In the black & white era heroines were expected to wear ass-pads because Bollywood was busy creating the image of the “ideal woman” who, obviously had to have some junk in the trunk. B&W heroes would then drive their jeeps/cars/bicycles in slow motion behind these women while singing songs, whistling, and generally teasing them. That’s what passed for romance back when touching was a big no-no.
Then the world started getting modern and Bollywood came up with touchy-feely choreography where bosoms heaved and groins were thrust unabashedly. Think Govinda-Karishma in their ‘Sarkaye lo khatiya’ days.
Sometime during the change from black and white to technicolor, Bollywood started flaunting its misogyny. We’ve always known that Hindi movies are all about the hero, but over the last few decades, heroines have been demoted from the once hallowed position of “love interest” to that of “sex object”. No explanation, no apology.
Here are some examples of Hindi cinema’s blatant sexism.
1. ‘Dabangg’ (2010)
Bollywood keeps insisting that wives are very evil. And yet, the YRF, Rajshri, Dharma empires are built on shaadi type movies. How ironic!
2. ‘Wanted’ (2009)
This one’s another old gem. According to Bollywood, women only want money. Like, seriously?!!
3. ‘Race 2’ (2013)
This one’s a twofer — she’s being called a brainless bimbo. Isn’t it nice that even veteran actors like Anil Kapoor, whose daughters are now acting in the same industry, seem to have no trouble objectifying women and calling them dumb?!!
4. ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’ (1995)
This, from what is considered the most romantic movie of the 90s. Really?
5. ‘Happy New Year’ (2014)
This dialogue would (should!) make so many girls lose respect for Shah Rukh!
6. ‘Kambakkht Ishq’ (2009)
If your partner is objecting to sex then you probably suck at it. Think about it!
7. ‘Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam’ (2002)
This nonsense, in 2002. Kamaal hai!
8. ‘Jab We Met’ (2007)
Words fail to communicate the sheer disappointment a dialogue like this one elicits.
9. ‘Jhankaar Beats’ (2003)
What? Because all women are the same? Or it doesn’t matter which bus you jump onto, as long as you get to take a ride? For shame, Bollywood!
10. Kambakkht Ishq’ (2009)
Most men aren’t even good for that one thing. Pity!
11. ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’ (1998)
Waah! Look at the ego on this guy. And still, he’s the one who chases not one, but two women in the film.
12. ‘De Dana Dan’ (2009)
Again with the “girls only want money” spiel!
13. ‘Chashme Baddoor’ (2013)
14. ‘Maine Pyar Kiya’ (1989)
This is Bollywood’s idea of romance? Telling the girl she isn’t good enough? Strange!
15. ‘Dabangg’ (2010)
This guy! Violent towards women in reel and real life.
16. ‘Darr’ (1993)
This one is perhaps one of the scariest things Bollywood could’ve told Indian men — that the woman’s consent doesn’t matter. Shame on you, Yash Raj Films. And Shah Rukh, too!
17. ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’ (1995)
The world keeps telling girls what they can and cannot do. But it is especially horrifying when a mother tells her daughter to stifle her dreams just because she’s a girl.
18. ‘Mere Brother Ki Dulhan’ (2011)
That male fantasy that a woman should be an “Angel in the kitchen and a Devil in the bedroom”.
19. ‘Grand Masti’ (2013)
Bollywood: still making rape jokes. For shame!
20. ‘Rowdy Rathore’ (2012)
He is literally calling women a “cheez”, an object.
21. ‘Kyaa Super Kool Hain Hum’ (2012)
More objectification. Ad infinitum, ad nauseam.
The saddest part of all this is that the biggest names in Bollywood have spent years spewing misogynistic bile. Shah Rukh, Salman, Akshay, and even Anil Kapoor — big heroes, who have been known to fight with filmmakers over all sorts of things, don’t utter a peep when it comes to saying derogatory things about women. What a pity!