Bombay : Indian cinema has had a great influence in our society. Whether it’s fashion trends or family reunions or even general perceptions, movies have shaped our thinking since its evolution. But where there are advantages, there are bigger disadvantages. In a male-dominated industry, women have struggled for years to gain an equal footing. Our films are a reflection of our society.
When it comes to women, Bollywood has mostly been misogynistic in its portrayal of female characters, where they are treated as objects or without a substantial presence. Despite the changing times, there are still many things that go unnoticed. Here are some things Hindi cinema thinks all women do.
1. Keep a good appearance
Most films show women as people who like to dress up and never lack precision. It’s as if pimples, tans and bad hair don’t exist. For example, Shanaya from Student Of The Year and other female characters, in fact, were portrayed as people who only cared about their looks, a common depiction in Hindi cinema.
2. Fight with other women, for men
It seems to be a common notion that women cannot have meaningful friendships, which of course is misleading. But, to add more drama, Bollywood continues to show insecure and possessive female characters in their relationships. Veronica from Cocktail and Safeena from Gully Boy are some examples.
3. See motherhood as the ultimate goal
Motherhood is a journey that is not always easy. However, Hindi cinema mainly depicts it as the ultimate goal of any female character. Raising or wanting to raise a child seems more like a part of life than a choice. Mimi, for example, not only normalized but also glorified the act of letting go of her dreams of motherhood.
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4. Get into relationships, only to get married
As much as society wants to believe, women don’t pair up just to get married. Different life stages come with different priorities, even when it comes to running the company. This means that relationships are more than just an emotional commitment and should not come with the pressure of not being able to leave, if necessary. But films like Tamasha or Love Aaj Kal depicted commitment as something definitive for women.
5. Rely on men for important life decisions.
Most Bollywood movies show men as in charge even when it comes to the lives of the women in their lives. Whether choosing to do a job or practice an art in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi or getting married in Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania, women are shown taking permission or relying on men to decisions that affect them.
6. Enjoy doing household chores
Doing chores when you live alone or as a hobby, in the case of things like cooking, comes with a choice. However, not everyone enjoys managing an entire family, especially when it’s unrewarded. It is commonly described that women “enjoy” household chores. Anjali from Kajol from Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham is an example.
Consciously or unconsciously, we take Bollywood as a reflection of our society. Therefore, stereotypical portrayals of women in movies definitely contribute to endemic sexism in India and should be stopped.
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