Contemporary Critical Theory
Sir Anil Pinto
The Malayalam film ‘Veruthe Oru Bharya’ was directed by ‘AkkuAkbar.’ The movie is all about the important role played by the female character, as a housewife….. I would like to move with a comparative study, and figure out how the feminism related to the female character in this movie. In the story the heroine seems to have more works in the house. On the other hand, husband is stating that, wife has nothing to do with the family apart from doing some cleaning and washing. And also, the husband is giving priority to his own work, and as the movie progresses the argument increases and the peace of the family fades. .... My attempt is to identify, what is feminism? And how this theory is applied to this story.
Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining and establishing, the social welfare of women. It includes seeking and establishing equal opportunities for women in education and employment. But in the movie, the male character is not even bothered of such consideration toward the female character, in other words his ego doesn’t allow him to do so. Feminist theory, which emerged from feminist movements, aims to understand the nature of gender inequality by examining women's social roles and lived experience; it has developed theories in a variety of disciplines in order to respond to issues such as the social construction of sex and gender. There are uncountable gender issues that are happening in the society, in terms of cast, color, creed, and religion, and feminism played a crucial role to debate on female survival. Some of the earlier forms of feminism have been criticized for taking into account only white, middle-class, educated perspectives. This led to the creation of ethnically specific or multiculturalists forms of feminism.
To a man what he does is so personal to him; but, to a woman her feelings are very personal to her. So to compliment a man, speak positively about his performance, and to compliment a women, could even ignore the performance, but affirm her feelings. To a man ‘you did well’ is important. To a woman ‘I am feeling good about what you did’ is more important than ‘you did well.’ Here the heroine feels lonely, when her family members go to different places. Children to the school, and the husband to the office. Her numberless duties were increasing day by day, as the domestic instruments such as mixi, grinder, iron-box washing-machine got damaged and the husband never bothered to repair it. Since the husband was unaffected by these domestic tasks, he even managed to buy few domestic animals. The women gathered in group, stating a few complaints against the existing patriarchal system and demanding the possibilities.
Even today, feminists continued to campaign for the reform of family laws which gave husbands control over their wives. Women still had very few rights. For instance, in France married women received the right to work without their husband's permission. Charles Furies, a utopian socialist and French philosopher, is credited with having coined the word "feminism" in 1837. The words "feminism" and "feminist" first appeared in France and the Netherlands in 1872, Great Britain in the 1890s, and the United States in 1910. Depending on historical moment, culture and country, feminists around the world have had different causes and goals. Most western feminist historians assert that all movements that work to obtain women’s rights should be considered feminist movements, even when they did not apply the term to themselves. Feminist theory aims to understand gender inequality and focuses on gender politics, power relations, and sexuality. While providing a critique of these social and political relations, much of feminist theory also focuses on the promotion of women's rights and interests. Themes explored in feminist theory include discrimination, in the field of literary criticism.
Feminism and sexuality
Over the course of the 1970s, a large variety of influential women accepted lesbianism and bisexuality as part of feminism. As a result, a significant proportion of feminists favored this view; however, others considered sexuality irrelevant to the attainment of other goals.
Feminist attitudes to female sexuality have taken a few different directions. Matters such as the sex industry, sexual representation in the media, and issues regarding consent to sex under conditions of male dominance have been particularly controversial among feminists. Pornography considered as violence against women. Anti- pornography feminists argue that, it is dangerous for women and those sexually explicit images need to be controlled. Feminists' views on prostitution vary, but many of these perspectives can be loosely arranged into an overarching standpoint that is generally either critical or supportive of prostitution. Anti-prostitution feminists are strongly opposed to prostitution, as they see it as a form of violence against and exploitation of women, and a sign of male dominance over women. Feminists argue that sexual violence committed by men is often rooted in ideologies of male sexual entitlement, and that these systems grant women very few legitimate options to refuse sexual advances. In many cultures, men do not believe that a woman has the right to reject a man's sexual advances or to make an autonomous decision about participating in sex. Feminists argue that all cultures are, in one way or another, dominated by ideologies that largely deny women the right to decide how to express their sexuality, because men under patriarchy feel entitled to define sex on their own terms. This entitlement can take different forms, depending on the culture. In many parts of the world, especially in conservative and religious cultures, marriage is regarded as an institution which requires a wife to be sexually available at all times, virtually without limit; thus, forcing or coercing sex on a wife is not considered a crime or even an abusive behavior.
Above all else, one thing a man never handle is the unhappiness of his woman. He tends to escape from any situation where he finds his woman unhappy. Even when he is not personally responsible for what had happened, he cannot face the unhappiness of his woman. If a woman wants a loving marriage then she has to be a happy wife. On the other hand a woman, however successful and independent, likes her man to take care of her as if she were his child. She needs that parental touch from her man. Her best comes out when she knows that her man is protective of her. If a man wants a loving marriage then he has to be a proactive lover.