Does Indian Cinema Portray Women Appropriately?

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Does Indian Cinema Portray Women Appropriately?

Does Indian Cinema Portray Women Appropriately?

Does Indian Cinema Portray Women Appropriately?

Bollywood movies are all about romance, spices, action, drama and happy endings. We never pay attention to how the movie portrays women. We find movies entertaining and at the end of the day we are led to believe that it is simply a source of entertainment. I too never paid much attention to the other part until recently I came across a news of  any upcoming movie facing controversies.

The people who are protesting against the movie are those who believe that such bold movies will have bad effect on the culture of our country. If sex and boldness is to be banned from movies so that they do not give rise any wrong thoughts in the minds of the viewers, how are we appreciative of the wrong portrayal of women in Indian cinemas?

No, Indian cinemas have always been iniquitous in portraying women:

1. Talk of the old cinema days and you can think of a poor helpless daughter-in-law being tortured by the in-laws or the being beaten by the drunken husband. In response to these cruelties, the woman would simply cry her hearts out in a sad song and then smile through the wounds, ready to bear the torture for the next day. Talking of the present day scenario, our cinemas and soaps still feature women as patient and tolerant beings who would take on the suffering for a long time before she shows the guts to express her distress. Why should a woman tolerate even a slap when it’s not her fault? R.I.P. Equality!

2. We talk of stopping crime against women, putting an end to eve-teasing while Indian cinemas would still show the male protagonist teasing the girl with that oh-so-proud manliness over his expression.The lead girl would be shown threatening the guy to stop and the guy would still continue all the teasing until she finally smiles and bam! It’s time for happy ending! Is that how relationships are made?

3. Item songs are the leading trend for Indian cinemas these days. All they need for the successful promotion of their film is an excellent dancer who is tired of trying her luck at choreography and the last thing they expect her to ask is the lyrics of the song. These songs would usually portray women as an item, commodity, or even worse; she is compared to edible things.

4. Indian cinemas are still stuck at showing women as a showpiece for the promotion of the movie. The story revolves around the male protagonist and the actress would be used just to show the emotional side of the hero and his real heroism when he saves her from a gang of rapists. Women are shown praying and crying before God while men advertise chivalry and heroism. How many superwomen have Indian cinema brought up?

5. Movies fail to show the real woman; striving all her life to maintain her family life as well as her career alongside. The strength of a woman with which she fights for her dreams along with being the care taking mother of kids is a part Indian cinemas miss most of the times. The leading hero prefers to have fun partying with the modern girl who is career oriented and fun-loving but when it comes to settling down with a family, he would dump the previous girl and settle for the tradition marriage material girl who would impress his mother with excellent cooking. Is this what we are teaching the youth of our country? Yes, this is the message that Indian cinemas portray.

6. Women being portrayed as sexual objects for the desire of rich men are nothing new to talk about Indian cinemas. Politicians, policemen, civil officers passing lewd comments on these women they treat as sex objects is shown as a very usual thing happening on a regular basis. Even the hero of the movie would often describe how the girl would look better in Indian clothes and not in Western dresses. Where are we going, really?

Yes, Indian cinemas are changing their outlook on women:

1. In the past few years, Indian cinema witnessed movies made around the life of female protagonist. They are portrayed as strong and powerful persons capable of fighting for their rights and having the ability of achieving their dreams without any help from a hero. Talk of Rani Mukherjee’s Mardani, or Vidya Balan’s Kahani, or Shudh Desi Romance, the perspective of Indian cinemas is changing fast and for the better.

2. Nobody justifies better than Indian cinemas that a soft and emotional women is never too weak and that she can turn to be the destructor, the punisher if she is tired of being patient. Patience is not the weakness of women but her strength and that is well portrayed in Indian cinemas.

3. Indian movies do portray women as sex objects but isn’t that how the society treats women? Movies are the mirror of reality and it is not something we can ignore than most of the women beyond poverty line are pushed into the flesh trade with or without her will. Portraying reality is an eye-opener and not an intention to show women as inferior beings.

4. The mindset has to change and that won’t be possible if we cannot change our views and accept that most of the things shown in a cinema are fiction. Reality is different from a comedy shown in reels. Imitating the actions of movies is the mistake of uneducated people and that can be corrected not by banning these films but by educating these people.


It is wrong to portray women as an object in cinemas but it is also important to see the reality of how our society treats women. Item numbers are not to be condemned by the lewd lyrics have to be modified. She is a woman and not an object that you can give names to. Cinemas are indeed the mirror of the society but they also have huge impact on the minds of people hence it should be ensured that a proper moral is conveyed at the end.

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