#Personal Stories

From Pushpa To Kabir Singh: How Hindi Cinema Made Misogyny Cool

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What is one thing common in movies like Pushpa: The Rise, Kabir Singh, Dabangg, and Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge apart from the fact that they are all super hit films? That’s right! All these films and a majority of other movies made over the last many decades tend to portray and encourage patriarchy. These films endorse a culture where women are expected to assume a more submissive position with respect to men in society. Patriarchy is a practice that has been suppressing women for ages, so why does our entertainment industry still encourage this toxic culture?

Movies, more often than not, can influence the thoughts and ideas of the viewers depending on the type of content they promote. If a movie puts forward a positive message, it can help bring in a positive change in society. At the same time, if a movie promotes cultures like misogyny, it can adversely affect the minds of its audience especially, the youth. When movies make controlling and borderline obsessive men seem “cool”, they are knowingly or unknowingly promoting toxic masculinity.  

Misogynist Hindi Films And Oppression Of Women

Let us look at some examples, shall we? In movies like Badrinath Ki Dulhania and Raanjhanaa, the act of stalking has been glorified. Movies like these send out a message that a man should go after what he wants ignoring the wishes of the woman and that he “no” does not hold any value. Then there are movies like Kabir Singh and Pushpa: The Rise that put forward the idea that a man should be tough or aggressive and carry the responsibility of safeguarding a woman’s dignity.

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For the longest time the film industry, through its productions, has been playing an important part in keeping misogyny alive. Women have been made to believe that their only purpose is to play the role of a good wife and mother. They are supposed to always remain subservient to men. They are to be rescued by the men in case of adversaries and act pretty. Their life revolves around the hero who is always supposed to be the center of attention. It is high time we realise that women have an individual identity of their own, separate from the men in their lives.

Recent times have also seen the growth of movies that portray strong independent women who are happy and successful without a man in their lives. Queen, Pink, Piku and Dear Zindagi are some of the movies that come as breath of fresh air for successfully showing strong characters that take control of their own life. The message they send is one which society needs to learn. We can only hope that they predict the beginning of a new era. 

Views expressed are the author’s own.