September 30, 2023


Sweta Kumari

Research Scholar, P.G. Department of English & Research Centre, Magadh University, Bodh-Gaya, Bihar,  India.


Gender stereotype is a generalized socially constructed notion regarding the qualities and attributes women or men or any particular group of people and communities are supposed to have or the certain roles they are expected to perform in a society on the basis of their gender. In a male-dominated society, gender biases, patriarchy, gender discrimination, sexism, stereotyping, and male-chauvinism, have always been a subject to manifest through texts or films. Nevertheless, mainstream cinema and television series have always been a powerful and effective medium to convey the message it wants to convey to its audience across the globe. Women’s role and their presentation on the celluloid have evolved broadly over the years. Earlier, the popular visual media portrayed women in the emblematic image of subservient in terms of virtue embedding them with the dominant patriarchal cultural values, who were supposed to be obedient and submissive throughout their entire lives. Notwithstanding, the same celluloid successfully represented them in the iconic image of new women as emancipated and independent women. Thus, the paper intends to focus on subverting gender stereotyping through the Bollywood film, Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl (2020), directed by Sharan Sharma, starring Janhvi Kapoor as Gunjan Saxena. It is a Hindi biopic film, based on the life of Gunjan Saxena, one of the first Indian women air-force pilots in combat. The film reflects how socially constructed gender identity is still problematic to women as well as men when they come either to lead life the way they want or to choose a career in various socio-occupational fields for being in the same social domain. Hereto, the paper aims at reading critically using different lenses in terms of psychoanalytic, gender studies, Marxist, and feminist theories to show how Gunjan Saxena rises above all odds making her own space, defying the same patriarchal social structures.


gender, stereotype, patriarchy, male-chauvinism, emancipation, cinema



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To cite this article

Sweta Kumari. (2023). Breaking the Glass Ceiling: Feminist Perspectives on the Film Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl (2020). John Foundation Journal of EduSpark, 5(3), 1-16.

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