How does the web series Ayali define feminism?

Presently, we talk a lot about feminism. We discuss issues around equality in the workspace, cinema and at home. On whose behalf are we talking about it? Does this feminism include all women or is it concerned with the privileged ones who knows about it and can talk about it? Does this feminism confine itself to a particular class of people or does it include all women? What it is feminism to women who don’t know that such a term exists? I know that’s a lot of questions. But this has been bothering a lot for quite a few days. As an attempt to answer the question and including voices of diverse women in defining feminism, we had movies last year, ie, Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya Hey and Darlings which majorly talks about domestic abuse and what feminism is to these women. This year a web series “Ayali” directed by Muthukumar starring Abi Nakshathra streaming on ZEE5 is an addition to this list. Like the two movies, Ayali also uses humour as a strongest weapon to question the taboo that exists around women.

Right to education is a basic right in our democratic country and Ayali talks about how women are deprived of education conveniently creating taboo around women, puberty and a God named “Ayali”. As a further step, this web series analyses how men create patriarchy to oppress women. Nobody questions why women should get married after attaining puberty. There is no answer to the blind belief even if one questions it. Instead of making a revolution around it, protagonist Tamizhselvi plays around the foolishness surrounding her by simply choosing not to tell about it. Her choice of survival of the fittest lets her develop a modern relationship with her mom. Tamizhselvi and her mom’s choice of using wittiness to fool the men around them become a strong tool and a definition of feminism to them.

It becomes a revolution when all the women in the village protest against the patriarchal system. However, it does not take anything more than a man gaining sense to let other men understand how this patriarchy has put them behind.

Ayali is one of the voices of minority women that give a deeper understanding of the lives of these women and this is why I enjoyed it and would recommend you to watch it. If the world needs to become a better place to live, as a first step, isn’t it important to empathize with the diverse people and embrace the diversity?



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Ravi Ramya

Be your own kind of beautiful.

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