I was tagged by The Banno (http://batulm.wordpress.com) more than a week ago, and I've actually spent a lot of time timing about this- ten things I have wanted or done which my gender is not supposed to. Its a challenging post, because norms mutate every few year or so, and as an Indian woman in the USA, there are tons of suppositions, cultural baggage and what not flung at me. More than what I am NOT supposed to do, there are way too many things I am assumed to be. Since this IS a blog dedicated to cinema, I used Sridevi's characters as examples. So here goes:
- I wont take BS. For all our modernity, women in general seem to always take a back seat to their male "superior"- boss/dad/significant other. Don't know why we are expected to, but the guys try their best to put us down! I cant shut up when I see them make unreasonable demands, and refuse. I do try to be tactful, but am usually not :) I wont be a tragedy queen. I cant suffer in silence, and I wont cry easy. Think Anju instead of Manju in Chaalbaaz (or was Manju the assertive one? (see comments)).
- I pretty much do exactly what I want. Because I am entirely convinced I'm right. Unless someone else has a better idea, which I am convinced is rare :D Kind like Sri in every movie she ever made.
- I don't walk, I clomp. My ma always wanted me to glide gracefully through life [sigh]- unfortunately today, my footsteps resound off the office's CARPETED floors. Ah well, I am not going to be expected to be swirling like Sri, Chandini style, anytime soon.
- I'm actually a good driver. Dunno why women are considered bad drivers. Most of the men I know drive worse than me.
- I'm not quiet/shy and don't speak in whispers. In fact, my "soft" voice manages to carry remarkably well. This seems to shock my colleagues no end. They expect all Indian women to be paragons of modesty and goodness :) I rush where others are afraid to tread- maybe that's not always good either :D Thats also like Sri's charcters in every movie she probably did :D
- I'm very comfortable with my body and sexuality. Cuddly looking and cute, this is who I am, and this is who I will continue to be, just hopefully healthier as time goes by (wishful thinking that). I refuse to follow popular fashion/body trends. Think Sridevi in Mr. India.
- I dress appropriately. Surprisingly, I don't believe we are even expected to! The men in the office wear sharp business wear, but the women dress like- butterflies or frumps. wth. We can looked sharper than the boys and better, any day. I think frump is ok if you are bumming at the beach or grocery store, but dressing like you are 16 when you are 48 is inexcusable! For that mater, dressing like an 80 year old at 48 is pretty wrong too :) And looking professional but interesting at work is fun! We can dress our age and look cute! Like Sri does, in real life :)
- Female power. I am not superior or inferior to men- I am not going to sell my husband (like Sri did in Judaii) or consider him God-like (like Manju from Chaalbaaz probably would), but my significant other and I can be in a relationship of equality.
- I'm not spitting babies. Most of the women I graduated with have babies, but my relatives don't ask me when I am having one- I think they may be a little scared to do so :) Because really, this is a personal choice.
- I don't clean house. I don't like to vacuum/dust/clean/mop and I'm no good at it. After vacuuming, the machine is still absolutely empty of dirt, and none of the dust from the floor has moved an inch. My ma and hubby have tried to inculcate this one bit of good Indian womanliness in me, but its never worked, and I've given up long back.
There's probably more where this came from.