In my opinion, there are far too many regressive, not to mention boring, unoriginal, and repetitive scenes in our movies, especially on women or featuring women.
But the following scenes were not just a breath of fresh air but also had our vociferous support because of how relatable and empowering they were:
1. Dil Dhadakne Do: When Sunny explained to Manav why we need feminism.
Ah, the conversation that set the tone for the kind of men we want to see in real life and in reel life.
2. Sherni: When Vidya shared why being a mother is not the only future for a woman.
The perfect response to anyone who thinks children are the only future that a woman or a couple can envision. Because marriage does not equal motherhood and maternal instincts are not a woman’s birthright.
3. Luck By Chance: When Sona put herself over Vikram.
It’s not Sona’s rejection of Vikram, but rather her acceptance of her own self-worth, that makes this a brilliant scene. Because, finally she moves on from her toxic ex, and places her own self first.
4. Lust Stories: When Megha reminded Paras, and the audience, that women orgasming is not wrong.
Megha is embarrassed at orgasming in a comparatively public area, but not for having an orgasm. It’s a fine but important distinction because it’s time we stop shaming women for having, and enjoying, sexual desires.
5. Dear Zindagi: When Dr. Jehangir made it clear that multiple sexual partners and morality don’t go hand-in-hand, no matter your gender.
In our patriarchal society, shaming women for having, and experimenting with, their sexual desires is so common that most women internalize a sense of shame and guilt at having multiple sexual partners. But why? That’s exactly the question that Dr. Jehangir raises, while helping debunk the flawed sense of shame associated with having a sexual drive.
6. Thappad: When Sachin Sandhu asks his son to apologize to his girlfriend for shouting at her.
Sachin Sandhu is one of the most amazing on-screen fathers there ever could be. But the moment that made us proud and emotional as women, was seeing him call out his own son for misbehaving with his girlfriend. Because it was required, but so rare.
7. Dev D: When Chanda/Leni put the patriarchal world that enjoyed her MMS scandal, in place, with not an ounce of guilt or shame.
A personal favourite, Chanda’s on-point explanation about shifting the blame on the perpetrator, and not the victim or survivor remains relevant even today. Shooting private videos and photos is not a crime. But sharing and viewing them without a person’s consent is. Let’s shift the blame on the people who really deserve it!
8. Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar: When Sandeep calls out Pinky for reducing her to an ‘arm candy’.
The film adopts a subtle approach in exposing flawed gender roles, choosing to raise a mirror to the society, rather than call it out. But here, Sandeep finally raises a voice because she is tired of being boxed into stereotypical gender roles. Her educational qualifications mean nothing, if she can’t make rotis and submit to her husband’s demands – and she is not okay with that assumption.
9. Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl: When Gunjan’s father encourages her to fight society’s myopic view of women.
From calling out his own son for being sexist to being the wind beneath his daughter’s winds, Anup Saxena is the kind of father we need to take down the patriarchy.
10. Shaandaar: When Isha refuses to let her weight, or her family, define her life.
In an entirely forgettable movie, this scene still became memorable thanks to Isha’s proud acceptance of her life. No one should get married to a man who thinks of you as a compromise.
11. Ludo: When Pinky realizes she deserves better in life than a good-for-nothing, cheating husband.
While murder is definitely not the answer to life’s solution, I’d be lying if I said Pinky killing her cheating husband did not put a smile on my face. And I know I am not the only one.
12. Chak De! India: When the women’s team gives it back to eve-teasers.
Violence may not be the answer but sometimes, it really gets the job done!
13. Pagglait: When Sandhya takes charge of her life.
Sandhya’s family’s expectations from her keep changing, depending on their selfish interests. But finally, she decides to do what she wants to do, the world’s opinion be damned.
14. Jab We Met: When Geet has the perfect response to unsolicited advice.
“Chillar nahi hai mere paas” should be designated response to anything a man offers unsolicited… and I do mean, anything!
Let’s have more moments like these!