“No means no” – a phrase that echoed in my mind after the film was over. After the movie, I came home, sat by the bed and quietly mulled over various incidents that shocked me, because we are living in a society where we think we are open-minded but in reality we are not, we are living in denial. In this article, I would be expanding some of these incidents.
The story of “Pink” revolves around three women who meet a bunch of guys at a rock concert and decide to hang out with them, until the men express their dark intentions. This, in turn, ends badly, as one of the girls (Minal) ends up having an altercation with one of the men (Rajvir).
Minal and her friends immediately scoot as they are haunted by the repercussions, whilst Rajvir and his ‘gang of baddies’ use their political clout to seek revenge by filing a case against them and labelling them as ‘prostitutes’.
A riveting legal battle ensues questioning the mindset of the way women are perceived, judged and ridiculed in India, leaving the audience both damaged and spellbound.
Modern dressing is associated with being a ‘loose character’. Once, a girl walked into our office for a job interview. She was wearing something that can be described as modern clothing. I have to honestly admit – I did check her out and she was pretty, but then I remember one of my colleagues making a face and clicking his tongue. I thank my parents for giving me exposure and providing me with foreign education because it opened my mind in many ways. I thoroughly feel there is nothing wrong in admiring women’s beauty as long as you don’t stereotype or judge them immediately, just as my colleague did. In the movie “Pink”, one of the bartenders who came to testify, said that Minal and her friends were dressed like “those kinda girls”, implying that modern way of clothing = a prostitute’s dress code.
To be honest, the stigma associated with modern clothing is not just confined to men and their dark erotic thoughts. I come from an orthodox Tam-Brahm family where dress-code maketh a character. If I do introduce many of my girlfriends (girls who are friends) to my family members they would definitely disapprove of the way they dress. I can imagine my mom or my aunt whispering,“why is she dressed like that” into my ears.
Vices such as smoking, drinking etc. are considered taboos in our motherland. I don’t care about a person’s choice to smoke or drink – to each his own. I only question why the outlook (nazariya) changes – as we do tend to approve of a man possessing such habits and disapprove immediately when women practise the same.
I remember once I spoke to a friend of mine who said he hated Bengaluru. Since Bengaluru is my hometown, I felt the need to defend it and I was like “why? #@$/! I mean it is a cosmopolitan town that is perfect for youngsters” to which he said, “Man, I saw so many women smoking there …”. I was not surprised to hear that because this is how we are wired to judge women. I have had many more discussions with my friends which remind me of another interesting incident.
When I was in the UK, one of my friends used to smoke up with a girl (who was his flatmate). They were ‘bong-pals’. She once expressed interest in dating him, to which he said,“No dude she smokes pot… I mean there must be something wrong with her”. I was shocked because it was a clear ‘pot-kettle situation’.
There is this line in the movie when Rajvir (one of the main antagonists) says that,“In our family, only the men drink”, implying that modern vices have a subtle gender tag that is supposedly implied.
A wrong action is a wrong action irrespective of gender. If drinking and smoking are bad then both men and women should be scrutinised alike.
I need to confess that even I have judged many women based on certain situations. We as human beings tend to judge. It is an unfortunate instinct. I do feel bad about it! This movie made me think, made me understand how even when men and women react in a similar way, we tend to judge them differently.
I feel if we did quiz the people of our country on ethics and morals, there would only be gender specific answers.
Mr Sehgal (Amitabh Bachchan) rightfully says we must educate the boys of our country, not the girls! Instead of asking a girl to stop wearing what they want to, we need to ask the boy to stop judging her for what she wears! Also, no one seems to be judging him!
Fair enough! But I would go one step further and say that it lies in our upbringing. There are certain things we might have done inadvertently because of the way we are raised. If a boy has seen his mother as nothing more than a ‘trophy wife’, he is likely to conclude that about all women.
This movie addresses the need of the hour as it talks about how we need to change our outlook and thereby create a safer world for women. We are all hypocrites because of the way we judge and ridicule women – this is how I see it. I for one am ready to admit it and hence change my opinion!
Gender equality is a concept that can be interpreted differently. I cannot claim to understand the concept as a whole. However, I do feel that it is high time that the focus shifts from ‘gender equality in terms of opportunity’ to ‘gender equality in terms of dignity’.