Learn how to become better allies to people with disabilities, download the Randstad exclusive ED&I 2022 report.
'Be a lady' is one of the most common things most of us has heard and with a viral and very powerful video, it has been pushed on us once again. Can we just be us?
‘Be a lady’ is one of the most common things most of us has heard and with a viral and very powerful video, it has been pushed on us once again. Can we just be us?
In a very powerful video posted by the Girls Girls Girls magazine, the pressures women go through is talked about. The video, posted on Feb. 26 has since gone viral. A 2:51 video features Cynthia Nixon, whom we all know from Sex and the City.
‘Be A Lady, They Said’ has Nixon narrating the lines from Camille Rainville’s poem. “Look sexy. Look hot. Don’t be so provocative. You’re asking for it,” is narrated in the video. The dialogues are accompanied with powerful suggestive visuals which resonate with women on a cosmic level.
It is based on the concept of the ‘double bind’ which feminist Marilyn Frye had put forth. In layman’s terms, this theory speaks about the whole “damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t.”
“Eat up. Slim down. Stop eating so much. Order a salad. Don’t eat carbs, skip dessert, go on a diet. God, you look like a skeleton,” Nixon says in the video. The visuals depict body hair, scars, anal bleaching- everything a woman does to fit into the ideal of the perfect woman.
While the whole video is powerful and impactful there are certain problems that it proliferates. The whole poem is based on contradictions to impress the point of how problematic the society is for women and the narrative is based on what society expects of women. However, the video, depicts exactly the expectations the society has.
It has reduced women to not their talents or their skills but only to their physical features, body size, her ability to cook and perform household chores. Nowhere does it mention the talents any woman possesses.
“Fold his clothes. Cook his dinner. Keep him happy. That’s a woman’s job. You’ll make a good wife some day.”
The objective of the video was to show how women all ethnic backgrounds have to succumb to the Eurocentric ideals. But the video doesn’t do that, it just reduces women to ornamental pieces.
The video helps bring topics which have time and again been brushed under the carpet but you cannot help but notice the surface details. While the video does feature women of colour and plus sized women it feels like it has been done for representational purposes to give slight tinge of diversity.
The video calls for more representation of non-white females and females who stand on the either ends of the spectrum. It also needs to define which body size is perfect and which is not. And the representation of women who do not follow the gender binaries.
The video reasserts how a woman cannot be one of a unique kind and have her own exceptional identity. It reiterates how she has to fit in the society’s standards which comprises rigid binaries.
The video also talks about how women have to be extra careful when they go out at night. There have been numerous instances when even I have walked with my keys clawed between two fingers to use it as a weapon if the need arises. And there have been times when even I have thought of joining a self-defence class.
“Don’t go out alone. Don’t make eye contact. Don’t bat your eyelashes… Don’t say yes. Don’t say no.”
Things like these reverberate with each and every woman who has watched the video. But what is problematic is how the onus is shifted on the victim and not the perpetrator.
The video on the whole is an innocent watch. And is a great vehicle to steer conversations on the pressures women have to face but these minor oh-not-so-in-your-face details makes it knotty.
Picture credits: YouTube.
A Journalism student. When not busy with college and assignments, I read a lot. Big time foodie and dog mom. Pop culture, feminism and news gets me excited. read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!
Rajshri Deshpande, who played the fiery protagonist in Trial by Fire along with Abhay Deol speaks of her journey and her social work.
Rajshri Deshpande as the protagonist in ‘Trial by Fire’, the recent Netflix show has received raving reviews along with the show itself for its sensitive portrayal of the Uphaar Cinema Hall fire tragedy, 1997 and its aftermath.
The limited series is based on the book by the same name written by Neelam and Shekhar Krishnamoorthy, who lost both their children in the tragedy. We got an opportunity to interview Rajshri Deshpande who played Neelam Krishnamoorthy, the woman who has been relentlessly crusading in the court for holding the owners responsible for the sheer negligence.
Rajshri Deshpande is more than an actor. She is also a social warrior, the rare celebrity from the film industry who has also gone back to her roots to give to poverty struck farming villages in her native Marathwada, with her NGO Nabhangan Foundation. Of course a chance to speak with her one on one was a must!
“What is a woman’s job, Ramesh? Taking care of parents-in-law, husband, children, home and things at work—all at the same time? She isn’t God or a superhuman."
The arrays of workstations were occupied by people peering into their computer screens. The clicks of keyboard keys were punctuated by the occasional footsteps moving around to brainstorm or collaborate with colleagues in their cubicles. Most employees went about their tasks without looking at the person seated on either side of their workstation. Meenakshi was one of them.
The thirty-one-year-old marketing manager in a leading eCommerce company in India sat straight in her seat, her eyes on the screen, her fingers punching furiously into the keys. She was in a flow and wanted to finish the report while the thoughts and words were coming effortlessly into her mind.
Natu-Natu. The mellifluous ringtone interrupted her thoughts. She frowned at her mobile phone with half a mind to keep it ringing until she noticed the caller’s name on the screen, making her pick up the phone immediately.
Please enter your email address