MEN IN THE SOCIETY - Jaylalitha's Story - Thalaivi

Updated: Nov 17, 2021

Jayalalitha's biopic. I watched this movie in the true sense I was not aware of her biography because maybe politics was not something which interested me very much but I always appreciated her or found a great politician, human, woman, mother, leader, chief minister as a woman who has done something really marvelous for her own self.

Following are some of the observations I made in the movie on the life of a woman and the contribution of MEN. If you notice the life of Jayalalithaa was not a bed of roses but she enjoyed whatever came in her way. Her filmy career, her association with MGR, her political entry. She was made for the bigger cause of the nation than just running a family and having babies which too she said in one of her interviews that she would have loved to do. The life of a woman having public life is not easy, especially where the men are dominating the society and taking the easy benefit that comes to them because of the patriarchal nature of the society. She was a woman with grit, stubbornness, confidence, vulnerability, loving nature, a nature that is more like a mother, someone who loved herself immensely, someone who never feared to speak, every defeat was taken as a challenge to move the next step.

The defeat came to her from MEN. As I was watching the movie ad heard her interviews too where she has spoken about these experiences, I observed multiple faces of men, which exist in society. Depending on the situation and willingness of them a woman is supported r not supported.

MGR - a man who is loving, loved by people, and in love with her, who encouraged her or rather pushed her to get into the politics and identified her as the future potential of political seat or party. HIS SECRETARY - Another man extremely dedicated to the party, to the leader of the party, the image of the party, public opinion of the party, completely focused, ruthless, and cold-hearted. At some stage tells Jayalalithaa that he is the dedicated supporter of the leader, he feels sorry for the behavior that he indulged with her only because of his commitment to the party. When he decides to support her there is no end to the opportunities made available to her, unconditional help provided to her to succeed in her journey.

OPPOSITION PARTY LEADER - Many men from his party, because of anger and the ego got into atrocities by dragging her in the assembly, making her go through humiliation in front of many men, dragging her and touching her sari, pulled her physically, and that too make her feel ashamed of herself as a woman. This is the revenge of a man.

GROUP OF PARTY MEN - A group of partymen are not confident about her success, her winning, doubt her capability, her ability to safeguard herself so judging her, how can she protect the party and who has created this unsafe condition for her? MEN only. She had to prove herself by making them feel otherwise of their thoughts.

HER FAMILY SUPPORT - A man who's been with her throughout her life since her mother days, calling her Amma, supporting every move, every step, ensuring that she's been protected and cared for. Back home she is a child, a girl, a simple person, and the one who has a home.

CHIEF MINISTER & PARTY MEN - She becomes a chief minister, takes the seat. The group of party members comes to meet her. She asks them to sit when they don't sit, she removes the chairs and a very strong statement makes "if you look at me as a mother you will have a place in my heart but as a woman…." She was doubted by the same men as a woman. No one doubts Mother.

That's the journey of a woman in the world of MEN who are holding the power and benefits of the patriarchy. It works either way for a woman. When men scream and shout about women getting extra support, leaves, push, seats, opportunities, projects, jobs, breaks because of their biological difference compare to men when they have to go through pregnancy or delivery or menopausal time, it's not something out of the way happening. You are just creating enough place for women, who are forced to be with or faced with men who are not supporting them, creating difficult situations and scenarios for them, being revengeful with them, not accepting them, not confident about them, not inclusive about them, not giving them the right opportunities. Those women who still dare to go with their own strength, conviction and achieve something by fighting for their space go through a variety of experiences. They work double and extra compared to men to prove themselves.

If a woman gets someone like MGR who identifies her pure talent they are successful. How many women have MGR in their life, outside the family support? battles are not in the house but outside. Those who do not have these opportunities those women stay back and enjoy whatever little peaceful life they have in spite of knowing they can make a bigger contribution to the organizations, economy, society, and the nation. Some are not culturally oriented to realize their potential.

69% of women educate themselves to the higher studies, spend their life educating themselves but only 23% are in the job market, the mandatory requirement of 1 woman in the Board members is not doing her job as an influencer, Women Leaders are not influencers, and the Percentage of role models are lacking because of the lack of inclusive environment. The fight is not for the right, there are many good laws that have protected a woman and her rights but the fight in India is for the existence of a woman. When I handle Harassment/ DV cases of highly qualified women in my foundation, everything is extremely confidential and done secretly because she may not be accepted for handling a leadership role if it is known about her family, personal crisis.

Rajashri Rajashekhar - Founder Poornam Foundation

Researcher - Gender Neutrality(10 yrs ) & an HR professional (28 yrs)

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