Strands of Feminism

When we look at this industry, and the films that come out of it, particularly this year, we see a tremendous growth in the kind of roles women are getting. Earlier, every leading lady was more or less an accessory in the hands of the hero, but now, with films like Neerja, Pink, Kahaani, Phobia, Dear Zindagi and many more to the credits of our leading ladies today, the scenario has changed completely. In fact, all these women who have played varied characters in these films this year have added a different and a wholly new meaning to feminism. Whether it was Neerja’s bravery to save an entire bunch of people or Durga’s urge to protect a child from child abuse. Or even the different choices made by Anushka Sharma’s Aarfa (Sultan) and Fatima Sana Shaikh’s Geeta Phogat (Dangal).

Both these women played very similar roles in almost the same setting (Haryana) but the choices they made reflect the differences in their ideologies. On one hand, Aarfa thinks that the power to choose between making a home and wrestling is feminism, Geeta believes that the latter is what feminism is all about. Now both these versions of feminism can be true. While the power to choose is the basic crux of feminism, the fact that Geeta can single handedly beat all the men at that sport could have some rays of feminism. People here argue that Geeta didn’t get to make a choice of her own. It was all implicated on her and Babita by their father. But the fact here is that when the decision was made, the girls were very young to decide for themselves. Had it been a boy, Mahavir Singh Phogat would have definitely put him into wrestling. So there lies no question of being forced into the sport…

Now isn’t this the kind of feminism that we look out for? When, given the same situation, women are free to make a choice of their own?

On the personal front, Anushka Sharma didn’t really mind playing a second fiddle to Salman Khan’s Sultan because she knew the importance of the role and the impact it would leave on the audience later. Similarly, being a new face, Fatima Sana Shaikh also doesn’t mind standing in the back as Aamir Khan leads the way. She, like Anushka, knew that she is going to create a great impact, and maybe in this case, a greater one.

The question here remains that have we reached a stage, when our Bollywood directors are brave enough to interpret feminism in their own way and present it? Well, after this year, with the movies mentioned above, if not brave enough, directors definitely do want to tell us stories about the heroism of womanhood and this is a great start…

Tell us what you think about the same below…


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