Gendered Power Dynamics: A Comparative Analysis of Women's Status in 'Agora' and Contemporary Pakistani Society
Keywords:Gender Equality, Gender-Based Violence, Patriarchy, Religion, Women's Status
This research paper delves into the intricate power dynamics that shape and constrain women's status in society, drawing parallels between the historical portrayal in the film "Agora" and the contemporary scenario in Pakistani society. "Agora," set in ancient Alexandria, depicts the life and struggles of Hypatia, a brilliant mathematician, philosopher, and astronomer, who defied societal norms and faced tragic consequences in a male-dominated world. The paper applies the theoretical framework of Antonio Gramsci to analyze the power relationships depicted in the film. Gramsci's concept of the ruling block and the manufacture of consent is used to examine how Hypatia's intellectual influence challenged the religious and political establishment, particularly Cyril, the Bishop of Christianity. Hypatia's status as an organic intellectual, who did not conform to the ruling class, highlights her commitment to truth, logic, and education. The analysis also reflects on Karl Marx's view of religion as an opiate of the masses and its potential to distract people from their real problems. In "Agora," the influence of Christianity and its impact on the masses' priorities is evident, as religious fervor overshadows pressing issues such as poverty and education. The paper further explores the gendered status of women in "Agora" and compares it to contemporary Pakistani society. It examines how women in both contexts are marginalized, oppressed, and subjected to patriarchal norms. The film portrays how Hypatia's gender posed a threat to male authority, leading to her brutal murder. Examples such as the case of Qandeel Baloch, a social media celebrity who was murdered in the name of honor, and the portrayal of women in Pakistani media are used to illustrate the challenges women face.
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