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‘Modern’ Women Are Ok To Date But Men Want A ‘Good Homely Girl’ For Marriage: Misogyny In Movies

This is 2021 and people still consider women as the responsible preserver of 'Family's honour.' Women are often portrayed with stereotypes in movies and they are growing worse each passing day.

This is 2021 and people still consider women as the responsible preserver of ‘Family’s honour.’ Women are often portrayed with stereotypes in movies and they are growing worse each passing day.

After a long weekend at work, I wanted to relax and therefore I watched a movie. The movie was categorised as a comedy, but watching this movie has made me feel worse.

I’m neither a movie reviewer nor do I have any knowledge in film production. So, I’m not going to review this movie nor am I going to name the movie here (if you happen to watch this movie, you will figure it by yourself). I thought of writing about some of the regressive things the movie had portrayed.

It’s a time travel movie and trust me, the movie travels back in time, at least to the time where women are portrayed the way the director or the male protagonist desired how women would be.

The male protagonist hates his marriage. This might not be the life he had expected and people might think that he expected a different life. Nevertheless, at the end of the movie, the expected life or wife is the woman who stays at his (his parents) house, adjusts with his parents and looks after him.

Stereotyping women

Like I said the movie does travel in time in the writers view of women and I can say that many such men are still pursuing that women should be a ‘kudumba kuthuvilaku’ (a colloquial Tamil term to imply a woman of moral character). The term also means that she shouldn’t have or had male friends, lives in the in-laws’ house, and treats them respectfully no matter what and the list goes on.

In this movie, the male protagonist meets a girl and once they are married, he lectures her on how a good woman should dress. The movie continues with sexist comments, body shaming and slut-shaming throughout the movie. One of reviewers wrote “sexism is the core of the movie” in an online review about this movie.

The problem of the society is that it has stereotyped women. They should be dressed like this, behave like that and particularly in our culture, it’s insisted to follow even if it’s beyond your interest.

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Even in the series Big Bang Theory, it is acceptable for an Indian male – Raj to date women and go on one-night stand. But, when his sister does that, he goes berserk and says that it’s inappropriate for a single woman to entertain a man in private. Why has it always been a problem about what a woman does? Why should the society control what women do or who they are with?

A lot of dialogues from different movies that I have seen implies that if a man does wrong things, that will only be his; but, if a woman makes a mistake, the entire family is blamed. This is 2021 and people still consider women as the responsible preserver of ‘Family’s honour.’ These regressive thoughts are common in the minds of many people. Dialogues like ‘modern women are ok to date and love, but when it comes to marriage homely girl will be better’ are still getting applause and shared frequently on social media.

Expectations of men

Men expect women to leave everything behind and go behind them after marriage, have children and look after the family including the husband’s parents. She can’t have a social life or have a male friends circle.

This movie introduces ‘the boy bestie,’ and this has been on the internet for a long time. A lot of memes are circulated on this for a long time. The idea that women should not have any male friends has resulted in this boy bestie creation and the only male friend a woman should have is with her husband.

The movie continues its sexism by projecting the female protagonist as a person who drinks, goes out at night with her friends and having many male friends. The male protagonist is not ok with all these activities and finally he blames the freedom given by her father stating the term ‘dad’s little princess.’ The idea is to say that her father hasn’t parented properly – meaning he should have restricted her going out after dark, stopped her from talking to male friends and made her wear proper dress. This is implied by the writer/director of the movie through the term ‘dad’s little princess.’

There is another dialogue in that movie that the male protagonist says to female protagonist when she asks him to not to interfere in her freedom, the former replies to this by saying that freedom is not living your life as you wish, but living a life that others accept as well. The sexism in this dialogue reflects the minds of cheap thinking of such writers. The blatant sexism portrayed in such movies should be stopped as there are enough stereotypes portrayed about women. We have seen enough of this non sense.

We should evolve past this, the choice of women is not anyone’s concern. Marrying someone and trying to control her life is misogyny. Women should define their own definition of how their life should be. Everyone’s definition is different, there is no one size fits all policy.  Stop holding women responsible for the family’s honour, consider something else. Stop trying to control their lives. These misogynist movies are demeaning women in a larger context.

Image source: A still from Yeh Rishta Kya Kelhta Hai

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About the Author

Praneash V

A Research Scholar, ardent book lover, and amateur writer who wants to write about the injustice in society in the name of religion and tradition and wants to break all the stereotypes. read more...

9 Posts | 16,336 Views

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