Enough! We will not be silent any more.

18 Jan,2017

A grab from the Cinthol ad


By Alpana Parida

The Cinthol ad follows Indian sportswomen who have braved odds and ridicule to simply follow their hearts and make a new destiny. The ad captures the new narrative about women (also portrayed very successfully in Dangal) who are no longer seeking empowerment. Empowerment implies someone else giving them power. Today – they are powered. Self-powered. The horrific video of a vile act on New Year’s eve in Bengaluru came to light only because the brave woman made it a point to seek out the CC TV footage and got the culprits nabbed.

While the rest of the country is debating about the right and wrong of things, the inclusion and exclusion of women; women have wrested power beyond this dialogue to simply go ahead and do!

Popular culture is capturing this sentiment – with movies like NH 10 or Pink, or a host of advertising that has such powered women. Even Piku has a single, attractive, career- and duty-driven woman as a protagonist. Gone are the days when single women were the maiden aunts – slightly desperate and worthy of ridicule – such as one in DDLJ.  Also, gone are the days when the strong shrew was simply asking to be tamed. Or she had an emasculated husband. NH 10 was remarkable that the female protagonist who leaves her husband’s party to go back to work for an upcoming product launch also has a husband capable of physical bravado.

Whether it is brides-to-be calling on their greedy demanding in-laws to the wedding mandap, employees reporting their supervisors/ colleagues for sexual harassment, victims reporting rape and demanding justice or rebelling against parents and khaps to be with the men they love – women all across are saying:Enough! We will not be silent any more.

What is equally heartening is that husbands, friends, brothers and fathers are supporting them in their stance, accompanying them to police stations and lauding their efforts. The transition from ‘shame’ to ‘anger’ seems well on its way and augurs well for the country.

Utterly bewildering is the utter lack of support and a studied silence or downright stupidity from leaders in society. Politicians, godmen, film stars all largely seem resolutely quiet and unwilling to speak up at moments of national shame. If they do speak – it is to put their foot in the mouth and exhibit their regressive beliefs. The loss is theirs – as they are missing the opportunity of riding on a rising popular sentiment.

Young women are also claiming power by having fun. By owning their place in the world,  by going out with friends, perhaps drinking, having a boyfriend, wearing clothes they would like.  Liberation is not as it used to be – a defiant stake in the ground. Today it is multicoloured, vibrant and euphoric. The age, which was weighed down with the old trappings of a hard-fought vehement struggle, is gone now. The dialogue of women seeking power is not a serious and deliberated action, it is simply a way of living. Coming back home alone after a party, in the wee hours, reveling with friends, living alone, the new normal is the unselfconscious woman who does not think twice about her choices. Having fun is her right. The oppressors can fight violence or aggression, but they suddenly lose imagination, and are weaponless before the mass appeal and nuanced logic of memes and social media movements such as the Pink Chaddi campaign.

Young women across the board are powerful today. They live it, socially and financially. And nothing is going to keep them down.


Post a Comment 

Comments are closed.