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Bigotry towards the 'second sex'
Not only at spiritual places, discrimination against women is a prevalent problem of these times. From hair shampoo to foot-cream, everything on sale is advertised by using women as props, especially through rampantly over exposing the female body and sexual objectification of the second sex.

Intentionally, the presence of 'second sex' as an object of lust in promotional activities is kind of playing with their dignities. But why are men not projected like women even in the products exclusively for men?

On the eve of Women's Day this year, we came across two short visuals. One was a short film titled 'Naked' featuring Kalki Koechlin and Ritabhari Chakraborty in main leads, where they tried to teach women how to face and overcome cyber bullying.

And the other was a short visual 'How Much Cleavage Is Good Cleavage' featuring Swara Bhaskar and Taapsee Pannu where they sarcastically stated that women should live their lives on their own terms.

A year back, a Bangladeshi actress Jaya Ahsan played the role of a prostitute in National Award winning director Srijit Mukherji's Bengali film 'Rajkahini' where in spite of being a "randi" (prostitute) she falls in love with a pimp and in an intimate sequence she verbally describes feminine private parts to reach the conclusion that purity of mind is everything in love.

After the release of the film a huge number of Bangladeshi people suddenly became hyperactive on social media, some even suggesting that Jaya should be banned from entering Bangladesh. But this column is not only about one Jaya from Bangladesh but for every other woman who relentlessly faces similar problems irrespective of her geographical location in each passing second.

But is it a completely new problem that the world is facing? Nah! This animosity has an antiquity and is cursive from the bygone era of Eve. Since then on women have been always held culpable for creating sin. They are deliberately tagged responsible for men's lust and forced to cover their bodies to hinder their alluring parts from showing. In the Muslim society till now there is 'Burkha' to hide tempting beauty. Earlier in Papua New Guinea, in most cases girls were locked in cages once they reached puberty until marriage, as blood was considered evil.

Every religion has a prejudice against women. In our country till now there is the practice of foeticide and so many zones exist where women are nothing but a reproducing contraption. Social and domiciliary circumstances having projected them so. In most of the religions, women are condoned only if they keep up a height of enslavement while given an auxiliary part very often.

There is another combat for women as somewhere there is a belief that women should stay isolated and away from places of worship when they menstruate and it has led to numerous taboos being associated with the most natural and biological phenomenon of a woman's body.

In Hindu faith, menstruating women are traditionally considered impure and given rules to follow. In Islam, a woman is absolved from prayer and performing other religious activities, whereas according to authentic traditions, Muhammad encouraged menstruating women to be present at festive religious services for the two Eid holidays. But a pleasant change signifying progressive thought is that Sikhs now allow women to attend gurudwaras during their periods.

With changing times the Indian film and entertainment industry started breaking the shackles of male chauvinism when some of the renowned directors of the mid 50's era started to tell women-centric stories boldly through their films and as a result we got a chance to see some great cinema with path breaking films like 'Mother India', 'Aandhi', 'Bhumika', 'Arth', to the more recent ones like 'Chandni Bar', 'Matrubhoomi', 'Queen', 'Margarita With A Straw', 'Listen Amaya', 'NH10', 'Gulaab Gang', 'Rajkahini', 'Nirbashito' or 'Begum Jaan' etc.

Somehow these films are at least forcing a small percentage of women to rethink about their destinies with some even applying them practically into their lives. Another ray of hope is that most of these women-centric films have been directed by male directors with a subtle and delicate cinematic sensibility.

It's just the tip of the iceberg and it's high time to act properly and break the walls of gender bias and sexism.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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