“Disturbing” is the word described by the actress, Jessica Chastain, about the state of women portrayed in the films of the Cannes film festival 2017, as the Guardian article revealed, because such films do not represent the values witnessed in the daily life of strong, independent women, or in the world led by Theresa May of UK and Angela Merkel of Germany, while two other candidates reached the final round for presidency in US and France; proving that there are women who are fighters and strong enough to lead nations in life.
Though the media is still lagging behind, preferring to focus on the fragile and vulnerable example who comes to the limelight more than stories of independent women.
Even in Hollywood the percentage of women who are independent and emotionally mature are rare compared to the dominant theme of the “men-centric” by which women are supposed to act as the earth rotating around the man, who is the Sun of our life by which his absence makes you moan in your dim-doomed life.
With 35 different series competing for the most views during the holy month, we can see clearly the recurrent themes of the woman in the Egyptian Drama with extrapolations of some of the aired episodes.
Woman in Ramadan TV series: Seeking revenge… Emotionally fragile… An outlook of the consistent domain
Previously, series tacked the stories of women killers or women who seek to revenge from their families those caused their psychological destruction.
This very theme of revenge was discussed in many series tackling the theme of the woman, but from another perspective; the woman whose husband resorts to a second marriage “Customary marriage”, while the first wife chooses to revenge over her husband’s betrayal to win him back, having a dominant thread of thought towards constantly accusing the second woman of being the snake seeking to steal the husband, leading such ill-represented concept of the “victimizing of the man”, to be incorporated in the women’s collective conscious, believing that husbands are the innocent victims of another women’s venom.
Another prominent theme across the TV drama is the emotionally vulnerable woman, whose main concern in life since birth is to win a man for marriage, performing various tactics to win the prize, or that of another being mentally vulnerable by only reading pop star tabloid magazines or spending most of her day watching cooking channels, as if the women in our societies are void of any intellect, unable to engage in any serious discussions about deep life matters, which is secured to be men’s talk.
Another prominent theme is the vulnerable woman who comes second to the always superior man, or that one who is used only to satisfy men’s desires with her outward appeal and she is always not married, divorced and alone; therefore an easy prey, worse, she is always abandoned after the sexual encounters take place with the man, or after she loves him, simply.
Finally, comes the other opposite spectrum of the ultra sexy women; or the married woman who is daily becoming ugly after giving birth while not taking good care of her outer beauty.
In fact, such latter theme is the dominant one in the recent “Adel Imam” drama’s annual crew with “Youssef Maati” as the writer and “Rami Imam” as the director, since always this ugly fatty-nutty wife, is the object of sarcasm.
An extrapolation of the 2017 Series, from the first few episodes….How are women mapped?
The initial screening of Adel Imam’s “Adly Allam demons” series suggests that he still makes fun of the fat-nutty wife.
This thought always portray the husband as a victim who is subsequently allowed to love the beautiful and young female leading role actress as a compensation for the ugliness of his wife, proving of such consistency that the writer went idea bankrupt having no new ideas to offer indeed!
Another pessimistic interpretation is “Al Herbaya” starring “Haifa Wahyby”, stressing the fact that Haifa wants to lock her feminine portrayal of sexual objectification of no deep value actually, other than wanting to remind the viewers of how “desired” the actress is; again no new offerings but her feminine ego.
While Ehsan Abdel Kodoos “La Totfe’ El Shams” or “The sun will never set” novel, which is adapted by the scriptwriter “Tamer Habib” who is known for his “love-story entanglements”; dealing with multiple complex miserable love stories, carrying always the seedbeds of the eighteenth century romantic thought of women who search for love as their prime concern, even if they gave up their successful careers as in “Taymoor and Shafiqa”, “Sahar El Layaly” & “An Elashq wel Hawa”.
On the other hand, some positive indications come from “Nelly Kareem’s” series for “The highest price” starring “Zeina” as well.
In 2017, Nelly (Jameela) is a successful ballerina, having many envious co-workers, but she faces a big stumble that turns her life upside down; she falls in love with Dr. Hisham, sacrifices her future in the field of ballet, and decides to become a housewife, resorts to isolation and wears Nikab, to escape from her ambitions and to accept her new life after marrying him.
A few years later, Hisham betrayed her, and then got married to her best friend.
The coming episodes will show how she will recover from her husband’s betrayal, since she is delivering strong messages to women that break-ups are not the end of the world and that “leaving a career for a man is of no wise choice”.
Moreover, the series goes into the men’s justification for polygamy in religious terms, in face of women’s refusal to the matter and dealing with it as a betrayal, even if they are strict religious women.
Another positive ray of hope lies in “Wahhet El Ghoroub” or “Dawn Valley”, the winner of the Booker award of Bahaa Taher, starring a successful team of women who believe in feminist values, such as the director “Hala Abu Zikry”, the writers “Mariam Naoum” and ” Hala Zaghandy” and actress “Menna Shalaby”, who collectively guarantee that the audience will watch something away from stereotyping and supports the revolutionary approaches.
Bankruptcy of Ideas is a global crisis
Globally, successful women’s stories are only tackled in autobiographies on screens; meaning only women in the political realm, such as the life of “Margaret Thatcher” of the UK, or “Virgin Elizabeth the first”, and “Cleopatra of Egypt”; compared to voluminous emotionally vulnerable women in most series, such as Bridget Jones, for example, portraying the misery of a single woman.
This means that authors suffer from “bankruptcy of ideas” when discussing successful stories of day-to-day women, since they only copy the already achieved-real life stories of successful women, but fail to create something of their own innovation; in fact the media still fails to produce independent strong women models.
A Researcher and Writer at Wlaha Wogoh Okhra