I finally got around to watching the movie PINK two Sundays back starring Amitabh Bachchan. It’s been quite some time since the movie came out and I had heard really good reviews about the movie. My father specially had raved about it and he is not easily pleased by Hindi films. After I saw it, I have nothing different to say. It’s a fantastic watch that will throw you into a whirl of thoughts.
When I started to watch the movie, I had to stop and text Moo because I was starting to feel this rage inside me. That rage only built up to a crescendo like Falak Ali’s until she lashes out at the lawyer. It was making me so angry because the movie is not simply a fictional tale about women caught between lust, lies and political mileage, but has elements of what every working, independent woman has to go through in different shades of sexism. But it was just a movie. And a one that I made sure from Moo, ended in a non-depressing note. In real life, that’s not the case always as learnt from countless cases like Ruchika Girhotra, Jessica Lal, Bhanwari Devi, and many more.
Amitabh Bachchan’s portrayal of an old lawyer, desperately trying to report an abduction/molestation, then an almost bumbling defense attorney, and then a questioner with conviction, brings up some points that show how the world has moved ahead but the mindset of men is still regressive. Side effects of patriarchy have made sure that men continue to follow medieval rules and resist any changes towards equality for men, women and even the LGBT community.My father has an interesting point of view on this. He feels its an inherent jealousy of women(the assumed weaker sex) being able to do everything and more, than men.
If you have have watched the movie, you will remember his ‘Guide to women’s safety’. Dear ladies, if you want to survive, forget thrive, in this world, you need to follow this guide book. The rules will ensure that you live till a ripe old age. You may suffocate to death, but you shall be safe.Nothing else will protect you better than these rules. Not even a simple word or seemingly complete statement ‘NO’. Like the State Lawyer says, consent is highly fashionable these days and unnecessarily pranced around. Follow these rules to be safe.
- Do not go out alone with men anywhere. Men are boys who actually are toddlers that get swayed easily by your blooming sexuality. You are responsible if they cannot keep their feelings in their pants, specially being led to a lonely area. If you are alone, it’s a natural lead on to physical intimacy.
- Don’t smile or laugh too much. I am a personal victim of this. I have been called a sl*t, wh*re, easy, and many other fun names in Hindi/Marathi/Gujrati/Punjabi by my classmates and college folks during Engineering. When I moved to US, I thought I have entered a bigger, more liberal world, but many of my fellow countrymen here did not share the same sentiment. I realized this even more when I melted into the pot of different cultures that was my lab. I enjoyed company of people and I liked being friends with everyone irrespective of their gender, if we had a matching wavelength. I also liked being expressive about my attraction to a guy and the idea of a normal, healthy dating life. But how dare I. I should have known that I am a good Indian girl. So, ladies, if you smile or laugh too much, you are driving these innocent boys into helpless fantasies, who can’t help acting on it.
- Your character depends on the clock. Almost all of us have heard this one or the other time from concerned neighbors, family, friends’ relatives, teachers, and the entire community. Coming back late at night means you are easy. It doesn’t matter that you work hard in shifts, or that you may like to have some downtime after work. A girl walking alone in the PM is calling for it more than the girl walking alone in the AM, who is also asking for it to a degree though.
- Do not drink alcohol, use cell phones, eat Chinese food, or get educated. Like AB says, the ill effects of alcohol for men end at health risks, whereas it’s a whole new list for women. We don’t just get sick, we make people around us sick, with lust. Again, a personal victim of accusations stemming from this. Then there are the amazing concerned members of the society who are worried that ‘too much education gives girls much more to talk about’. Curb their mouths, curb their lives, and keep them safe.
- The venue you are at determines your character. If you break the Rules 2 and 3, but are in the presence of family, or are home, or in a temple, you may still have a chance. But if you are at a club, or a concert, or a café, you are providing an open invitation to men. Be careful of where you go. The nature of a venue has a direct relation to lust.
Ladies, be careful of what you wear, how you behave, and where you go. There will be men out there policing how we need to be. If we don’t reign ourselves in, they will not hesitate to discipline us. After all, we would be asking for it.