It’s not fiction but a fact that subliminal sexist conditioning just cannot be helped sadly, not even in Bollywood where the stars congregate. Janhvi Kapoor claims that she, even as the daughter of a famous mother, could be sitting at the table with a director and a male co actor, but the eyes of the men will meet more when in discussion, very different from that usual Bollywood plot.
Considering the many strong women we have and have had, running countries and corporations, I sometimes wonder why we women undersell ourselves. If you think about it, we get compliments and we brush them off or don’t believe them yet when we are put down, it’s the thing that we remember the most. Why is that? Does that mean we as human beings only get strength from constant external validation? Why are we weak when it comes to ourselves? Men have gone so far as to attack and abuse their female counterparts because they can, and even given free reign in some cases.
But as women, a lot of the time, I’ve seen that we allow others to control the shots or worse accept dominant behavior because of the cultural background we come from. I’ve seen in many cases though, that people really have as much power as you give them unless they’ve tied you up and locked the door. Well some answers might just lay in evolution says the university of Santa Clara, where their experiments have shown that women of child bearing age, prefer more dominant males. In fact, an article by the New York Times pretty much follows the same idea when it states that village warfare in earlier times involved male counterparts who had more strength and that’s what the opposite sex look for and also accept naturally. But I can’t work out how that trait of the male gender manifested and developed into total control over everything across the globe in an antagonistic and aggressive way.
WHAT CAN BOLLYWOOD DO?
Cinema and especially Bollywood, has the ability to reach billions of people so definitely a platform to be used wisely to get a message across.To be fair, we have progressed from showing helpless women to strong ones now on screen as seen in Thappad and Champak and the movie Pink where female leads have slammed back. However, Director Mira Nair, still feels that the vast use of item numbers and women surrounded by male actors as an object of allure is unhealthy and does not convey the right message to the masses who follow.
But as much as we get those ground breaking movies out to show those harsh realities of life, they have more impact at the box office than in anyone’s home. Women will always be seen as either the weaker one, the one to be controlled, the one that will be targeted, imagine if you were involved in an affair! The crowd will always be less forgiving towards a woman. Rekha was seen as the marriage breaker yet nobody seemed to want to talk about Amitabh. We all talked about Rani Mukerji but not much about Aditya Chopra, we all talked about Sri Devi getting pregnant with Boney Kapoor’s baby yet we didn’t really focus on him but more on the articles about Sri Devi as the homewrecker. What is it about the woman form that attracts such negativity?
If the man is supposed to be the warrior and the protector of his tribe from anything that threatens it, then when did the target change? It’s like a global conspiracy against women where men have realised that actually we are the stronger sex and we need to be controlled because we could take their position over at some point. They have suddenly realised that true strength is mental strength where women can strategise better and mange multiple things and don’t really need brawn to make things happen. So if men accepted this, then there would be no place in the world for them because it wont be long before babies are made in a test tube. Evolutionary rules are that if something has no use, then chances are it will die out… oh dear!