Joined: 10 March 2005
It seems like we have digressed from my initial posting regarding JJKN. My intention was to emphasise (and bring into discussion) the treatment of the female characters on JJKN. However, the discussion has shifted to BILLU and his 'finer' qualities. Although I did not want to get into a debate concerning his character, after reading some of the responses, I feel compelled to express my opinions. Please note however, that these are just MY opinions, MY concerns and MY interpretations. It is in no way whatsoever, that I attack a particular person or a particular thought.
Firstly, what I have really taken umbrage with is how conditioned and accepting some people have become of patriarchal power. Sure, we exist in a patriarchal world, where women are still regarded as second-class citizens in many countries, but we really can not and should not digest such representations, thoughts and portrayals easily. Some might argue that I am reading too much into JJKN, which is 'just a serial employing artistic liberties'. Fair enough, that is a permissible view.
BUT, when people actually start believing and engaging with these serials on a deeper level, the serial evolves into more of a 'cultural consumption'. From what I have read about the consumption of JJKN in India (particularly), it seems that the serial has had a major impact on many youngsters, who admire Jassi as a role model.
Secondly, I wish to address some of the ideologies permeating from the show and extending to 'reality'. Seeing that the discussion has centered on BILLU, I will use his character as an example.
1) Billu has a volatile temper and 'he is just like this'
To accept his behaviour because 'he is just like that' is very dangerous. We really cannot afford to accept people because they have 'always been that way'. I believe in the adage of calling a spade a spade… and am sorry to offend people here, but BILLU can be arrogant, domineering and extremely difficult.
2) Billu, as a man, has the responsibility to look after his house
We have become so socially conditioned into believing such ideologies, that we fail to see how wrong it is. Fine, society has these unwritten rules, and we have been made to follow them. However, we can only be excused from following them IF WE DON'T KNOW ANY BETTER. But, if we know that thinking in such a way is inherently flawed, we cannot be excused from permeating such patriarchal views. I am not saying we can change a society overnight, rather, we can start by acknowledging that these designated male and female roles are not 'written in stone' and that a changing society calls for a re-visitation of what is defined as 'male' and 'female'.
3) 'In the name of tradition'
This is VERY dangerous. Accepting certain things in the name of tradition only disables the progression of thought. For example, imagine if women in earlier years followed 'tradition' and accepted they had no right to education, to work, heck… to even drive and vote?! Then what?
Why does Jassi need to be 'allowed' by her father to go to work??? We are living in the 21st C and for Jassi to be 'allowed' by her dad to become CEO is ludicrous. It totally undermines her mind, her business acumen and her sense of personal achievement. It's actually quite trivialising, when you think that all her hard work into her studies, the position she has earned at GM, has been 'allowed', vetoed by her dad.
India is the world's LARGEST democracy, yet the depiction of female power and female achievement tends to be depicted as being sanctioned by the man, who HAS TO STAMP HIS SEAL OF APPROVAL FIRST before she can undertake any major decision in her life.
Don't get me wrong here. I am not propagating the thought that Jassi should do as she pleases, that she doesn't have to inform her parents etc etc. Rather, there should be mutual respect and understanding.
5) 'A man knows what's best for his family'
Which law states this? Is this a proven fact? No man, and no woman can ever confidently assume to know what is best for another person. To assume to know 'what's best' for someone is preposterous! At most, any person may only be able to advice and voice his/her opinion. I wish I knew of someone who knew what was the best for me… I would hightail my way straight to that person!!
I think I had better stop now! The reason I have written so extensively on this topic is that I have used this forum as my 'soapbox'. I really do feel strongly against perpetuating stereotypes and patriarchal ideologies.
You know, some feminists are quick to point a finger at 'men' for dominating women and hindering their progress. Although this holds true…what saddens me more is that there are women out there who accept these ideologies and find it difficult to break from the stifling mould. I would not presume to hold it against those women who find it difficult to escape from the vicious patriarchal cycle – I know nothing of their circumstances and personal conflicts.
Rather, my apprehension is that the 'younger' generation of women (and men) find no cause for concern over the treatment of women in society and actually spend more time defending patriarchy in the name of tradition and the 'normal way of doing things', rather than expressing their concerns!
This discussion has certainly moved beyond JJKN, encompassing a discussion of women in general! I apologise in advance for the length of this posting and if I have upset anyone.
Thank you all.
Joined: 09 April 2005
Joined: 23 January 2005
Joined: 25 February 2005
Hi Mirchi, I have not read your previous post and since you are saying the two are unrelated, I'll share my opinion with you on this post only. I think your opinions are a little stern and that things may not be as bad as they seem.
(1) Billu being just like this: Has nothing to do with patriarchial power. There are so many characters who are just the way they are : Mallika, pari, aryan.. they can all be difficult to deal with, but that's a personality trait and not something one can draw inferences from.
(2) Man having responsibility of the house: Sad as it may "seem", it is true in several households. While many women like to go out and earn for the house and be involved in decisions in life, there are many who don't want that. I have see my MBA batchmates make statements like I just want to be a housewife and chill out! In this particular case, Amrit does not look the decision making or decision helping kind. That may also be the reason why Billu is the dominating character in the walia household. Bebe on the other hand has a thought of her own which she expresses freely.
(3) As much as I have understood JJKN, Billu goes more by principles than tradition. If the latter were true, Jassi would probably not have got the kind of eduation she did, and not succeded enough to become CEO of a firm where she had started work as a secretary. Billu, like any parent, cares for her, advices here and even reprimands when needed. I'm not saying that's right or wong, but many parents do that and not just to their daughters, but also their sons.
(4) Allowing : Agree with you quite a bit on this. But JJKN have shown enough female power through Nandini, Arundhati, HM, Malaika and others.
(5) Man knows the best for his family: I don't know from where that point came, but w.r.t. Billu throwing Jassi out, I agree that it is not true. It all depends on the individual. I don't think Puru has done too well either as the head of the family or business for that matter.
I, infact, believe that JJKN has very nicely shown the rise of an ordinary looking, yet brilliant girl in a world dominated by riches where her middle class background keeps forming hurdles for her.
If I have not understood your point at all and gone on a tangent here, please forgive me for that! I tend to read through long posts a little hastily!
Joined: 13 January 2005
Joined: 27 October 2004
Joined: 10 March 2005
Would you agree that friends share things? Well..... would you share PURAB with me? :P *giggles*
Joined: 10 March 2005
I would not classify myself as the 'intellectual' type either....! As for rocking at debates in school and Uni (BTW, AM STILL AT UNI), I generally tend to keep a low profile. I am better at written communication, speaking in public is a bit daunting for me! But I am chatterbox with my friends...bak bak bak bak bak all day long.
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The show is just one episode old and it has already created a lot of ...
"I don't know how it will be accepted now... Maybe it will be a risk." ...
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