Sensitive portrayal of women need of the hour

Monday, Dec 31, 2012, 4:00 IST

Experts feel that while media has to be responsible and understand its limitations, it can not hide facts at the same time.

Media, including the film and advertising fraternity, is often accused of commodifying women. There have been several instances of objectionable advertisements, portrayal of women in bad taste by a section of the fraternity. However, industry players feel putting everyone in the same basket is incorrect.

Prasoon Joshi, president of McCann Worldgroup South Asia said both things exist. “You find all kinds of films, people and portrayals. Some people actually are very careful about it and would not try and objectify a women or unduly disrespect or degenerate her image. But at the same time, there would be others who don’t care and bother. As a result you see advertisements and films with objectionable content,” said Joshi adding, it is for this reason there are various bodies to regulate such a mindset.

Media has been regarded as reflection of the society. While media has to be responsible and understand its limitations, it cannot hide facts. That said, media also needs to follow certain rules, have a line of control, but some entities do go overboard in an attempt to play the TRP game.

“There are a few instances of women being commoditised on TV for high TRPs,” said Raj Kamble, managing director of Strawberryfrog.

“Introspection is necessary anytime some atrocities happen. It should not be restricted only to the advertising and film fraternity but every other place, fraternity, discipline where there are women. They are all part of a society and media can not be singled out as the reason behind why this is happening,” said Joshi.

Joshi added that media is not only the mirror of the society, it also shapes the society. “While mirroring part is taken very seriously, shaping is not and that’s what I end up arguing with most media professionals including some who are good friends,” he said.

Indian psyche, experts feel, is among the various reasons responsible for problems. “It’s not as if the film makers in this era are responsible. Advertisements or films in the past have showcased women in a different light. You can find things that are objectionable throughout,” said a media professional.