Essay on Sexism in India

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Social constructivism is defined as a social group constructing things for one another, collaboratively creating a small culture of shared artifacts with shared meanings (Moodle, 2015).

The theoretical base we use to understand knowledge is called social constructivism, or the ‘sociology of knowledge’. It characterizes knowledge as the sets of beliefs or mental models people use to interpret actions and events in the world. Social constructivism tells us we build knowledge as ways of understanding the world, and that these ways of understanding are a subset of how the world could be understood.

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But the real question is What has Social Constructionism to offer Feminist Theory? To the extent that social constructionism problematizes nature as given, it offers feminists ways of criticizing dominant conceptions of being as based on false foundational claims about the nature of both ‘women’ and ‘men’.

Films reflect the socio-cultural configuration of a society at a given point in time. While cinema might not make many changes it has the power to tell stories and even plant images in your head. Stories have always been an extremely important way of delivering thoughts and ideas; history has always been an example- The Gita, Bible, Quran. Films have always represented women in stereotyped ways. It is well known that Indian cinema is famous for its portrayal of women in films. Bollywood plays a major role in the proliferation of sexist attitudes towards women. These attitudes are a part of the societal norm in India that many women experience. This research involves analysis of a few Bollywood movies, with explicitly sexist dialogues and music. A study revealed that sexist lyrics in a song may increase the audience’s tolerance for sexism by normalizing objectification and misogynistic attitudes.

Sexism is any expression (act, word, image, gesture) based on the idea that some people, most often girls and women, are inferior because of their sex. Sexism is seen in songs, advertisements, and stories and has become a way of living for some people. In Bollywood movies, it is often seen that the actresses are objectified, molested, stalked and even body shamed and let down. Take the example of the movie Biwi no.1 (1999), where the actor Salman Khan falls in love with a modern and well-dressed lady, Sushmita Sen while already being married to Karishma Kapoor who is traditional and simple. His wife then goes through a glamourous change and starts to dress up and modernize in pursuit of her husband who is a cheater, and even takes him back after seeing a change in her. These kinds of plots bring to the subconscious of the viewers that extra-marital affairs are normal and that there is a standard for beauty. It also portrays that modern and working women are the reason for breaking a relationship.

Bollywood is the preferred form of entertainment for a sizable portion of the Indian populace. You may select from a variety of genres, including drama, thriller, romance, and humor. However, one constant throughout all of these genres is Bollywood’s portrayal of women.

The famous movie Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998) which won the Film Fare Award for best film portrayed that men are always attracted to graceful and sensitive girls and not fun-loving girls. Women are struggling every day because of body issues, they are starving themselves, and it has nothing to do with themselves being weak, it has to do with the ideas patriarchy has planted in the minds of women.

Another problematic aspect of the Indian cinema is the depiction of toxic masculinity. “Mard ko dard nahi hota”- this line from the movie Mard (1985) is an example of how the portrayal of pain, crying, or showing emotions makes a person less of a man. The maltreatment of women normalized through movies makes them feel that it is how men behave and it is okay to be mistreated, which makes them lack an opportunity to stand up for themselves. Indians tend to put heroes, singers, cricketers, etc. on a pedestal, worship and glorify them which is why movies like Kabir Singh (2019) gained much popularity irrespective of their portrayal of stalking, lack of consent, violence, and objectification of women. In the movie, the main character Kabir Singh is shown as a violent medical student who falls in love with a fresher and stalks her, touches her without her consent, and also shows violence on her.

A court case in Australia found out that a man was stalking two women. When asked why he did that, he said that it was common in Bollywood movies for this to happen and the women eventually ended up falling in love with the men. A lot of people see films as an imitation of real life, and the ideas you water there, bloom into existence through these people. They cannot see the misogyny because, perhaps, you didn’t allow them to. You wrapped it in the paper that said ‘passion and love’. Snapdeal employee Deepti Sarna’s adduction made national headlines in 2016 after the main accused and kidnapper, Devendra said that he took inspiration from the 1993 Bollywood film ‘Darr’ in which Shah Rukh Khan played a stalker.

Analysis of sexist and misogynistic Bollywood movie moments

Dabangg (2010) -

Aamdani Atthani Kharcha Rupaiya (2001) - A movie that is found hilarious by most of the population but is guilty of making women beat a joke. The actor in the movie wouldn’t miss a chance to slap his wife. If she ever puts forward her opinion, she is threatened to get beaten by him. The woman is also portrayed as an individual who irrespective of all the abuse will stand by his side. The movie shows 3 couples

Raanjhanna (2013) -

Sonu ke Titu ki Sweety (2018) - Mr. Luv Ranjan despises women completely. This film, a tribute to 'Bros Before Hoes' or some such idea, made every broken-hearted lad feel like a superhero, while every woman in his thoughts was transformed into a lying, deceiving monster. A feud between the bride and her best friend. You may be wondering who the wicked one is. Take a RISKY guess. The fiancée is a devious, manipulative woman who appears to be a nice, soft-spoken angel in front of the boy while pursuing a meaningless battle with his closest buddy. Is there a reason for her actions? No, not at all. At one point, she describes how she intends to have sex with her husband to prevent him from leaving her later (as she intends to do).

Such Bollywood movies and songs are likely to glorify denial while condoning acts like stalking, abusing, and revenge in the name of love. Through the examples and the analysis, we can conclude that Indian films do add to the idea of sexism. Films not only depict women in several fixed roles but they also build a negative perception towards women in masses. In Hindi cinema, women are often depicted as weak, marginalized, and an object of entertainment. Objectification of women has led them to become vulnerable in society.

Films have depicted negative notions about women which seem to have infected the society.

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Essay on Sexism in India. (2024, February 23). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 14, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/essay-on-sexism-in-india/
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Essay on Sexism in India [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2024 Feb 23 [cited 2024 Jul 14]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/essay-on-sexism-in-india/
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