Objectifying the female on screen.
Presenting a paper in Mumbai- `The images of women in Hindi cinema- post 50s`- at the valedictory function of Frames-2001, an entertainment seminar, actress and Rajya Sabha MP Shabana Azmi criticised the continuing objectification of the female body as a tool of titillation.
Ms. Azmi was reported by PTI as saying, "The film`s business is to create populist images. These images ostensibly celebrate the heroine`s eroticism, while reducing her to be a passive sex object". She touched upon the lack of a dress code, the blatant exploitation of a woman`s sexuality for the `male gaze` and the reduction of the woman to nothing more than a decorative appendage.
"The heroine, today seems to be questioning the image of fixing her into a slot where any display of desire was seen as negative and very unlike the values of Indian women". Terming the change taking place in the woman of Hindi cinema from `Main chup rahoongi` to `shern`` as a confused one, Azmi stated it was only cosmetic in nature. "First we had Rambos, now we have rambolinas-women in drag wearing figure hugging leather jeans, with a gun in one hand, purely imitating the cardboard one dimensional hero".
Ms. Azmi said it was however amply evident that society and cinema could no longer close their eyes to the changing Indian woman. "Self assured confident women have started to break out of economic dependence that had for long held them enthralled", she said. She concluded by asking the film industry to incorporate a woman`s way of thinking and empower its heroines in the films.