebral and emotional excellence and going ahead in the race of life. Much against the stereotypes, the domestic chores and professional life are being equally balanced by both women and men.In this era of feminism one and all can enjoy any profession they like, demolishing the very existence of old school gender roles.
To begin with let’s start with, what actually the term feminism stands for . Strictly by definition it refers to the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes. But in other words it actually professes ideologies which understand, validate & promote gender equality. Here “Gender Equality” refers to sharing of equal rights and provisions both by men and women. Feminism is a positive movement and a great initiative towards gender equality. We’ve seen many incidents like the #meetoo movement where many feminists came together to fight back against the oppression. There feminism was portrayed in a positive light and helped the victims to gain justice.
But there are certain incidents and cases where feminism has been used (rather exploited ) as a tool to fulfill thirst of personal revenges. As an educated individual,we must know the right meaning of all terms which we use on a daily basis.
Feminism is an eight lettered word which an individual may misinterpret. Many of us have a misconception that it means an ideology or rights that empowers women only but the lesser known fact is it empowers and protects the rights of both the sexes. The ideologies of feminism and feminists are not wrong but what is alarming is the increase in the number of pseudo-feminists. Pseudo-feminist is a person who proclaims to be a feminist yet ignores the main point of feminism i.e. equality.
The topic of feminism and it’s rise has been clearly seen in the world of media. Many movie critics , specifically in India, tend to criticize movies on the basis of minimal role or screen presence given to a female actor than a male actor. The biased review of a movie critic on the basis of feminism (so called) is extremely unjust. It generates a negative impact on the audience.
A movie is an art and brainchild of a director who has full rights over his/her creation. The screen presence and importance of the role varies from film to film (depending upon the script). We have witnessed many films where the female lead got the utmost importance example given Raazi,Manikarnikaand so on. Nowadays, we tend to have movies having either a male lead or a female lead with supporting characters with multi-starrer films being less produced. The casting and screen-presence of any lead or support depends explicitly upon the script’s demand and a script cannot strictly NOT be manipulated for the sake of increasing the role of any character.
Just like every other aspect, feminism’s impact has its own set of pros and cons. It’s being dragged into every sphere of life. Film media has been described as a social thermometer that portrays the emotions and beliefs of a particular time in history. There has been always a notion that men and women are differentially portrayed by the cinema, roles being subservient to men. But down the line, Indian cinema has been eradicating and blurring this line of disparity. Other than screen-presence and inferior roles there are objections like bollywood showcasing women as objects for masculine desires ( objectifying them) and fetishistic gazing. Films are evolving day by day, bit by bit. We’re getting more films on women who are self empowered, self established and strong.
Film making is an art at it’s base and art is very personal. A person (director) directing a film in accordance to the laws of the society is total abuse of the right to freedom of the media. We should not judge an art on the basis of the factors like whether it has equal screen presence for both male/female lead or having few scenes which has a female character having negligible significance.Being unbiased, films are not only made to justify any character. If the director starts justifying every character and impose a moral imposition then the art of film making is somewhere lost.
For instance, the recently produced “Kabir Singh” casting Shahid Kapoor and Kiara Advani has been trending and highly criticised for portraying misogyny and objectifying women. Critics (few) in their reviews are more concerned in talking about the misogyny rather than actually reviewing it . According to them, this film is retrogressive in nature and demeans a women in all respect.
This is an original south remake of Arjun Reddy which was released back in 2017. It was a path breaking concept film and the actors received critical acclaim for their performances. The hypocrisy of the audience is clearly visible now when the remake has been made based on the deto same story line and concept. An actor/filmmaker starts to justify every character then heshe cannot be an actor. They have to play the characters for their good and for their bad, they need to represent them honestly—this is what acting is all about. Acting and portraying characters is being honest for the character. Shahidkapoor has played many characters for films like Padmavaat, Jab we met etc where he played the submissive roles and here in Kabir Singh he plays a role of an alpha male in the college. He has performed what the script and character demanded.
The concept of pseudo-feminism arises here too. There were no protests and negative reviews given when Veere de wedding was released. It also showed how women objectifying men. We accepted it, and enjoyed it. A movie is both for entertainment and motivation. If taking motivation from films was a serious affair, then rape cases should have stopped after PINK, corruption would’ve stopped after RAID etc. As a responsible audience we must not be biased and not associate every film or artwork with pseudo feminism. If a person is so influenced by a film then he/she should refrain themselves from watching movies with aggression. Well that will obviously not be a matured move !!
The question is not about veere di wedding being correct or be it kabir singh. The question is should we be more liberal about the art of film making and keeping it away from the influence of pseudo feminism. The creation of every film is very unique and depicts a different story. A film can be bad or good on the basis of poor execution or monotone plot but it should not be judged on basis of pseudo feminism as such. We mustn’t support misogyny and as well as misandry too. We cannot just see and judge, one face of the coin. As responsible audience we must not be hypocrite and only oppress misogyny, if we’re standing up for misogyny then we should take a stance for movies promoting misandry.
Article By : Sagnik Nag
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