This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Kritika Chawla. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Just Another Opinion: Can We Cut ‘Four More Shots Please!’ Some Slack?

More from Kritika Chawla

From people around me to people writing opinion pieces on the internet, there is no dearth of ‘opinions’ about the second season of Four More Shots Please! Since the show was released on Amazon Prime last week, there has been an influx of opinions about how ‘this is not feminism’, ‘this is just a story of four privileged women’, ‘the show is just about dressing up and drinking’ and many more that I’ve heard from friends and strangers.

I am not here to comment on what a ‘correct depiction of feminism’ is because, for me, it’s simply equality of freedom of choice and voice; I’m not here too to defend the show, because honestly, it is precisely just that- a show. I watched it last week, enjoyed it, liked and disliked some parts, some characters, and moved on. I did not consider it to be a feminist icon, because it never asked to be one.

The show doesn’t claim to have perfect characters. No show or movie today does. It portrays imperfect, flawed characters who sometimes stand up for the right thing, and at other times, do the wrong thing themselves.

For instance, when Anjana faces a sexist boss at her workplace. Instead of deciding to put up with it (as she very easily could have, being a single mother), she decides to quit knowing fully well how difficult it is going to be. We also see the same character making wrong choices in her personal life, doubting herself and being uncomfortable with what she’s doing, and yet being weak in critical moments of choice, with her friends hinting towards it (Damini tells Anjana what she’s doing is ‘not like her’), and simply being there for her when she needs them.

Damini herself is going through vastly different experiences in her personal and professional life. I liked the house she lives in, and the kind of clothes she wears. For me, it fits in very well with the high-society contacts she has, people she meets and networks with. I couldn’t see how she was ‘privileged’ (a word I’ve read in a few reviews) because I inferred from both seasons of the show that she was quite a reputed journalist and had worked to establish a whole company before she was kicked out of it. All those years of hard work would leave you with some money to survive for a few months, I believe.

This character did some things that I disliked, too. All of which related to the choices she made as a person in a difficult situation. Could she have handled her personal life better? Sure. Did that have anything to do with her being a woman? I don’t see.

All four lead characters are going through some dramatic points in their lives. I’ve been reading about how many people did not like Siddhi’s character, how she simply lives on her parents’ money and is so privileged. When I watched the show, I was pleasantly surprised by the development graph that the character had. Someone who was quite clueless and easily influenced in the first season, was now making her own decisions, right or wrong, was forming her own beliefs and standing up for them, finding her talent and doing something about it, and talking about her struggles with body-shaming.

A seemingly naïve character had now learned from her own experiences and was making new choices. Was she privileged in that she had rich parents? Sure. Was she not as professionally successful as say, Anjana, or Damini? Not as successful or professionally dedicated. However, while the former is a 24-year-old girl, the latter two are much older than her.

Being closer to Siddhi’s age, and having friends (of varying genders) at that age, I can vouch that most of us are just as clueless, still studying or just starting in our careers, some living with our parents, some fully or partly off of them. I especially liked the scene where Damini tells Siddhi to try on a tampon and that it has nothing to do with virginity. I thought it was a clever way of sending a message to a young audience. 

While I thought there could have been more with Umang and Samar’s storyline, their actions (and also the acting itself), I liked the way the show dared to talk about mental illnesses, shed light on the fact that it needs support, both medicinal and emotional. Another interesting highlight I found in that storyline was the subtle emphasis on how homosexuality is multi-layered, and how a lot of what people have to face, is intertwined with their social standing, and privilege.

While Samara the superstar has all her family to stand with her on her big day, and has magazines covering her wedding, giving interviews, her partner (not as rich) is having a hard time convincing her small-town family to come to her wedding and is uncomfortable with the lavish wedding she is being dragged into.

In a world of opinion pieces, I’m just adding another opinion, and my opinion is this: The show has its merits and cringe-worthy moments. I believe it makes some really important and noteworthy points, and just because the lead characters are all of one gender, and are getting together, supporting each other over a few drinks (and are well dressed), does not, and should not take the limelight away from all other, and more important points it makes.

I don’t know whether screaming ‘vagina’ on a beach is an important trademark of feminism or not, but I do know that sometimes in difficult moments, sitting with your friends (of any gender) and simply screaming can be quite liberating. And feminism and liberation are quite close.

P.S- If I do have to go through difficult times in life, I would rather be well dressed and look amazing while I am tackling shit head-on than sit at home in my pyjamas and cry about it, something I am bored of seeing women do in Indian films and shows.

You must be to comment.

More from Kritika Chawla

Similar Posts

By joshua daniel

By malvika

By Riddhi Morkhia

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below