Thursday, February 28, 2013
Women in Media & Movies
Through this blog post, I shall try to represent the role women play in the media and the movies. I shall examine the topic from two viewpoints – one is the portrayal of a woman in the movies & the media and the other is the participation of women in both these fields.
Let us begin with a field which interests us most – Movies. Most of us have grown up watching movies and still enjoy watching them immensely. They say one can lose oneself at the movies and one can also find oneself. It is said that movies have a tremendous impact on our thinking and our perception, though it be unconsciously. Walt Disney said, “Movies can and do have tremendous influence in shaping young lives in the realm of entertainment towards the ideals and objectives of normal adulthood.”
The way women have been portrayed in the movies has changed over the years, especially in India. Previously, there were not many women-centric roles or movies and the heroines were forced to play second fiddle to the hero. They were supposed to be pretty and mouth a few lines of dialogue but beyond that nothing much was expected from them. One can count on one’s hand the number of movies in which a woman could have been said to have made an impact. Arth, Aandhi and Mother India are some of the movies which come to mind.
However, this has changed in recent times. Women are being portrayed as strong and intelligent and quite a few movies have been made where the woman plays a central role. Films like Kahaani, Saat Khoon Maaf, No One Killed Jessica, Fashion etc. have brought to the fore the strength of a woman actor – they were able to carry the entire movie on their shoulders. There will hopefully be a situation where the heroine-oriented movies would be as many as, if not more, than the hero-oriented movies.
In comparison, Hollywood has been churning out plenty of movies where women have a central role with no assistance whatsoever from the hero. They have had movies like Stepmom, Kill Bill, Charlie’s Angels, etc. where women display their prowess in roles ranging from melodrama to action. We definitely need to learn from them!
As far as the participation of women in movies goes, the emancipation of women has definitely aided this. More and more women writers and directors are now entering the realm of movie-making and are not afraid to take risks and make movies. Thus, we are seeing a whole bunch of movies made from the viewpoint of the women wherein the sensitivity and the inherent nurturing aspect of the woman comes to the fore. Recently, names like Juhi Chaturvedi, Gauri Shinde, Zoya Akhtar, Reema Kagti come to mind.
Let us now move onto media. The current boom in the media industry has given rise to several different television channels and many newspapers. Women have been making their mark in this industry as well right from being correspondents to editors to anchors on channels doling out information on general news to indulging in business discussions and expressing their opinions on sports channels. Anchors like Sonia Singh, Shireen Bhan, Menaka Doshi, etc. have made an impact in the field of television.
Needless to say, the opening up of the media has given women immense opportunities. This had led to women reading up on a lot of things, keeping themselves updated and abreast of the recent happenings and discussing current affairs with the who’s who of politics, business, media and sports.
However, the portrayal of women in media is not very encouraging. A lot of advertisers portray women in a negative light – often showing them as objects of desire. Open any newspaper these days and one is subjected to several articles/advertisements showing women in a semi-clad state. This is not respectful to women and needs to be avoided. Advertisers along with the media representatives need to frame policies to address this.
To sum up, as Yves Saint-Laurent, the French fashion designer put it, “Over the years I have learned that what is important in a dress is the woman who is wearing it."
This post has been written for Indusladies.com Blog Contest http://www.indusladies.com/forums/blogs/induslady/indusladies-4th-annual-international-women-8412/