Feminist Conflict Theory Through the Movie Water Essay

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Deepa Mehta’s Water focuses on widows in India in the year 1938, which was a time when men dominated society and did not accept women’s rights. Women were not allowed to make their own decisions. Many were married off at a young age to older men through arranged marriages. In Hindu Culture at that time, if women were widowed at a young age, the women were expected to throw their bodies on their husband’s funeral pyre and burn to death. This custom is known as sati. However, sati did not happen all the time. Sometimes women were given a choice, they were still outcasts but were allowed to live in very unfortunate circumstances. This alternative was a decision made by the in-laws and the parents to put their daughters in the Ashram (widow …show more content…

They both want to eliminate the foundation of the patriarchal society, so women can have a purpose in a social order. a) Radical Feminist Theory:
According to Brym (2007), patriarchy is “male domination and norms justifying that domination” of women and “is more deeply rooted than capitalism. Radical feminists conclude that the very idea of gender must be changed to bring an end to male domination” (p. 335).
Using the Radical Feminist Theory to analyze the movie Water, it is obvious that the movie portrays a significant complexity of male domination. The patriarchal society has arranged the women’s role in society. When a woman becomes a widow, her place should be in a widow house which is one way she loses her identity. Once the husband is dead, her freedom is taken away and she becomes a living sati. A widow becomes a social outcast, with a life of solitude until she dies. At the time the movie is set, the women were not educated and were accepting of what they were told. Since they became widows, they believe that they are bound to live a single life of solitude and misery, which is not true. The movie mentions that after a woman becomes a widow, sometime they are later allowed to get married. But this ideology is not acceptable by males and is not recognized by most females, since males have arranged gender roles where women are the

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