C -59 Typecasting of feminist women
Well, I can never write enough on Feminism so bear with me!
Now that feminism in its full swing, it's the portrayal in films and web series in India has also increased. What is sad is that most feminist characters are scripted by men. Men can write, and men can be feminist allies. But the feminist portrayal from a man’s point of view reduces women’s agencies and defeats the entire purpose of a feminist representation.
Feminist women are broadly characterised as one of these two
1. The Pick Me
In this category, the woman is shown to be ‘not like the other girls’ and that is supposed to make her cooler. She plays sports, fools around, drinks and smokes, cusses, and picks on girls who are too effeminate. You know what, she is basically a typical man in a woman’s body. So this says that the only way a woman can be empowered is if she behaves more like men.
2. The Rebel without a cause
The second category is a woman who doesn’t usually adhere to a woman’s beauty standards. She is a deviant. And the only personality trait that defines her is her hatred of men. Her entire life is consumed by that solo thought! She is driven, intelligent, book smart, doesn’t smile much, and is always angry. She needs a man to take off her glasses, straighten her hair, make her smile, and show her that she is beautiful too. She does have a complex character, but that complexity fades away in the end. (All the Nainas in KJO movies, say aye.)
The third category
The third category doesn’t exist, because apparently, women don’t dwell in the grey area. We need more movies with complex female characters. Feminism is an ideology. A woman does not have to change her entire self in order to fit in that narrative. Women can be effeminate, tender and strong and powerful at the same time. The idea of strong does not need to guided by the patriarchal understanding of the word. Media portrayals give a sneak into our collective consciousness, and thus we must do them right!