We claim we have matured as a country and people, yet, if what the majority of women feel is anything to go by, it is still a daunting task to shake off the typical demure homemaker image and establish their inherent talent and identity in society.
Negatives will live on and we at Pune365 would much rather celebrate the success that several Indian women have achieved over the past few years.
Today, we speak to a select set of women achievers to understand their journey and perceptions of the society we live in…
Milinda Natu, Pune based Art Critic says that women have made it really big in the art industry and there are other women who are promoting many artists in the city too.
“The thing with art is that it speaks for itself, and hence there is no room for a bias when it comes to paintings.
Today, there are several women who own their art studios and exhibit and promote other artists. Not many men are involved in this though.
“Additionally, several women are taking it up as a career too. Some to further their interest and the others who believe it is a career that will allow them to grow in the future.
Bhagyashree Desai, Film Producer and Actress, believes that it doesn’t matter how often you fail, as long as you never stop trying!
When quizzed if she believes women are still struggling to get acknowledged in a male dominated industry, she says,“by and large, yes! The entertainment industry is still dominated by males and this is not restricted to just acting…
“Being an actor and a producer, I’m well aware of what goes on in this business.
“Right from the back-stage artists to the booking clerk, most of them are invariably men. Though many women are very good technically be it cinematography, editing, music, light designing or even make-up, yet, often they are restricted to domains such as hairstylists, dress designers or then an actress.
Producers are looked upon with great respect so, I have hardly faced any such discrimination fortunately.
“But yes, in my production house if I see other women facing discrimination, I of course take a protective stand and oppose such situations and the persons involved,” she adds.
I personally am not in favour of any comparison between the two genders. If both men and women share responsibility and consider each other equals, life will be easier and the men should understand this,”
On women’s empowerment, she says, “I believe women have tremendous physical and psychological capabilities, yet, 90% of our women are unable to use their capacities as they are often overburdened with household chores, expectations from the husband, the in-laws and other family members.
Women should educate themselves and must be completely independent financially.
Most importantly a woman should teach her children, especially the sons to respect a women and her opinion. Patriarchy is predominant in all households. The majority of fathers and brothers are either possessive or protective towards their daughters and sisters. At times, these are genuine safety concerns too. .
Aayushi Jagad, aka ‘slutty savitri’ stands tall in the stand-up comedy scene, but, believes that “sexism in its many varied forms is always bound to raise its ugly head every now and then.”
She shares insights into her positive attitude that helped her make it big in the industry.
“For centuries people, not just men, but, women too have had problems with young women leading independent lives based on their opinions of the world.
This is just another way to thwart women from taking up power in a public space. They’ve had problems with it before, they still do and it’s not going to stop anytime soon. It didn’t stop us before, now is no different.
People don’t want to hear or talk about patriarchy because it’s the truth and it doesn’t paint a tolerant picture. So, we just have to carry along with it.
“There are some truly feminist people who produce and curate shows and equally give opportunity to everyone to perform, and there are also those who discriminate based on gender.
The objective is to soldier on and just do our thing. In terms of acknowledgement, comedy is hard. It takes year to perfect this skill, so, acknowledgement is only going to come when comics have paid their dues and spent a few years on the circuit.
For every sexist person of consequence in comedy, there are two who are supportive, who believe in encouragement.
“Comedy is an art form very much like poetry and music, in that, it draws from insecurities and very personal experiences for material. Personally, I’ve always hated that people section off topics and set parameters for what someone can and cannot talk about. An incredibly important thing to understand about jokes is that you have an undeniable right to love them or hate them, but you cannot censor them.
As despicable as the class system is, it’s still a grave reality.
What empowerment means to me can be completely different from what it means to a person from a different socio-economic background.
My understanding of women’s empowerment is equal opportunity. But unfortunately in India, the disparity is not just gender based, but class based.”
“In one manner or the other, I do use patriarchy for my benefit, but, it’s a very conscious decision to unlearn the ills of patriarchy and lead my life with equality, signs off Aayushi
#All views expressed in this article are those of the individual respondents and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them.
Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @KaurKaur18
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