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  • Writer's pictureThe Feminist Times

Fearsome Womaniya

Bollywood films have always played an integral part in our lives. Each genre has something special and delightful to offer. But with the advent of new age cinema, storylines have taken a new turn.

Earlier, films would often miss out on giving us stories or characters of strong and empowered women or would often serve us stereotypes. Films projected women in submissive roles with no dreams and ambitions of their own, festooned with jewelry and clothes one would prefer to wear once in a blue moon and not to forget the shaming of the 'modern woman'. But fortunately, now we see a surge in women-oriented movies, films now talk about women having a life outside their homes and celebrating their guilt free life.

This change gave us not just stories about women but strong female protagonists as well.

This onset of women central stories also introduced us to a new set of movies, the use of horror or horror comedy genre to show women empowerment. E.g.: Stree, Bulbul, Roohi. Well as much as we enjoyed watching these films, they also made me wonder if chudails and dayans were one of the ways women would be respected or given recognition.

Stree encapsulated the theme of how men are unsafe at late hours and must walk in groups or with a woman of the house to be safe and how if they fall prey to 'stree' they would go missing with only their clothes left behind which when given a closer look seems like a parallel to the fear women face every day the movie concluded with the idea that all that 'Stree' yearned for was respect. Whereas Bulbul talked about a domestic violence victim who transformed into a ‘chudail’ living in the trees and killing men who did wrong to women. The films definitely had their heart set in the right place but made me wonder if this was the only way women would get the respect they rightfully deserve or fight the injustices women face. These movies have given me a food for thought do women need to be fearsome to be respected.

- Aadya Punj

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