A typical Indian movie or television series typecast women into two categories – the bold vamp and the coy heroine. If she is bold, it means she is complicated, manipulative, and almost always falls for someone else’s husband or boyfriend. The heroine, on the other hand, is shy, has more patience than my mom, and almost always prefers to dedicate herself for the welfare of her husband’s family. Then the rest of the women are showed as a bunch of gossip mongers.
Fortunately, that’s so not true in the real world. And, unfortunately, some people believe it is and judge women based on how extrovert or introvert they are, what clothes they wear, and their drinking, eating, and relationship patterns. No amount of justifications or bold short films/ad clips will change that mentality, for people who judge will eternally do so.
Moving on, let’s talk about the portrayal of women-women friendships. Someone once told me, “I don’t understood the concept or the need for Bechdel Test.” This person hardly understood the concept of feminism or even gender equality, so I wasn’t surprised. Quoting Wikipedia, “The Bechdel Test asks whether a work of fiction features at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man. The requirement that the two women must be named is sometimes added. The test is used as an indicator for the active presence of women in films and other fiction, and to call attention to gender inequality in fiction.”
If you see most movies, women talk to other women either about the men in their life or about the problems caused by the men in their life (as if that’s all we care about). True, women take advice or suggestions from other women when dating a guy or even when breaking up with one. However, we mostly talk about other things.
On a typical day, my discussion with my CA-pursuing friend would be about taxation, GST, and investments. My lunch dates with my girl besties would be about family, work life, fashion, and football/any other game that we enjoy – Yes, surprise!
We have women friends with whom we discuss about starting a venture together. We have female acquaintances with whom we work together in philanthropic projects. We talk sex, we discuss politics, cinema, sports, crime, literature – just like anyother man.
Now that, we made that point clear, another huge assumption/judgment is that “women drag other women down.” Sure, the other woman in a relationship is always a woman. There are women who badmouth you. There are women who judge you. And, you know what, men are highly capable of those too. Every human has the capability to fall low. After all, quoting Sirius Black, “We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.”
While there are women who drag others down, there are women who lift other women up. I am at this point in my life where I am sure that I can close my eyes and fall back knowing there is my sister, my girl bestie, my mom, my teacher, and a lot more women to catch me and hold my back. And I am sure most of you agree with me here.
On that happy note, Happy Women’s Day to every women who at one point or other stood up or at least wanted to stand up for another women.
In this still unequal, judgmental world, we are all we have for ourselves.