“I would tell the chemist not to wrap the sanitary napkin with a newspaper,” said Alankrita Shrivastava. “There’s nothing to be embarrassed about it and we women are equally responsible for normalising it.”
Bold as ever, the controversial director was speaking what’s in every woman’s mind. How many times have we tried to convince the shopkeeper to not wrap the pads in a paper or plastic cover? I myself have experienced it a million times.
Alankrita’s comments came at a session titled The Lipstick Ladies: How to claim your freedom. The session was part of India Today Mind Rocks 2017, held in Bhopal.
While the session started with Alankrita talking about her much-acclaimed movie,Lipstick Under My Burkha, it went on to be an eye-opening discussion on issues woman face based on stereotypical ideas about them.
”This is the first time I’ve come back after the shooting of the film and I am very happy,” said Alankrita. Talking more about ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ and how it was conceptualised, she explained, ”It really came from my own idea of feeling like I am restricted as a woman; something keeps holding me back. But instead of looking at the big city world, I thought of exploring the idea of women’s freedom through characters who have external obstacles to battle as well.”
Women and Indian cinema
On the stereotypical portrayal of women in Indian cinema, the firebrand director said, ”For all these years, most of the stories have only been told by men, and from the masculine perspective, which eventually leads to the stereotyping of women. Women in Indian movies are either a sex bomb or a sacrificing wife. There is no space for women who are a bit grey, which becomes very convenient from the male point of view. It’s high time we start looking at female characters as ordinary women.”
”We come from a country where people indulge in eve-teasing and stalk others. At least, we are having a conversation about these things. I have grown up in Delhi and know what it feels like to be a woman there. Men seem to own public spaces, women don’t,” she exclaimed while discussing about issues like gender inequality, patriarchal notions.
“There is no space for women who are a bit grey, which becomes very convenient from the male point of view. It’s high time we start looking at female characters as ordinary women.”
”Patriarchy also works in a way by scaring women. Keep taking that step forward; seek out your inner voices; it is important for women to support each other,” Alankrita
Feature Image Credit: Scroll.in