Award winning actor Swara Bhaskar's extremely well crafted hard hitting feminist critique of Padmavati (in an open letter to Bhansali) has gone viral. It is heartening that an industry insider said what needed to be said, and if anybody really have a 56" chest that is not filled with hollow pride but bravery and integrity, [...]
Culture Machine, a young start up with a network of YouTubers connecting 22 million subscribers and an average of 0.5 billion views per month, creates video content for large corporate brands and helps them gain publicity through social media. The organization thus aptly wears the tag line, “Entertainment for Internet Generation.” What is entertainment for [...]
This was first written by my later mother Mita Basu on Facebook, in Bengali. It is a reaction to a recent TV commercial of Everest Garam Masala, featuring Amitabh Bacchan. I have translated the piece and also added my own perspectives, publishing here with her permission. Amitabh Bacchan appears in an Everest garam masala TV advertisement. [...]
First published on Firstpost where I have argued that the Khadi Calendar debate have to go beyond the phallocentrism, and we have to look at feminist interpretation. From Gandhi to Modi, its one man replacing another. The DAVP calendar shows a world in which Modi the cult is showering divinity on lesser mortals but where are [...]
A father training his daughters to win sports medals may not be a revolutionary idea everywhere, but it is one in a state like Haryana.
There is no wronged woman here who wants to take a revenge, no mother who is struggling and fighting all odds to raise her children, no multi-tasking multi-talented woman who manages both work and family, no fierce police officer or successful film star. Neerja was not Jhansi ki Rani or Devi Durga, she was just Neerja and that made all the difference.
For benefit of those who don’t want to spend money on a film which is not well made, let me give the crux of the gender bender points it tries make, but fails.
Bhansali imagined 18th century Maratha and Rajput kingdoms where women had some agencies. And men respected women. Sadly he forgot to hire a writer to give words to his imagination.
The way Modi spoke today was text book example of gendered language. Women are always referred to in relational terms (mothers, daughters, wives) never as independent individuals while men are referred to in occupational terms (Goldsmith).
First published on The Huffington Post India It was about time someone questioned the mainstream media's lack of coverage of women stories. The article met with predictable defense, "Caravan is not a women's magazine." Right, women's issues should be kept restricted to women's magazine, the likes of Femina, Women's Era, Griha Shobha and Savita, why would [...]
Hundreds of women are now running marathons and other sports without tampons openly bleeding! Not really, but how would that be?
Masaan is the story of bodies – desiring bodies, dead bodies, burning bodies, children’s bodies as a tool of economic exploitation, gendered bodies facing medical negligence, apathy and exploitation and so on.
I am here with another review in my series of Feminist Film Reviews. A shorter and proofread version of this review was first published on Women's Web. Besides the feminist perspective there were a few other interesting observations about the film, which I didn't include in the former are given here. People ask me are [...]
Regular readers of my blog already know about my Feminist reviews. These are film reviews done by me after wearing my feminist glasses. So this time I did an exclusive review for the women centric collaborative blog 'Women's Web'. Below is the full version of the review, they have put up an edited version. The [...]
Feminists for some reason were very excited about the marriage between actor George Cloony and acclaimed international lawyer Amal Alamuddin. While the global media carried headlines that Cloony marries Alamuddin, the headlines on The Business Woman were 'Internationally acclaimed barrister Amal Alamuddin marries an actor'. It was seen as a marriage of equals and unlike [...]
Mardaani is just the kind of film I always wanted to see - a film with complete gender role reversals. The hundreds of movies I've watched in my lifetime, I've always wondered how would it be if we changed the gender of the leading characters? In Mardaani, that's exactly what I have. As a film [...]
As a society we have made progress to the point that we accept women in traditional men's role, but not the vice versa. So we now have modern parents who'd say "I would raise my daughter as a son" but you'd never hear someone saying, "I'd raise my son as a daughter." Modern Indian women’s aspiration is not to shed traditional gender roles but to acquire new un-gendered roles. So while women are working and perhaps taking higher position than their husbands, they are still cooking because that remains their domain and that is their expression of love and care. Ability to balance it all is also how modern women are being judged as good mother, good wife. Thus the pressure.
[In the wake of social media talking about the Burka Avenger I am republishing an article I wrote long back for the Bell Bajao Blog. The article was originally written in the context of France banning the burqa in public places. But it still holds good in the present context. With regard to the show [...]
How does a typical Indian middle class joint family deal with a divorce? With paranoia, hypocrisy double standards and melodrama. As exposed through the story of Ishti Kutum - the Mukherjee family is shattered on hearing the DIVORCE word from Archi. Broken marriage mean different thing for family’s sons and daughters. Ironically, the patriarch of Mukherjee family who is so concerned about Archi’s broken marriage and its effect on his family, have never uttered a single word regarding his own daughter’s estranged marriage. The legal position of both of Archi’s marriages, legal requirement of divorce and validity of Tribal marriage.
Comedy of a Woman's carnal desires. Breakaway from middle class India's obsession with the fair skin. Meenakshi desires the dark.
Madhur Bhandarkar makes films for the dummies. In the wake of the release of yet another cliched film for the dummies, Heroine, I am republishing my feminist film review of Fashion and other Bhandarkar Films. I have not seen Heroine yet, but I can predict what's is it about. Not only does he make films [...]
One of the biggest movie production company in Bollywood, Yash Raj Films (YRF) made a debut in the Indian Television Industry in partnership with Sony TV. Starting 1st Jan 2010, for three days in a week Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 2 hours 8 pm to 10 pm Sony TV will go red (the brand colour [...]
Gender constructs suck big time. They just suck so much they boil my blood and make me hate every nice thing in the world. And I just wonder if they can make me, one who enjoys all the freedom in the world, so agitated then how traumatic it must be for those people who are [...]
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when I say 'Khatron ke Khiladi' in a post which is categorised as Bollywood? Who else but arguably one of the most dashing, sexy and bravest action hero in Bollywood, Akshay Kumar. Right? But, its time to think out of the box now. For one, [...]
Conversation on Gtalk… (Note mom's typing speed is one 100th of my speed, so I got edge over her while arguing, by the time she frames one argument and types it out I have said 5 more arguments. The conversation was in Bengali am giving the translated version) Me - Mom, when do you plan [...]
Introduction: “Change is the only constant”. That’s not my line but I particularly like it. I know just one way of living life, change. I don’t stay tuned to anything, body, person, concept, thought, believe, system, discipline, logic, reason, philosophy for too long. I change all of them. Or let’s say I move on from [...]
I read it somewhere, that Shilpa Shetty said, any man showing interest in her or willing to date her should first seek her father’s permission. Really, why Ms Shetty? Because you are your father’s property? Or would ‘chattel’ be the proper word? And what about seeking your mother’s permission? Oh I forgot, your mother was just [...]