31 December 2012
Films sanctify pestering and talking of women
The ghastly assault and rape of female paramedic in Delhi has produced an avalanche of protest and comment on why we treat women so badly. But a major cause, the film industry, has hardly been mentioned. It has fostered thoroughly retrograde male attitudes that tare at least partly responsible.
Some feminists focus on the commodification of women in Bollywood’s “item numbers”, sex-laden dances by Isha Koppilar, Mallia Sherawat and others. Others highlight the popularity of rape scenes to titillate audiences. Old –time villain Ranjeet did close to 100 rape scenes, with the audience almost cheering him on.
I don’t see films in other India languages. Some say they are even cruder, so let’s not blame Bollywood along. I’m told such crudity doesn’t happen in big Bollywood films any more. Really? I saw Rockstar, in which Ranbir Kapoor forces his attentions on a girl, who initially resists but then asks him to take her to a raunchy film!
Let the last word come from somebody in the film business. “There are films in which romantic wooing has been replaced by a kind of harassment of the heroine. The heroes of these films could be considered stalkers in some civil societies. Now imagine that this actor is a role model to millions….wouldn’t his fans think this behaviour is okay? Now imagine that this actress is a role model to millions….what message does it send to women across the country?.”
(An extract of an article published in TOI dated 30 Dec. 2012
by Swaminathan S. Anklesaria Aiyar)
Comments and opinion:
This is one of the reasons for degradation of women’s status in India. The brutal rape of “Damini” on 16 Dec in Delhi has caused the biggest upheaval in the country. There are many other social evils in the society. We need to thoroughly examine such short comings in our “social structure and social behaviors and come out with long term measures to enhance women’s status and finally the women’s, security.