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Gender and Movies

The Men We Need – Some inspiring male characters in Bollywood

Oh, so you are a feminist, you hate men then?” is a common question that misinterprets feminism. The whole idea of feminism is not about hating men or women being superior to men. 

It’s all about shattering the walls of patriarchy and let people of all genders live a meaningful life that they always craved. The idea of women empowerment saw an upsurge in women making it to the forefront, though at times with conditions applied.  

We have strong women who are bold to make their living and chase their paths without fear. Between all this empowerment thing, we somewhere forgot to teach our men how to live with these empowered women. 

“Feminism is not about making women stronger; women are already strong. It’s about how the world perceives this strength”, a well said statement by GD Anderson sums up the true essence of the concept.

 
thappad amrita's father
                                                            Amrita’s father in Thappad
 
 

We should be fortunate to have significant male characters who outweigh the stereotypes and are shown as individuals who respect and adore empowered women. First on the list would be Sachin Sandhu (played by Kumud Mishra) from Hindi movie Thappad.

A divorce is usually not well received by Indian families. In Thappad we see a father who stands by his daughter’s decision to proceed with a divorce because, like her, he too believes that she deserves to be treated with respect and have an identity of her own. After watching Thappad, you will fall in love with Amrita’s extremely loving and supporting father as much as you will fall in love with Amrita.

 

There exists a contemporary image for Indian husbands and many of the men in our society abide by that preconceived image. Asok (played by Manav Kaul) from the movie Tumhari Sulu is a loving and supportive husband of Sulu (played by Vidya Balan). He breaks the preconceived representation of Indian husbands and shows that it is not always the wife’s duty to provide for the domestic demands. In a world where people forbid women to step out late at night, Asok is not at all apprehensive to drop his wife, who is a late-night chat show RJ, at work

 
 
Farhan Akhtar
                                                 Sunny from Dil Dhadakne Do

We are never forgetting Sunny Singh from Dil Dhadakne Do. When Aisha Mehra (Priyanka Chopra), his childhood sweetheart is stuck in a marriage where her identity is not valued and respected, Sunny reminds Aisha of what she is truly worth and that her hard work needs to be acknowledged and celebrated.

 Unlike Aisha’s husband Manav, Sunny didn’t see just a wife in her, rather he saw a successful, independent woman whom he still loved. Aisha’s cousin, who blurts out I love you to Sunny is representative of all of us who fell in love with him instantly. 

vikrant massey in chapaak
                                                                       Amol from Chhapaak

 

 
 

Malti (Deepika Padukone) from Chhapaak was devastated and stuck in life. Amol (Vikrant Massey) was that ray of hope who pulled her out of dejection and taught her to fight for herself and others who suffered her same fate.
He made her fall in love with herself again, her real self, not the outer beauty but the inner soul that makes one beautiful. Being in a society where women are expected to be content and not complain about what went wrong (big or small), Amol stands out to help create a difference.


It is men like these who are going to pluck the roots of patriarchy and are the ones who will be the flagbearers to the destruction of the stereotyped cultural consciousness.

 

Image Courtesy: YouTube

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