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Woman's image has not undergone any change. She was never a Sita. For long she has lived as an apsara to satisfy the male gaze - Manisha Koirala

india Updated: Mar 08, 2004 20:20 IST

"Woman was never a Sita. She has lived for long as an apsara to satisfy the male gaze - Manisha  Koirala 
Women as object of desire

I don't think that the image of women has undergone any dramatic change. The golden age was represented by the likes of Bimal Roy and Guru Dutt who knew exactly how to portray women as 'characters' in their films. And not as mere objects or to fill in the blanks.

I am happy that actresses like Tabu and a few others are bringing about a concrete and definite change in the way women get presented in cinema. In that sense yes, women are no longer considered as objecs of desire anymore but have a definite role in the lives of their male counterparts in films.

It's not proper, according to me, to relate to the modern woman in the context of the modern era as merely someone whose sexuality is out in the open. And the same gets depicted in Bollywood themes more and more these days. It is a holistic approach about today's women which films are trying to depict. Why just sexuality? Media tends to focus on only that. Tabu's films are an example where she speaks about her rights. A progressive graph is also evolving on the portrayal of women in films as also the graph of a woman in society.

Woman was never Sita. For long she has been an apsara to satisfy male gaze.
Why, don't Salman, John Abraham and Dino Morea strip as well? Don't they have succumbed to the pressure of the female audience's demands too? Why single out women actresses then?

Apsara Vs Sita

The concept of 'ideal' woman or man doesn't exist. It's utopian to think on those lines. So why expect such a depiction in films? After all, we have come a long way from the time we made the first film but gradually and definitely, we are inching towards the right and 'believable' form of portrayal in films - male or female.

Woman was never a Sita. She has lived for long as an apsara to satisfy the male gaze. 

First Published: Mar 06, 2004 22:36 IST