I don’t know how many of you have seen the Indian Movie Dangal. If you have not, I highly recommend you to watch it. It is a very entertaining movie, which is based on the story of the struggles of an Olympics wrestler who trains his two daughters who win gold medals in commonwealth games. The movie has been hailed for its strong message on women empowerment. The movie shows the two girls wrestle with well-seasoned boys in different wrestling matches and beating them. In this video I would discuss if this portrayal was realistic or just fantasy?

We all know how dramatic Bollywood movies can get. While watching the movie Dangal, I was wondering if the portrayals of the girls beating well-trained boys in wrestling actually happen or the director was taking his liberty to add drama to the story. If the girls were fighting the boys who have not reached their puberty, I would have believed the story. However the movie shows the girls taking on adolescent boys who have developed good amount of muscle mass. Do you think the girls might have taken on such boys and beaten them?

In my honest opinion, it is highly unlikely that these girls would have been able to beat well-trained adolescent boys in wrestling.

To justify my claim, lets look at some battles of the sexes in sports. We all know how awesome the Williams sisters are at tennis. They have dominated the women’s tennis for two decades. In 1998 the two ladies claimed that they would beat any man outside the world’s top 200 ranking male players. To prove their point, during the 1998 Australian open William sisters decided to play a match with the then men’s rank 203 Karsten Braasch. After completing a round of golf and two shandies, Braasch took on Serena and beat her 6-1. Then Venus walked on the court fresh and Braasch beat her 6-2. After the game Braasch mentioned that although his rank is 203, he had played like someone ranked 600th in order to keep the game fun.

Another example, US women’s national soccer team played against FC Dallas’s under 15 boys’ team and lost 2-5. Similarly Australian women’s national soccer team lost to Newcastle Jets under 15 Boys team 0-7. Think about it, these are women’s national soccer teams, which are losing to under 15 boys. US and Australian women’s soccer team are no ordinary teams. Both the teams are topnotch teams, who appear consistently in the women’s soccer world cups. US women’s national soccer team has been world champions three times.

I understand the director’s position here. He has to generate emotions in a movie otherwise people will not like the movie. If he had only shown the girls only fight girls it would not have generated that much emotion. I am the father of two daughters and it was a lot of fun for me seeing the Dangal girls beating those boys. Considering the success of the movie I think others also enjoyed watching it. The only thing is, the movie claims to be based on real events and we might consider these fights to be realistic. We must be careful here, we must watch these scenes as fantasy rather than considering them to be reality.

There is a lot of push these days for women empowerment, which is great, as a strong woman means a strong society. However, I think there is a serious flaw in our approach towards women empowerment. I think a lot of times the stories on women empowerment encourage our women to be masculine. This in my opinion does not empower them and might in fact be making them miserable. After all our girls are girls, they are not boys. Asking our girls to be boys is insulting to our girls. It means we do not appreciate their girly-ness. I think we as a society still under-appreciate the feminine qualities. It is time we should start telling stories glorifying feminine qualities as well. Stories such as that of Mother Teresa, Florence Nightingale or Jija bai will be great to show in the movies.

A matured and balanced society is the one which is in harmony with both its masculine and feminine traits. By honoring the feminine equally as the masculine I think we can build a more enlightened society.

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