Women in Popular Culture: Should We be Concerned?

By Meghna Subhedhar | 2 years ago
Women in Popular Culture: Should We be Concerned?
PHOTOGRAPH: Facebook\ Royal Opera house | Royal Opera House William Tell

Here’s the skinny on violence and nudity: we have had too much of it in recent years. While I am not the sort of person who would take a stand for Christian morality or the Jihadist’s anti-exposure zeal, the truth is that the movies have used nudity and violence to such an extent that it has stopped making any kind of mark on the audiences.

Iggy Azalea tweeted yesterday, “I feel like the press just wants to see girls be overtly sexual to one another, and have no real opinion other than “I love it!” She may be wrong on all counts. The press as well as the audience isn’t looking forward to girls getting sexier. The audience is bored with it.

The BBC just reported about a very strange event. “The opening night of William Tell at the Royal Opera House has been marked by boos over a rape scene with nudity.” Now the readers will note that the Royal Opera House is not the sort of place where you meet the janitors and the construction workers from the street. We are talking about a cultured audience here. These people have grown up reading Shakespeare and watching Verdi. This is not the sort of audience that boos at nudity or whistles when the actresses reveal their breasts. And yet, here they were, booing at a prolonged rape scene that depicted violence against women in an overtly realistic way.

Getting back to the incident at the Royal Opera House, Rossini’s opera of the Swiss patriot, William Tell, who shoots an arrow that splits an apple atop his son’s head, has been directed by Damiano Michieletto and stars Canadian baritone Gerald Finley as Tell and American tenor John Osborn in the supporting role. Osborn was particularly defensive of the said portrayal of Rossini’s opera. “… I think it’s an element you can use to show just how horrible these people were that were occupying this town,” he told BBC. “If you don’t feel the brutality, the suffering these people have had to face, if you want to hide it, it becomes soft, it becomes for children.”

We think that too many people these days are trying to write stories that are not “for children.” People have begun to believe that any childish fanciful rendition can be made more gritty by adding sex and violence to it. Most young directors have given up thinking about big philosophical ideas like theme and context that the older generation took into account when they were working on their piece of art. Is this really progress towards bigger Art or a progress towards greater savagery? You be the judge.

Photo Source: Facebook\ Royal Opera House

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