31 May It’s Time We Let Her Write Her Story
Talk about pop culture and what pops in our mind are the progressive movies, web series and the music. Unlike the rowdy Bollywood movies of the ’90s, creators are now exploring different ideas, emotions, and concepts. But, despite the nuanced writing, advanced cinematography and a whole lot of money put in creating these series, there is a major flaw we are still living through. The outdated representation of females and most importantly lack of female creators. For those who would like to counter, I agree, we have more female-oriented movies. In fact, they are creating records. But except those very rare, few movies, most of the content produced has adorned the idea of being a feminist film but barely scratched the surface. (Badrinath Ki Dulhania, Veere De Wedding, Dangal)
Most of the recent popular shows and movies are reflecting the current status of society. The writers are also creating diverse characters and developing an emotionally intense journey that replicates a regular human being. But the dominance of the Orthodox patriarchal mindset of the characters is always hidden in plain sight. But when it comes to shaping female characters, there is nothing but chaos.
There are so many web series intended to be women-oriented but for some reason, the idea of a strong female character is translated only if she has a well-paying job, consumes alcohol and cigarettes and does not want to get married ( Yes, I am talking about Four Shots Please). In the century that we are living in, are we still going to use these factors to define an independent woman?
Even if it is a female-oriented film, somehow the underlying savior is the male character. One of the biggest examples is Dangal. A drama packed, detailed movie known for empowering women. But a lot of us could identify the dominant father figure who has already established that men are better than women without any regard for his wife’s health (four kids just to have a boy) or the aspirations of his daughters. He ensures that they are striving hard to fulfill his dreams. In fact, his dreams are imposed on the kids in such a manner that one could barely mark their individual journey or character development. Even though the leading character goes through all the labor, somehow the credit goes to none other than Aamir Khan. Now, this was the result of a seasoned writer and director creating one of the most successful movies in the film industry.
This chaotic mess is generally a result of male writers trying to portray and unravel the female characters. They can research well covering most of the important aspects, but what they create is what they see from their perspective. In fact most of the time they are trying so hard that the characters lose their essence and it appears unnatural.
In regards to female creators, they are not trying to recreate an emotion they have not felt. Their idea of replication is fuelled by their personal experience which reflects in the details and the execution. This alone makes it easier to empathize with. They are well versed with the nuances and gripping details which makes the emotion what it is. This is exactly where female narrators make a difference.
Now if we discuss it from the consumption point than it is a different major problem altogether. Since a long time, we are all told that every woman is a damsel in distress and objectifying her at the same time is okay for entertainment. This is ingrained so deeply that it now a fact that we all fail to recognize. Moreover, this has created a notion amongst men about being the only savior even if there isn’t any need which leads to chaos finally and it is okay to objectify a woman.
Even when it comes to young girls, they are exposed to a fundamentally wrong representation of the strong independent women. This applies at all the level; emotionally, mentally as well as physically. Adding fuel to the fire, social media has already created problems we were never ready for.
Pop culture plays a drastic role in influencing young adults or anyone who consumes it. The impact can be easily recognized in the way we are heading our thought process. With all the struggles that women have been through just to have a voice in the society, it can either be aggravated or deflated with the mindset we are imbibing in our society. Are we willing to raise an indifferent generation that does not have any regard for the struggles of either of the genders or the society?
I want to generate an intrigue amongst all the readers. Equal representation is very crucial. Both the genders should come together to create content which reflects the reality in the most humane way possible and gives us a thought to ponder about at the end of the day. Instead of them just assuming the best of the other one and giving birth to all the wrong ideas. This is a process that is going to take a long time to implement but the least that you and I can do it, address it.