Sherna Dastur

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Manjuben, Truck Driver| 51mins
Director: Sherna Dastur | Producer:
Focus Years: | Country: India
Subject Tags: asia, feminine, gender, identity, india, masculine, society
Quality Tags: Optimistic, Slow, Activating, Harmonizing
Manjuben has broken the gender stereotypes, which are part of the social landscape she inhabits. She has created an identity for herself that goes against social, cultural and economic norms, and commands respect from her peers. This identity is deliberately ‘male’, that of a macho-trucker, drawn from several popular notions of maleness. She dresses like a man, goes to the barber, gets herself photographed posing in the manner of popular media idols, and blends totally into the very masculine world of truckers. Yet, Manju defies simple categorization. Though she lives an emancipated life compared to the other women in her society, she seems to share most of its patriarchal values. Thus, in her own house, while she herself eats before the menfolk, the other women always eat last. Manjuben is no crusader. She is a small but successful entrepreneur, efficient and well-acquainted with the tricks of her trade. Underlying all the bravado lies the simple knowledge that if she hadn’t had monetary success in her business, she would never have been allowed to live the life she does as a respected member of society.

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Sherna Dastur



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