Now, women will play men

Imagine this: A woman on bended knee, flowers in one hand, serenading the man she loves. Sounds insane? Well it’s high time you removed those blinkers, if a new study is anything to go by, women very much enjoy pursuing men – men who are not into them or who are hard to get.

This gives hope to men who have thus far been courting in vain. This is an indication that they should just kick back, take a chill pill and watch as the women come calling. But most of all, it’s a sign that women today are getting more daring and are happily treading male territory.

Chennai might be the conservative capital of India, but the concept of the lady chasing the man she loves isn’t entirely new. Even in Tamil films, this concept has been tried and tested. Remember Padayappa, Amarkalam, Mounam Pesiyadhe, and Citizen? Education counsellor, Saranya reminisces, “When I fell for Kunal (now her husband), he was very impassive and I knew that I’d have to make the first move. I started messaging him, making calls and regularly bumping into him ‘accidentally’. The movie Khaaka Khaaka inspired me! And I enjoyed the pursuit! It gave me a sense of power, of being in-charge of the situation.” Kunal admits sheepishly, “I was blind to her existence. It was only when she started making blatant advances that I sat up and noticed. It was her boldness and no-holds barred attitude that drew me to her.”

So, what is it that has made today’s women so daring? Counsellor Brinda Jayaraman explains, “Financial independence has given women freedom. Also, the change in the social scenario, where men and women are together in the work environment or social gatherings, has facilitated this.” Saranya agrees, “Women are now both emotionally and financially empowered. We are bold and raring to go.”
There is nothing holding back women from going for the man she likes and guys are lovin’ it! Singer Benny Dayal who has no shortage of female fans laughs, “This is quite cool! If a girl likes a guy, it would be better if she lets him know, rather than keep things in her chest and wait for him to come around.” But doesn’t this hurt the typical male machismo even a tad bit? After all, this way, the female would be getting the upper hand in the relationship. Kunal agrees, “Sometimes I wish I had taken the initiative. It is still embarrassing to admit that it was she who proposed to me.” But Benny rubbishes this. “I’d be delighted if a woman were to pursue me. There is nothing to be embarrassed about it,” he says.

But, what happens when the woman is spurned or put down repeatedly? Remember super hit Padayappa, where Nilambari (Ramya Krishnan) chases Padayappa (Rajini) and turns murderous when spurned? Brinda replies, “Women probably see the pursuit of a man as a challenge. If they win, they feel good and their image is boosted. There is a sense of achievement. When spurned, obviously they feel a sense of loss. But they are not going to be affected for a long time.”

However, there are still those who prefer to keep things old-fashioned. VJ Pooja is one of them. “I prefer the age-old tradition of the man coming after the woman. There is a reason why this has been this way for so many decades. There is something very sweet when a man loves a woman and woos her. Why change it? When the world around us is changing so rapidly, why can’t we leave a few sweet things the way they are?” she asks.

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