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Indians are very tolerant of sexism. The sexism starts from home, it is there that boys have more freedom to do as they wish while girls are given restrictions. Songs with obscene lyrics glamorize violence against women. It is common to see the police in these songs only to show that men can get away with violent crimes because of their social status. Sexism continues to be a dominant and disturbing element in Indian music that affects the careers of women pop singers and often prevents them from rising to stardom. Also, it has its reflection in television shows, cinema, social events, family functions, etc.
The Indian music industry is vast and unlike others is a multi-billion industry. Yet it faces allegations of sexism which has put a question mark on its integrity. Not that the male gender has been issued with a clean chit but the female gender has been receiving accusations of objectification and suppression. There is a growing gender bias in the Indian music industry. As much as we like to ignore that it is a part of the system, our growing culture of being ‘smooth’ and ‘cool’ encourages patriarchy in our sub-cultures. As men and women hear these songs, they grow up assuming norms, traditions, and stereotypes as normal. Thus begins the oppression of the fight for equality.
Bollywood is known to make item songs to sell their movie. Director’s or producers think it’s women who have to be lead in item songs and sung by them but other songs from the same movie have an only male lead singer, so gender stereotype exists here too but it’s visible and everyone is objectifying women by putting them in such degrading roles as this. Women are much more compared to men, they are shown as a commodity for arousing passion which is not at all justified. The songs produced by the mainstreamed musicians depicts women as an object of sexual desire and it does not even have a positive impact on a person’s sexual life.
As a society, the acceptance of women to this extent will be still a long way for us to go. To remove sexism the first step is made by looking at the roots of how we got there, and that in itself is not easy. The harder thing to do is not accept something as normal and acceptable, but rather change it back into what it should be ― un-normal and unacceptable by dismantling everything that taught us sexism as normal.