Women and Men Unglued is a documentary film which explores the changing horizons of views regarding the relationship between men and women. The film is based on interviews of men and women of various age groups and of experts in psychoanalysis. This film strikes a bold question towards the audience; do women today require men or is there a necessity for this relationship?
The interviewees in the movie belong to various socio-economic strata and their ideas regarding the social mores of a relationship differ accordingly. The interviewees seem to agree that there has been a changing dimension of views of men and women who don’t seem to comply with the traditional discourse of a relationship between man and woman. The generation construct is that women are independent, confident, and successful and there are no things that men can give them which they cannot get for themselves. The pros of this new construct are that women have started being themselves and stopped trying to ape men. Their life is not restricted to the search of the “perfect” man and the fantastic idea of a romantic bliss. Men have become more acceptable to the new avenues that women have made for themselves and respect their individuality.
The flip side of the new discourse is the decreasing number of relationships. Fewer men and women choose to be partners. More of them choose to stay single. There is a popular view among men that women cannot keep life ‘nagging fee’ and so it is better to stay single in order to stay content. Again, due to the increasing individuality of women, their independence and social and economic freedom have made them feel that they do not want to compromise or genuflect in front of the super male ego, consequently giving rise to a super female ego. Moreover, the belief of a perfect match, romantic togetherness has eluded many men and women of this generation. Their ideology of a perfect marriage and love is one that ends in bitterness. As an expert interviewee says that these people have seen so many marriages ending up in divorce, love leading to bitterness, has made them believe that true love and that somebody special does not exist for them. This has removed their trust on the institution of marriage.
A man in his late twenties or early thirties feels that he is uncertain as to what is expected out of him or is unable to make a decision. He feels that the woman as his partner is in a better position to take all the decisions. And he refuses to be the alpha-male who will dominate a woman. So he chooses not to interfere in a woman’s life. Another successful woman in the corporate world seems to acknowledge that men are intimidated from their success, their confidence, and independence. She confesses that she could not be in a relationship because she is not ready to be dominated by another man. Today men and women need not be partnered to be getting what a marriage provides. The need to be a partner has become one among many choices that men and women have today. It no longer is the single most choice. From the social psychology point of view, this generation of men and women has many seen love ending up in the wrong way and ultimately divorce among their parents or their parent’s friends. This has made them to believe that there is no perfect love as the social construct has made them to believe. Their experiences of love have made them believe that ‘love’ is a non-existent fairytale.
This social confusion has made many men and women belonging to a broken family to avoid the institution of marriage. Again, there are women who feel that expecting a relationship is a cardinal sin according to the new modes of feminism while their traditional nurturing makes tem believe that the way for a woman to be successful is to marry at the right man. And men are uncertain of their role in women’s lives, about themselves, and their wants. These juxtaposing individual and social norms have produced a confusion which prevents men and women staying single for a long time. This explains, according to the film, the reason behind the decreasing number of partnerships among men and women.
Traditionally women felt that their success as a woman was vested in their getting married at the right age to the right person. Today, women do not feel that there is any ‘right’ person for them. They feel that it is an abstract construct that made them believe in to get into an institution. Another group of successful women feels that they do not need men to dominate them. They can be masters of themselves. But women from an age group which is past thirties, and not so successful feel that they cannot find a man to match their expectations. But with all the noise and hum about relationships, men do not want babies, but they have them, men do not want a relationship and they are always with a girl. Ultimately, it is always women who are out of relationship and not the men.
The new era of men and women have diverted from the traditional view that relationship is important to one’s life. Today ‘relationship’ is a ‘choice’ and not a compulsion. Their beliefs have been rooted in their social constructs which have changed. The idea of romance is no longer that of a ‘boy meets girl and falls in love’ story. The whole equation of love has changed as men and women have started questioning it. The movie talks of these changing social norms and the ideological changes among men and women.