I have written quite a few feminist inclined articles in the past, but writing something from the male perspective is relatively new to me. While I was scouting for information on male feminists I thought this blog was a piece of cake, but little did I know that the concept of male feminism is a lot deeper than that.
I started out by quickly dialing a few friends who have been fairly friendly with me, and at least outwardly respected women. It then dawned upon me that I wanted to interact with real male feminists, and not the ‘self proclaimed’ lot. I landed up striking all the names on the list! I was saddened to learn that there are only handfuls that genuinely support women. A friend who pretty much understood my dilemma introduced me to a very genuine feminist, Thomson Andrews, a Mumbai based Singer & musician.
Thomson Andrews is a well-known playback singer, currently featuring on Amazon Prime Video's music show THE REMIX. He has lent his voice to a number of tracks for Bollywood flicks such as ‘Detective Byomkesh Bakshi’, ‘Akashvani’, ‘One by Two’, ‘Jagga Jasoos’, ‘Raees’, ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’, ‘Bombay Velvet’, and many more. He has sung over 50 Ad jingles, and also works on vocal arrangements for film songs & oversees overall production of his own original music (The entire works, from video, casting, music and so on and so forth).
Thomson is a die-hard Adel and Beyoncé fan. He loves their music, and has been inspired by many other international singers - James Brown, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Bruno mars. He says, “Respect for women comes naturally as I have grown around them. I firmly believe that women should be in their skin, and do exactly what they like. As men we are no one to stop them!” Thomson started becoming a little more aware about his attitude toward women when his friends would pass snide remarks at random women. He would often find himself reminding them that they exist only because a woman had the courage to bear them for nine months.
Thomson strongly believes that women play a very important role in shaping the eco-system of any society. If a woman is educated the whole family is educated. As an artist Thomson makes an attempt to address the grievances of a woman in a typical patriarchal set up. On Woman’s Day this year, Thomson released his music video titled, ‘We’re No Strangers’. The video shows what a woman goes through when she is physically abused by some outsider and is unable to tell her boyfriend what she has gone through. Perhaps the fear of being judged is holding her back. But then her boyfriend stops, and asks her what has happened? What is it that is troubling her so? Soon enough all the facts come pouring out. The message goes out to all men. The message states that these are women who we really love, and we must offer them a patient hearing when there are in need. Sometimes men playfully misconstrue messages that women are trying to signal. The messages are of a serious nature most of the times. Thomson’s humane side gets portrayed through just another video titled, ‘People Ain’t Things’. Video showcases the urgent need to synergize equality in society.
As an industry guy Thomson adds, “There are so many women out there who’re armed with oodles of talent. But they are often held back for a number of reasons. The industry is a business, where it takes more than expected for a woman to get out there and shine. But talent should be respected as the voice could take the country places. There are many things women are compelled to go through to get an extra mile to get their name on the charts. The casting couch in this segment of the industry is no rumour.”
According to some female co-workers, who wish to remain unnamed, it’s a delight to work with Thomson. Apart from interacting with a rather talented individual, women feel secure around him.
Thomson currently is working on a couple of music albums, and hopes to get into the playback singing space too. He is known for Pop, RnB,Funk and Soul genres, but constantly works at brushing his skills with Indie music, thus making him versatile yet unique. The idea is to take India to the world, and represent the dynamic Indian culture through his voice.
Written by Heer Kothari