The Women in Cinema Collective (WCC), a forum that was rolled out by women in the Malayalam film industry in May this year, has seen 300 days of light and darkness.
The collective was formed by women actors, film makers and other women from the industry as a response to the abduction and alleged sexual assault of a leading woman actor in February. On Wednesday, as the collective completed 300 days, WCC has yet again reiterated that their fight is against all the forces that are against womenâ€™s equality and that propagate male dominance.
In a Facebook post, WCC sought to send across a strong message saying that fear was death and that they will not live as cowards.
â€śKerala is a state that is ahead of others in terms of education, health care and sex ratio, but are we falling behind in equality and social justice? These conversations began centuries before WCC came into being. WCC functions to ensure that there is equality â€“ socially, culturally and politically. The new generation is keenly observing how Kerala is responding to these, even as these discussions have already seen progress globally. Remember, they are watching and judging us, and it will be upon us to answer them in the future. If we donâ€™t say this at this point, it is certain that we wonâ€™t be able to look at our younger generation. They have already started calling us ignorant and cowards. Fear is death, and we are not ready to live as cowards,â€ť WCC said in the post.
Reiterating the circumstances under which the collective came into being to represent and address womenâ€™s issues in the film industry, WCC said that many see the collective as one that is against men. Dismissing such an interpretation of their activities and engagement, WCC asserted that it was not anti-men.
â€śThis collective is not against men or a certain man in the society. We are fighting against those who propagate male dominance. We are against that culture which doesnâ€™t see a woman as an equal. The tendency of opposing gender equality must end. That is exactly what Rima, Sajitha, Deedi and now Parvathy have said,â€ť WCC explained.
Saying that the collective does not claim to have contributed to massive changes in the society, they said that they will speak against every instance of breach of a womanâ€™s rights.
â€śWhenever WCC has spoken against breach of womenâ€™s rights, it has proved how deep-rooted male dominance is in our state, a state that claims to be the most civilised society. Every time WCC has been slammed or our membersâ€™ words twisted out of context, it only took common sense to know what the reasons behind those actions are,â€ť they said.
WCC also urged other women from the industry to join them in the fight against male domination.
WCC came into being in May, when actors Manju Warrier, Parvathy, Bhavana, Anjali Menon, Geetu Mohandas, Vidhu Vincent, Rima Kallingal, Remya Nambeesan, Deedi Damodaran, Surabhi Lakshmi and other prominent women who work in the industry came together to form the group.
WCC went on to engage in the case of the woman actorâ€™s abduction and also spoke against cyber attacks against women in the industry. Several online and offline campaigns such as â€śAvalkoppamâ€ť (With Her) have been spearheaded by the collective to extend their support to the woman actor who was attacked.
In November this year, WCC formally registered as a society under the Societies Registration Act.
Earlier this month, they also released an introduction video in which prominent women from the industry, including Anjali Menon, Geetu Mohandas, Revathy and many others, spoke about the need for such a forum.