Victoria is an inspiration – she has been incredibly brave in her actions and by telling her story.
Iwas so impressed with Shabana Azmi’s interview in the latest issue of Friday (‘Item numbers are surrendering to the male gaze’, December 5) that I asked my teenage daughter to read it too.
wanted her to understand how Hindi commercial cinema in general and item songs in particular are so harmful. They not only encourage men to be disrespectful towards women by portraying them as commodities, but have an adverse influence on young girls too. Many of them watch the song and dance items in the films and believe that good looks are all it takes to be successful in life.
I’ve asked my daughter to encourage her friends to read the article as well and hope to start a healthy debate on the many points that Shabana Azmi raised.
I am hoping the exercise will go a long way in changing mindsets.
The interview with Shabana Azmi, a doyenne of Bollywood, was an extremely intelligent read that highlighted not only the actress’s journey over the past four decades but also her candid opinions and perspective on the transformation that the industry has undergone in the recent past. My favourite part was her thoughts on the portrayal of women and the role item songs play in objectifying women. I totally agree with her when she says that ‘under the guise of celebrating a woman’s sensuality what these item numbers are doing is surrendering to the male gaze... making her an object of voyeuristic pleasure’.
Makers of such songs might disagree, saying that we are exaggerating the effect these scenes have on the audience, but she is right as men tend to imitate such songs and it can lead to sexual harassment. These item songs might be harmless fun on screen but can be a cause of several damaging social ills. and daughter’, December 5). But later, on reflection, I had great admiration for her as she is now single-handedly bringing up her surviving three children and teaching them how to be positive in the face of such a traumatic event.
The article on how our high expectations for ourselves and our ambitions could be holding us back was very insightful (‘Should you try to be a high-flyer, or aim lower?’ December 5). I hope more parents read this article and instead of forcing their kids to get better grades, encourage them to do something they enjoy.
Tell us what you think, email us at Friday@gulfnews.com