the last two days have been frustrating for me. i’ve been an examiner at a women’s college assessing their final projects. most of the projects dealt with ‘young’ concerns such as romance, disappointment, angst, coping with loss and an obsession with lifestyle and freedom and of course friendship. what was disconcerting for me is that across media platforms, across various genres the perspective was male, women were stereotyped as the meanies who use and throw the men who are pining for their affection and also the meek ones in a moronic fashion. the women were dressed in skimpy revealing clothes in the romantic sequences; the lyrics that were judgmental and loaded against women were sung by men, and quite often also filmed by men. women are obsessed with fashion and clothing, make up and jewelery if one sees the websites they had designed.
among 45 young women, only one had made a sensitive video that did not cater to the male gaze as we media scholars like to say. the perspective may not have been feminist but it certainly did not stereotype and left the audience to make their own judgements.
upon being questioned, the women felt there was nothing to do differently. and this, a breed of young, ‘free’ liberal minded women! they felt i was overdoing the women’s perspective angle. this worries me.
as a mother of a 10 year old girl i worry about how this generation is growing up taking the freedom and choices open to them for granted with little or no understanding of the struggle of women who made this position for women today possibe. as swarna and i discussed this morning – hillary clinton may be a toughie but she had to be that way to get where she is today. and so she loses the sympathy/support of young women who feel she is too aggressive and lacks femininity.
celebrating femininity is all ok but if one defines femininity as only being eye candy and freedom as the right to puff and drink a vodka or boogie away the night and then get married, as swarna so rightly put it, karan johar style–well, today’s young woman had better sit up and get real.
this trend could be sparked/ encouraged by media imaging tactics in their fight for eyeballs say some, well, thats fodder for another post… soon!