Khanna article challenges Bollywood depictions of female empowerment
Bollywood’s depictions of neoliberal feminism though the narrative trope of the “empowered independent woman” emphasize urban elite feminism and leave marginalized women unrepresented, master’s student Mallika Khanna writes in an article in Jumpcut, a review of contemporary media.
“The neoliberal feminist gaze: Contesting ‘female empowerment’ narratives in contemporary Bollywood films,” analyzes three contemporary films: “Angry Indian Goddesses,” “Veere di Wedding” and “Lipstick Under my Burkha.”
While “Angry Indian Goddesses” and “Veere di Wedding” are loyal to the empowered independent woman narrative, Khanna argues that “Lipstick Under my Burkha” offers an alternative women-centric narrative that depicts female characters as sometimes weak and fallible while still ascribing them value. That narrative, Khanna writes, gives a voice to marginalized women.