Looking for Strong Small-Screen Heroines

It’s a typical evening at my home. I am home dead-tired and hungry. Mom is making coffee as I laze on the couch, flipping through channels. As is inevitable, a great many serials are in progress.
I know what you are thinking-“Bloody boring serials. Who in this time of facebook and other social media has time enough to watch them?” Trust me when I say there are enough of my acquaintances watching these shows to make me be concerned for the future of India’s women folk.  Even though some of the serials seem to be dealing with some social issues like child marriage and female foeticide, the female characters are scripted to be so very flimsy! As if all the woman ever wants from her life is to get a man and keep him happy. She has no goals, ideals of her own! Usually, when the female protagonist is in trouble, all she does is cry her eyes out or get some man to help her. Whatever happened to rational judgment and reasoning!

If somebody tries to oppress her, she is so noble that she takes it in her stride, which is shedding tears enough to fill a Sintex tank! She puts up with an annoying amount of bullying and never dares to speak up. It’s as if the shows are promoting domination and domestic violence. Being a helpless doormat seemed to be the pre-requisite of being an ideal bahu, beti ! The shows are consciously depicting characters who glorify values and ideas we would never want our kids or friends to follow. If we agree with the perceptions of what these so-called soaps-with-social-values are trying to portray, what kind of an example are we setting for our young women? That the sole aim in life is to cat-fight over a man? That it is noble to tolerate abuse like a dumb, spineless weakling?

Not all women are equipped with the emotional maturity to distinguish drama from real-life, such people will eventually come to believe this as acceptable behavior, which is a horrifying thought!  It is pretty easy to influence such vulnerable women with emotionally-charged content. Do we want our young women to get used to such trash instead of constructive thinking?
We do NOT.

For a country with world’s largest number of youth population, it’s majorly damaging to have whole generations of women exposed to this stupidity.

Today, it is vital to instill in our young women values like self-esteem, confidence, individuality and hard-work.

Since it is impossible to regulate the huge viewership base, the programmes themselves should be under scrutiny. Channel owners should encourage scripts with characters which make young women to think constructively. Characters that have qualities we would want to emulate, to become better people, to believe in ourselves and to take a stand on the issues that are unjust.

I do feel that it is important for parents to be careful and monitor the content their kids watch.

Nandana Nallapu

Techie. Loves learning new things, meeting new people. Always up for an adventure! Passionate about writing, art, travelling, politics and feminism among other things. A photography enthusiast, her fingers are always itching to treasure moments.

Image Source: [http://venturebeat.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/apple-tv-01.jpg]