Actress, Activism and Social Media Engagement: A Content Analysis of the Official Facebook Page of Parvathy Thiruvothu

The formation of the Women in Cinema Collective (WCC) in Kerala is considered a defining moment in the Malayalam film industry. The incident of the abduction and sexual assault of an established actress from the industry, which became the catalyst for the formation of WCC, received much attention and scrutiny from the media and the public. This study investigates how the online public has received all these developments challenging patriarchal norms by analysing their Facebook behaviours. And for this, the engagements on posts on the official Facebook page of Parvathy Thiruvothu, one of the founding members of WCC and who was subjected to much public ire before and after the formation of WCC, were analysed through a gendered lens. The results showed a shift in the actress's perception before and after the formation of WCC. While men were mostly seen responding to her pre-WCC formation posts adulating her beauty and talent, her feministic stands in the later years up until the formation of WCC were met critically, giving her the title of "feminichi." Nevertheless, in the post-WCC formation, more women and men supported her cause and engaged in constructive discussions on gender rights and equality via Facebook.

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