7 shocking remarks Shabana Azmi made on the sexualisation of women in cinema

Published: March 6, 2018
SHARES
Email
PHOTO: THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS

PHOTO: THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS

PHOTO: HINDUSTAN TIMES PHOTO: HINDUSTAN TIMES PHOTO: HINDUSTAN TIMES PHOTO: THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS

MUMBAI: Veteran Bollywood actor and activist Shabana Azmi made some shocking remarks with regards to how film-makers should be more responsible in the depiction of women’s bodies on screen, because the business of cinema is one of images.

The actor, who was present on Monday at a panel discussion at one of the events, was asked her opinion on stars who practice their right of “my body, my choice”, especially in item numbers in Bollywood films.

PHOTO: HINDUSTAN TIMES

PHOTO: HINDUSTAN TIMES

Azmi said people in India are simultaneously living in different centuries in various parts of the country. Considering the presence of women at workplaces is increasing in India and, at the same time, the incidence of sexual violence growing, is gender equality an outdated topic of conversation?

I would have loved to have acted in all of Satyajit Ray’s films: Shabana Azmi

Here are seven shocking statements the veteran actor made at the session:

1. “When a leading lady says that ‘It’s alright, I want to celebrate my sensuality in those songs’ I have no problem with that. But under the pretense of ‘celebrating your sensuality,’ what you are actually doing is surrendering to the male gaze and objectifying yourselves because the business of cinema is one of images.”

2. “When you see the fragmented bits of a woman’s body, you see heaving bosom, swinging navel, shaking hips… you are robbing the woman of all autonomy, completely.”

PHOTO: HINDUSTAN TIMES

PHOTO: HINDUSTAN TIMES

3. “In Zoya Akhtar’s film Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, a scene shows leading lady Katrina Kaif coming out of the water wearing a bikini and wear her bathrobe. The camera does not go close to her, does not show her bosom. But on that very shot, if the director had decided to go over the top, it would have been objectification. So the intention needs to be clear.”

India and Pakistan must collaborate on projects: Shabana Azmi

4. “Let’s acknowledge the fact that India is living in many centuries in different parts of the country simultaneously. Yes, we have a woman President, woman Prime Minister, woman politicians, but at the same time there are several girl children being killed because they are girls… both the realities co-exist.”

PHOTO: HINDUSTAN TIMES

PHOTO: HINDUSTAN TIMES

5. “We talk about education but often education re-enforces the gender stereotype and role play. The definition of masculinity needs to be changed.”

6. “The idea of a woman being as good as a man to compete should be stopped but why to compare? The competition should be with oneself and not with a man.”

When women get together, we are unstoppable: Ushna Shah

7. “I think unless we are breaking away from the stereotypical idea of gender and role play set by the society and culture, the constant conversation on gender equality will remain relevant and not outdated.”

Have something to add to the story? Share it in the comments below. 

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (1)

  • Bunny Rabbit
    Mar 6, 2018 - 1:58PM

    I fully adhere to point num 6. my god she is sooooo right . why compare women to men ?Recommend

Leave Your Reply Below

Your comments may appear in The Express Tribune paper. For this reason we encourage you to provide your city. The Express Tribune does not bear any responsibility for user comments.

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive. For more information, please see our Comments FAQ.

More in Film