Throwback Thursday: Men Treat Women Like Objects That They Own And This Has Been A Bollywood Staple
When Kabir Singh released, I hated the fact that it did so well. It’s problematic enough that filmmakers are giving misogyny a platform and presenting it as the highest level of love. However, the fact that so many people agree with such male entitlement is what is more worrisome. Of course, the movie became a subject of debate as people took sides and the women at Hauterfly firmly stayed on the side that didn’t support it. I passionately hate the day the script was born.
Honestly, I refused to watch the movie for the longest time, and then I did, just to see if there is anything worthy of my time in the film. But really, all I could see was Kabir Singh acting like he has the sole ownership of Preeti, right from the start. The way he does just anything he wants to her – be it dragging her out of the class or kissing her in front of people. He even puts her in a spot by acting as he owns her now and her own family has no rights over her. To me, it seemed like Preeti’s agency was violated and she had no idea.
It is repulsive to see men feel so entitled when it comes to the women they like. The cringe factor when I listen to “Mujhe hak hai” from Vivah is really strong. He goes on to sing he has the right to stare at her as much as he wants and lists several things he can do because usko hak hai. I am sure he means well but ask first? No, no, no. You cannot decide what rights you have over a woman. Ask a woman if she is comfortable with those things. This is terrible! And we could say that ad nauseam but what makes it worse is that this is presented as something that is desirable. That men who constantly push your buttons and try to convince you to choose him are not the bad guys, they are just hopelessly in love with you. Which is absolutely nonsense.
However, it’s not like Bollywood has woken up today and decided to be a torchbearer of sexism in India. It has been an ace player for a while. In fact, I feel it’s more or less responsible for promoting such a twisted definition of romance. Of course, a woman has to say yes if you pursue her enough. Of course, a woman must be adored for her beauty, because dimaag toh is such a masculine trait, come on. And with all that stalking being promoted as passionate love, we feel scared when someone likes us. It’s like you see an outfit on someone, liked it, and are now hunting for it online because you WANT it and you must have it.
Male Entitlement Was Thrown Around Like Confetti
Male entitlement is so heavily evident in Amitabh Bachchan’s Kabhi Kabhi Mere Dil Mein. He goes on to sing how she is made…for him. Everything that has ever happened to her, it’s for him. Her existence is for him. Aisa khayal kyu aata hai bhai? She is not a custom-made mug you got as a Christmas present from your company. Her purpose in life is not to satiate your desires and fan your ego and make you feel like a man on the suhaag raat as you lift her ghoonghat. In fact, why did you expect her to feel shy? The song is a superhit no doubt and it sounds really good until you pay attention to the lyrics. Like really pay attention.
Again, with such songs achieving cult status, it is obvious that consent and a woman’s desires take a backseat. Oh wait, I am being nice. These are completely dismissed. When you define how a woman is behaving in a song, you make it look like that’s how she is supposed to behave. And this is coming from men who are shown as lovers. So not only is he impressed that this woman is his property and behaving like that, but also because she’s shy and that is exactly what protocol dictates.
Meanwhile, Jaadu Teri Nazar is one step ahead in objectifying women and reducing their consent to a non-essential aspect of a relationship. I mean it’s not like an object can give consent unless you are like this woman who actually heard her briefcase propose to her. In this song though, it’s like he has already made the purchase, you know how you book a painting after walking through a gallery. It’s not like the painting can tell you I don’t want to come with you because you have bad breath. He is going on singing, “tu haa kar ya na kar, tu hai meri Kiran.” Did she come with an invoice? What is the return/exchange policy like? Did he have a pleasant shopping experience?
Then again, I shall absolve this movie of responsibility because at least when the guy is singing about owning the woman like an object in this song, he is shown as the bad guy. He isn’t the hero, your affable cutes-y boy. He’s a stalker and therefore shown as scary as the movie progresses. What should be worrisome is when men start using this song out of context as grand their declarations of love.
ALSO READ:Study Says Sex Is More Important To Men’s Happiness Than Women’s. This Mindset Is Why Women’s Orgasms Take A Backseat
On the other hand, if you ever feel pressured to make out with someone, say no. Remember there was one woman standing against hundreds of men demanding her to kiss her aashiq. “Jumma Chumma de de” they screamed. Why? Because last Jumma she said she’d kiss him the next Jumma. So? If she doesn’t want to, she doesn’t want to. What entitlement do men have to persuade a woman into giving in?
The best one that unabashedly objectifies women is Tu cheez badi hai mast mast. I mean, at least pretend to respect women. No?In this song, they don’t even pretend. They don’t even try to say a woman is a human, they happily dismiss her as a thing in the song. Of course, it helps to throw in close up shots of Raveena’s waist so that we are distracted from how utterly horrific the lyrics are. And we’re sure you’ve noticed that people danced to this song in clubs when it came out. And while that is worrying, what’s worse is that even children shake a leg to it and if that doesn’t make you want to immediately get up and switch this off, I don’t know what will.
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