Get Inspired, Be Empowered Forums Sexism & Patriarchy What do you think about changing of portrayal of women in Bollywood? Reply To: What do you think about changing of portrayal of women in Bollywood?

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Bollywood movies have since their dawn played an important role in shaping trends and popular practices among the folks of India, particularly the youth. But these movies often reflect a collective mindset of the people in their times. Hence, with changing times the stories and characters keep evolving.
In old hits like Sita Aur Geeta (1972) or Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge (1995), women are seen as docile, homely objects who do not make their own choices. In the latter. We clearly see that the woman has no choice or control over selecting a partner. Not only that, but she is coerced into falling in love. And at the end, she is only taken in marriage after her father hands her over to the male lead. This conveys the woman as property of her father and then her husband’s. This thinking was a popular one which is still seen in parts of India.
Moving over to more recent movies, examples like Kabir Singh (2019), violence is glorified in the name of live, the choices of the female lead completely ignored, with dangerous undertones of sexism and misogyny. In Cocktail (2012) or Mujhse Dosti Karoge (2002) or many similar films with two female leads. there are two types of women portrayed. One: the flamboyant, sensual party girl who is in touch with her sexuality and loves life. The second: the ideal “Indian Girl” who cooks well, does not party or drink, is submissive and studious. And in every one of these movies the second ideal girl always gets the opportunity of winning over the man’s heart. This portrayal not only divides women into narrow categories, but the fact that they exist only for the male gaze and as objects for the male’s pleasure bring India’s patriarchy to the forefront.
Hence, although the portrayal of women appears to have changed, their purpose still more or less remains for the pleasure of the male lead. This is of course with exceptions to movies like Dangal (2016), Mardaani (2019) and Naam Shabaana (2017), who rise above the sexist tropes and showcase the bravery, independence and abilities of women in various areas.