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Misinterpretation Of Women Relationships

“Women instinctually know how to nourish each other, and just being with each other is restorative”- Tanja Taaljard.

A creative depiction of the word 'women' (Source: Abode Stock)

While women are subjected to multiple stereotypes in both reel and real aspects of life, the whole narrative of calling us ‘bitches’ amongst each other has not changed over the years. Assumptions are made of how all-girls institutions function. Group dynamics, back door talking, ‘bitching’, boys and makeup surround those assumptions. It is disheartening to see how these assumptions are a tad bit true. The environment in an all-women setting is so competitive like we are pitted against one another in terms of how we look in appearance and how we ‘present ourselves’ to the world. It seems that the world actually thinks that the lives of women revolve around men, makeup and misunderstandings.

Dil Chahta Hai and Zindagi Milegi Na Dobara are widely spoken off about showing solidarity and camaraderie amongst a group of men. However, rarely do we see people celebrating films truly depicting how beautiful female friendships are. Moreover, the rivalry between actresses is a hot page-3 topic. Women in Bollywood are time and again questioned about their ‘relations’ with other actresses. In the show, ‘Koffee with Karan’, Deepika Padukone, Alia Bhatt, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Priyanka Chopra were questioned whether having common partners in their past and present was a point of animosity. In interviews, they are asked how it is ‘working’ with another actress in the same film and where the power dynamics lie.

Women are called each other’s worst enemy. Even if there is a close-knit group of womxn, they are subjected to vile remarks such as obnoxious or fake. Women close to one another are laughed upon at early school life, and are rumoured to be ‘lesbians’ or very ‘closed off’. The film, ‘Mean Girls’ glorified this to a large extent. The film revolved around a mean teenage girl who ordered everyone around being the high school diva. She rejected her friend from earlier because she thought her friend was in love with her for wanting to spend time together. Passing comments and remarks about one another was a common practice in that film. It consisted of a ‘Burn Book’ which contained images of girls with illustrations and problematic remarks.

‘Student of the Year’ also showed a representation of toxic female friendships where the two characters had animosity between one another over a boy. Nobody questioned the intentions of that boy who wanted his way with both the girls. Women in India Media are currently on the neck to character assassinate, Rhea Chakraborty with her involvement in various investigations. While it may be a part of their jobs, there is a certain level of sensitivity and respect which must follow. In an oppressive system of patriarchy and sexism, it is imperative for women to hold one another close to fight such an institution and support one another.

Women relationships involve compassion, understanding and shared experiences. They make for the best conversations over drinks. Shows like ‘Four More Shots’ and ‘Sex and the City’ portray them the best. They show women free from the shackles of stereotypes and in the world living the best life. During complications, ups and down, these women are there for each other, no questions asked. They criticise one another for all the right reasons, advice when they walk on the opposite path and celebrate one another. Yes, it is also discussing clothes, makeup and boys but they play a small part and not entirely basing the relations on them.

It is time for us to move on from the narrative of women being catty with one another. There is a saying that men beat it out of each other while women continue fighting amongst one another over years. However, that’s a false notion. Why is solely one gender associated with this sort of pettiness? About time, women relationships are celebrated and highlighted in all sections of society.


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