Even as Indian women fight as feminists for rightful equality with men, the state has increasingly been adopting a women-must-be-protected-and-taken-care-of approach. From so-called Anti-Romeo squads in Uttar Pradesh to a string of statements by politicians, administrations are making it clear that patriarchal protection and not gender equality is their idea of creating a level playing field for women.
But one organisation that is doing something slightly different is the Indian Air Force (IAF). After opening the doors to women for flying combat aircraft, the IAF has now released an advertisement – one of three in a campaign to attract young people – that debunks the very myths about women that the state perpetuates (the second ad in the video above).
Tearing into gender stereotypes – women fear loud noises, they are afraid of heights, they have no choice but to remain in the background – the ad depicts what Bhawana Kanth, Avani Chaturvedi and Mohana Singh – who became the first commissioned women pilots of the IAF – have achieved already, though it doesn’t name them specifically.
True, being a conventional advertisement, it generates emotional goodwill rather than strike crisp blows for the feminist cause, but it does challenge the (unwarranted) male conviction that women are in many ways not capable of doing “a man’s job.”
The campaign has been created by Grey Group India and shot by Asylum Films in various parts of the country.