The issue of gender inequality might sound redundant and has tended to become bleak over time, but it is something we have been fed since childhood and continues to be exigent even in 2022. The problem starts with the gifting of kitchen utensil toys to the girl child, symbolising her belongingness to the household chores and, on the other hand, limiting the role of boys in the kitchen, making it a gender role.
This might sound trivial, but this is exactly how conditioning begins.
Bollywood undoubtedly has a considerable role to play in our lives, and it swoops in certain demeaning ideas coated with goodness, normalising women’s objectification. Here is a list of five movie scenes from Bollywood that are quite problematic.
A movie starring Salmaan Khan and Aysha Takia, released in 2009, has wonderfully slipped in the idea of women being obsessed with money. In an attempt to maintain the tough guy image, the lead actor, played by Salmaan Khan, says, “Larki ke piche bhagega, Larki Paisa leke bhagegi; Paise k piche bhagega, Larki tere piche Bhagegi.” The dialogue summarises how all the women are merely obsessed with wealth and shouldn’t be prioritized.
Tere Naam (2003)
A movie, or precisely a compilation of scenes harassing women, is beautifully romanticized. “Tere Naam”, starring Salman Khan and Bhumika Chawla, released in 2003, has a number of scenes portrayed romantically which are constitutionally inadmissible in reality. Nirjara (Bhumika Chawla) rejects Radhe (Salmaan Khan) after being proposed to for marriage and ends up getting kidnapped by him as he couldn’t handle the rejection. Nirjara finally accepts the proposal, and a love song concludes the kidnapping scene. This criminal activity has been normalized in the movie and has painted a positive heroic image of Radhe.
The movie, released in 2013, starring Dhanuss and Sonam Kapoor, has redefined love and, in no time, became the epitome of Bollywood romance. Apart from vilifying Zoya (Sonam), did you notice Kundan’s toxicity? Seeing through the gender lens, Kundan stalks school-going Zoya every day in order to convert her “no” into “yes” and also ends up slitting his nerves, finally blackmailing her to agree. It has always been about certifying criminal offences as love.
Main hoon Na (2004)
A movie with multiple star casts revolves around transforming a girl into a hyper-feminine lady in order to win a man’s heart. Sanju (Amrita Rao) is advised by Ram to get “fixed” if she wants to be with Lucky (Zaid Khan). This shallow approach to love, driven by outward appearance, is what Bollywood has been teaching us.
Ye Jawani Hai Dewani (2013)
When Bunny (Ranbir Kapoor) tells Naina (Deepika Padukone), “Tumhare Jaisi Larki flirting k liye nahi Ishq k liye bani hai,” and at the same time flirts with Lara, he sets standards for women and decides which one is meant for a serious relationship. So what exactly is the type meant for not-so-serious relationships? Lara with short dresses?